THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 567 Friday December 11 2009 £3.25
ISSUE LOOK WHO’S BACK... Turn to page 3 for exclusive AvP news...
We take a special look at Nintendo’s new crossword game for DS
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
High Street battles on as new decade dawns 91 per cent of stores tell the MCV Retail Survey they have what it takes to endure 2010 by James Batchelor UK RETAILERS believe they have cracked the formula to survive the next decade – after enduring a true annus horribilis on the High Street in 2009. In a year of financial troubles, company closures and an erratic release slate, a whopping 91 per cent of retailers claimed they were confident about the future of their business in MCV’s annual Retail Survey this week – proving that it takes more than the recession to dampen the industry’s spirits. Only one per cent of companies contacted were pessimistic about their business’s prospects. Optimism was further reflected elsewhere in the survey, with 48 per cent of companies predicting their
Christmas takings would be greater than last year’s, and an additional 27 per cent believing they would match those of 2008. Activision Blizzard’s Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 dominated other polls, including retail’s Highlight of the Year with 73 per cent of the vote. 64 per cent of respondants also backed it to be this year’s Christmas No.1. The record-breaking game easily outperforming competition from the likes of Assassin’s Creed II, FIFA, PES and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Activision was just pipped to the post by EA in the Best Attitude and Quality to Retail poll, with the latter winning over 21 per cent of the vote. Elsewhere, Koch and Gem had a strong year, but it was Centresoft that was named the
This year’s MCV Retail Survery reveals that the High Street is not running scared of the economic downturn
most highly commended distributor, taking 48 per cent of votes. In the peripherals market, Mad Catz came out on top, with Venom following in a very close second. The kind words reached a halt when it came to the supermarkets, however. A third of retailers identified
price slashing on major releases at the likes of Tesco and Asda as the biggest problem facing the industry. These aggressive price points even angered twice as many retailers as the economic recession. Turn to pages 21-25 for the MCV Retail Survey 2009
DS breaks UK sales record NINTENDO DS has become the biggest-selling games hardware in UK chart history, surpassing 10 million units sold. The device hit the milestone in week 47 of this year according to GfK-ChartTrack data, taking it past the record held by Sony’s PS2. UK unit sales of PS2 stand at 10.02 million to date, whilst DS has already hit 10.05 million – with a bountiful Christmas period yet to finish. DS has been on the UK market for just four years, eight months, having launched in March 2005. PlayStation 2 launched nine years ago in November 2000. Nintendo DS has sold at a rate of over 5,700 console per day in the UK, where almost one in six people own one of the handhelds. MCV revealed last week that Nintendo Wii had hit six million UK unit sales.
Trade’s biggest night returns on April 22nd THE COUNTDOWN to next year’s MCV Awards has begun – with date, venue and categories announced. Over 600 retailers and execs from all sectors of the business will attend what is the single biggest and most prestigious event on the UK games industry calendar. Sponsors already include Nintendo, Codemasters and Premier PR, with more details on their premium
involvement in the evening due next week. The event will take place on Thursday April 22nd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London. Several new categories will include Supermarket of the Year, Peripherals & Accessories Brand of the Year and Best Game Creative (single advertising execution). A full list of the 17 awards up for grabs and an explanation
EA Sports’ Peter Moore collected the Grand Prix prize this year
of how the lobbying procedure and voting works appears on Page 3 of this week’s MCV. “Much of what the industry loves about the MCV Awards has been retained. The venue and April timing is very popular and our judging process is once again totally transparent,” said Intent Media boss Stuart Dinsey. “But we have a few surprises in store too, and the new categories have been
driven by demand from MCV readers. It will be another sellout and probably our biggest night yet.” The MCV Awards 2010 will be managed by Kathryn Humphrey, who has joined Intent Media. Tables will be sold on a Gold, Silver and Bronze basis. Contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intent media.co.uk for more information.
PERSONNEL 24 RETAIL BIZ 25 NEW RELEASES 29 HIGH STREET 30 CHARTS 32
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[LEADER] KNOW-HOW… OR NO CHANCE Santa’s sack will be a little lighter this year – and the MCV team couldn’t be happier. But before you accuse us of needless ‘Bah! Humbug’ misanthropy, allow me to explain: Thanks to publishers pushing treats for retail into January and February that would have once firmly been lugged around by Rudolph and co., there’s plenty for our scribes to get their teeth into in Q1. Just a few years ago, however, we had to be a bit more ‘inventive’ during the post-Yuletide lull. It’s hard to write about games when none of the blighters are coming out, you know. Luckily, we always had a perennial headline to fall back on, from which pertinent commentary would always blossom: ‘The threat to retail’. Remember it? Each year, we’d quiz prosperous traders with our own confused enquiries about future menaces: ‘Download to own’; ‘microtransactions’; ‘games on demand’ and many other alien, otherworldly concepts were mentioned – and not always with much conviction. Embarrassingly, I can admit now that we didn’t always know what those futuristic phrases really meant. Trouble is, neither did the retailers.
“Put simply, if you don’t get digital, you don’t get games. And you probably don’t exist anymore.” We’d tend to receive cheery, non-committal answers about “keeping an eye” on the everchanging world of online as – quite literally sometimes – the tills rung on high in the background. Indeed, many of the respondents didn’t actually seem that ‘threatened’ at all. ‘Flourishing’ outlets we threw this poser at included Choices UK, Virgin Megastores, Eplay, Zavvi, Woolworths and a host of indies. Less than five years later, these outlets are all six feet under. The High Streets of market towns across the UK are a wasteland of transitory pound shops and counterfeit KFCs. Steam is (magnanimously, at least) becoming the biggest PC games retailer in the world. Put simply – as we reach the end of 2009, if you don’t get digital, you don’t get games. And you probably don’t exist anymore. You only need to read the next few pages to see just how much attention the big survivors from ‘trade 1.0’ are giving the sector today – from GAME to Codemasters to Gian ‘Green Man’ Luzio. So as great as it is to see nine tenths of UK retail stick two fingers up to the recession in our MCV Retail Survey, we have to hope that it’s informed confidence – rather than unenlightened arrogance – that’s led to such optimism. At least the signs are good. Given the chance, we probably wouldn’t bother writing that shamefully elementary ‘threat to retail’ piece any more. After all, you lot are far too clued up. Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk
Have you been good this year? Categories unveiled for MCV Awards 2010, including new singular awards for supermarket retailers, peripherals and ad executions Lobbying period to kick off in January
THE CUT-OFF isn’t until February, but how about rounding off your year by dreaming of a big win at the MCV Awards 2010? Next year’s prestigious event takes place on Thursday April 22nd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London. Amongst the 17 awards up for grabs are new categories
A set of Finalists will then be announced by MCV in March and a Judging Panel of up to 100 top retailers and senior execs will then vote for the winners. We also plan to widen the number of judges voting on the PR Team prize, to allow leading journalists and media bosses to have their say.
These really are awards that mean something. If you have done anything that should be considered, let us know. Michael French, MCV
such as Supermarket of the Year, Peripherals & Accessories Brand of the Year and Best Game Creative (single advertising execution). Over 600 retailers and execs from across the UK and European trade will be there on the night, with huge media coverage. The formal lobbying process starts in January, with MCV readers encouraged to nominate themselves, suppliers or even put competitors forward.
THE CATEGORIES RETAIL Star Store Online Retailer Independent Retailer (under 30 stores) High Street Chain Supermarket PEOPLE & INDUSTRY UK Development Team Distribution Team Sales Triumph Sales Team Games Publisher
All judges are revealed after the votes have been cast. “We’re hugely excited by the plan for the next MCV Awards and believe we have made some real progress in further tweaking the categories,” commented editor-in-chief Michael French. “And these really are awards that mean something. The entire industry gets involved, so if you have done something that should be considered, please do let us know.”
PR & MARKETING Peripherals & Accessories Brand Game Creative (single ad execution – any media)
PR Team New Game Brand Game Campaign Marketing Team SPECIAL AWARDS MCV Retail Advisory Board: Special Recognition Grand Prix For more details about the MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2010, sponsorship or table sales information please contact: Kathryn.Humphrey @intentmedia.co.uk
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TOP 10 SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV PS3 CAPCOM
2. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX
3. ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS
Digital guru in at GAME
5. GOD OF WAR III
PlayStation 3 and PC. It is under development by Rebellion, the same studio who developed the 1999 PC classic of the same name.
FORMER METABOLI director Paul Howes has joined GAME to head up its push into digital. Howes is recruited from download specialists Metaboli, where he held the role of business director for Northern Europe for almost four years. Prior to joining Metaboli he worked as UK general manager for Mindscape and as UK sales and business development director for Infogrames. Howes’ new job title at GAME is head of digital services. However, he is currently only employed on a contract basis. GAME’s current digital download service for PC is operated by Metaboli.
Sega: 020 8995 3399
GAME: 01256 784000
AvP set for February by Christopher Dring SEGA’S Aliens vs Predator will launch in Europe on Friday, February 19th, MCV can confirm. The game will be available in three editions: Standard, Survivor and Hunter. The Survivor Edition comes in a steel case and features a code for downloadable multiplayer maps, which will be available post-launch. The Hunter Edition will also contain the maps, as well as a posable facehugger model, a Weyland Yutani sleeve badge and a 3D lenticular postcard.
“Aliens vs Predator is the first title to be released in our partnership with Fox for the Aliens franchise, and it reinforces our commitment to provide high quality
created a title that allows gamers to experience all the tension and excitement of the Aliens and Predator movies.” Aliens vs Predator is due for release on Xbox 360,
Aliens vs Predator reinforces our commitment to provide quality gaming for the core market. Gary Knight, Sega
gaming for the core market,” said Sega Europe’s marketing director Gary Knight. “The team at Rebellion have been true to the Aliens and Predator universes and
4. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 360 ......................................CAPCOM
6. BAYONETTA 360 ..........................................SEGA
7. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY
8. BAYONETTA PS3 ..........................................SEGA
9. MASS EFFECT 2 360 ..............................................EA
10. DARKSIDERS: WRATH OF WAR PS3 ............................................THQ Week ending December 4th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 31 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… This week’s UK software sales leapt up 12 per cent, as consumers increase their spending for Christmas. Value for the week rose to £69.4 million, while unit sales increased 17 per cent to 3,040,624. New games had little impact on the Top 40 this week. Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 was once again king of the charts, despite sales falling seven per cent. Meanwhile, EA’s FIFA 10 performed strongly, with sales up 24 per cent. Weekly sales will continue to rise as we head towards Christmas. However, the figure is tracking below the sales enjoyed during Q4 2008. The release of Nintendo DS title The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks this week marks the last big name title hitting retail this quarter.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE] Week Ending December 4th 2009
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
80 70 60 50 40 30 20
10 Modern Warfare 2 continues to boost the UK software market despite a seven per cent drop in sales this week
0 Week Ending November 21st Week Ending November 28th
Week Ending December 4th
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Video game vending machines rolled out to UK High Streets POP247 entertainment kiosks also heading to cinemas, airports, universities and supermarkets nationwide by Christopher Dring BEST BUY, Wal-Mart and Blockbuster have rolled them out across the US, and now video game vending machines are starting to crop up in the UK too. POP247 kiosks are already appearing in the top 150 UK
after a successful trial in a cinema chain, and the business is steadily growing,” said senior product manager Maya Jenkins. “We already have games in some machines and the range will expand over the coming months. POP vending really is about being able to offer a hassle-free retail solution that
POP vending offers a hasslefree retail solution and can be tailor-made to suit a retailer’s individual needs. Maya Jenkins, UCA
cinemas, as well as airports, railway stations, major High Street retailers, shopping centres and supermarkets. Each machine sells physical copies of games and DVDs, and was developed by UCA – a coalition between Universal Studios and Sony Pictures. “We launched the POP vending machines in 2009
The POP247 kiosks will be appearing around the nation and will soon provide downloadable titles
looking to make incremental revenue from entertainment and the screens are dynamic and drive footfall.” The POP247 machines hold almost 400 units of DVDs, Blurays or games, and fill a space of just 0.78 metres squared. Consumers can also download digital movies and music using a memory stick, with video games to be made available for download soon. “The download portal can already be used to download music and movies and games will be the next step along with any other downloadable content – such as ringtones,” added Jenkins. “We are looking at this at the moment and this should be available to launch in 2010.”
supports all types of modern entertainment and we have the flexibility to tailor-make an offering to suit a retailer’s individual needs, so the range can differ from place-to-place. “UCA funds the machines and the commission is almost all profit for the retailer and there is no outlay on stock. It’s the perfect solution for those
Band Hero joins Britain’s Got Talent roadshow ACTIVISION BLIZZARD is the world’s first publisher to officially accompany the Britain’s Got Talent auditions thanks to its Band Hero roadshow. This initiative has seen Band Hero booths giving attendees the chance to try out the latest instalment in the Hero franchise as they wait to face the judges of the popular TV series. The roadshow is the next in a line of ambitious promotions Activision has run for its rhythm action titles, and the publisher is just as proud to be supporting Britain’s Got Talent. “As was illustrated by DJ Hero’s sponsorship of the
Notting Hill Carnival and the Guitar Hero 5 Guinness World Record Attempt, the franchise continues to seek out media firsts,” brand manager Jon Edney told MCV. “The Britain’s Got Talent activity is the first time that the show has granted access to their auditions in this way.” The promotion continues at this weekend’s auditions at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, running from December 11th to December 15th. The roadshow began on October 31st and has followed the auditions to the likes of
Hopeful girls get to rehearse on Band Hero before their true BGT audition
Earl’s Court, the London Business Design Centre and Manchester’s MEN Arena. Edney said: “Building on the Guitar Hero presence at the summer festivals, experiential opportunities remain a crucial element of our marketing and offer a chance to engage directly with the consumer, letting them enjoy the full Band Hero experience. “Each year, Britain’s Got Talent showcases a diverse range of performers and the variety which Band Hero offers provides a perfect platform for each and every one of them.” Activision: 020 3060 1000
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Codemasters to improve digital games presence and key brand titles in 2010 Publisher pledges to focus on core brands and downloadable offering as it looks to build on successful year by Tim Ingham CODEMASTERS will ramp up its digital games output next year – as it brings sequels to its strongest franchises to market in a bid to grow its business. The firm celebrated a return to form in 2009, with Ashes Cricket, Dirt 2 and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising all
F1 all reached chart-topping levels which clearly showed our capabilities,” Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens told MCV this week. “The Ego technology come good across multi formats and multi genres with most of these releases. We have also continued to demonstrate our standing in the online segment
2009 was not without its challenges and delays, but we’re pleased to be ending the year on a high. Rod Cousens, Codemasters
hitting top five positions in the All Formats chart. The firm’s latest release, F1 2009, has also been performing solidly on PSP and Wii. “The performance of the company came good in the last four months of the year where franchises such as Ashes Cricket, Dirt 2, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and
with LOTRO: Siege of Mirkwood and have released our first game for the iPhone with Formula One. The titles went out at a highly contested time of year and they rose to the occasion. It was not without its challenges. Product delays, the economic climate and a more conservative approach meant it was a
Cousens assures that Codies will not become complacent, targeting financial success in the coming year
testing time but we’re pleased to end the year on a high.” Cousens added that the firm was “not complacent”, but had its eye on an even better fiscal performance in 2010. “We expect to achieve
growth by focusing on core brands of high quality,” he said. “With Formula One debuting on PS3 and 360, we have high expectations. The digital aspect of our business will increase in relevance too.
We will look to play to our strengths. We know what we do well and we will concentrate on that.” Codemasters: 01926 814132
Imagine retail tour embarks on second run UBISOFT has begun the second phase of its nationwide Imagine sampling tour, promoting its best-selling range of games for girls in the run up to Christmas. The publisher will be demonstrating the newest additions to the series, such as Detective Adventures and Party Planner, as well as Just Dance at some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres. “The tour kicked off again on December 3rd and runs all the way through until Christmas Eve at Milton Keynes’ MK Centre, Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Lakeside,” said brand manager Rachael Grant.
“We are also running a BOGOF promotion in conjunction with GAME throughout Christmas on the Imagine range, advertising via leaflets that we will be handed out throughout the tour.” The tour will also promote Ubisoft’s ongoing Imagine Live Your Dreams competition, in which girls stand to win the chance to live out their dreams in a three minute TV ad. Other competitions have also driven interest in the tour. “We have already toured at Birmingham and Sheffield and had some great results with many girls interacting with the
brand and also entering our competition to win a Nintendo DS,” said Grant. “The tour has been very popular with kids and parents alike with high levels of participation. We have a great team working with us this year that are really passionate and always eager to engage with the customers. “Imagine is already a recognised brand for these girls. They love the chance to be able to have a play and work out which games of the range are their favourites and what they really want for Christmas.” Ubisoft has also taken the opportunity to promote Just Dance for Wii
Ubisoft: 01932 578000
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Sega prepares Olympic marketing campaign Publisher draws up extensive promotions to boost upcoming Vancouver game as Winter Olympics near by James Batchelor SEGA WILL focus its marketing efforts for Vancouver 2010: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games around the real-world event for maximum impact. The publisher is working hard to ensure the title lives up to the performance of its
“The developer team at Eurocom has again produced a great game. This time the dangerous nature of the winter Olympic events themselves add to the adrenaline of the game.” Key to the publisher’s efforts will be a highly targeted TV campaign, comprised of 30 and 20-second ads running
We’ve already had the biggest Olympics title in history, and this is another great game.
predecessor, which was met with impressive sales when released alongside the Beijing event in 2008. “Our previous next-gen Olympic-licensed title has performed really well for us – becoming the industry’s most successful official Olympic title to date,” said UK marketing manager Jo Fawell.
Jo Fawell, Sega
alongside coverage of the reallife Winter Olympics. The TV spots will also be timed to run with programming aimed at 16 to 34-year-olds across channels including Sky 1, Dave, E4, ITV2, Comedy Central and Eurosport. This will be supported by a heavyweight online campaign
Sega says developer Eurocom has created a ‘great’ Olympics game
with site takeovers and rich media creatives on dedicated sports sites such as Eurosport, Sky Sports, Talk Sport and MSN. Finally, advertorials and single page ads will appear in
Fluid scoops design awards AD DESIGN specialist Fluid has picked up three awards for creative efforts in the games industry. At the Rose Design Awards, the company took home two gold awards for best online and offline promotion in the new gaming category. Meanwhile, at the Cream awards the firm won silver for best website. All of the awards were for Fluid’s work on the House of the Dead: Overkill campaign. “We’ve been working within the games industry for well over 14 years and although we’ve won awards for our brand-based work the wider design community has never really been interested in
Left to right: Fluid’s Neil Roddis, Lee Basford, Jonny Costello
anything to do with games,” said Fluid’s creative director James Glover. “This was obviously a huge shame as the days of blown up screenshots are long gone and there are some beautiful examples of artwork and design in many of the contemporary campaigns.
“Winning these awards means so much as it signifies that the wider design world is really starting to acknowledge games,” he continued. “For gaming artwork to be awarded over brand artwork really shows how far the sector has come.” fluidesign.co.uk
national press, specialist sporting publications and men’s lifestyle magazines as part of a dedicated threemonth campaign. “The winter games are gathering popularity as
extreme sports are more accessible and prevalent than ever before,” said Fawell. “Consumers can embrace the spirit of the Olympics and bring home the gold.” Sega: 020 8995 3399
Testronic Labs signs deal with Black Bean QA SPECIALIST Testronic Labs has signed a new contract with Italian developer Black Bean – home of the SBK Superbike games. The partnership forms part of a wider expansion for Testronic, for which it has grown the capacity of its functionality testing lab in Poland. Producer at Black Bean Fulvio Tagliento said: “Black Bean Games are delighted to be working with Testronic Labs – having had an enjoyable and informative visit to their impressive facilities in Warsaw, we were delighted to agree a 12-month deal to
outsource all of our external QA to Testronic Labs. “We’re pleased with the communication levels, efficient working and testing expertise that we benefit from in getting our products to submission – allowing us to focus our team on developing quality games.” The firm told MCV that it was looking to bring in permanent co-ordinators and lead testers to manage the teams out there, under the stewardship of site manager Mike Ferlas and games lead Erik Hittenhausen. www.testroniclabs.com
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Luzio joins Green Man Gaming Popular games retail veteran exits The Hut to join new digital distribution proposition by Christopher Dring RETAIL VETERAN Gian Luzio has joined new digital distribution provider, Green Man Gaming, as chief operating officer. Luzio joins the firm following a brief but successful stint at The Hut, where he launched several new product categories and helped grow the retailer’s turnover three fold. Prior to that, he spent seven years at Play.com as head of games. During his stint at
The new Green Man Gaming digital platform is set to launch in 2010. “I was fortunate to have enjoyed the ecommerce boom as boxed games sales moved from the high street to online,” explained Luzio. ”Now is the time to become involved in the future of games retailing which will be digital distribution.” Green Man Gaming is based in Euston, London and is being headed up by entrepreneur Paul Sulyok.
I enjoyed the boom of boxed games sales, but now it’s time to become involved in the future of retailing. Gian Luzio, Green Man Gaming
Play, he significantly grew the firm’s market share and led Play.com to three MCV awards in 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as two Golden Joystick awards for best retailer in 2005 and 2008. Luzio was previously on the MCV Retail Advisory Board for both Play.com and The Hut.
Continued Luzio: “We believe our B2B strategy will encourage retailers, etailers, social networks and media companies to improve their website offering and also generate substantial revenue through our unique and innovative digital solution.”
KONAMI: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the PSP exclusive sequel to MGS3: Snake Eater, will be released in the UK on May 28th, 2010. SONY: Total worldwide sales of the long-running SingStar series has now surpassed 20 million units. Sony’s summer hit InFamous has sold more than 1.2 million copies globally since release.
LUZIO: The MCV Award winner and Play.com veteran has left The Hut to pursue a B2B strategy with Green Man Gaming
Green Man Gaming CEO Paul Sulyok added: “We are delighted to welcome Gian as we prepare to launch our new digital distribution platform. He brings unrivalled online
retail and operational experience to Green Man Gaming. His extensive skills will strengthen our team and develop a winning strategy.” www.greenmangaming.com
Zattikka targets iPhone for Christmas ONLINE and mobile gaming company Zattikka is bidding to rule iPhone this Christmas, with the release of three new gaming titles on December 14th– including the latest iteration of well-known browser game Finger Frenzy. Finger Frenzy World has already clocked up over 20 million plays online at Zattikka’s online games portal Gimme5games.com, and lets players compare their alphabet-typing speed over Facebook and Twitter.
Zattikka will also release puzzler Phantom Mansion: Red on the App Store on the same day, alongside logic and word game Blocks With
EA: The publisher confirmed that the Medal Of Honor series will ditch World War II in favour of a more contemporary setting. The next entry in the series will be set in war-torn Afghanistan and is due to hit shelves next year.
Letters On – which won JayIsGames.com’s Best of 2008 award. “Zattikka is hitting the App Store with a triple whammy
attack of great games this Christmas” said Zattikka CEO and founder Tim Chaney. “With hundreds of thousands of people receiving iPhones this Christmas, and millions more already owners, these are three must-play downloads that are guaranteed to keep your fingers entertained when they’re not busy wrapping presents, peeling sprouts and pulling crackers.” email@example.com
UBISOFT: CEO Yves Guillemot revealed in an investor call that the publisher is working on ten Natal projects, with an additional four or five in the works for Sony’s motion controller. ROCKSTAR: Long-awaited Western shooter Red Dead Redemption will hit UK shelves on April 30th, 2010 – only three days after the game’s US release. BETHESDA: Splash Damage-developed sci-fi title Brink has slipped from its original spring release to a tentative ‘autumn 2010’ date.
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EK E W E H T F O N IG A P CAM N GAME/GAMESTATIO The GAME Group unleashes a two-tiered campaign to promote both of its retail brands in the run up to Christmas…
GAME The Group will be promoting the GAME brand across a combination of print, TV and cinema advertising. This will target core gaming consumers with the strapline ‘Start here’. This will be the firm’s first campaign to position GAME as the ‘home of gaming’. The emphasis will be on the customers, GAME’s product knowledge and customer service, and product deals and prices that gamers cannot get anywhere else. GAME will be heavily promoting a range of online and in-store offers – ranging from BOGOF to tempting bundles and regularly updated Deals of the Week – to entice more gamers. Additionally ad-branded vans will spread the word among local communities.
GAMESTATION Ads will appear in consumer print publications and national press, as will as across a range of TV channels, all boasting the tagline ‘Talk to the gamers’.
The campaign will focus on promoting the Gamestation staff, their in-depth product knowledge and efficient customer service. The TV spots will be a mixture of 20 and 30-second ads, and will promote Deals of
the Week, bundle offers, preowned multibuys, as well as new releases. There will also be plenty of self-promotion through Gamestation’s website and in stores. A range of eye-catching POS will be used to highlight particularly important deals, while ads on the retailer’s site and direct marketing, such as email newsletters, will target gamers online. “For both brands, our Christmas marketing is all about the customer and what we can offer them that they 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 at great prices.”
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Entertainment Industry’s Annual
Charity Golf and Spa Day in association with Gem for Games Aid
The Grove Golf Club, Chandlers Cross, Herts 27th
To book acommodtation at a special discounted rate, contact the hotel at 01923 296010 Discount Prices: Standard Room - £220.00 Superior Room Single Occupancy £240.00 Quote ‘Charity Golf And Spa Day’ when booking.
The 2010 Annual Charity Golf and Spa Event will be held at the prestigious Grove course which is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in Europe and recently hosted the World Golf Championships and American Express Championship 2006. It's time to test your skills here for charity and see how you compare to Tiger. The event will consist of 18 holes of golf with buggies provided, followed by a 3 course awards dinner in the impressive Grove Hotel. We have also arranged for exclusive use of the Grove’s Sequoia Spa’s indoor pool and fitness facilities, including at least one hour of treatments, for non-golf playing partners, friends or colleagues we negotiated reduced rates in the hotel if you are too “tired” to go home at the end of the night please quote ‘Charity Golf and Spa Day’ when booking accomodation.
TICKET PRICES: If you are interested in sponsoring or participating, contact Richard Stickler on 01279 822832 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Golf Day (4-Ball)* £1200
Spa Day (per person)* £250
*Includes evening meal at the Award Dinner
Awards Dinner: £150
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NEWS ANALYSIS: ADVERTISING SPENDING
MARKETING MATTERS The UK games industry spent less on advertising this Christmas than it did over the same period meaning behind the numbers? Christopher Dring speaks to the UK trade’s most influential THE UK GAMES industry has spent 30 per cent less on marketing this Christmas than it did last year. But that number doesn’t quite paint the whole picture. For starters, retail hasn’t been swamped with too many new releases – as was the case during Q4 2008. And the overall cost of advertising has fallen as well. It may not be any consolation to the advertising sector – which saw revenues fall by over £1 billion this year – but really that 30 per cent drop in ad spend for games is almost meaningless. The fact remains the games industry still spent a phenomenal £97 million on marketing this quarter. It’s not true that everyone has been tightening their budgets either, with some publishers investing even more into their promotional campaigns. “It's certainly tough and budgets in all areas are under pressure,” admits Nintendo product manager Rob Lowe. “That said we’re confident we’ve made the right investment this year. We are always striving to grow the universe of those who play, and this requires reaching audiences that are traditionally quite expensive to reach.” CHANGING CHANNELS If budgets have fallen in 2009, then it could be as much to do with how
marketing a game has changed than it is to do with economic pressures. As the games industry continues to reach new audiences, new advertising opportunities have become available. For instance, in today’s industry you are just as likely to see a games ad in Woman’s Own as you are in FHM. This is starting to extend to TV too. Games companies don’t have to just book expensive slots in between The X Factor anymore. Television has become more fragmented, with more digital channels and on-demand services than ever before. In turn that means publishers can find out what their consumers are watching, and target them more directly. “An increase in TV channels has been a benefit – it allows us to pick channels that index highly against our audience rather than just the stations that have the biggest overall audiences,” explains Sega’s marketing director Amanda Farr. “The rise in on-demand TV has opened up the world of advertising by individual programme more than ever, which comes at a premium but again allows us to really target our audience. “There is a requirement for marketing teams to be more analytical than ever before and really understand our consumers’ media preferences.”
I’m envious of the movie studios who can wheel out actors to promote their latest release. Stuart Turner, Capcom
THE CELEBRITY FACTOR Changes are also afoot when it comes to celebrity endorsements. In today’s industry almost every publisher has brought on a famous face to help promote its product, and that is likely to continue in the years to come. Capcom’s head of UK marketing Stuart Turner says: “I’ve always looked on with envy at the movie studios who can wheel out actors to promote their latest release. “Our talent are the programmers, artists, producers and other members of the development team, who can talk about their games at depth, but don’t have the appeal of an actor. “We live in celebrity obsessed times, so it makes sense that if you don’t have an actor involved in the game development to get someone on board that resonates with an audience.” But now the types of endorsements are starting to change. As with TV, publishers are being more targeted with their celebrity ambassadors. The most recent example comes from Ubisoft, who instead of using a big name star has brought onboard TV presenter Danny Wallace to help promote Assassin’s Creed II. “Use of celebs has to be relevant to the audience,” says Ubisoft’s marketing director Murray Pannell. “Danny Wallace has been a fantastic brand ambassador for Assassin’s Creed
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MCV 11/12/09 11
NEWS ANALYSIS: ADVERTISING SPENDING Marketing spend may have fallen this Christmas, but there’s still a plethora of highprofile game ads. Including ones for Wii, Xbox Live and Modern Warfare 2
in 2008. But does this mean publishers are being more cautious with their budgets? Or is there a deeper marketers to find out more about the ever-changing world of advertising... II. And where it really helps is when celebrities can provide great support for PR, meaning you reach beyond the media plan and hit a broader audience.” SOCIAL INCLUSION Another more affordable form of marketing has been activity on social networking websites. Many publishers already have their own community managers, and activity on the likes of Facebook and Twitter has proven to be highly effective. In fact, Twitter and Facebook was an integral part of Activision’s GAME For Good Modern Warfare 2 charity campaign last week. This kind of activity is only set to rise in the years ahead. “Social media will be one of the key step-changes in games marketing next year,” predicts Namco Bandai Partners marketing director David Miller. “The reputation economy is here, with bloggers posting daily and consumers trusting peer recommendations more than ads. As marketers we have to try to engage in conversation with our customers and positively influence the word of mouth for our products.” Some economy-wary publishers have even been using social media over more
traditional print and online activity. Zushi’s marketing excutive Chris Walton explains: “As we tighten our belts our focus has moved online to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, where we can spread the word about our games without the expense of traditional marketing channels.”
Just spending a lot of money might convince people to buy something one, but rarely twice. You need quality. Murray Pannell, Ubisoft PRINT CRISIS? Specialist print advertising is one area publishers have cut back on. ABC figures are falling, and magazines are starting to close. However, print revenues haven’t come down quite as much as you may think. Activity in the specialist press still has its place, particularly when it comes to core titles. “Print still plays an important role,” comments Codemasters’ VP of marketing Alex Bertie. “Gamers that read specialist publications can be great market mavens, and a healthy specialist print
and online mix is still one of the best ways of reaching core gamers in the UK.” QUALITY QUIBBLES Although marketing spend is down this Christmas, you still can’t seem to move for video game advertisement – even with a lighter release schedule. From Ant and Dec promoting Nintendo products, Modern Warfare 2 on Facebook or Band Hero in the Tesco ads, gaming has infiltrated all forms of media this quarter, and all for the princely sum of £97 million. This has been boosted by an industry that has learnt to market their products better, either through a more astute use of celebrities or a better understand of social media and TV. Of course there’s no denying the importance of marketing for gaming, especially as it looks to gain mainstream acceptance. And in fact, marketing has become so significant that EEDAR has presented research that suggests advertising has a far bigger impact on game sales than review scores. So are we reaching a stage where quality marketing can make up for a sub-standard game? The marketers don’t think so.
“This is a massive simplification and is not particularly useful,” says SCE UK marketing director Alan Duncan. “To create a major blockbuster you need to have everything aligned.” Activision’s UK marketing director David Tyler agrees: “Broad statements about review scores tend to be far too generic to be meaningful. “Video game launches have a notoriously complex range of factors that all work together to determine the final level of commercial success. These range from the Metacritic score and marketing spends, through to originality of gameplay, competitor launches and pricing, natural brand awareness, box office performance on movie tie-ins, the underlying market dynamics, and so on.” Murray Pannell feels that marketing can only go so far, and quality is needed to build a long-running successful franchise: “Any product in any category in any industry needs quality at its core,” he says. “Just spending a lot of money might convince people to buy something once, but rarely twice. In an industry that relies on building franchises, I would always rather start with a good game.” Check out MCVuk.com over the coming weeks for our full roundtable with the UK industry’s marketing bosses
Following the success of the ‘Promote & Devote 2008’ promotional event offered to Independent retailers, Activision Blizzard are backing this year’s event with up to £30,000. Last year, there was huge support from Independent retail sector, many of whom featured titles in their windows and in-store. All beneﬁted from the promotional support managed by CentreSoft. The photos from last year’s event show that such a campaign adds huge value to their business by enticing consumers into store. This is an ideal opportunity for them to maximise on the comprehensive marketing campaign supporting the range throughout the key Christmas period.
Eclipse Home Entertainment
Every qualifying entry a Winner! Stock, promote & devote space in-store to claim your prize. It really is that simple!
THE PRIZE: £300 per outlet/online Contact the CentreSoft Activision Product Manager, Amar Mosaid, on 0121 625 3388. HOW TO O ENTER AND QUALLIFICA ATION CRITERIIA • Contact the CentreSoft Activision Product Manager, Amar Mosaid on 0121 625 3388 for an entry form • Create a display (window, in-store or online) using POS already supplied or alternatively stock purchased • Purchase Band Hero & DJ Hero and display within store/online throughout the period of 1st Dec – 15th Jan ‘10 • Submit 2 photos of the completed display (window, in-store or online) *Please note entries will only be accepted upon receipt of all photos and therefore we cannot accept responsibility for photos not supplied.
SUPPOR RT Grainger Games
• £300 per store contribution (Limited spaces) • Point of Sale (already supplied) • Promotional Opportunities • Additional support and special pricing on selected offers for all participating retailers
HEAVYW WEIGHT MED DIA CAM MPAIG GN • TV Advertising • Online Advertising • Print • PR • Promotional Activity
© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Guitar Hero and Activision are registered trademarks and Band Hero is a trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. Patents Pending. ‘2’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘ ’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved. ACTIVISION AUTHORIZES USE OF THIS ACTIVISION GAME ONLY IN COMBINATION WITH CONTROLLERS PROVIDED BY ACTIVISION OR OTHER AUTHORIZED CONTROLLERS. ACTIVISION ALSO AUTHORIZES USE OF THIS CONTROLLER ONLY WITH AN ACTIVISION GAME PRODUCT OR OTHER AUTHORIZED PRODUCT. ANY OTHER USE IS PROHIBITED AND NO OTHER LICENSE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IS GRANTED.
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14 MCV 11/12/09
NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2005
We reach 2005 in MCV’s look back at the past decade, which saw the arrival of the Xbox 360, PSP and DS. Christopher Dring delves into the Intent Media archives...
[THE BIG STORY]
THE XBOX 360 COMETH AT THE BEGINNING of 2005 no one had even heard of the Xbox 360, let alone imagined it would be in homes by Christmas. In fact, at the turn of the year, the main concern for Microsoft was the crippling stock shortages that were affecting the original Xbox (1). But it wasn’t long before the news got out. MCV discovered in February that the reason for the lack of Xbox stock was because a new console would hit before the end of the year (2). And in March, Microsoft revealed the system in all its glory with a star-studded show on MTV (3), featuring the likes of Elijah Wood and The Killers. The machine, complete with HD gaming and a hard drive, arrived in Europe in December (4) – over a year before PS3. Games available at launch included Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, Perfect Dark 0 and FIFA.
[2005: THE KEY GAMES RELEASES] GTA: Liberty City Stories Rockstar The PSP’s killer-app didn’t arrive until November, but it became an instant hit, with eight million copies sold.
God of War Sony The action/adventure became one of the most acclaimed releases on Sony’s PS2, and a brand new franchise was born.
SingStar Sony Although out in 2004, SingStar reached the milestone of 2m units sold in 2005, boosted by SingStar ‘80s and Pop.
Lego Star Wars LucasArts It may have missed out on the Top Ten, but Lego Star Wars went on to become a mega franchise for Traveller’s Tales.
Nintendogs Nintendo The pet-based DS franchise has sold 21.67m units since it launched in 2005, spawning plush toys and trading cards.
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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2005
[HANDHELD MADNESS] THE HANDHELD MARKET exploded in 2005 with the arrival of Nintendo DS in Europe on March 11th. The machine stole a six-month lead over PSP, which hit shelves in September, and was released at a walletfriendly £100. But it wasn’t until 2006 (see overleaf) before it began to pull away from Sony’s portable. But there was more. The controversial Gizmondo appeared on March 13th, the GBA Micro landed in September, and when Gamepark announced the GP2X for October, we asked: ‘Is there room for one more?’ No, was the answer.
[TALKIN’ ‘BOUT A REVOLUTION]
[UK EVENTS IN CRISIS]
NINTENDO AND Sony revealed their own next-gen consoles at E3 2005. The PS3 was shown off in all its sleek, high-definition glory, and the firm also announced Metal Gear Solid 4, GT5, Devil May Cry 4, Killzone 2 and Warhawk. Nintendo’s ‘Revolution’ appeared at E3 too, but the all-important controller wasn’t shown until the Tokyo Games Show later that year. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the device and told the press: “The feeling is so natural, as soon as players use the controller, their minds will spin with the possibilities.”
[SCI SWOOPS FOR EIDOS] THE LOSSES were piling up for Tomb Raider publisher Eidos as we headed into 2005, and a buy-out was soon on the table. Elevation Partners, which is part-owned by U2 frontman Bono, tabled a bid of £71 million. Yet hours later stakeholder SCi swooped in with an offer of £76.1 million, and bought the firm. Costs were cut and redunancies were made as SCi attempted to bring Eidos back to profitability. However, it was only a short-term fix and Square Enix eventually bought the company in 2009.
THE CONSUMER and trade show war that blighted 2004 caused the collapse of several major video game events, including Game Zone Live and the long-running ECTS. Later in the year, another consumer games show set to take place in Birmingham – State of Play – also fell through. At the time Nintendo’s UK boss David Yarnton told MCV: “I just can’t understand it. It’s a poor reflection on the UK.” A viable alternative to ECTS never surfaced and the UK trade now use Germany for all their event needs.
[2005: UK’S BEST-SELLING GAMES] Title
1 FIFA 06
2 Pro Evolution Soccer 5
3 Need for Speed: Most Wanted EA
[HOT COFFEE CONTROVERSY] HOT ON the heels of Manhunt, Rockstar hit the headlines again after a PC mod unlocked a sex mini game in GTA: San Andreas. The game was re-classified Adults Only in the US and Take-Two was taken to court, after the firm came under heavy fire from politicians including senator Hillary Clinton.
PS2, PSP, Xbox, 360, DS, GBA, PC, GC PS2, PSP, XBOX, PC PS2, PSP, Xbox, 360, DS, GBA, PC, GC
4 Gran Turismo 4
5 Star Wars III: Sith
6 FIFA Street
7 Star Wars: Battlefront II
8 GTA: San Andreas
9 King Kong
Ubisoft PS2, XBOX, PSP, DS, 360, GBA, PC, GC
10 The Sims 2
PS2 PS2, Xbox, DS, GBA PS2, XBOX, GC PS2, XBOX, PSP, PC PS2, XBOX, PC
PS2, PC, DS, GBA, GC, AC (c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2006
Continuing our look through the history of games this decade, we glance back at the year Nintendo stole the show, with the arrival of its Wii and DS Lite...
[THE BIG STORY]
NINTENDO WII STEALS CHRISTMAS
IT WAS A YEAR that will live long in the memory of Nintendo employees – as Wii changed the games industry almost overnight when it arrived worldwide in November and December 2006. UK retailers that had rejected GameCube on the basis of poor sales were back on board and the Wii was an instant sell-out. The console launched with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Ubisoft’s Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids. But it was Wii Sports – which was bundled with the machine – and the Mii Channel that caught consumer imagination, while the hardcore delighted in Nintendo’s retro Virtual Console. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. Nintendo promised there would be plenty of stock, but not even they had foreseen the console’s popularity and heavy shortages continued for the next two years. Meanwhile, the Wii name was a source of much ridicule when it was revealed in April of that year. Nintendo’s UK boss David Yarnton defended the name in the pages of MCV, insisting that we would get used to it. And we did.
[2006: THE KEY GAME RELEASES] Wii Sports Nintendo No standalone SKU meant it was discounted from the charts but Wii Sports is one of the most popular games in the world.
Guitar Hero Activision One of today’s biggest-selling video game franchises arrived in Europe in 2006. Guitar Hero 2 was also released that year.
Gears of War Microsoft Epic’s Xbox 360 system shifter was a huge success on release. It won multiple awards and sold 6m units worldwide.
New Super Mario Bros Nintendo The first 2D Mario game in 14 years arrived on DS in 2006. The critics loved it. It’s sold over 18m units globally to date.
Brain Training Nintendo This DS Lite launch title was a smash hit, and remains in the DS Top Ten to this day. It helped expand games to new audiences.
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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2006
[PS3 ARRIVES OVERSEAS] DESPITE A PROMISE OF a worldwide launch (SCEE president David Reeves said PAL PS3’s would be the first machines off the production line), Europe had to wait until 2007 to get their hands on PS3. The reason for the delay was down to the lack of stock available for Japanese and US consumers – who got their hands on the machine in December 2006. Availability was limited, and the PlayStation 3 sold out almost instantly in these territories.
[THE DEATH OF E3]
[DS STEAMS AHEAD] PUBLISHERS HAD had enough of E3 following the 2006 show. The event was proving to be too hectic and costs were spiralling. So organiser ESA announced in July 2006 the E3 Business and Media Summit, which would focus on lower-key press events and meetings. However, this came at the expense of the European trade, who instead had to rely on the Leipzig Games Convention. Nevertheless, the new E3 didn’t last long, with the show returning to its old format this year.
THE NINTENDO DS had a great start in 2005, but it wasn’t until the DS Lite launched in June 2006 that Nintendo pulled away from Sony’s PSP. The updated hardware sold 200,000 units in Europe in its first ten days alone. With a sleeker design and games such as Brain Training, Nintendo managed to attract a much larger audience, and the DS Lite became the hottest Christmas gift of 2006. Much like Wii, the DS Lite was almost impossible to find come December.
[2006: UK’S BEST-SELLING GAMES] Title
POOR OL’ Rockstar. Following the Manhunt debacle in 2004 and the Hot Coffee furore in 2005, the developer once again came under fire for Bully on PS2 (Canis Canem Edit in the UK). The likes of US lawyer Jack Thompson came out of the woodwork to condemn the game for promoting bullying, even though it did no such thing. In fact Bully was one of Rockstar’s least violent releases. But that didn’t stop Comet and PC World refusing to stock the title, and the debate over video game violence continuing.
1 FIFA 07
2 Pro Evolution Soccer 6
PS2, PSP, 360, PC, XBOX, DS, GBA, GC PS2, 360, PSP, PC
3 Need for Speed: Carbon
4 GTA: Liberty City Stories
5 LEGO Star Wars II
LucasArts PS2, DS, PSP, 360, XBOX, PC, GBA, GC
6 The Sims 2: Pets
8 Tomb Raider: Legends
Sony PS2, 360, PSP, PC, XBOX, DS, GBA, GC, PC
9 The Sims 2
10 WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 07 THQ
PS2, PSP, 360, XBOX, DS, PC, WII, PC, GC, GBA
PC, DS, PS2, PSP, GBA, GC PS2, DS, PSP, GBA, XBOX, PC, WII, GC
PC, DS, PSP, PS2, GBA, XBOX, GC PS2, 360, PSP (c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
Distribution Works for You
A short message from Margaret Pearson and all of the Directors & Staff at CentreSoft
We would like to thank all of our Publishing and Retail Partners for your continued loyalty and support. It is humbling to, once again, top the MCV Retail Survey. This is something that we never take for granted, but are always honoured and privileged to win. Again, Thank You and we wish you all a Fantastic Christmas and a Brilliant New Year. From all the team at Birmingham
6 Pavilion Drive, Holford, Birmingham B6 7BB Telephone: 0121 625 3388
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Wonder ing wha t retaile brilliant rs g about o ur indus rumble about b annual r try? Wo etail sur nder no ehind the tills? vey â€“ fe And wh more, as aturing at they MCV pr results f thin ints the rom 93 r UK outle esults o k is f its ts...
MCV RETAIL SURVEY
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20 MCV 11/12/09
MCV RETAIL SURVEY: THE RESULTS
73% COD: MW2
3% BATMAN: ASYLUM E3 2% PES 2% CONSOLE SALES 2% UNCHARTED 2 2%
Other Answers: Assassin’s Creed II, DJ Hero, Dragon Age: Origins, Fallout add-on packs, FIFA, Halo 3: ODST, Professor Layton, Ghostbusters, PS3 price drop, Resident Evil 5, Wii Sports Resort
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR FOR GAMES RETAIL? NO REAL surprises here as UK retailers plump for the release of the fastestselling game of all time as the highlight of their year. More than one GAME employee described the chain’s midnight launch for Modern Warfare 2 as “mental” (in a good way), whilst one HMV boss called it “absolutely staggering”. Which pretty much sums it up: The title generated £1.76 million on
its first day, according to GfKChartTrack data. The popularity of every other highlight was dwarfed by Activision’s epic, but respect is due to Eidos’ Batman: Arkham Asylum, which beat the likes of FIFA, Wii Sports Resort and the PS3 price drop in our survey – although judging by our respondents’ praise, that may have been just as much for the game itself as its sales.
11% 6% 21%
MCV RETAIL SURVEY
Other Answers: Rockstar, Capcom, Eidos, Codemasters
WHICH GAMES PUBLISHER HAD THE BEST QUALITY AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS RETAIL IN 2009? CONGRATULATIONS to EA, which manages to pip Activision to the post in terms of UK retail’s favourite games publisher of 2010 – no small feat considering the popularity of Modern Warfare 2. A hugely successful run of new games including FIFA 10, Need For
Speed: Shift and Tiger Woods: PGA Tour 10 would have helped, but so would have the publisher’s trade relations, which are always heavily complimented in our annual survey. However, with Activision just one per cent behind, the crown could be up for grabs in 2010.
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MCV 11/12/09 21
MCV RETAIL SURVEY: THE RESULTS
WHICH DISTRIBUTOR WOULD YOU COMMEND FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE? 34%
Logic 3 11% Gioteck 9%
Gem won 34 per cent of the vote, and the firm was particularly complimented of its relationship with indies. “We experience great communication from Gem – there always seems to be someone on the end of the phone when we need them,” one store told MCV. Koch was praised for its handling of Nintendo hardware – not least the black Wii. One Scottish indie told us: “The best thing about the Nindie.com service is that it rewards those of use who have been good to Koch in the past. We did brilliantly on the black Wii.” Due to store managers at national retail chains having little contact with boxed product distributors, this result discounted their comments. It reflects the comments and opinions of the independent retailers we spoke to, as well as those of the MCV Retail Advisory Board.
WHICH THIRD PARTY PERIPHERALS FIRM HAS PROVIDED YOU WITH THE BEST SALES? 20%
9% 4Gamers A4T 6%
Venom won particular acclaim from independents, with one online indie telling MCV that the firm was “unique, as it offers stuff that caters for both male and female gamers, which is handy as we’re getting more and more women customers.” Venom favourites included the firm’s Twin Charger Station for Xbox 360 and the House of the Dead: Overkill Hand Cannon on Wii. Other popular accessory firms this year includes A4T, 4Gamers, Turtle Beach, Grioteck and Logic 3. Some High Street retailers, such as GAME, Gamestation and Blockbuster, occasionally vote for their own-brand peripherals. However, these were discounted from the final results.
MCV RETAIL SURVEY
A VERY close run thing between Venom and Mad Catz in this category sees the latter taking the crown by just three per cent. Mad Catz was particularly praised 23% Mad Catz for its official Street Fighter peripherals, with one indie boss telling us: “There’s something about Street Fighter fans that means they see the series as very collectible. For that reason, we get as many Street Fighter spin-offs and add-ons as we can – and the Mad Catz controllers have been our most successful 2% product in that sense.” 6% 2% Nyko Other successful Mad Catz Gear 4 Exspect products mentioned were its licensed Other Answers: Activision (Guitar Hero/DJ Hero), Rock Band and Rayman Raving Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Rabbids peripherals.
KOCH AND Gem both perform well in this year’s survey, but it’s Centresoft which runs away with the top spot. That’s perhaps unsurprising, considering the calibre and number of clients that the firm works with – including Activision, Sega, Electronic Arts and D3P. Its work during the massive launch programme for Modern Warfare 2 won particular praise from the retailers that MCV spoke to. The boss of one UK chain of indie stores told us: “We all know it was a massive launch in terms of the amount of money it took, but there were huge volumes of Modern Warfare 2 those guys needed to get right, and it went like clockwork. We were actually slightly fearful of some error because of the nationwide demand, but they worked incredibly hard – seemingly 24 hours a day – to make sure it was smooth.”
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MCV RETAIL SURVEY: THE RESULTS
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING RETAIL RIGHT NOW? OKAY, so we probably didn’t have to do a survey to know which bête noire was going to come out on top here. Supermarket pricing was mentioned by a third of the retailers we spoke to – often with a furious tone. Unsurprisingly, the indies were the most angry, with one prominent sole trader from Yorkshire telling us: “It’s just been done for market share. Once they’ve killed off the competition, the prices will shoot back to an expensive level again. Consumers just don’t understand that.” Other bugbears included the recession, with a number of HMV
and GAME staff noticing an anecdotal decline in the amount of stock they sold compared to the last couple of years. The age-old problem of piracy garnered 11 per cent of the vote – not least because of the stillincreasing popularity of bitTorrent sites and the R4 cartridge. “We appreciate that Nintendo and ELSPA are doing all they can,” said another indie, “but R4 is still crippling that side of our business.” Digital distribution took almost a tenth of the the vote. It will be interesting to see where the category sits in next year’s MCV Retail Survey.
Other Answers: Activision’s boxes too big to store, Grey Stock, Pre-owned, Theft, Offshore VAT loophole, Lack of hours, Lack of quality titles/too many poor games, Lack of new hardware generation
MODERN WARFARE 2
ASSASSIN’S CREED II
Other Answers: Avatar, Band Hero, EyePet, LEGO Rock Band, Left 4 Dead 2, We Sing, Wii Sports Resort
FIFA 10 8% NSMBWII 4%
2% 2% MARIO & SONIC
WII FIT PLUS
WHAT WILL BE THIS YEAR’S CHRISTMAS NO.1? AFTER such a mammoth release, it’s little surprise to see UK retail back Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 for the Christmas No.1 spot. It’s looking like a wise bet, too – the game took the top position in the GfK-ChartTrack All Formats chart again this week, and is looking difficult to budge. One GAME store boss summed it up well: “There’s nothing left to
come out that can challenge it. So unless the supermarkets start slashing prices on existing contenders, it looks a dead cert.” Not everyone agreed, however, with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II and EA’s FIFA 10 each fancied by around a tenth of respondents to make a surprise bid for the top spot in a fortnight.
ARE YOU CONFIDENT IN THE HEALTH OF YOUR BUSINESS AS WE MOVE INTO 2010?
MCV RETAIL SURVEY
IT’S REASSURING to see that over nine tenths of UK games retailers are confident that it will still be standing – and thriving – this time next year. An HMV store boss echoed the cautious confidence that many we spoke to felt. “Obviously, sales have been down on last year – you don’t have to read MCV to be able to tell that,” he said. “But internally, we still know that games are doing a roaring trade compared to many other products. If we’re selling this many during a recession, just think how strong the industry is going to be when we’ve recovered economically and a new
generation of consoles have arrived. I’m looking to the future.” However, eight per cent of respondents – sadly, all of them indies – said they were not so sure about their future. “It’s too tough to be confident about where we’ll be next year,” said one defiant Northern indie. “But we’ll keep on looking to places other retailers don’t go so we can make good margins.” Just one retailer said that they weren’t confident in their future – you’ve guessed it, another indie. All at MCV hope the market proves them wrong next year.
8% NOT SURE
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MCV RETAIL SURVEY: THE RESULTS
HOW WE DID IT The methodology behind the MCV Retail Survey Our end of year survey is formulated by canvassing the UK retail community for their thoughts on the state of the games industry. From those working at the coalface at shopfloor level right up to senior buying and managerial level, we invited a diverse crosssection to offer their views on the landscape for games retail in 2009 and beyond. We directly questioned the following stores for their views:
DO YOU PREDICT YOUR CHRISTMAS 2009 TAKINGS WILL BE...
27% SAME AS LAST YEAR
13% LOWER THAN LAST YEAR
48% GREATER THAN LAST YEAR
11% DON’T KNOW
WELL HERE’S a conundrum. Despite many retailers that MCV spoke to admitting that the recession had hit their business hard this year, almost half said they would take more cash at the till this Christmas than they did last year. The reason? You’ve guessed it: Modern Warfare 2. “We’re already up on last year’s fourth quarter takings,” said one East Anglia indie. “The Modern Warfare launch was something else. We made a bundle on it, despite those stupid supermarket mark downs. We’re mainly benefiting from people that weren’t out to get it on launch day; those that have heard its an ‘event’ they need to be part of and have come into our store a couple of weeks after it hit shelves.” Others predicted that Assassin’s Creed II and the late release of Zelda: Spirit Tracks would help top up their coffers.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANOTHER JOB IN LISA MORGAN 6% GAMES, WHOSE JOHN RICCITIELLO 4% WOULD IT BE? SHIGERU MIYAMOTO 4%
We also extended the invite to the MCV Retail Advisory Board, which includes: Asda, DSGi, The Hut, ShopTo and Sainsbury’s. Note: For key categories (e.g. questions on publishing, distribution and peripherals) only those votes given by retailers/buyers/ops staff with a comprehensive view and experience of the market were counted.
MCV RETAIL SURVEY
DON’T KNOW TYPICAL. The one question BILL GATES 4% that causes the most debate is PETER MOLYNEUX 3% 10% our silly ‘...and finally’ poser. In HAPPY ANDREW HOUSE 3% a dream parallel dimension, 16 WHERE I AM BOBBY KOTICK 2% per cent of respondents said they’d like to test games for a HIDEO KOJIMA 2% living (we’re not sure they’ve SHINGO TAKATSUKA 2% looked into the hours or pay, 16% but fair play to them). Other TESTER popular answers included GAME CEO Lisa Morgan and Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata. Other Answers: Neil Thompson (Microsoft), Margaret Pearson Our favourite answer, however, (Centresoft), Chancellor Of Exchequer, Andrew Brown (Activision), was given by a tenth of those Peter Moore (EA), Yoichi Wada (Square Enix), Jeff Minter, Don McCabe asked: “I’m happy where I am.” (CHIPS), Robert Stallibrass, Joanna Hunt (Tesco), developer, designer, GAME, CHIPS and HMV bosses PR, games journalist, games buyer, ESLPA Board Member, ‘Wouldn’t be will be pleased to hear that in the games industry’, ‘Anything for Blizzard’. many of these came from their own, satisfied staff.
1up Games (Edinburgh), 360 Games (Leeds), Asda (Bodmin), Asda (Gwent), Asda (Gosport), Asda (Kilmarnock), Asda (Portsmouth), Asda (Rayleigh), Blockbuster (Braintree), Blockbuster (Camberly), Blockbuster (Chesterfield), Blockbuster (Cobham), Blockbuster (Ely), Blockbuster (Gosport), Blockbuster (Henley-on-Thames), Blockbuster (Manchester), Blockbuster (Melton Mowbray), Blockbuster (Ossett), Blockbuster (Liverpool), Blockbuster (Loughborough), Blockbuster (Taunton), Blockbuster (Wolverhampton), Chips (Letchworth), Chips (Orpington), Chips (Hereford), Chips (Guisborough), Discover (Stranraer), Everything Play (Online), Game (Antrim), Game (Barrow-in-Furness), Game (Basildon), Game (Birmingham), Game (Bishop’s Stortford), Game (Braintree), Game (Broadstairs), Game (Cambridge), Game (Cannock), Game (Chelmsford), Game (Chelmsford – Debenhams), Game (Clactonon-Sea), Game (Crayford), Game (Edinburgh), Game (Derby), Game (Hempstead), Game (Milton Keynes), Game (Peterborough), Game (Taunton), The Game Cave (Telford), Game On (Saffron Walden), GamePad (Bude), GamePark (Aberystwyth), Game Player (Crawley), Gamestation (Elgin), Gamestation (Gainsborough), Gamestation (Ipswich), Gamestation (Livingston), Gamestation (Norwich), Gamestation (Wrexham), Grainger Games (Berwick-upon-Tweed), Grainger Games (Billingham), Grainger Games (Byker), Grainger Games (South Shields), Grainger Games (Stockton-on-Tees), Grainger Games (Thornaby), HMV (Aylesbury), HMV (Blackpool), HMV (Bradford), HMV (Brighton), HMV (Bury St Edmunds), HMV (Cambridge), HMV (Chesterfield), HMV (Harrogate), HMV (Heathrow Terminal 1), HMV (London – Brent Cross), HMV (Mansfield), HMV (Reading), HMV (Southend-on-Sea), HMV (Stevenage), HMV (Welwyn Garden City), HMV (Wigan), HMV (Yeovil), The Norwich Space Station (Norwich), Solid Gold games (Aberdeen), Startup Software (Online), Take The Game (Lincolnshire), That’z Entertainment (Thurrock – Lakeside), Voodoo Consoles (Melton Mowbray)
24 MCV567_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 24 MCV 11/12/09
Humphrey joins Intent event team New event manager appointed at MCV publisher Zushi hires UK sales boss NeoEdge attracts Pogo.com exec INTENT KATHRYN HUMPHREY has joined MCV publisher Intent Media as event manager. She will take direct responsibility for a range of new and existing projects, including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2010, which return to The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London on Thursday April 22nd. “Kathryn has a fantastic reputation for working as part of the Barrington Harvey team on events such as the Edinburgh Interactive Festival,” commented Intent Media boss STUART DINSEY.
Humphrey leaves behind her role at BHPR to join Intent
“Working alongside Hannah Short in our events division, she will help Intent further grow brands such as the London Games Conference, Games Media Awards, MCV Awards, Develop Awards, Mobile Entertainment Awards and Xbox Games Industry Quiz.”
ZUSHI MARK CLEMINS has joined the ranks at Zushi Games as UK Sales manager. He leaves the same position at 505 Games, having worked at a number of companies within the games industry including Midway, Koch, Redstorm, HMV and GAME. “I’m thrilled to be joining Zushi Games at an exciting time in the company’s evolution and helping them bring to market a range of exciting new products across all platforms in 2010 and beyond,” said Clemins. Marketing executive CHRIS WALTON added: “Mark brings
a mass of industry knowledge, experience and drive to help us achieve our goals in 2010 and beyond.” NEOEDGE Former Pogo.com executive LESLEY MANSFORD takes up the helm as casual games firm NeoEdge’s new CEO, as the company’s merger with Offspring triggers a major restructure. Also joining from Offspring are fellow Pogo alumni ANDREW PEDERSEN, KAREN SCHULMAN and TODD HERINGER, who all take on senior vice president
roles, along with NeoEdge’s own Dan Servos. Said Servos: “This experienced executive team, each with almost 20 years in the games industry, allows NeoEdge to expand beyond its current offerings by providing original content, social enablement of games and the ability to launch games and services onto new platforms. “Their addition to the NeoEdge team will only help our current and future customers more effectively reach their advertising goals with the latest innovations in immersive advertising.”
PROMOTE YOUR JOB TO OVER 300,000 READERS PER MONTH MCV print and online offer: • Quarter page Recruitment advert • Exclusive Job of the Week on MCVuk.com • Full Job listing on Jobs Board • Promoted via Email Newsflashes
Contact Rob Baker for more information T: 01992 535647 E: Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk
25 MCV567_FINAL:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
BAY OF LIGHT Sega’s incredibly wellreviewed action title welcomes in the New Year
WITH THIS ISSUE We take a special look at Nintendo’s addictive new crossword game on DS...
DARKSIDERS P28 THQ unleashes its long-awaited Biblical action thriller early next year NEW RELEASES P29 MCV provides a comprehensive list of all upcoming releases in the UK HIGH STREET P30 This week, we catch up with an indie, check prices and show off our deal of the week CHARTS P32 The full rundown of this week’s GfKChartTrack charts - including single formats
RETAILBIZ: BAYONETTA 26 MCV 11/12/09
Sega kicks off the New Year with an action adventure game that the publisher bills as the first triple-A release of 2010…
by James Batchelor CHRISTMAS is a tough act to follow. With so many major releases in the run-up to the end of the year, many gamers usually become burnt out by the time January rears its ugly head. But in the case of 2010, things are different: many gamers are saving their money for the wealth of blockbusters due to hit in Q1. Which is all good news for Sega’s Bayonetta – and its bid to become the first major hit of 2010. As one of the games produced by the publisher’s partnership with notable developer Platinum Games, expectations are already high for this action adventure. Fortunately, Sega has shown nothing but confidence in the product
and, as the first wave of reviews emerges from the press, it appears that confidence has been well placed. “We’ve known Bayonetta is a quality product for some time,” says senior product manager Ben Walker.
event that is, as only 10 other titles have managed the ‘perfect’ score in the history of the magazine. We also scored a 9/10 from Eurogamer, so it’s safe to say that having three fantastic scores from three of the most influential specialist media outlets in the world has put After Famitsu’s 40/40 score Bayonetta well and truly on last month, the UK press the gaming radar.”
scores have well and truly put Bayonetta on the radar. Ben Walker, Sega “On hearing Famitsu’s 40/40 score last month and the buzz that review created, we were confident of a similar response from the UK press – and we haven’t been disappointed. “Edge’s 10/10 is an amazing achievement considering how rare an
YOU MUST O-BAY
Bayonetta is an action adventure game from the makers of the highly popular Devil May Cry series. Players take on the role of the titular character: a witch with incredible powers, tasked with ridding the world of demons and monsters. However, Bayonetta packs considerably more firepower than her
RETAILBIZ: BAYONETTA WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 11/12/09 27
MARKETING MAGIC While the game’s impressive review scores have caught the attention of the core gamers, Sega is pulling out all the stops to ensure awareness of Bayonetta’s arrival is at an all-time high come January:
DMC forebears – with twin pistols and additional guns attached to her shoes allowing her to attack her foes with each of her extremities. There are even a range of special finishing moves to master in order to deliver the coup de grace in style. For those who worry the game will be too similar to rival titles, Sega’s Walker assures that Bayonetta will stand out of its own accord, thanks to its intuitive combat system that mixes gunplay, melee combat and magic seamlessly. “There are many things that define Bayonetta,” he explains. “The most notable is the character herself who can wield weapons on all limbs, as well as use her powers to summon magical beasts that help dispatch foes in brutal fashion.
“The game is developed by Platinum Games, who have working for them some of the industry’s most talented creators and whose most notable works include the Resident Evil series and Devil May Cry. “This pedigree and experience has help craft a stunning combat system and game experience, which is widely considered the pinnacle of its genre.” ‘NET GAINS
The result is a title that caters to core gamers with a penchant for racking up ludicrously high hit combos and battling with screen-filling bosses, and one Sega is sure will prove to be a big seller when it lands on shelves in the New Year. “Bayonetta is a genre defining action game which we believe will have appeal
RELEASED: JANUARY 8 FORMATS: XBOX 360/PS3 PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: PLATINUM GAMES PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3399
outside of the core fan base,” adds Walker. “Having such solid scores from the specialist press will help cement this as a must have purchase.” “Our strategy from day one was to lead off accolades and playable code: attending this year’s Eurogamer and MCM Expo, releasing the demo in early December, and getting early review scores have all helped to put Bayonetta at the forefront of the gamers’ mindset and we believe this will be reflected in sell through.”
Bayonetta ads will be running across a range of specialist games magazines around the time of launch. A TV advertising campaign will run in two phases; the first promoting the release of the demo, and the second promoting the game’s release. Sega has also taken a dual phase approach to its online campaign, again raising awareness of the demo and then the launch. There will be ads, site takeovers, and launch zones of various key gaming portals. A digital cinema campaign will see advertising running before screenings of highly anticipated sci-fi epic, James Cameron’s Avatar. The game has also been demonstrated at key consumer sampling events, including Eurogamer Expo and MCM Expo.
RETAILBIZ: DARKSIDERS: WRATH OF WAR 28 MCV 11/12/09
RELEASED: JANUARY 8 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: THQ DEVELOPER: IGIL GAMES PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
THQ lends players the powers of War, Horseman of the Apocalypse, in this action-packed adventure… by James Batchelor THE END OF THE world is no longer nigh – it was about 100 years ago. THQ’s action adventure Darksiders: Wrath Of War invites players to experience the Biblical Apocalypse, and not just as a survivor. Gamers take on the role of War, one of the Four Horsemen tasked with purging the Earth. When the deity is betrayed and the world is brought to a premature end, War must scour what remains of our world to find out who is responsible. It’s a strong premise for an original adventure, and one THQ believes will be able to draw in gamers in the postChristmas sales. “We have very high expectations for the release of Darksiders this January,” says product marketing manager for UK and Europe Mark Cook. “As the first core gaming release of the year, we anticipate that gamers will use their collateral of unwanted or completed Christmas games, gift vouchers and Christmas money to pick this title up as the first must have title of the New Year.”
Given the sheer volume of major titles hitting the High Street during 2010’s opening quarter, THQ is working hard to make sure Darksiders stands out and realises its full potential, both in terms of sales and public reception. “We have been targeting the core gaming and fantasy audience for several months now, utilising several phases of creative to excite and engage the The game has picked up a consumer,” says Cook. strong following of core “The core gaming gamers. We fully expect them community is at the heart to embrace Darksiders. of both the product and Mark Cook, THQ our campaign, and we’ve built a phased campaign that has been running for several months now, objects from their environment as creating an ongoing intense hum of projectiles, such as lampposts, cars and activity punctuated by spikes around buses – features which have already key editorial drops with supporting proven to appeal to the target audience. online media. ON THE WARPATH ”Most notably, Darksiders spearheads “The game has been picking up a strong our recently announced multi-million following of core gamers and we fully pound sponsorship of Sky One’s Stargate expect Darksiders to be embraced by Universe. It has been on TV for the past the gaming community,” says Cook. month, generating on average over “We have just received our first review 900,000 viewers per episode and will score of 10/10 from Play US magazine, continue to drive through to January.” and this really sets the benchmark in This promotion will soon extend to quality we’re targeting.” include sponsorship of Stargate SG-1 Key to Darksiders’ appeal is the intense gameplay, in which players can unleash the full power of War, from his brutal mystical attacks to his devastating, oversized sword. As they progress, they will unlock more angelic and demonic weapons, as well as the ability to use
and Stargate Atlantis re-runs on Sky One, Two and Three, which will drive awareness of Darksiders to an even larger audience. The publisher has also drawn up a robust PR campaign that will see preview coverage appearing in the specialist press, both in print and online, throughout December with covers secured on Play Gamer and 360 Gamer. THQ has also arranged a strategic partnership with IGN UK, which will see exclusive video features, interviews and a dedicated Darksiders section appear on the site in time for launch. The Darksiders campaign will also feature an extensive community drive with exclusive events with the PSN and XCN community members throughout December to create brand ambassadors for the game in the run-up to launch. Finally, there will be a full suite of POS available, including standees, window vinyls, posters, cubes and more. Cook adds: “The game is an eclectic mix of action-adventure and RPG gaming, set in the visually breathtaking world of Joe Mad’s apocalypse which really helps it to stand apart from competitors.”
29 MCV567_FINAL:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 11/12/09 29
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
EA kicks off 2010 with a bang The mega-publisher unleashes Army Of Two: The 40th Day in January, followed by Dantes Inferno a month later. Elsewhere, D3P brings back one of the most loved kids’ franchises to retail with Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks... TITLE
0870 027 0985
PS3 / 360 PS3 / 360
0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585
PC PC / PS3 / 360 PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 PC / PS3 / 360 Wii
FPS Action Action/Adventure Action Casual
City Interactive EA D3Publisher Capcom Zushi
0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800
Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Gem
0845 362 7769
Puzzle/RPG Survival Horror
0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388
DS / PC / Wii / PS3 PC PC
Action/Adventure Strategy FPS
Ubisoft Zushi Zushi
0845 362 7769 01279 822 800 01279 822 800
Trilogy Gem Gem
360 / PS2 / Wii / DS / PSP DS / Wii Wii PSP / DS / PC DS PSP / DS / PS3 / 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
0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 020 7324 5200 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388
Advantage Gem Open Koch Gem Advantage Advantage Centresoft
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360
01279 822 800
PSP DS PSP / PS3 / 360 360 / PC DS DS DS DS PS3
Adventure Action Action Racing Music Simulation Simulation RPG RPG
Zushi Sega EA Zushi Disney Interactive Deep Silver Deep Silver Sega Square Enix
01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130
Gem Centresoft Centresoft Gem Centresoft Koch Koch Centresoft Open
DS PS3 / 360 PC / PS3 / 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
0870 027 0985
DECEMBER 18th Nintendo presents Crossword Collection
JANUARY 8th Bayonetta Darksiders
JANUARY 15th Alcatraz Army Of Two: The 40th Day Astroboy 2009 Dark Void Love is... in Bloom
JANUARY 19th 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 Let's Play: Flight Attendant Let's Play: Journalists Phantasy Star Zero Star Ocean: The Last Hope International
FEBRUARY 19th Art Of Murder Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce History Great Battles: Medieval Reel Fishing: Anglers Dream
FEBRUARY 26th Sacred 2: Gold
MUSTSTOCK ......ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY Released: January 15th Format: PC/PS3/360 Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The sequel to EA’s All Formats No.1 from 2008 reprises gamers’ role as mercenaries Salem and Rios – shooting, stabbing and fist-pounding their way through terrorist thugs. Both the single-player and multiplayer modes have been enhanced.
MUSTSTOCK ......BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE: VILGAX Released: February 12th Format: 360/PS2/Wii/DS/PSP Publisher: D3P Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585
Morphing boy hero Ben Tennyson once again takes on evil forces with his trusty Omnitrix at his side. In an exclusive storyline, Ben is carted off to outer space, where he takes on arch enemy Viglax and other fearsome foes.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 30 MCV 11/12/09
POLL DO YOU AGREE WITH WADA'S CLAIM THAT SERVER-BASED GAMING WILL OVERTAKE CONSOLES?
MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Left 4 Dead 2 PC, EA
Dragon Age: Origins, PS3, EA
Band Hero, Wii, Activision
Ghostbusters, Wii, Atari
Singstar: Take Taht, PS3, Warner Bros
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
The industry appears to disagree with Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada. Following the exec’s revelation that the publisher is preparing for the demise of physical media, we asked participants of the latest MCV online survey if the death of home consoles is imminent. Just under two
thirds said that they believe the console format has plenty of life left in it, while less than a quarter believe it will be replaced by digital distribution and serverbased gaming systems such as OnLive. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
MARGIN MAKER INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
ASSASSIN’S CREED II FORMAT: 360
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
ASSASSIN’S CREED II PS3
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360
UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PC
The Roccat Kova mouse promises PC gamers superior precision thanks to an optical sensor that can be set to 400, 800, 1600 or 3200 dpi. It boasts a five-button structure to ensure all essential functions are within reach, and features a customisable lighting system. The ergonomic design means it is comfortable for both left and right handers during those lengthy sessions of Modern Warfare 2, and the Griptech side areas ensure it slides smoothly over the desk surface. Meroncourt: 01462 680 060
DEAL OF THE WEEK
MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY
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.
GAME customers receive a free copy of New Super Mario Bros Wii when they buy a black Wii with Wii Sports Resort and New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis for £179.99.
Exclusively Distributed by
Available for Christmas
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To order CALL NOW on
0870 027 8700
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 11/12/09 31 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Resident Evil: Darkside Wii, Capcom
LEGO Rock Band 360, Warner Bros.
Just Dance Wii, Ubisoft
Where The Wild Things Are PS3, Warner Bros.
Planet 51 Wii, Sega
TOP 10 STREET FIGHTER IV
IN STORE: MELTON MOWBRAY
2. FINAL FANTASY XIII
3. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV
4. GOD OF WAR III
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX 360 ..................................................................CAPCOM PS3 ......................................................................SONY
6. ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS
7. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION
8. GRAN TURISMO 5
9. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2
10. THE SABOTEUR
PS3 ..........................................................................EA Week ending December 4th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE This week, Nindie.com speaks to Pure Games’ Bassam Abdallah... How has the market been for you so far this year? As a new company in our first year, we think that the market has been great. We were unlucky in that the recession hit the UK market a month or so after we started trading. However, our hopes were realised by the sheer amount of people we have had visiting us, registering with us and purchasing from us. What makes your site unique? Simplicity. We have brought the British public the ease of purchasing games without too much distracting and false information. We also shop around the market to bring our customers the best prices and if we can beat the prices of our opponent then we will. Our site has also a well organised and straight to the point layout without any unseen costs.
TOP 10 ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS DS NINTENDO 2. PEPPA PIG: THE GAME
WII ....................................................P2 GAMES/UBISOFT
3. TOUCHMASTER 3
DS ..........................................................WARNER BROS.
4. THE SABOTEUR
5. THE SABOTEUR
6. AVATAR: THE GAME
7. HORRID HENRY: MISSIONS OF MISCHIEF
“PSP has a lot of work to do compared to its competitors.”
Do you think the PSPgo will rejuvenate the PSP market? PSP – whether it is Go Or 3000 – has a lot of work to do compared to the current market standard available to our customers, especially when there are consoles out there that customers are willing to pay a little bit extra for.
8. AVATAR: THE GAME
9. IMAGINE BEAUTY STYLIST
10. AVATAR: THE GAME
WII....................................................................UBISOFT Week ending December 4th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK
32,33 MCV567_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 32 MCV 11/12/09
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
MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 COOKING MAMA 3 CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE MARIO KART DS NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. STYLE BOUTIQUE
3 2 4 8 5 9 7 11 6
DEVELOPER: LEVEL 5 PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
SEGA NINTENDO NINTENDO LUCASARTS
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
WII FIT PLUS Wii
MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYPMICS Wii
LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
MARIO KART WII Wii
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 GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DISNEY SING IT: POP HITS DISNEY HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA
2 3 4 5
3 2 4 6
FIFA 10 GRAN TURISMO ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010
6 7 8 9 10
DEVELOPER: SCE CAMBRIDGE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SONY
PUBLISHER EA UBISOFT NINTENDO
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PSP, PC
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360, PC
WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
F1 2009 Wii, PSP
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
PURE 360, PS3, PC
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3, PC
PC CD-ROM 
5 10 8
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
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 6 7 10 12 8
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
THE SIMS 3
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 LUCASARTS FIFA 09 EA STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: SQUADRON LUCASARTS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI
LEFT 4 DEAD 2
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
FALLOUT 3: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
32,33 MCV567_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 11/12/09 33
DESPITE A DROP IN SALES of seven per cent, Call
per cent boost in sales. It becomes the highest
Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 racks up a fourth consecutive week at the top of the charts. The game fends off the advance of FIFA 10, which rose to second place after a 24 per cent rise in sales. Last year, COD: World At War held No.1 for five weeks before losing out to FIFA 09. High Street promotions put Batman: Arkham Asylum back into the Top 40 at No.20, after a 122
re-entry, outselling Mario Kart DS, Club Penguin
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS
DJ HERO 360, PS3, Wii, PS2
P2 GAMES/UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC
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
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
JUST DANCE Wii
TEKKEN 6 360, PS3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
COOKING MAMA 3 DS
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
UBISOFT NAMCO BANDAI SEGA 505 GAMES SONY
COD 4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, Wii ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LEGO INDIANA JONES PSP, 360, Wii, PS3, PS2, PC, DS
CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE FORCE DS
MARIO KART DS DS
THE SABOTEUR 360, PS3, PC
EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA EA SONY EIDOS THQ KONAMI NAMCO BANDAI LUCASARTS
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
LEGO INDIANA JONES 2
4 3 9 16 5 6 7
WOW: BATTLE CHEST
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER
HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PUBLISHER: UBISOFT LUCASARTS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
CIVILIZATION IV COMPLETE
2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES: EDGAR
TREASURE SEEKERS 1 & 2: COMPLETE
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII SPORTS RESORT MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES MARIO KART WII F1 2009 RABBIDS GO HOME LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 FIFA 10 WII FIT MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
2 3 4 5 7 10 8 6 13
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
ASSASSIN’S CREED II FIFA 10 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 TEKKEN 6 LEGO INDIANA JONES 2
2 3 4 5 13 8 7 6 11
cent boost after the release of the Wii edition.
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
GUITAR HERO 5 360, PS3, Wii, PS2
Dance makes its Top 40 debut in its second week of release, while Peppa Pig recieves a 384 per
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
EA’s The Saboteur is the only brand new entry into the charts, debuting at No.4. Ubisoft’s Just
and Guitar Hero 5.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA NINTENDO CODEMASTERS UBISOFT LUCASARTS EA NINTENDO SEGA
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 WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 BORDERLANDS NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT DJ HERO
2 3 4 5 6 9 13 10 8
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
WEEK ENDING 04/12/09
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA MICROSOFT EA ROCKSTAR THQ 2K GAMES EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
34,35 MCV567_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 34 MCV 11/12/09
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
34,35 MCV567_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 11/12/09 35
The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...
ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com
TOPWARE INTERACTIVE has announced it will bring upcoming shooter Scivelation to the US. The publisher will release the title from Ukraine-based studio Black Wing Foundation on Xbox 360 in Q3 2010. Scivelation is based on the upcoming Unreal Engine III, and is set in a dystopian future controlled by a government known as the Regime. The plot has been inspired by the works of Orwell, Milton and Dante, and promises to tell “a powerful human story”, according to Topware.
Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
NEXT YEAR’S Games Convention Online event will take place from July 8th to 11th, 2010. Event organisers Leipziger Messe have added another day to the event, with a growing number of companies using the show to discuss business strategies and strike partnerships. “This is our response to the specific request of the industry, which at the launch event had to deal with a large number of business talks in the shortest possible time,” explains Silvana Kürschner, Global Strategy Director GC Global. This year saw the very first Games Convention Online show, which attracted some 43,000 consumer and trade attendees.
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.
FRENCH publisher Mindscape has launched a new online-focused studio, known as Punchers Impact. The studio has opened with around forty workers, some of which have joined from various EA studios and fallen UK developer Free Radical. Guillaume Descamps has been appointed studio director, and revealed his delight in assembling together a team “of such high quality”. Said Descamps: ”I am confident about the challenges that the team have taken on and I can’t wait to unveil our first project.” A representative from the firm confirmed to Develop that the new French studio will be working on digital download projects for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms. Its first unnamed project will be released in the final calendar quarter of 2010.
16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
EIJI AONUMA, the man Nintendo has put in charge of the Legend of Zelda series, believes that Shigeru Miyamoto can still surprise the industry with innovative ideas. Miyamoto’s role at Nintendo has over the years become fairly ambiguous. As he gained prominence at Nintendo throughout the last two decades, he has taken the inevitable steps towards management as opposed to hands-on development. But Aonuma said the iconic game designer still has the creative reserves to innovate, and “still comes up with ideas that really surprise”.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
36-41 MCV567_FINAL:Layout 1
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
DISC REPAIR ELM-DIGITALIA UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 6436021 TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 DISTRIBUTION 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
Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online
THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT
DISCSTRIBUTION +44 (0) 845 430 8735 Call Kevin, Ashley, Richie or Pete Accepted Payments - Paypal - Google Checkout - Credit Cards - Bank Tranfers and 30 Day Credit Accounts
DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com GAMING ACCESSORIES
...bringing you all the right lines
GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507217 Retail Entertainment Displays . . . . . . . 01733 239001
Nyko DSi Zoom Case
Enigma Multi-Console Power Kit
GameDr Premier Laser Lens Cleaner General enquiries:
01606 558 428
or email: email@example.com Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
"Looking for a new reliable supplier? Look no further!" Trading for over 8 years, with over 20 years of industry knowledge within the company Software and hardware distributor All top platform new releases in stock Flexible next day delivery to the UK and most European destinations Over 500 different products in stock at all times Terms of trading will be 30 days on insured Customers Shipping is by Customers account, or on our UPS - Fedex or DHL account. The fastest growing independent distributor in the United Kingdom
Tel: +00441908 821047 Fax: +00441908 821048 Email: 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
36-41 MCV567_FINAL:Layout 1
EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY 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 anticipating in the New Year. 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 FEBRUARY 5th 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. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19th 2010
GAMES MEDIA FOCUS MCV analyses the latest statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, looking at the highs and lows for the games media’s biggest players. We speak to leading figures from the industry about any major developments, the challenges the sector faces, and their predictions for the rest of 2010.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
36-41 MCV567_FINAL:Layout 1
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
Contact Rob Gross on: +44 (0)7774 672891 – email@example.com
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
THE PRODUCERS . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 . . . . . . . . . . . www.theproducers.co.uk
36-41 MCV567_FINAL:Layout 1
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK STORE FITTINGS
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com STORE FITTINGS
AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507217 . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk DISC REPAIR
ELM-DIGITALIA UK. . . . . . . . . 0845 6436021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.elmdigitalia.co.uk
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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Insider’s | Guide
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
This week’s interviewee is Michal Debek, marketing director of Polish firm Techland… What services does Techland provide? Techland provides publishing, distribution, localisation, marketing and promotion from our publishing side and a full suite of services as an experienced developer. The games that we publish fall most of the time into the mid-price category although we always strive for that label to be the indication of the price rather than quality. What challenges do games companies face in Poland? The main challenge is the recession. We’ve seen a growth in triple-A game sales. But the sales of mid-price games are diminishing. The second challenge is growth in the sales of consoles.
Publishers in our region got used to publishing almost exclusively on PC. Now the situation is starting to change. TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
How are you looking to overcome these challenges? We will concentrate on various areas of casual entertainment rather than the hardcore market, which will remain dominated by the major players. We are one of the biggest Polish developers and own the high-end technology Chrome 4. So we are developing games simultaneously on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. But in our publishing activities in Poland we will still concentrate heavily on the PC. All we need is something fresh and original. Imitations and pretenders will face a difficult future ahead.
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
36-41 MCV567_FINAL:Layout 1
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our Games Developer Conference, here are all the essential industry dates to put in your diary…
FEBRUARY CASUAL CONNECT EUROPE Wednesday, February 10th – Friday, February 12th Hamburg Congress Centre, Germany europe.casualconnect.org PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com LOCALISATION
Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing
For further information, please contact email@example.com www.testroniclabs.com
DICE SUMMIT 2010 Wednesday, February 17th – Friday, February 19th Red Rock Casino, Las Vegas, US www.dicesummit.org MIDLANDS MCM EXPO 2010 Saturday, February 20th – Sunday, February 21st Telford International Centre www.mcmexpo.org
MARCH GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Wednesday, March 10th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com/conference/ai.html
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London kathryn.humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk The biggest night in the UK games industry’s calendar returns to The Brewery in 2010, and will once again feature awards split across three main categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential games industry event that gives credit to the industry’s most deserving execs.
JUNE E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com
DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 July 13th - July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com DEVELOP AWARDS 2010 July 14th Brighton, UK www.develop-online.net 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
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.
42 MCV567_final:47 MCV443
42 MCV 11/12/09
‘Thank heavens for Gem’ A rival distributor offers his comments on Gem’s recent efforts to save troubled firm Trilogy and its team…
FIRST OFF, I want to say that it’s such a shame that Trilogy even came this close to collapse in the first place. I’ve always admired the way Matthew Allen and his team ran that business. I liked their more ambitious efforts, like the whole digital distribution thing with The Producers. Even their basic structure and operations, what with their special indie label and logistics department – they always seemed like a company with a great handle on the way our fickle industry works and one with an eye constantly focused on the future. As much as you’d think I’d profit from the fall of one of the larger distributors, I was genuinely saddened by the news that they were going to
go under. More competition always makes for a healthier distribution market. And on a more personal note, while I obviously keep an eye on all of the distie giants, Trilogy in particular was a
And it’s even better that they managed to save 40 jobs, rather than just properties and assets – when any company goes under, most of us are more concerned about the people than the brands and other nonsense.
It’ll be nice to still have Trilogy in the industry, and I hope they can continue the work they started.
company we always aspired to model ourselves on – and they set the bar pretty high. Thank heavens for Gem then. With more than a few companies doing a Titanic over the last couple of years, it’s nice to see certain ones being salvaged and set afloat again.
A fellow distie
That said, I’m particularly glad Gem’s planning to run Trilogy as a subsidiary brand. It’ll be nice to still have Trilogy in the industry in some shape or form, and it at least offers the hope that they can continue the work they started, as well as trying out new things.
We’ve seen a lot of mergers this decade and while I recognise that those deals can improve companies, this is more the sort of consolidation I want to see – retaining the original spirit of a firm that’s only major failing was falling victim to the global credit crunch. When I first heard that Trilogy was on the way out, I instantly has flashbacks of last Christmas – the loss of Pinnacle, EUK, Woolies and Zavvi all ruined the Christmas atmosphere. Thanks to Gem, I reckon Matthew and his chums are in for a reasonably cheerful holiday – or at least, more so than they would have been. Well done Gem, and here’s to the new Trilogy – best of luck to you both. A fellow distie
An anonymous distributor firm applauds Gem’s decision to run Trilogy as a subsidiary
LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:
MCV Pub Quiz winners advert_v1:Layout 1
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S N O I T A L X I U N E T E R A A R U Q G S , S N P M O C OUR FESTIVE CHA TO
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44 MCV 11/12/09
Off The Record
We take a look back at last week’s MCV and Xbox 360 Industry Pub Quiz, which was won by Square Enix despite stiff competition from Amazon and Imagine Publishing...
RESULTS 1. SQUARE ENIX
14. GLS GAMES 15. WARNER BROS.
16. HUBB ACCESSORIES
3. IMAGINE PUBLISHING
4. FUTURE PUBLISHING
17. TURNER MEDIA 18. EA
5. SEGA 6. IGN
12. KOCH MEDIA
19. 505 GAMES
13. ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MCV 11/12/09 45
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
14 GLS GAMES
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
15 WARNER BROS
MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION
DON MCCABE, CHIPS
TIM ELLIS, HMV
16 HUBB ACCESSORIES
KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM
SARAH JASPER, THE HUT
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
17 TURNER AZEEM SADIQ, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
12 KOCH MEDIA
19 505 GAMES
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S
13 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
46 MCV567_final:Layout 1
CR NIN OS TE SW ND OR O P D RE CO S LL EN EC TS TI : ON
FIVE COPIES OF NINTENDO PRESENTS: CROSSWORD COLLECTION UP FOR GRABS Fancy an early Christmas present? Of course you do. So, just answer the following question and see if you can grab yourself a copy of Nintendo presents: Crossword Collection...
Three letters, starts with M, ends with V, is well established as the games industry’s ‘trade bible’...
A) MCV B) MTV C) MOV Send your answers to email@example.com
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646
Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk
Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk
Please address all enquiries to:
Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Advertising Executive: Rob Baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk
Associate Editor: Tim Ingham Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk
Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk
MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA.
Deputy Editor: Christopher Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk
Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk
Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk
Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk
Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk
US Editor: Colin Campbell Colin.Campbell@intentmedia.co.uk
Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk
Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman, Rob Crossley
Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk
ADVERTISING: 01992 535647
FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Michael Canham Michael.Canham@intentmedia.co.uk
Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688
Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road,Pontllanfraith Blackwood, NP12 2YA
MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2008, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,833. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS United Kingdom £150 l Europe £175 l Rest of the World £250 To order your subscription via Visa, Mastercard, Switch or AMEX or to make changes to your subscription details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01580 883848.
SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-dedicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two online-only brands: CasualGaming.biz, dedicated to the growing mass market video game sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.
ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008
MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source
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