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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday January 8 2010 £3.25
‘It’s breathtaking...’ Official Xbox Magazine
Step back into the unforgettable world of Rapture in BioShock 2, the next installment in the franchise that has won more than 50 Game of the Year Awards and the BAFTA for Best Game. Developed by 2K Marin, 2K Australia and Digital Extremes, BioShock 2 provides players with the perfect blend of explosive ﬁrst person shooter combat, compelling storytelling and intense multiplayer to form one of 2010’s most highly anticipated titles. · Evolution of the Genetically Enhanced Shooter: Innovative advances bring new depth and dimension to each encounter. New elements, such as the ability to dual-wield weapons and Plasmids, allow players to create exciting combinations of punishment. · Return to Rapture: Set approximately 10 years after the events of the original BioShock, the story continues with an epic, more intense journey through one of the most captivating and terrifying ﬁctional worlds ever created. · You Are the Big Daddy: Take control of BioShock’s signature and iconic symbol with the original prototype Big Daddy, and experience the power and raw strength of Rapture’s most feared denizens as you battle powerful new enemies. · Continuation of the Award-Winning Narrative: New and unique storytelling devices serve as the vehicle for the continuation of one of gaming’s most acclaimed storylines. · Genetically Enhanced Multiplayer: Earn experience points during gameplay to earn access to new Weapons, Plasmids and Tonics that can be used to create hundreds of different combinations, allowing players to develop a unique character that caters to their playing style. · Experience Rapture’s Civil War: In multiplayer mode players will step into the shoes of Rapture citizens and take direct part in the civil war that tore Rapture apart. · See Rapture Before the Fall: Experience Rapture before it was reclaimed by the ocean and engage in combat over iconic environments in locations such as Kashmir Restaurant and Mercury Suites, all of which have been reworked from the ground up for multiplayer.
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 569 Friday January 8 2010 £3.25
05 CBE for Cousens
12 Life through a Jens
New Year Honours praise Codemasters CEO, Collyer brothers and Paul Jackson
Senior EA Europe VP Jens Uwe Intat outlines the publisher’s plans for Q1
06 Forceful opinion
14 Reasons to be cheerful
LucasArts on why the High Street is still important, despite the rise of digital
A raft of industry faces help MCV pick the 50 upcoming highlights of 2010
07 Indie spirit
19 Retail Biz
Chips and Grainger outline plans to grow their businesses this year
Our round-up of the latest news and releases, with a special focus on MAG
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Market down, but it’s a dip not a disaster UK’s year-on-year market value falls, but 2009 still boasted second-best software revenues of all time by Christopher Dring IT COULDN’T quite match 2008’s record-breaking figure – but 2009 was still the secondbiggest year for games sales in the UK industry’s history. According to MCV calculations based on the weekly data provided by GfKChartTrack/ELSPA, the UK games software market reached £1.732bn in 2009 – a 9.1 per cent fall, but slightly above the 2007 market value. Over 74.5 million units of software were sold through retail in 2009. However, the sales of hardware and peripherals are expected to have tailed off somewhat. The official ELSPA-
backed data is set to arrive later this month. “2008 was a spectacular year for games, with everything performing really well and the Wii at its peak,” ChartTrack’s senior market analyst Chris Poole explained to MCV. “2009 in comparison was more of an evolutionary year for the industry, with little in the way of new hardware, and there were fewer releases too. “But the industry still did really well considering the circumstances. It was still a good festive period.” The biggest software seller of 2009 was Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game broke day one sales
While hardware sales are down, key releases meant £1.7bn in software revenues were generated in 2009
HISTORICAL SOFTWARE SALES (VALUE): 2006: £1.36bn
records when it launched in November, taking home £47 million in just 24 hours at UK retail. MCV estimates that the game has already grossed over £100m at UK retail – and
should soon pass the 3m units sold barrier as well. The popular FPS is already the third biggest selling title of all time in the UK, a feat it achieved in just eight weeks.
“The big winners were Modern Warfare 2 as well as FIFA 10,” added Poole. “We’re looking at Modern Warfare 2 becoming the biggest selling game in the UK ever.”
Now trade looks to happier New Year THE UK games industry is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2009 – with improved Government relations key. Leading industry figures have told MCV that they hope whoever wins the upcoming election will continue to work with the trade. “Whomever is leading the Government after the summer, I hope they recognise the culturally significant art-form that is video games and the economic benefit created by the UK games industry along with the transformational educational benefits of a properly broadband-
PUBLISHER BOSSES UPBEAT ON POTENTIAL END TO RECESSION
Harrison, Livingstone and Jacobson herald more Government focus
enabled country,” said industry veteran Phil Harrison. Eidos life president Ian Livingstone agreed: “I am looking forward to the election and a pledge from whoever forms the next government to fully support the games industry by way of implementing tax credits, addressing the skills
problem in Universities and installing a high speed fibre optic network nationwide.” Sports Interactive’s boss Miles Jacobson added: “With the work that ELSPA and TIGA are doing, the good that GamesAid and GameForGood have done, and MP’s beating the drum we’re making serious headway.”
The UK games industry was hit hard by the recession in 2009, and now leading execs are hopeful that the worst is behind them. “We hope that coming out of an often rocky and uncertain 2009, we as an industry can go into 2010 with the worst of the world’s economic woes behind us and with a firmer and clearer vision of how to grow our industry in the year ahead,” said Nintendo UK GM David Yarnton. Activision’s UK MD Andrew Brown agreed: “I’m looking forward to the end of the current economic recession and the return of the full range of consumers back into games.”
For more on the UK trade’s hopes for 2010, turn to page 14
PERSONNEL 18 RETAIL BIZ 19 NEW RELEASES 25 HIGH STREET 26 CHARTS 28
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[LEADER] GOOD START TO 2010 The by-all-accounts-brilliant Bayonetta and Darksiders hit retail shelves today. The first major releases of the year – in its first working week. Not bad. Then, next week, Army of Two: The 40th Day arrives. Resident Evil Archives hits just a week after. Mass Effect 2 seven days later, and MAG another week on. Then a little over seven days later there’s BioShock 2, with Dante’s Inferno close behind. Then there’s Splinter Cell: Conviction. Then Heavy Rain. Then Final Fantasy XIII, then… You get the point. We’ve talked before about ‘the Q1 logjam’, but today the industry is at ground zero. Can this more generous spread of titles – or what some say is too many new releases – address the traditional Q1 imbalance where no games come out? Who knows – the success of the above games depends on their quality, marketing support and share at retail. And perhaps it doesn’t matter. The UK software market for bricks and mortar sales enjoyed its second-biggest year ever for sales in 2009 – and that’s despite there being less publishers on the market, the recession, and the Call of Duty giant eating a chunk of the Q4 revenues. Even in a fallow year, the industry can hold its own. If the UK market can survive that, it can survive anything.
BUT HARD WORK STILL TO COME But while strong software sales are good news for publishers, retail relies on the whole package – that includes hardware sales. And for 2009, early estimates (we go to press before any official data is released) show that console sales did slow considerably last year. Nintendo had already forewarned that industry champ the Wii would take a sales dip. But in the UK the DSi also didn’t pick up the slack for DS Lite either (admittedly it was only on the market for nine months of the year), nor did the PSPgo transform the PSP category. 360 mostly held its own, and it was only the PS3 that stayed on track year-on-year. Now I wouldn’t say for one second this is taking the format-holders by surprise. Consoles are still selling, it’s just that last year sales weren’t at the same pace as in 2008. But historically it’s at this point that talk of new replacement devices pick up speed – and that doesn’t seem to be the case in 2010. So does it pose a problem for the games industry that there are no major new consoles on the horizon? Does a slow down in the hardware cycle – or at least a longer turn around between formats – create a raft of new opportunities for the games industry? Online services are stable, new interface innovations are looming, and the addressable audience grows by the week. An MCV investigation might have an answer to some of those questions next week – but it might not be until the end of 2010 that we get the real results to this latest industry experiment. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Retailer reluctance is forcing consumers to shop online for new PC titles, says 1C
‘Retail to blame for PC market decline’ 1C predicts PC games market will be completely digital by 2011 by Christopher Dring 1C’S INTERNATIONAL publishing director Darryl Still has accused retail of failing to support boxed PC games. The industry veteran says that by refusing to stock certain games and moving PC titles to the back of the store, retail is forcing publishers to head
“There is still demand, but retail is forcing PC games out. Digital is fantastic, and we’re very pleased with it. But it is not us as the developers and publishers driving products to digital – it is because the options for the PC at retail are so limited. “You just have to head into a games store and look for their PC titles, and you’ll see there is
The industry should be embracing PC more enthusiastically. The margins are better.
towards digital distribution. And that PC games software will be sold entirely through digital channels by next year. “In the PC market at the moment the growth in digital is phenomenal,” said Still. “If PC games manage to get listed at retail, then they’re rarely getting any exposure because they’re appearing at the back of the store.
Darryl Still, 1C
no focus, listings or promotions for them. “It is extra strange because there is a much better margin on PC games,” he continued. “The industry should be embracing PC more enthusiastically. “Digital proves there is a consumer waiting for it. But these consumers are now more than happy to click the download button.
“Q1 2011 is my estimate as to when PC games will be sold completely via digital. I have seen the predictions that by 2013 more than 50 per cent of our revenues will be earned digitally. But if the PC games market has to wait until 2013 then we are all in trouble.” Despite this, Still admits there are still some challenges in the digital market – partly caused by the sheer number of digital platforms out there, with publishers having to try and pick the right ones carefully. “I feel like I am at the front of an express change, and every week we’re adding an extra carriage at the back, which is a digital distributor. We have contracts with 25 of them at the moment, and of that amount six or seven are producing decent revenue numbers. “And this year I know more carriages will be added on and others will be coming off the rails. The issue is we don’t know which ones will succeed and which ones won’t.” 1C: +7 (495) 688-89-29
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CBE for Cousens as New Year Honours toast games TOP 10
[PRE ORDERS] DARKSIDERS PS3 THQ
Former EA/ELSPA man Jackson and Sports Interactive founders also commended by Michael French INDUSTRY VETERANS scored key commendations in The Queen’s 2010 New Year Honours list. Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens, former EA and ELSPA boss Paul Jackson and Sports Interactive founders Oliver and Paul Collyer were
eventually becoming CEO. Cousens has also been involved in a number of trade body and charity initiatives over the years. Jackson, meanwhile, has been given an OBE. He is best known for a lengthy tenure at EA where he eventually served as VP for North Europe. He left in 2006 to
2. BAYONETTA 360 ..........................................SEGA
3. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX
4. DARKSIDERS 360 ............................................THQ
5. MASS EFFECT 2 360 ..............................................EA
Cousens, Jackson and the Collyer brothers were all praised for their services to the games industry.
6. HEAVY RAIN PS3 ..........................................SONY
7. GOD OF WAR III all praised for their services to the games industry. Cousens has been granted a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) title, The current CEO of Codemasters, Cousens has worked in the industry for over 25 years, starting as founder of publisher Quicksilva. He set up Activision’s first UK base in 1986 and then served as senior management of Acclaim from 1991 to 2004,
become ELSPA director. Earlier this year he became CEO of specialist software firm RailSimulator. Elsewhere, the two brothers who founded London-based Sports Interactive have been given MBEs. Oliver and Paul Collyer founded Sports Interactive in 1992. The studio is highly regarded for creating the hugely successful Championship Manager and Football Manager franchises.
8. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION 360 ......................................UBISOFT
9. DANTE’S INFERNO PS3 ..............................................EA
10. BAYONETTA PS3 ..........................................SEGA Week ending January 4th Source: SHOPTO.COM Rod Cousens (main) has been given a CBE. Left to right: Paul Jackson gets an OBE while Paul and Oliver Collyer get MBEs
Turn to page 27 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… UK software sales fell 30 per cent last week, as post-Christmas consumer spending slows down. Value for the week dropped to £60.1m, while unit sales fell 23 per cent. This week’s performance was driven by the New Year sales and the continued success of Modern Warfare 2, which continues to hold the top position in the charts. Ubisoft’s Just Dance also performed well, with sales of the game increasing 10 per cent last week. Looking forward, Q1 is traditionally the quiet period for games. However, a plethora of big releases should ensure the next three months will be a robust time for the industry. The first big releases hit this week, with the launch of Sega’s Bayonetta and THQ’s Darksiders.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending January 2nd 2010
COD:MW2 has been top of the charts for eight weeks – the longest No.1 streak since NFS: Underground 2 in ‘05
0 Week Ending December 18th Week Ending December 25th
Week Ending January 2nd
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LucasArts planning to Unleash more hits for the High Street Publisher successfully mixing both new online offers with established bricks and mortar big-budget releases by Michael French DESPITE HUGE success for its 2009 digital strategy LucasArts says retail releases are still a key part of its business. Last year the publisher revived many of its classic older IPs, with both new and old Monkey Island titles launched for iPhone, Xbox Live Arcade, PC and WiiWare.
recently announced and promises to be the next massive Star Wars experience on consoles,” said global publishing VP Mary Bihr. In fact, said Bihr, LucasArts has seen strong sales of back catalogue titles – despite the year-on-year decrease in global games spending. She said: “We, similar to many other publishers, have
The Force Unleashed 2 will be a huge game for us. It will be the next massive action packed Star Wars experience. Mary Bihr, LucasArts
Embracing digital has only widened its business, however, with the firm telling MCV that the boxed content it releases through Activision in Europe goes from strength-to-strength. “We’ve had a great 2009 and look forward to 2010, especially with The Force Unleashed 2 which we
The first Star Wars: The Force Unleashed arrived in 2008 and has already clocked up over six million copies sold to date, and was re-released with new added content in November. “As for recent releases, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues has already been a huge success for us. TT Games did a fantastic job making this the most immersive LEGO game to date. We’re very pleased by its performance across Europe.” Now Bihr says LucasArts is focusing all its efforts on the release of The Force Unleashed 2 later this year. “This will be a huge game for us. Our internal development team is hard at work making it the next massive action packed Star Wars experience. We have a lot more going on that I can’t talk about now, but it continues to be an exciting time here at LucasArts.”
LucasArts’ global publishing VP Mary Bihr tips Force Unleashed 2 (below) for big things this year
been challenged by the current economic climate. We’ve seen a slowdown in sales velocity across some titles, but a commensurate increase in others, sometimes with games that have been on the shelves for two, three, even four years. There’s still strong demand for these licensed games.”
LucasArts: 020 3060 1000
Wood joins Premier PR
New senior team for CVG
PREMIER PR has named Ali Wood as its new accounts manager – as the Londonbased agency expands its newly-opened games division. Wood boasts over 10 years of experience as a journalist in the games industry. She leaves her most recent position as editor of Future’s PC Zone. Premier’s head of games Simon Byron added: “Ali was top of my wishlist of new additions, and I’m thrilled she’s chosen to join our rapidlyexpanding division. “With experience across trade, specialist and
FUTURE HAS restructured the senior management team for its website CVG, recruiting veteran writers John Houlihan and Tim Ingham. Former MCV associate editor Ingham takes up the role of editor. As well as spending three years on the industry-leading trade magazine and website he has written for The Independent, Evening Standard and Metro. Houlihan returns to CVG – after having left his position as editor in 2006 – to become its first editor-in-chief. He has previously worked for the
Wood joins Premier PR after a stint as editor of PC Zone
mainstream journalism, Ali brings real credibility to the team. She’s going to be a real asset as we look to expand throughout 2010.” Premier PR: 0207 292 8330
Houlihan (left) rejoins CVG as editor-in-chief, with Ingham as editor
BBC, GameSpot UK, CricInfo and Times Online. Meanwhile former editor Gavin Ogden becomes CVG’s first international correspondent, filing news from New Zealand. “With major investment planned throughout the year, it
was crucial to have an experienced and dynamic senior team on CVG,” said Mark Cantwell, associate publisher. “There is plenty to look forward to from the site in 2010.” Future: 01225 442 244
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Chips plans New Year bounce-back Struggling indie chain confident ahead of Q1 release onslaught ‘We’re still here,’ stresses MD McCabe by Christopher Dring SPECIALIST CHAIN Chips is optimistic that the busy Q1 release slate will boost the firm, despite the fact that financial pressures forced it to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement last month. Chipsworld entered the CVA after running up significant debts with HMRC, although
“The CVA is a really useful tool, which some UK companies seem to ignore. Businesses that go into Chapter 11 in the US often come out the other end. “Last year many companies took some big knocks. And it is about how you react. We are still here and we are still battling, and I intend to be here next year as well.”
Last year many companies took big knocks. We are still here and I intend to be here next year as well. Don McCabe, Chips
this only impacts the 11 company-owned stores. The firm’s 18 franchised outlets and website remain unaffected. “We were hoping to avoid the CVA, but we had to go into it in the end. It means we are having to prepare ourselves and trim a few things down,” explained Chips’ joint MD Don McCabe.
Chips is now looking ahead to a busy Q1 sales period, with major new releases including Vancouver 2010, Splinter Cell: Conviction and BioShock 2 hitting shelves following a successful Christmas sales period for the firm. “We had a good Christmas. It was a bit late coming, but about three days before Christmas there was a real
McCabe (inset) says Chips was lifted by the seasonal rush – and expects good things during this Q1
“I expect Q1 to be constant in terms of sales. Bayonetta, Darksiders, Army of Two, Vancouver 2010 and BioShock 2, are looking great. I’m particularly looking forward to Aliens vs Predator.
rush,” added McCabe. “This continued after Christmas, with Nintendo products selling really well before New Year. I’m now looking forward to a few big game launches.
“What is great about these games is the core gaming element. These titles are proper gamers games, which might not interest the supermarkets quite so much.” CHIPS: 0870 0130 028
…while Grainger readies for busy 2010 Ambitious indie sets out aggressive three-year plan to grow base in the North and reach more punters GRAINGER GAMES HAS told MCV that it will kick off a heavy-duty expansion plan in the coming months. The retailer hopes to build on the successes of last year, which included the rebranding of its existing stores and the extension of its distribution and head office facility. Grainger also established seven new stores, including its successful Hull branch. “2010 promises to be even more special for us as we continue our expansion plans into new territories, and it marks the first year of our three year expansion programme,”
said owner and managing director Stephen Bowyer. “We have a feeling that 2010 will move Grainger Games further forward in the minds of our customers and in the wider market. We feel the future is very bright indeed.” The first phase will be the creation of new stores, following on from the successful openings last year. Buying director Chris Harwood told MCV these plans are already in motion. “Our three year plan of store openings is set and we have already identified 2010’s target towns,” he said.
Plans are already in place to open new Grainger Games stores soon, said owner Bowyer (far left) and buyer Harwood (left)
“We have learned from our new Hull store that Grainger’s brand, value-led customer
proposition and customerfocused service approach are what our customers want.
“The feedback from customers to the changes we made to the look and feel of our stores has been amazing, which is really encouraging.” Bowyer also said the company is actively seeking new partnerships with a variety of firms that will offer the indie chain new opportunities across a range of business channels. “We are in discussion with some very interesting businesses that feel they can add value to improve our overall proposition,” he said. “It’s a great place to be at the moment – it’s all very exciting.” Grainger: 01912 181829
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Xbox push for new Ben 10 title D3P ramps up heavy investment in Vilgax Attacks marketing for franchise’s 360 debut by James Batchelor D3PUBLISHER is targeting Xbox 360 owners with the marketing campaign for its next Ben 10 video game. Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks will be the first title in the successful franchise to be released on Microsoft’s console when it debuts on February 5th, 2010.
market,” said marketing and PR exec Marlene Fitzsimmons. “With an attractive price point and an aggressive marketing campaign to capture family gamers, now is the obvious time to bring Ben 10 to the platform. “We’re heavily investing PR and marketing methods in this area to ensure we tap into the new Xbox family market, in
Microsoft invested heavily in expanding the 360 audience so now is the right time to bring Ben 10 to the platform.
Marlene Fitzsimmons, Namco Bandai
Namco Bandai Partners will distribute the game for D3P and is preparing a marketing campaign that will engage with this new audience, hoping to build on Microsoft’s successful gambits to broaden the console’s demographic. “Microsoft has heavily invested in expanding the audience of the Xbox 360 to include the growing family
addition to marketing to the core audience on the other consoles.” The game’s launch on Xbox 360 – alongside versions for Wii, DS, PS2 and PSP – will coincide with the February half-term and the start of a brand new Ben 10 animated series on Cartoon Network, as well as the premiere of Alien Force on GMTV.
ACTIVISION: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was identified as the ‘most pirated game of 2009’ according to recent web reports. More than 4.1 million downloads were for the PC version, while 970,000 were for the Xbox 360 version.
The latest Ben 10 title marks the franchise’s first next-gen outing
D3P and Namco Bandai will be taking full advantage of the partnership between the publisher and Cartoon Network that has driven the success of previous Ben 10 titles. “With continued support from Cartoon Network, we’re aiming for a strong synchronised interactive marketing and PR campaign at
launch to work alongside the new episodes running on Cartoon Network,” Fitzsimmons added. “The franchise is still the hottest boys property, so we’re expecting the same great results we continue to see from previous Ben 10 games.” Namco Bandai Partners: 020 8222 9700
A4T scores licensing UK spells success deal with EA Sports for Nordic Games ACCESSORIES BRANDED by EA Sports Active and other EA Sports games will soon be available from A4T. The peripherals firm has signed produce a range of console and iPod kit based on the publisher’s flagship label. “We have steadily been increasing our focus on the licensed side of our business over the last couple of years and now believe that we have struck the ideal partnership with the world’s leading interactive entertainment software
company," said A4T MD Andrew Shephard. A4T sales and marketing director Bill Stirling added: “Our new relationship with EA really does open up some amazing opportunities for a range of realistic products that complement some of EA’s best known sport titles, whilst adding a bit more fun and realism along the way.” A4T will distribute the items into the UK and Ireland, Iberia, Nordic, Australasia and emerging markets. A4T: 01204 369 220
THQ: The publisher has secured an eight-year exclusivity deal to create more WWE-branded games. The company also reached a settlement with the US wrestling organisation over a long-running lawsuit that surrounded a joint toy and game licensing venture with Jakks Pacific.
NORDIC GAMES says the UK was a major part of its first year success in 2009. The company released games across a number of territories last year. Speaking to MCV, the firm’s sales and marketing director Nik Blower revealed that the publisher’s key titles recorded their best performances at UK retail, outselling neighbouring European markets. “It varies from title to title and from PS2 to Wii, but We Sing was strongest in the UK – although only just,” said Blower. “On the other hand, Kart Racer and Dance Party Wii were by far the strongest
CAPCOM: Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Super Street Fighter IV and Monster Hunter Tri have all been pushed back to Capcom’s next fiscal year. They will be released after April 1st so as to avoid the crowded Q1 season, the publisher said. MICROSOFT: A job advert has revealed that the platform holder is looking to bring Xbox Live enabled games to Windows Mobile. Meanwhile, Gears Of War has been added to the Xbox 360 service’s range of Games on Demand titles. DISNEY: The entertainment giant is now even bigger: its $4.3bn buyout of SpiderMan-owner Marvel has been approved by stockholders. Previously, the two have said their respective games businesses will not be impacted in the short-term.
We Sing sold well during Q4, says Nordic sales boss Blower
in the UK. We are also naturally successful in the Nordics, especially on PS2. “We sold out of We Sing at launch, we sold out our second shipment and now are doing our best to keep up with demand.” Nordic Games: +34 952 930 927
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EK E W E H T F O N IG A P CAM BAYONETTA Sega unleashes an extensive campaign to support its first major release of the year…
RELEASED: JANUARY 8 FORMATS: 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: PLATINUM GAMES PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
OUTDOOR Bayonetta has been showcased at a number of key consumers events. The game was shown to an audience of 15,000 core gamers across both the London and Leeds venues of last year’s Eurogamer Expo. It was also demonstrated to 35,000 anime and gaming fans during October’s MCM Expo at the Excel Centre. PRINT Single page ads will appear in a range of leading Future Publishing publications, such as Official Xbox Magazine, Official PlayStation Magazine, PSM3, Xbox World, Edge, GamesMaster and SFX. These advertisements will all feature a range of quotes and accolades from the glowing early reviews the
game has been receiving across the board. TV/CINEMA Sega has arranged a dual phase TV campaign, with the first stage focusing on ads designed to promote the release of the Xbox Live and PSN demo. This will be followed by a two-week campaign around
the game’s debut, with ads running across a range of carefully-targeted terrestrial and satellite channels. A 30-second spot has also been airing before several showings of James Cameron’s Avatar at key cinemas. ONLINE The publisher has also take a two-stage approach to
online marketing, once again focusing on the demo’s release before building up to the game’s launch date. Ads will appear across Eurogamer, Gamespot and IGN, with activity ranging from homepage and channel takeovers to launch zones. Sega estimates the online ads will achieve in excess of 10 millon impressions.
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MCV INTERVIEW JENS UWE INTAT, SENIOR VP, EUROPE, ELECTRONIC ARTS
Battlefield Europe 2009 For the overall market we were a little bit disappointed. When we were putting our plans together for last year we were expecting growth of around five per cent, but what we saw across Europe was the market decreasing by about 10 per cent. At the same time, at EA, we’re actually very happy because in that shrinking sector we increased our share and got back to the position of market leader, which is a nice place to be, and where we used to be. We lost it to Nintendo last year, but we gained it back.
2009 IN DETAIL
EA SPORTS ACTIVE We’ve done particularly well on Wii with a completely new type of game. I know Wii Fit is out now, but when we started development there was nothing like it out there, so that was a nice, innovative piece of work.
THE SIMS 3 We launched in June, which can be a quiet time of year. But it actually started selling faster than The Sims 2, which we launched in peak season. That was pleasing and it really starting pushing our market share
NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT We’re really turning the corner in terms of product quality. It’s back on track after years of deterioration and we’re Getting Need For Speed back into the space where it belongs as a renowned driving experience.
FIFA We continue to beat the heck out of Pro Evo and across Europe we’re taking 75 per cent of the football space. FIFA was neck and neck with Modern Warfare 2 to be the best-selling game across Europe.
DRAGON AGE We’re very pleased with this straight away but, importantly, there’s a lot of PDLC to come. So, whilst we delivered a rich game in the first place, we will keep it going for a long time with additional content.
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MCV INTERVIEW JENS UWE INTAT, SENIOR VP, EUROPE, ELECTRONIC ARTS
Electronic Arts, like much of the games market, had a challenging 2009. But, ultimately, it grew its European market share enough to reclaim the territory top spot. Dave Roberts talks to senior VP of Europe Jens Uwe Intat about a successful year in difficult times – and how to do it all again in 2010… 2010 (WELL, Q1) IN DETAIL
INTAT: “I suspect we will end up with a similar business model to the one we see in movies and TV.”
THE PACKAGED goods market might decrease a little this year, but after the price reductions, particularly on Xbox and PlayStation, I think more people may have bought hardware at Christmas than we expected, so perhaps we will see a better market than we thought. It might remain stable, or there might be only a very slight decrease, less than last year.
use our strongest IP on all platforms and in all areas. So, with Playfish, leveraging FIFA, The Sims and Need for Speed will put us into a much stronger space in the social networking area. It’s too early to say exactly which brands they’ll be using, but the first Playfish product utilising an EA IP should emerge next year. The exact plans are now being finalised.
OUR AIM is to do less games and do them better. I think in the past maybe people have rushed into too many projects at the same time and have probably been spoiled by the overall industry growth, because it meant that if you didn’t have proper portfolio management, the punishment wasn’t particularly harsh. But in a more mature market
THE NEW controllers from Sony and Microsoft will allow two things. They will allow new game experiences for existing players. But they will also allow what Nintendo has achieved to some extent, and that is to get new people into gaming – people for whom a traditional controller is not the most natural way to play, for people who
(and I don’t just mean older, I mean more professional), portfolio management becomes more important and it’s something we’re working on. And that’s across the whole organisation, not just development. You also have to focus your publishing resources – both people and money. You can achieve much more if you leverage fewer, bigger franchises. I can’t tell you exactly how many less games we’ll release in 2010, but it will be less. ANOTHER ongoing trend is polarisation, and our plan is to
are much more comfortable using something more intuitive. I think they will expand the audience even further than Wii and the Wii Remote Controller. Our studios are working with the first parties to create some interesting games for those controllers. We can expand the audience for an existing game, but it’s also a good time to come up with brand new ideas and way to play. We’re working on the specifics of our plans, but we will have games available that work with both controllers at launch.
WE HAVE four products that I’d pick out, three sequels and one completely original title. Army of Two: The 40th Day (PS3, Xbox 360, PSP) is launching next week (January 15th). That’s followed at the end of the month by Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360, PC) then, in February, Dante’s Inferno (PS3, Xbox 360, PSP) which is the first in a trilogy. In March we will launch Battlefield: Bad Company 2,
which is our first strong attack on Call of Duty. The shooter space is one we don’t want to give up. It’s an important genre and we were the number one. So we are certainly working on how we can get that crown back and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is an important product in that context. The franchise is strong, with a good product record. If any of our studios can take on Modern Warfare then it’s DICE.
AND BEYOND... I DON’T PLAN to retire for another 20 years or so and I’m pretty sure boxed product will remain important for that time. Traditional bricks and mortar stores will continue to have a role to play for a number of reasons. Firstly, because some people just like them. But also, with the increasing amount of data that our games will have, there will also be a benefit to having a physical medium to transport at least the start of a game. We will, of course, see more and more digital distribution, sometimes for full games, but even more so for additional content. But in many cases I still think a physical product is the start of that journey and that will continue for a very long time. I even think it will take many years before digital distribution becomes more prominent that physical media. ONE OF THE overarching trends we’re already seeing is segmentation. We are seeing more and more ways to play. It used to be that maybe people had a PlayStation under the television and they played with it for hours. And maybe they had a handheld. But there are so many different ways and places to
play and so many different types of game. People will have consoles, and PCs and handhelds, and phones and there will be blockbusters and there will be bite-sized games. That sort of complexity will continue to increase. I THINK in the long term I expect a model similar to the movie/television model. You will still get high tech blockbuster experiences for which people are still happy to pay a decent amount of money. That’s the equivalent of people going to see a big new movie at the cinema, possibly in 3D, which is one of the things the theatres are introducing to keep their edge. Then people will use that content and watch that content via Pay TV. Then you end up with people seeing it on free TV, funded by advertising. I suspect we will have a similar type of business. You will have blockbuster games, you will have people that will pay small amounts of money now and again and you will have casual games that are just advertising financed. The industry itself, though, will continue to grow, in terms of consumers and in terms of revenue.
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2010 HIGHLIGHTS LEAVING THE RECESSION BEHIND
THE LAUNCH OF PROJECT NATAL The global economic recession made life difficult for the games industry in 2009. But the UK’s leading execs are optimistic we can leave these economic woes behind and enjoy a prosperous 2010. “We hope that coming out of an often rocky and uncertain 2009, we as an industry can go into 2010 with the worst of the world’s economic woes behind us and with a firmer and clearer vision of how to grow our industry in the year ahead,”
says Nintendo’s UK general manager David Yarnton. Activision’s UK managing director Andrew Brown agrees: “I’m looking forward to the end of the current economic recession and the return of the full range of consumers back into games.” And it’s also the top wish for Rising Star’s managing director Martin Defries: “I’m looking forward to an economic recovery, please God! And being offered Corporate Hospitality at the World Cup 2010. Anyone?”
The 360’s controller-less device is due before the end of the year. What we can expect in terms of software is unknown, but Microsoft’s creative director Peter Molyneux cryptically tells us: “I’m most looking forward to the end of 2010 as it represents the biggest year ever for both myself and the industry. If we get to the end of the year pulling off half of what’s on the cards it will be a landmark year for games.”
THE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD CHART Right about now, ChartTrack will have stated to add digital sales to its PC charts, something that excites Direct2Drive’s marketing director Rich Keen. “Hopefully between publishers, digital distributors, ELSPA and ChartTrack we can agree on and move forward with an official chart that will end the speculation around the decline of the UK PC software market,” he says.
CONSOLES CHANGING HOW WE WATCH, PLAY AND LISTEN Gamers can now use their consoles for far more than just playing games, and European vice president for Xbox Chris Lewis expects that to continue this year. “2010 might be the year of the ‘big bang’ for consoles – when the world gets to grip with how our industry will fundamentally change the way we experience and share entertainment,” he states.
50 things to look forward IMPROVED BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY Downloading games is commonplace today – something which should grow even further with improved broadband penetration in the UK. Last year’s Digital Britain report stated that everyone in the UK should have access to 2Mbps broadband by 2012. So we can expect some big improvements this year, which is one of things industry veteran Phil Harrison is optimistic about. “Whomever is leading the Government after the summer, I hope they recognise the culturally significant art-form that is video games and the economic benefit created by the UK games industry along with the transformational educational benefits of a properly broadband-enabled country,” says Harrison.
PEGI BECOMING LAW “I look forward to the next step of child protection with the introduction of PEGI as the single UK classification system,” says EA’s UK VP Keith Ramsdale (above). ERA director general Kim Bayley (left) adds: “I look forward to the new regulations on games ratings passing into law so we can put this divisive issue behind us and get on with serving the customer responsibly.” And ELSPA’s director general Michael Rawlinson continues: “It’s been two and a half years of hard work since Tanya Byron was first commissioned in September 2007 to write her report, so I hope we can get the Digital Economy Bill passed by parliament before Gordon goes to the country in a General Election.”
THE RETURN OF BIOSHOCK The follow-up to 2K’s 2007 smash hit is one of this year’s big prospects. “I’m looking forward to scaring myself senseless with BioShock 2 and Silent Hill,” says The Hut’s product marketing manager Sarah Jasper. “I’m a big horror fan.”
MCV AWARDS 2010 This year’s awards will be bigger and better than ever, with new categories Supermarket of the Year, Peripherals & Accessories Brand of the Year and Best Game Creative.
SONY GETS MOTION SENSITIVE It doesn’t even have a name yet – let alone any software attached to it. But Sony’s new PS3 motion controller arrives next year to go headto-head with Nintendo’s Wii. SCEE president Andrew House says: “I’m looking forward to the PS3 motion controller. There’ll be brand new game experiences and great new ways to enjoy traditional genres.”
BEST BUY IS COMING They were due in 2009 before economic conditions forced them to slow their plans down. Now, we can expect Best Buy stores to start appearing throughout the UK from the spring – with a full games team already in place.
MASS EFFECT 2 AND NEW MEDAL OF HONOR EA has some impressive looking games due in 2010, such as Dead Space 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and APB. And that’s not to mention Mass Effect 2 and the new modern day Medal of Honor. “With Mass Effect 2, Bioware is delivering a living, breathing, evocative world that any action or sci-fi fan will want to lose themselves in,” says EA UK marketing director Stuart Lang. “I’d also nominate the rebirth of Medal of Honor and the beginnings of another heavyweight IP war for consumers and the industry to become embroiled in.”
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2010 HIGHLIGHTS E3 AT FULL THROTTLE
GAMESCOM 2010 The world’s biggest trade show moved to Cologne last year and was a big success, with 245,000 attendees from some 31 countries. On top of that, Sony revealed its new PS3 Slim and Microsoft announced Fable III. Expect more big things from this year’s event when it kicks off on Wednesday, August 18th.
THE WORLD CUP KICKS OFF
THE Z-WORD E3 was back to its headlinegrabbing best in 2009, and expectations are high for this year’s event on June 15th. “After years of wilderness for the UK trade, at last we are back to having a show that is supported by the British trade if not actually in Britain,” comments Koch MD Craig McNicol.
Sainsbury’s games manager Gurdeep Hunjan adds: “E3 was fantastic this year. So I’m already looking forward to the next one.” And DSGi’s games category manager Peter Willis agrees: “Last year showcased all that was great about games. I’m looking forward to a continued return to form for E3 this year.”
THE ARRIVAL OF THE DSI XL The fourth iteration of the UK’s biggest selling games console will hit shelves this
quarter complete with a bigger screen so the whole family can gather around.
You can’t knock a good zombie game, and in 2010 we’ve got Dead Rising 2, Resident Evil PSP and Crackdown 2.
TAX CREDITS FOR GAMES? UK games developers are amongst the best in the world, churning out classics such as LittleBigPlanet and Batman: Arkham Asylum. However, publishers are increasingly looking to Canada for their development needs, as the country offers tax relief to studios. Is it time for the UK Government to offer similar support? Eidos life president Ian Livingstone thinks so: “I am looking forward to the election and a pledge from whoever forms the next Government to support the games industry by way of implementing tax credits, addressing the skills problem in Universities, installing a high speed fibre optic network nationwide and stepping up the war on piracy.”
to in 2010… TWO NEW METAL GEAR SOLID GAMES THE NOT-SO FINAL FANTASY It’s a big year for the RPG series. Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII arrives on March 9th, and could well be the biggest game in the series since VII. And we may even see Final Fantasy XIV before the year’s up.
PRISON BREAK: THE CONSPIRACY The popular US TV drama may have finished, but Koch is set to bring it back to our screens with a new video game tie-in. Much of the TV show’s cast have supplied voices to the game.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for Sony’s PSP will launch in May. It follows the events of Metal Gear Solid 3 and is directed by Hideo Kojima himself. Meanwhile, Konami is also working on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 title Metal Gear Solid: Rising. It was announced at E3 last year, although it is uncertain if it will arrive before the end of 2010.
FABLE III COMETH 2008’s Fable II was excellent and was a huge hit at retail, so expectations for its sequel – which is set to utilise Microsoft’s Project Natal – is understandably high. It’s currently scheduled for a Christmas release.
We can expect at least one World Cup tie-in to emerge, and many of us will be ditching E3 to visit South Africa this summer. “My knowledge of football is limited, and my silky skills on the pitch have not been seen for many a year,” says D3P boss Adam Roberts. “But I do enjoy England’s quadrennial visits to the World Cup quarter finals.” Play.com games buyer Keith Sharpe adds: “The World Cup and E3 being on at the same time? It doesn’t get much better than that.”
2009 boasted the biggest entertainment launch of all time, the return of E3 and the Government backing of the PEGI rating system. MCV provides 50 reasons why 2010 will be even better…
THE GENERAL ELECTION It is far from decided who will be leading the UK Government after the General Election this summer – with both Labour and the Conservatives pledging support to the video games industry. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to win the election, so we can have a Government that takes the games industry seriously and champions it,” hopes shadow minister for culture Ed Vaizey.
BETTER TRADE CONDITIONS Aggressive price cutting is forcing indies to buy stock from supermarkets over wholesale. Is it time to change how we distribute games? “I look forward to the return of open and competitive trade distribution that provides similar competition to what we see at retail,” says Game Guide editor Chris Ratcliff. “We cannot continue having so many titles routinely sold at retail cheaper than they can be bought through the trade. It is not sustainable.”
STAR WARS STRIKES BACK “As we get closer to Natal and Sony’s motion controller, I look forward to seeing what publishers develop with this new tech,” says LucasArts president Darrell Rodriguez. “At LucasArts, we’re hard at work on The Force Unleashed 2. I can’t wait to unveil all the great work the team is doing. We also have some unannounced products in the works and are building upon our beloved heritage titles. You’ll definitely hear more from us in the next few months. It’s an exciting time to be here at LucasArts.”
A CORE-GAMING FOCUS Forget casual gaming. There’s a plethora of hardcore games coming this year, including titles
from Nintendo such as Sin and Punishment 2, Golden Sun 2 and Metroid: Other M. Future’s publishing director James Binns says: “I am
looking forward to bigger, better epic games that target tightly-focussed, core gamer audiences. Games that Future readers love.”
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AN EXPLOSION IN DLC
SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION SNEAKS IN The next entry in Ubisoft’s prestigious Splinter Cell series was announced in 2006. And now, just four years and a radical overhaul later, Sam Fisher is back. The game launches on Xbox 360 on February 26th.
GRAN TURISMO 5 REACHES THE FINISHING LINE It’s been nearly four years since Sony’s GT5 was first revealed (A Prologue version was released two years ago), but now the prestigious racing franchise is finally ready to go on PS3. The inclusion of the Top Gear test track should make this a must-buy on its own.
THE GROWTH IN 3D 3D is back on our cinema screens, and developers are starting to implement 3D into our games too. Expect even more in the 3D space during the year. SCE UK’s managing director Ray Maguire says: “I’m looking forward to a stronger pound and 3D. The first gives us a chance of making some money and the second gives me a good excuse to spend it.”
Downloadable content is fast becoming the norm in games, with publishers using it as a great deterrent to consumers who like to trade their games in. Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens states: “I’m looking forward to DLC providing a giant step for gamekind.”
HALO REACH This Halo prequel is Bungie’s first full game since Halo 3. It is due in the Autumn on Xbox 360.
MICKEY MOUSE IS BACK The legendary Disney mascot is set to star in his own game for the first time in years, and Epic Mickey looks set to be a Wii classic. “What am I looking forward to? Anything new from Take That and seeing everyone’s reaction to Warren Spector’s interpretation of Mickey Mouse,” comments Disney’s head of marketing for UK and Ireland Keely Brenner. “Epic Mickey is looking amazing, and it’s going to be fun putting this to market.”
BETTER DIALOGUE WITH CONSUMERS THE CLOUD COMPUTING PHENOMENON VIDEO GAMES AT THE CINEMA
This could the year streaming video games becomes a reality, with the likes of OnLive, PlayCast and Gaikai ready to go. Could services like these be the future of video games?
Movies based on video games are rarely any good, but there’s a couple of new flicks to look out for in 2010. Not least the fourth Resident Evil movie, Afterlife, and the promising Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starring Jake Gyllenhaal
EMERGING MARKETS Certain emerging markets are starting to become far more established, and firms such as Sony and Microsoft are reaping the benefits. Expect a rise in publishers looking to crack these new territories – such as the Middle East – this year.
WII VITALITY SENSOR POKEMON HEART GOLD AND SOUL SILVER The original Gold and Silver games on the Game Boy Color remain two of the best titles in the Pokémon cannon. Now Nintendo has given them the DS treatment in Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Both games were released in Japan last year, selling two million units in six weeks.
Many mocked the Vitality Sensor when it was revealed last year. But then, many mocked the DS and Wii Remote when they were announced, too. We should learn a great deal more about Nintendo’s new device at E3 this year.
Publishers are starting to use a variety of social techniques to speak to their consumers, and Sega’s UK MD John Clark expects that to be a big thing in 2010. “For the last couple of years consumer loyalty programs and TV, print and online advertising have been the subject of much discussion,” he explains. “This year we have to identify who the active consumer is for our content; what they’re consuming, when they’re consuming and how they’re consuming it. And then communicate with them in the most effective way. “Today our games are not all in boxes, the formats don’t just deal with boxes, neither do the retailers and neither does the consumer. “We have to take our business from being transaction based to being relationship based.”
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2010 HIGHLIGHTS GOVERNMENT TAKING GAMES SERIOUSLY
THE RETURN OF ZAVVI It has been missing from the High Street for over a year, but now new-owners The Hut are in discussions about bringing the chain back this Christmas.
DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 Europe’s leading development conference returns to Brighton for three days on Tuesday July 13th. Meanwhile, the Develop Awards will take place on July 14th.
During 2009 several MPs began to notice the UK games industry’s contribution to charity and the economy, so perhaps in 2010 games will finally get the recognition they deserve. At least Sports Interactive’s studio head Miles Jacobson hopes so: “I’m looking forward to the games industry starting to be taken more seriously by the Government and the wider media,” he says. “With the work that ELSPA and TIGA are doing, the good that GamesAid and GAMEForGood have done, and MPs like Tom Watson beating the drum to all who will listen, we’re making serious headway.”
ALAN WAKE AND HEAVY RAIN 2010 could be the year storytelling in games steps up a notch. In Sony’s corner is Quantic Dream’s interactive drama Heavy Rain, which is due on PS3 next month. Meanwhile Microsoft will unleash its thriller Alan Wake on Xbox 360 in May.
ROCKSTAR’S NEW GAMES There may not be any new Grand Theft Auto games coming this year (or so we think) but Rockstar has plenty of new games for us to look forward to. Not least the return of Max Payne, the highly promising Red Dead: Redemption, and the new PS3exclusive Agent.
CODEMASTERS GOES SEQUEL CRAZY THE LAUNCH OF SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 The original Galaxy was a critical hit for Nintendo and was adored by the firm’s hardcore fanbase. This sequel is designed to take that even further, and will be tougher than the original.
ANOTHER CALL OF DUTY
BIG YEAR FOR BETHESDA
The next iteration in Activision’s Call of Duty series will be developed by Treyarch. This could mean a return to the WWII setting, but after the phenomenal success of 2008’s World At War, that’s no bad thing.
Bethesda’s publishing pedigree is set to improve this year, with some top new games on the release schedule. These include Brink, Fallout: New Vegas and RAGE, while speculation is rife over a new Elder Scrolls.
MORE MUSIC Sales of music games may be slowing, but you can still expect plenty to arrive this year. Look out for sequels to Guitar Hero, SingStar, Lips, DJ Hero and Band Hero, and that’s not to mention the recently-announced Green Day: Rock Band.
The UK’s biggest publisher Codemasters had a great end to 2009, and are planning some big releases for 2010. Not least new iterations in its successful Operation Flashpoint, Colin McCrae and Ashes franchises. Meanwhile, F1 2010 races onto Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
RETAILER’S LAUNCHING INTO THE DIGITAL SPACE Every retailer is getting in on the digital download space now. Play.com, The Hut Group, Amazon, GAME and HMV will all ramp up their digital efforts this year.
MMOS TO BENEFIT RETAIL There’s no shortage of new MMOs set for retail this year, including APB, Star Trek Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Meanwhile, retail should brace itself for the launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm later in the year.
THE BIGGEST EVER Q1? BioShock 2, Vancouver 2010, APB, Darksiders, Final Fantasy XIII, MAG, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Mass Effect 2, Aliens Vs. Predator, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, Heavy Rain, God of War III and Nintendo DSi XL are all due for release this quarter. Could this be the most lucrative first quarter in the industry’s history?
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Sponsored by 18 MCV 08/01/10
Gerhard Florin to leave Electronic Arts EVP of western world publishing leaves in March Gioia returns to THQ Dark Void studio bags Valve dev EA Electronic Arts has announced its executive VP of western world publishing GERHARD FLORIN has elected to leave the company. Florin is set to depart the publisher at the end of the current financial year, ending March 31st, 2010. At the time of writing, his decision to leave is considered to be largely to do with a desire to have his family remain in Europe. Florin worked with EA for 15 years, initially playing a key role in establishing the publisher as the dominant force in Europe and then
Gerhard Florin leaves his position at EA having helped expand its business across Europe
extending his role in order to incorporate the US. In 2003 he was made a senior VP and director of Europe, and in 2005 was promoted to global vice president.
JENS UWE INTAT will continue to head up EA’s European publishing operation. Read MCV’s exclusive interview with him on page 12.
THQ GERMAINE GIOIA has been appointed as the publisher’s senior vice president of licensing and merchandising. Gioia is an industry veteran with nearly two decades of experience under her belt. She has previously worked at THQ for 14 years, where she became instrumental to the company’s licensing efforts and helped secure many of the publisher’s most successful games franchises. She returns to THQ’s ranks after serving as senior vice president of licensing for Capcom in both the US and European markets.
“I am excited to return to well-positioned and highly focused THQ,” said Gioia. “Today’s market offers many new opportunities for growth and I look forward to helping the THQ team build our portfolio.” AIRTIGHT GAMES The Dark Void developer has recruited KIM SWIFT, who worked as a designer on Valve’s acclaimed Portal. Swift takes up the role of project lead and will oversee the team as it broadens its scope to encompass new gaming demographics.
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19 MCV569_final:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
er ultiplay MY m R n A a ’ m S f an LAD its 256 tches o a s e m h h s t a a e P20 ony unle online d S g , offerin shooter cale ented s d e c e r p un
STAR OCEAN: INTERNATIONAL P22 The PS3 edition of The Last Hope brings new language options to RPG fans MASS EFFECT 2 P23 BioWare’s sci-fi epic returns, continuing the space opera of the original DANTE’S INFERNO P24 Electronic Arts takes gamers to a 13th Century vision of Hell NEW RELEASES P25 MCV provides a comprehensive list of all upcoming releases in the UK HIGH STREET P26 This week, we catch up with an indie, check prices and show off our deal of the week CHARTS P28 The full rundown of this week’s GfKChartTrack charts – including single formats
RETAILBIZ: MAG 20 MCV 08/01/10
Sony’s Massive Action Game pushes multiplayer FPS deathmatches to new heights, supporting up to 256 players simultaneously…
by James Batchelor
Now, MAG is ready to recruit the world’s most trigger-happy PS3 owners, and Sony couldn’t be more proud of this release. “MAG is a very important IP for us and definitely a key exclusive for PS3,” says UK product manager Phil Lynch. “MAG is a real statement of intent from us to engage fans of FPS games.
THE CONSENSUS seems to be that the FPS genre is becoming increasingly similar with very little innovation. For every occasional blockbuster such as Modern Warfare 2 that stands out from the crowd, there are numerous contenders that fail to make their mark. In MAG, Sony is trying MAG will definitely be one of something new that should the many tipping points for prove to make it one of the most unique shooters for those who haven’t got a PS3 some time to come. The to get one in January. title stands for Massive Phil Lynch, Sony Action Game, which pretty much sums up the game’s key selling “With the successful Resistance point: 256-man multiplayer matches. franchise along with Killzone 2 and now With online multiplayer being MAG, we feel we are a viable choice for arguably the most popular feature in any gamers looking to get that much more FPS these days, Sony and the team at from their games console. MAG will Zipper Interactive have been working definitely be one of the many tipping hard to create a battlefield that supports points for those who haven’t got a PS3 more than 250 players at any one time. to get one this January.”
While Lynch recognises that MAG’s ability to support 256 players on a battlefield simultaneously is a great headline grabber, he is also keen to point out that MAG is so much more. “As you can imagine – and as I’m sure MCV readers are thinking – ‘Isn’t 256 players just going to be absolute mayhem?’,” he admits. “It’s a very valid point but when you add in the player command structure, it all starts to make a lot more sense.” As with rival titles, players gain experience points throughout online play. However, in MAG, increasing their rank has more significant consequences than unlocking new weapons and equipment. Players who rank up are given the opportunity to lead a squad of eight men, a platoon of 32 or even a full 128man army. These player-officers will be
RETAILBIZ: MAG WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/01/10 21
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able to issue Fragos or Fragmented Orders throughout the match. Members of their team who follow these orders will be given additional experience points, which should serve to encourage teamwork and squad play. “As you can imagine, running around like Rambo may work in an eight-way match, but you’ll not last long with 128 scopes pointing at you if you don’t play as a team,” adds Lynch. The key to marketing MAG lies in engaging with the intended audience and key online communities. In fact, it is the early response from Sony’s own followers that has boosted the platform holder’s confidence in MAG’s potential. “The PlayStation community has been very active and supportive of MAG since we announced it,” says Lynch. “In fact, via the PlayStation blog, many of our users were involved in the creation of the latest MAG trailer by helping to write the script.
“Our sales expectations for MAG are high. Thanks to the massive success of titles like Modern Warfare, Killzone 2 and Resistance, first-person shooters as a genre has become much more accessible to everyone.
“Allied to this, I think MAG’s unique selling points of unparalleled scale and groundbreaking player command structure will elevate its profile and really make it stand out among the competition.”
THE CALL TO WAR Product manager Phil Lynch observes that the FPS genre is very crowded, with very little visual difference between the likes of Battlefield, Operation Flashpoint and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. As such, Sony faces the danger that standard display advertising wouldn’t truly convey MAG’s unique feature and may even get misattributed to rival games. Instead, the firm is preparing a special event with Eurogamer and IGN and their communities to show off the 128-versus-128 warfare. Says Lynch: “We’re creating a recruitment drive on both sites for their passionate community members to apply to become part of their favourite site’s Private Military Company and ultimately get to represent them in a large-scale war in our massive MAG event in January. “Of course, we’ll have a very strong social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter supporting this, as well as press and a very special online advertising mechanic to get the wider audience excited about MAG as well.” He also hints that the PlayStation community will continue to be a part of Sony’s wider MAG communications, even namechecking some of the key players from Eurogamer and IGN in future creatives.
RETAILBIZ: STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE: INTERNATIONAL 22 MCV 08/01/10
Square Enix revamps its popular prequel to the Star Ocean series for PS3 owners and otaku
Square Enix rolls out a new edition of its popular RPG series on PS3, catering for a more diverse audience… by James Batchelor
chance to appreciate the long and winding storyline with localised text FOR EVERY hardcore otaku that subtitles in French, German, Spanish refuses to watch the likes of Ghost In and Italian. The Shell in English, Square Enix is rePlayers take on the role of Edge releasing an Xbox 360 hit that appeals Maverick, a member of the Space to their love of Eastern culture, this Reconnaissance Force, as he aids the time on PS3. search for a new, hospitable planet on Star Ocean: The Last Hope: which humanity can rebuild. He soon SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE International is the upcoming PS3 finds himself caught up in a battle to save The key addition to the PS3 version is edition of last year’s Xbox 360 take on the galaxy from a mysterious alien force. the option to swap between English and the long-running and highly popular sciLike previous Star Ocean games, The fi RPG series. Last Hope is set across a “There’s been a visible variety of beautiful new There’s some incredible titles shortage of quality RPG worlds, and for the first due in Q1 2010, but Star content so far on PS3 but time allows gamers to Ocean stands out with a with the launch of Star explore the darkness of genre all to itself. Ocean, PS3 gamers finally space in the series’ familiar Doug Bone, Square Enix have an adventure that Calnus starship. they can sink their teeth The majority of the Japanese voiceovers on the fly, allowing into,” says UK sales manager Doug Bone. action takes place on the planet surfaces, gamers to tweak the game to suit their “Since confirming that this is coming and throws players in innumerable personal tastes. Likewise, they can to Europe, it’s been great to note how battles with the series’ trademark realcustomise the character icons that many enquiries we’ve received both time combat system. appear at the bottom, choosing from the here in the office and also online via the This time around there are several 3D models seen in the Xbox 360 forums, with gamers clearly excited by new features to give them an advantage version and 2D anime-style portraits. the imminent release.” in combat, while special attacks are The Last Hope: International also Set before the previous games in the rendered with impressive effects, thanks offers more European gamers the franchise, The Last Hope serves as a to the graphical capacities of Blu-ray. prequel that depicts the events that created the Star Ocean universe. The year is 2087, and Earth has been left decimated by the effects of World War III. Recognising that their planet’s environment is deteriorating, humanity launches into space and searches for a new home among the stars.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 12 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: TRI-ACE PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01462 476 130
Battles are also enhanced by the new Blindside system, which enables players to confuse and ambush enemies by quickly changing position and moving out of their enemy’s line-of-sight. Up to four characters can battle together and players can switch between these at any point to make use of their unique skills. Finally, the franchise’s hallmark item creation and Private Actions mechanics also make a welcome return, with plenty of upgrades and additions to keep veterans of the series happy while still being intuitive enough for newcomers to enjoy. Bone adds: “There’s some incredible titles due at the start of 2010, but in February, while so many of the other action games all compete for the same market, Star Ocean stands out with a genre all to itself.”
RETAILBIZ: MASS EFFECT 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/01/10 23
Mass Effect 2 promises to be a grittier and more epic ordeal than the first game in the trilogy
BioWare’s hugely popular sci-fi RPG returns, enticing fans and newcomers to experience Mass Effect… by James Batchelor THE ORIGINAL Mass Effect marked something of a departure for notable developer BioWare. Gone were the traditional Dungeons and Dragons-style mechanics of its previous games Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights – although these were recently revived with the studio’s Dragon Age: Origins. In their place were gleaming starships and spacestations, sprawling planets to explore and an emphasis on more intense, gunplay-based combat. Around these, Mass Effect wove a space opera with enough narrative depth to prompt comparisons with Star Wars and Star Trek. Fox News’ alien sex scandal aside, the game was met with universal praise as a compelling and quality RPG, and now the sequel is set to create further success for the franchise when it arrives later this month. Mass Effect 2 picks up where the original leaves off, with Commander Shepard once again working to defend the galaxy from the imminent assault of the mysterious Reapers. This time, he has been tasked with a suicide mission and needs to assemble an elite crew of spacers if he is to save humanity.
Players explore the worlds of Citadel space in search of key characters that could prove to be an asset to their formidable squad. Should they believe themselves to be fully prepared, they can choose to attempt to this crucial mission at any time, but their endeavours will depend greatly on the decisions they have made – or have yet to make.
“Fans of the original Mass Effect will be looking forward to seeing how their decision pan out.” In fact, choices are once again a key selling point for this new instalment in the Mass Effect trilogy. During conversations with characters and aliens they encounter, players can drastically alter their options, Shepard’s reputation and the consequences they will later face through the stance they take: polite, neutral or aggressive. More importantly, fans of the original Mass Effect will be looking forward to seeing how the decisions they made pan out in the sequel. Throughout the build-up to Mass Effect 2 BioWare has promised that every choice – even the seemingly insignficant ones – will affect the
universe and characters, whether it’s the government structure or whether an ally lived or died. BioWare has also assured fans that some of the first game’s more notable flaws have been resolved. The lengthy elevator rides are no more, the main questline is considerably longer, there are fewer barren planets and the gunplay mechanics have been refined. Throw in an all-star cast, from returning favourites Seth Green and Keith David to newcomers such as Martin Sheen, Carrie-Ann Moss, Tricia Helfer and Michael Dorn, and Mass Effect 2 has everything sci-fi fans want from an epic RPG. RETAIL EFFECT
Mass Effect 2 is the first instalment in the trilogy to be wholly published by EA, which previously only released the PC port of the original game. As such, the publisher is working hard to ensure the sequel matches the success of its predecessor and attracts veteran fans – while also attracting newcomers to the sci-fi franchise. An extensive marketing campaign is no doubt in the works, but the company has also dedicated significant resources to raising awareness of the game’s arrival through some enticing retail
RELEASED: JANUARY 29 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: BIOWARE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
incentives – not the least of which is the Collector’s Edition. This premium SKU comes in a striking collectable tin case and includes a copy of the game, a 48-page hardcover Art Of Mass Effect 2 book, the first issue of the Mass Effect: Redemption comic and a bonus DVD that features behind-the-scenes and making-of videos. The Collector’s Edition will also feature download codes for exclusive ingame items, including new weaponry and armour. Additional downloadable armaments are also available to those who pre-order the game from such stores as GAME and Play.com. Both BioWare and EA have even been promoting Mass Effect 2 through its other releases. An in-game reward awaits any who purchased the iPhone spin-off Mass Effect Galaxy, and certain suits of armour that have been released as DLC for November’s Dragon Age: Origins can be used on Commander Shepard.
RETAILBIZ: DANTE’S INFERNO 24 MCV 08/01/10
Electronic Arts sends gamers to Hell as they recreate the disturbing visions of 13th Century literature… by James Batchelor THIS GAME has provoked Christian riots and seen some of the industry’s most unorthodox PR tactics to date, but now Dante’s Inferno will truly bring Hell to games retailers’ shelves. The title is obviously inspired by its source material: Inferno, the first part of the classic 13th Century epic poem The Divine Comedy, written by Italian poet Dante Alighieri. For those not au fait with such historical literature – and this includes more than a few members of Team MCV – it tells of a journey through the Nine Circles of Hell. In Dante’s Inferno, EA invites gamers to embark upon this ordeal themselves with the task of taking down the demons that live within each Circle. For the record, these are: limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery. Only by doing clearing these areas of Hell can Dante retrieve the soul of his beloved Beatrice. Thanks to its diverse source material, this third-person action adventure boasts
a variety of environments that stand out from anything else in its genre. Every Circle has its own distinct look that not only reflects the sin in question, but also recreates the hideous visages described in the poem.
“As always, retail is key and incentives have been rolled out to draw gamers to EA’s key retail partners.” The ‘lust’ environments, for example, are populated by naked, large-breasted temptresses led by a colossal but sultry version of Cleopatra. This theme is also carried across to the other characters, monsters and even the geography throughout this stage. For his quest to rescue Beatrice, Dante is armed with a scythe he acquires from Death. Using this, he is capable of devastating attacks that players will need to master if they are to subdue the beasts of Hell. Battles are fast and intense, and developer Visceral assures that it will run at a smooth 60 frames per second –
a feature many core consumers crave in their action games. It’s not all reckless reaping, either. Thanks to the Holy Cross left to him by Beatrice, Dante has a wide variety of magical attacks and techniques in his arsenal. Like his scythe attacks, these can all be customised and upgraded to suit the player’s fighting style and give them a greater edge in combat. The wanderer also has another trick up his sleeve. Dante will learn certain techniques throughout his journey that will allow him to tame large-scale beasts, which can then be used in his fight against the minions of Hell. SEE YOU IN HELL
Electronic Arts has been pulling out all the stops to impress upon the public the significance of this release. As well as being an adrenaline-fuelled action adventure title, the game also offers a new take on the classic 13th Century poem. The title also holds prestige among the gaming community, developed by the makers of last year’s critically acclaimed Dead Space.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 5 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PSP PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: VISCERAL GAMES PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
A demo has already been doing the rounds on Xbox 360 and PS3, giving gamers a glimpse at Dante’s first steps into Hell and whetting their appetites for the game’s arrival in February. As always, retail is key and incentives have been rolled out to draw gamers to EA’s key retail partners. For example, Play.com customers can pick up exclusive downloadable in-game items, while GAME is offering the Death Edition – a collector’s edition that includes artwork, an in-game Dead Space costume, a bonus DVD with documentaries, soundtrack and a full digital reprint of Dante Alighieri’s poem. As if that weren’t enough, there is even an animated Dante’s Inferno movie to be released on Blu-ray and DVD a few weeks after the game arrives to give it a further boost.
25 MCV569_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/01/10 25
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Vancouver strikes gold for retail Sega’s official video game companion to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games glides onto shelves, escorted by D3P’s Astroby tie-in. Also on its way is Army Of Two, Ben 10, BioShock, Dark Void, Final Fantasy, Mass Effect 2, Star Trek and more... TITLE
PC PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC
FPS Action Action/Adventure Action Casual Sports
City Interactive EA D3Publisher Capcom Zushi Sega
0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0208 222 9700 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388
Trilogy Centresoft Namco Bandai Centresoft Gem Centresoft
0845 362 7769
Puzzle/RPG Survival Horror
01279 822 800 0121 625 3388
DS / PC / Wii / PS3 PC PC XBOX 360 / PC
Action/Adventure Strategy FPS RPG/Action
Ubisoft Zushi Zushi EA
01279 822 800 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388
Gem/Trilogy Gem Gem Centresoft
XBOX 360 / PS2 / Wii / DS / PSP DS / Wii PSP Wii PSP / DS / PC DS PSP / DS / PS3 / XBOX 360 PC PC PC DS / Wii PC DS / PC
Action/Adventure Action RPG RPG/Action Strategy Casual Racing Casual Casual MMORPG Action/Adventure Casual Casual
D3Publisher Zushi Tecmo Koei Square Enix Slitherine Zushi THQ S.A.D S.A.D Atari Disney Interactive S.A.D S.A.D
0208 222 9700 01279 822 800 01462 476 130 020 7324 5200 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 506 9585 01582 436043 01582 436043 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 01582 436043
Namco Bandai Gem Open Open Koch Gem Advantage PlayV PlayV Advantage Centresoft PlayV PlayV
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360
01279 822 800
PSP PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PSP / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC DS PS3
Adventure Fighting Action Action Music Casual/Adventure RPG RPG
Zushi pQube Sega EA Disney Interactive Mamba Games Sega Square Enix
01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01273 202220 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130
Gem Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Lace Centresoft Open
DS PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PC / XBOX 360 PC Wii
Adventure Action Mini-games Casual/Adventure RTS Racing Strategy Simulation
City Interactive Tecmo Koei D3Publisher Mamba Games Slitherine Zushi Mamba Games Zushi
0845 362 7769 01462 476 130 0208 222 9700 01273 202220 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 01273 202220 01279 822 800
Trilogy Open Namco Bandai Lace Koch Gem Lace Gem
JANUARY 15th Alcatraz Army Of Two: The 40th Day Astroboy Dark Void Love is... in Bloom Vancouver 2010: Olympic Winter Games
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 Mass Effect 2
FEBRUARY 5th Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks Chicken Blaster Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers History Engineering an Empire Egypt Jig-a-Pix: Love is... MX vs AV Reflex Mystery Cookbook Natalie Brooks Star Trek Online The Princess And The Frog The Treasures Of Mystery Island Titanic Mystery
FEBRUARY 9th BioShock 2
FEBRUARY 12th Adventures To Go BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Bleach: The Third Phantom Dante's Inferno Jonas Memento Mori Phantasy Star Zero Star Ocean: The Last Hope International
FEBRUARY 19th Art Of Murder Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Family Party: Winter Fun Ghosts Pirates of Vooju Island History Great Battles: Medieval Indianapolis 500 Evolution Making History 2: War Of The World Reel Fishing: Anglers Dream
MUSTSTOCK ..........................VANCOUVER 2010 Released: January 15 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Sega follows up its 2008 Beijing hit with the latest officially licensed Olympic video games. In Vancouver 2010, players take on every snow-covered event of the Olympic Winter Games. A new first-person perspective makes the action all the more immersive for sports fans.
MUSTSTOCK ....................................ASTROBOY Released: January 15 Format: Wii, DS, PS2, PSP Publisher: D3Publisher Distributor: Namco Bandai Contact: 0208 222 9700
The video game tie-in to the upcoming CGI movie, based on the classic Japanese manga. The game follows the exploits of a heroic robot modelled on a scientist’s dead son. Using his powers of flight and other abilities, players battle against the corrupt military.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 26 MCV 08/01/10
POLL WHICH TITLE WILL BE JANUARY'S BIGGEST HIT?
Dark Void 3%
MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Bayonetta 360, Sega
Mass Effect 2
5% Vancouver 2010 3%
The Saboteur, PC, EA
LEGO Indiana 2, Wii, Activision
ACII: Discovery, DS, Ubisoft
Avatar, PC, Ubisoft
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
THQ’s Darksiders seems to be another popular choice, fending off the likes of Dark Void, Vancouver 2010 and Army Of Two, all of which will help rid us of the traditional post-Christmas lull. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS DS
GTA: EPISODES FORM LIBERTY CITY 360
More than half of the participants in the latest MCV online survey appear to be fans of sci-fi RPGs, as Electronic Arts’ Mass Effect 2 is elected as the biggest potential hit of January 2010. The opening month of next year boasts one of the strongest January line-ups ever seen, with 29 per cent of voters predicting Sega’s Bayonetta will also be a smash.
Army of Two: The 40th Day
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360
ASSASSIN’S CREED II PS3
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3
Mad Catz’s new Wireless-N Gaming Adapter offers Xbox 360 and PS3 owners a tempting alternative to the official versions. The device connects to either console via the Ethernet port and is compatible with 802.11b/g/n networks. The adaptor provides a strong, stable connection to gamers’ Wireless-N broadband routers or access points, whether gamers are playing online or downloading. It supports a connection speed of up to 150Mb per second – considerably more than ‘G’ gaming adapters, which usually run at 54Mb per second. Mad Catz: 01908 336 538
DEAL OF THE WEEK
NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360
MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES WII NINTENDO
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347.
The heart of your gaming world For more information on our full range of products contact Mel Jones:Email: email@example.com or your Trilogy Logistics account manager
Gamestation’s online customers can get a free copy of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga and LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures when they buy a Black Wii and Wii Sports Resort bundle for £179.99.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/01/10 27 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Zelda: Spirit Tracks DS, Nintendo
COD: Modern Warfare 2 360, Activision
Assassin’s Creed II PS3, Ubisoft
FIFA 10 360, EA
Wii Sports Resort Wii, Nintendo
TOP 10 FINAL FANTASY XIII
IN STORE: STOCKPORT
PS3 SQUARE ENIX
PS3 ........................................................................THQ 360 ......................................................................SEGA 360 ........................................................................THQ
5. GOD OF WAR III
6. YAKUZA 3
7. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV
8. HEAVY RAIN
10. MASS EFFECT 2
360 ..........................................................................EA Week ending December 18th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE This week, we catch up with Virtual Games’ Sebastian Navin… What are your hopes for 2010? For the PS3 to pick up a bit. The Xbox 360 still seems to dominate the market – perhaps because it had such a big headstart on the PS3. What has been performing well? Modern Warfare, obviously. Same as everyone else. Mind you, Ghostbusters was pretty good – quite surprising, given that most people bought the PS3 version about six months beforehand. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games has been a disappointment. The first one did really well, so this one has been something of an anticlimax.
TOP 10 STAR TREK: ONLINE PC ATARI 2. MASS EFFECT 2
3. ALIENS VS PREDATOR
4. FINAL FANTASY XIII
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
5. PAIR & GO TOTAL CONTROLLER
“Half the industry’s sales are preowned – the PSPgo cuts that out. It’ll bite Sony in the arse later.”
What would you change about games retail? I don’t really like the way that Sony has decided to release the PSPgo with download-only games. Given that pretty much half the industry’s sales are preowned sales and Sony is cutting that out completely, I reckon it’s going to bite Sony in the arse later.
7. NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR
9. MASS EFFECT 2
10. HEAVY RAIN
PS3 ......................................................................SONY Week ending December 18th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK
28,29 MCV568_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 28 MCV 08/01/10
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4 2 1 8 5 26 12 6 34
 [FULL PRICE]
MARIO & SONIC: AT THE WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES DEVELOPER: SEGA PUBLISHER: SEGA
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 THQ HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA DISNEY SING IT: POP HITS DISNEY NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERGROUND EA GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
FORMAT: 360, PS3, PC
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER Wii
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
WII FIT PLUS Wii
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
JUST DANCE Wii
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
MARIO KART WII Wii
JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC UBISOFT
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PSP, PC
COD 4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, Wii ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360, PC
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3, PC
WII PLAY Wii
GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY 360
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
TEKKEN 6 360, PS3
KONAMI NAMCO BANDAI
2 3 4 5
1 6 4 9
FIFA 10 EA GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES UBISOFT STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: SQUADRON LUCASARTS
THE SIMS 3
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
LEFT 4 DEAD 2
6 7 8 9 10
3 7 8 5
GRAN TURISMO PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 F1 2009 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
DEVELOPER: SCE CAMBRIDGE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SONY
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
3 5 2 4 6 11 12 9 8
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS NINTENDO GUITAR HERO: MODERN HITS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PUZZLER WORLD UBISOFT PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO UP THQ
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA EIDOS SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 2K GAMES
28,29 MCV568_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/01/10 29
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 holding on to the No.1 spot for an eighth consecutive week. The game holds the longest winning streak since EA’S Need For Speed: Underground 2 five years ago, despite a 41 per cent drop in week on week sales. Assassin’s Creed II reclaims second place as FIFA 10 falls to No.6, with the latter suffering a 61 per cent fall in sales.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
WARNER BROS 2K GAMES
THE SABOTEUR 360, PS3, PC
WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
LEGO STAR WARS: SAGA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LEGO INDIANA JONES 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP
PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS
OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360, PS3, PC
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
LUCASARTS P2 GAMES/UBISOFT CODEMASTERS SEGA
LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC
UP 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP
GUITAR HERO: METALLICA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LIPS: NUMBER ONE HITS 360
F1 2009 Wii, PSP
HALO 3: ODST 360
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 10 3 5 7 4 9 13 19
DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT
COMMAND & CONQUER: FIRST DECADE SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY WOLFENSTEIN
EA CITY INTERACTIVE
ROLLER COASTER TYCOON 3
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Arkham Asylum is the only game to leap straight back into a Top 20 position. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
ASSASSIN’S CREED II UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT FIFA 10 JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE TEKKEN 6 THE SABOTEUR
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT SONY EA EA UBISOFT EIDOS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NAMCO BANDAI EA
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES: EDGAR
ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 2
WII SPORTS RESORT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES SEGA MARIO KART WII NINTENDO F1 2009 CODEMASTERS RABBIDS GO HOME UBISOFT COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GUITAR HERO: METALLICA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR UBISOFT HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA
2 3 4 5 6 9 19 15 RE
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
Post-Christmas promotions see a number of titles return to the Top 40. Most notably, Batman:
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
WOW: BATTLE CHEST
position so far.
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
The game takes seventh place – its highest chart
1 2 4 5 3 6 11 7 9 13
WEEK ENDING 02/01/10
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS
Ubisoft’s Just Dance is the only title in the Top 10 to see its sales rise, boosted by 10 per cent.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ASSASSIN’S CREED II FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 LEFT 4 DEAD 2 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY FIFA 10 JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT BORDERLANDS CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
3 4 5 6 2 7 9 15 12
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD starts the year on top with
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT MICROSOFT EA ROCKSTAR EA UBISOFT EA 2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
30,31 MCV569_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 30 MCV 08/01/10
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
45 rue Delizy,
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Email purchase: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Email export sales: email@example.com Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
EBS-Benelux...........................................Bunschoten Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
439 avenue de la Gare
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Phone : 0033 432 751 165 Fax : 0033 432 751 160
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo
Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
PO Box 5083
S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden
Phone: +46 54 854750
Phone: +48 71 354 46 10
Fax: +46 54 854759
Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
FINLAND Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
Gateway Distribution ApS +45 7026 0870 (DK)
Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB
54-426 Wroclaw, Poland
COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
30,31 MCV569_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
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...
MCV 08/01/10 31
INTERNATIONAL NEWS USA
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
UAE ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY 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: email@example.com U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
The US games industry generated $2.7 billion in sales last month, making it the second best November ever for the American games industry. Overall sales were down by 7.6 per cent when compared to the same period last year, meaning November 2008 retains the record set last year, according to the latest NPD figures. Combined hardware sales came in at $1.05 billion, down 13.4 per cent from the $1.21 billion recorded last year, while software sales totaled at $1.406 billion, down from last’s year’s total of $1.451 billion. Video game accessories generated over $242 million in sales, a decline of just five per cent since 2008.
Dragon Age: Origins on 360 (362,100) and Mario Kart Wii (315,000).
Hardware sales were up monthon-month in the US, with the DS leading the way at 1.70 million units. The only other platform to shift more than a million was the Wii, with 1.26 million consoles sold in November. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are only 100,000 units apart, with 819,500 and 710,400 consoles sold respectively. Finally, the rest of the PlayStation family racks up close to 500,000 units together – PSP shifted 293,900 units, while PS2 sold 203,100 units. Both SKUs of Modern Warfare 2 topped the US best-selling console software sales in November, selling a combined six million copies. The Xbox 360 version sold 4.2 million copies while the PS3 edition shifted 1.87 million copies, far outselling any other title. The closest rival was New Super Mario Bros Wii, which managed to shift 1.39 million units. This was followed by a duo of Xbox 360 titles, with Assassin’s Creed II selling 794,700 copies and Left 4 Dead 2 selling 744,000 units. Nintendo took sixth and seventh positions with Wii Sports Resort shifting 720,200 units and Wii Fit Plus selling 679,000 units. Finishing up the Top 10 was Assassin’s Creed II on PS3 (448,400),
Australia’s attorney general Michael Atkinson has defended the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s refusal to rate any gave high than 15+, claiming only a minority of consumers care. Speaking to ABC News, he said: “This is a question of a small number of very zealous gamers trying to impose their will on society. And I think harm society. It’s the public interest versus the small vested interest. “I accept that 98 per cent, 99 per cent of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the one per cent to two per cent could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence.” A few days later, the Australian government opened up the debate on whether or not its classification system should be restructured to accommodate adult or mature video games. “Submissions are being sought on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games,” the attorney general’s department stated. Public submissions will be accepted until February 28th.
Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has told our sister magazine Develop his team in Tokyo is now working on social and browser games. “[This sector], which is now a very big genre, is something we have started development into,” he said. “It is an important area to address because it isn’t related to any consoles and doesn’t need specific hardware to run it, just applications on the client side. “I believe that these types of games are going to be spreading and growing dramatically.”
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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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
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GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428
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LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507217 Retail Entertainment Displays . . . . . . . 01733 239001
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or email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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 . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY JANUARY 15th 2010
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL AND GAMES SALARY GUIDE As the job market picks up after the Christmas and New Year lull, many people often think about changing job. 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, and DC Universe Online 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: BENELUX AND SCANDINAVIA We take another look at he gaming landscape of Holland, Belgium, Luxemborg, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. How have the past year’s events affected these nations? Are there any gaps in the market that present publisher and retailers with new opportunities? MCV investigates the state of play and potential of these diverse countries. 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. FRIDAY FEBURARY 26th 2010
RUSSIAN TERRITORY REPORT Despite being one of the largest countries on the planet, Russia’s games industry is still in an ongoing state of development. In the latest of our Territory Reports, we speak to the major players in this region about how the games industry is driven and maintained, while also looking at the key problems these companies face.
GENRE FOCUS: RTS After a hefty line-up of real-time strategy titles hitting shelves in 2009, we look at what 2010 holds for the genre. We offer a glimpse of the hottest upcoming RTS games, including Command & Conquer 4, Napoleon: Total War, Starcraft 2 and Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising, as well as speak to the publishers behind these titles. We also discuss the future ofhe genre and the challenges that face new strategy releases.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
STUDIOS Epic Games ...................................................+1 919 870 1516 nDreams...........................................................01252 375754 Realtime Worlds ...............................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Razorback ...........................................www.razorback.co.uk Stainless Games.......................firstname.lastname@example.org TOOLS Blitz Games Studios ......................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 bluegfx ..............................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Crytek ........................................................+49 69219 77660
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . email@example.com DISTRIBUTION
SERVICES amBX UK Ltd. ...............................................www.ambx.com Ian Livingstone..................................+44 (0) 1483 421 491 Imagination Studios..............................+46 (0) 18-106930 Onteca................................................+44 (0) 151 709 0028 Partnertrans.......................................+44 (0) 1753 247 731 TC Associates.................................+44 (0) 7768 883 808 Testology .......................................................07919 523 036 Universally Speaking .......................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 Xaitment............................................+49 6897 - 600 80-0 COURSES University of Hull.............................+44 (0) 1482 465 951
To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All subscription requests should go to email@example.com 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
THE PRODUCERS . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 . . . . . . . . . . . www.theproducers.co.uk
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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. . . . . . . . . email@example.com GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
This week’s interviewee is Über Agency’s managing director Richard Benjamin… Tell us what services Über Agency provides. Über is a full service ideas agency specialising in the entertainment and technology industries. Our team consists of not only young, fresh talent but also creative veterans – such as like me – who have worked within the games sector for 20 years. Which projects are you particularly proud of? We have been integral to creative landmarks such as Tomb Raider and its sequels, and working with Sony on the launch of the PSone, PS2 and the EyeToy series. In recent years, everything from Call of Duty and Lord of the Rings to Mortal Kombat and the forthcoming Aliens Vs Predator from Sega.
What’s the best thing about working there? Variety without a doubt. We work on such varied and exciting projects, every week is different and every challenge is fresh. Plus we have a pool table and an office dog so it’s not really like being at work.
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
What was lessons did you learn from 2009? That even successful industries suffer in a recession. No one is safe from the dreaded ‘budget cut’. But we adapt and survive. What are you most looking forward to in 2010? 2009 has been horrible for a hell of a lot of people who are happy to see the back of it. Let’s grab 2010 by the scruff, and have fun and success. IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com/conference/ai.html
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.
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 INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE 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
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London kathryn.humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk
GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com The biggest developer event in the world brings 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.
38 MCV569_final:47 MCV443
38 MCV 08/01/10
‘Bring on the gizmos’ A retailer writes of his hopes for 2010 and the potential benefits the High Street can expect from the launch of Project Natal and Sony’s Motion Controller… WE MADE IT. We survived 2009, despite the naysayers predicting we’d all go under in the financial equivalent of Domino Rally. Obviously, I know we’re not out of the water yet, but a good couple of weeks of Christmas sales (and no small amount of champers at New Year’s) saw me enter 2010 with a much brighter outlook on things. If we can manage to survive 2009, this year shouldn’t be much tougher, right? So let’s share my newfound optimism. What are we all looking forward to in the next 12 months? For me, the most important thing that will be gracing my store’s shelves this year will be Microsoft’s Project Natal for the Xbox 360 and Sony’s motion wand thingy for the PS3 (why haven’t they picked a named for that yet? Do you think they are taking suggestions?).
Why am I so excited about these? Because it’s new hardware. One of the most exciting times for a retailer is the launch of a new console or handheld or some other gadget. Oh sure, game launches are all well and good but – with
back at launch. And yet there’s not been any new hardware for a good few years now. All of the current consoles have been out for at least three years – four in the case of the 360. Usually we have seen or at least heard about the next
More and more people will be introduced to gaming, just as they were with the Wii, and many of these might be kids. An optimistic retailer
Modern Warfare 2 being the very rare exception – even the biggest games tend to come and go within a few weeks (or at best a month or two) after they’re released. Hardware lasts so much longer. We’re still selling Wii and DS like there’s no tomorrow – although obviously nowhere near as quickly as we were
generation from the Big Three but there’s no word on anything new coming out in the next year or so. New SKUs aren’t the same. A bigger hard drive or a larger screen does not a massive sales boost make. And sure, we had the PSPgo, but that’s not exactly been a sterling success has it?
But with Natal and the Wand, we’ll have something new, properly new. There will be new types of games coming out so more and more people will be introduced to gaming, just as they were with the Wii. And given how easy these controllers will be to use, many of these might be kids, which would be fantastic – there are too many sweaty teens coming into my store. Can I have some more parents please? I read in MCV that Microsoft is even planning to treat Natal like a new console launch, so gamers will be pretty hyped for it by the time it comes out and I’m sure Sony has similar tricks up its sleeves. A massive launch event is always something to look forward to, whether it’s a triple-A game or something like Natal and the Wand. Yes, they may look a little gimmicky, and the novelty might wear off like it did with
the Wii. But all of the consoles are starting to see a definite decline in sales. In the absence of brand new games machines, these new controllers should be the shot in the arm we need. I say bring on the gizmos. An optimistic retailer
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40 MCV 08/01/10
PIC OF THE WEEK Disney kindly decked the halls of a community centre and invited children from deprived homes for a Christmas bash. All involved helped out with face painting, Christmas card making, dressing up and a visit from Santa. There’s no room for Mr Off The Record’s typical cynicism here – what a great thing for the team to do. And we love the name of this initiative: VoluntEARS. Because of Mickey, innit.
Off The Record
MCV welcomes you back with a little volunteer action, an amusing magazine debut and bloodthirsty killer gamers...
MCV 08/01/10 41
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... LISA MORGAN, GAME
DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA
MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION
DON MCCABE, CHIPS
TIM ELLIS, HMV
KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM
JADE RAYMOND GETS LUCKY Ubisoft producer and fanboy drool-inducer Jade Raymond has made her lifestyle magazine debut. Calm down though, lads: it’s a women’s lifestyle mag. Featuring in the ‘How I’m Wired…’ section of US style bible Lucky’s January issue, Jade reveals she’s “a sucker for anything new and pink” and has become rather attached to a pair of binoculars because “you never know when having superhero-strength vision will come in handy.” Riveting stuff, no? And we don’t know what’s in her coffee to provoke that sort of smile, but we want some.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I should have had 20 games [by now]. The X Factor should have been the initial vehicle to have Activision come to us and say: ‘Can you help launch Guitar Hero?’” Simon Cowell realises that maybe, just maybe, there’s money to be made in games. I’D KILL FOR A WII Some of the UK’s most notorious killers are being taught a new range of stabbing and slashing motions thanks to the 22 Wii consoles that have been shipped to high-security hospital Broadmoor. The hospital claims it helps the inmates’ rehabilitation. Apparently even the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has been spotted enjoying some Wii Sports’ bowling. We reckon he’s probably a dab hand at Trauma Centre as well.
SARAH JASPER, THE HUT
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
AZEEM SADIQ, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S
PHIL MOORE, GRAINGER GAMES
42 MCV 08/01/10
OFF THE RECORD MOORE: TIGER’S STILL GRRRRREAT It seems no amount of personal scandal is enough to stop Electronic Arts wanting to be Tiger’s bit on the side – in a strictly professional manner, of course. EA Sports boss Peter Moore backed up the tabloid-baiting golfer this week, reiterating that the games deal with the superstar is based on his golfing ability. “By his own admission, he’s made some mistakes off the course,” said Moore. “But regardless of his personal life and his decision to take a personal leave from the sport, Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest athletes.” See, Tiger? Some people still love ya.
GAMES OR GIRLS? It turns out Andy Murray isn’t the only one forced to pick between his hobby and his honey. High School Musical star Zac Efron is reportedly in serious danger of being dumped if he doesn’t turn off the Xbox and spend more time with his girlfriend and co-star Vanessa Hudgens. Of course, she didn’t help herself by buying the games for him as gifts – next Christmas, get him a pair of socks.
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Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk
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MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA.
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Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman, Rob Crossley
Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk
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Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk
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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.
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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
Marketing Highlights Â…"NVMUJNJMMJPO pound triple-A advertising and marketing campaign
Â….BKPS57DPNQPOFOU including Channel 4, Sky Sports, E4, Sky Movies, ITV 2, ITV 4, Sky 1, 2, 3, Film 4, MTV, Channel 5 etc
Â…)JHIJNQBDUPOMJOF creative including Video pre-roll
Â…0OMJOFUBLFPWFST with leading specialist sites including Gamespot, IGN and Eurogamer
Â…)FBWZFYQPTVSF through cover features in the UK games press
Â…)JHIQSPÂžMFNBJOTUSFBNDPWFSBHF with major lifestyle and national publications including FHM and The Sun
9th February 2010 www.bioshock2game.com
© 2002-2010 Take-Two Interactive Software and its subsidiaries. Developed by 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K China and Digital Extremes. BioShock, 2K Games, 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K China, the 2K Games logo, the 2K Marin logo, the 2K Australia logo, the 2K China logo and Take-Two Interactive Software are all trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Digital Extremes and its logo are trademarks of Digital Extremes. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows Vista Start button, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are tra demarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and “Games for Windows” and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. “PlayStation”, “PLAYSTATION” and “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other marks and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.