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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 572 Friday January 29 2010 £3.25
05 Trading places
16 BBC’s game plan
New publisher Tradewest signed by Black Bean to distribute key 2010 titles
MCV speaks to the key people at BBC Worldwide looking to get into games
06 PS3 hits UK milestone
21 MCV AWARDS 2010
Sony console surpasses 3m landmark thanks to price cut and strong software
Your complete guide to lobbying for the industry’s most coveted awards
07 Koch goes global
31 Digital comes of age
German boss outlines plans to grow business into North America
MCV looks at the changes in PC gaming and how that impacts digital pricing
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
World Cup glory in sight as FIFA passes 2m mark EA prepares summer tie-in Chart domination assured? EA is celebrating the success of the latest FIFA
by Christopher Dring FIFA 10 HAS sold 2.2m units in the UK already – and with the boost of this summer’s World Cup, it could go on to become the biggest-selling game in the series so far. The publisher has confirmed it will again release an official World Cup tie-in title, potentially giving it the summer’s biggest video game. 2010 FIFA World Cup is due on Friday, April 30th on Wii, PSP, Xbox 360 and PS3. The new game will arrive during one of the most prosperous times for the FIFA franchise – FIFA 10 swept past the 2m in milestone in just three months. “There’s no denying FIFA 10 is the best football game
ever and the innovations we have brought to the genre over the years have helped get us to where we are now,” EA Sports’ marketing manager Trevor Uzice told MCV. “We’re all massive football fans and that definitely comes across in our campaigns. All departments work closely to make sure we’re taking the game to the right audiences and maximise every opportunity.” He added: “We’re excited to be releasing our World Cup game to coincide with the tournament. It’s a big year for England, expectations are high and we’re hoping we’ll both be very successful this summer.” Despite a new SKU, EA is not turning its back on FIFA 10 with the FIFA Ultimate
Team download due next month. The release is part of EA’s strategy of developing new releases with DLC. “FIFA 10 is a season-long franchise and we’re excited to be releasing FIFA Ultimate Team in February,” continued Uzice. “My Live Season, which launched in October, is a much fuller experience than it was on FIFA 09 and, again, it’s gone down very well with our community. “As a company we’re already adapting and looking at bringing exciting online content to our franchises. “The release of the boxed product is only the beginning and we’re continuing to innovate through exciting online offerings including My Live Season.”
Anti-game blunder shames newspaper by Rob Crossley A NATIONAL newspaper blamed video games for the rise in rickets cases last week – only to reveal to MCV days later it hadn’t done its research. Metro cited data from a Newcastle University paper, but study authors Prof Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham quickly debunked this take on their findings. MCV contacted the author of the original story, only to find that the paper – which has over 3m daily readers – didn’t read the actual study it was quoting from, but instead pulled quotes from the press release bundled with it. While a front-page headline pulled from a basic press release is good enough for Metro, ELSPA told MCV that it
wants to see the paper aim a bit higher. ELSPA director general Mike Rawlinson said the story was a classic case of “very inaccurate reporting”, adding that the paper’s hostility was out of touch with its readers.
“We will be speaking to Metro to put the matter straight with them,” he added. “And we’ll ask to speak to the journalist who wrote the story.”
Sega signs Downing by Christopher Dring RETAIL GURU Anna Downing has joined Sega as senior product manager. Downing has worked in games retail for almost ten years in a variety of buying and marketing roles. Most recently she was product marketing manager at GAME, a position she took when Gamestation’s York head office merged with GAME’s Basingstoke HQ last year. Prior to Gamestation, Downing held a senior marketing role at HMV. “I’m delighted to have joined Sega at this particularly exciting time,” commented Downing. “In addition to their renowned gaming heritage and
fantastic catalogue of software products, Sega has a fantastic line-up for 2010 and beyond.” Sega’s UK marketing director Amanda Farr added: “We are very pleased Anna has joined the UK team. She has a wealth of marketing and retail experience which will benefit the quality line up of products that Sega has to offer.”
PERSONNEL 42 RETAIL BIZ 43 NEW RELEASES 49 HIGH STREET 50 CHARTS 52
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[LEADER] MEDIA STUDIES WHEN A COLLEAGUE brandished last Friday’s Metro at me, I imagine my response was the same as everyone else’s: I just rolled my eyes. After the Change4Life outrage last year, the Manhunt/Manhunt 2 furores before that, and even the Daily Mail’s lastminute storm in a teacup ‘goat gate’, not much can surprise when it comes to the various ways some people in the media who just don’t get games can vilify the hobby. The Metro report at least deserves a pat on the back for originality. MCV was delighted to understand that today’s army of unpredictable, sociopathic, murdering gamers are thwarted by the humble stairway thanks to the debilitating condition their love of games has allegedly inflicted on them. And we were simply amused when Metro’s allegation come unstuck when presented with its very own kryptonite – facts.
“So what? One newspaper still doesn’t get games. That’s their problem, not ours.” In seriousness (well, as serious as you can take such preposterous headlines, anyway) this is just another case of someone getting it wrong. The ignorance and very outlandishness behind a ‘Gaming leads to surge in rickets’ headline says everything. We’re all used to this happening by now; no one said ubiquity came quickly or easily. And perhaps the industry could be flattered by it. Games are now in the same league as any other well-established cultural pursuit that can be described as lethal by a rent-a-quote pundit. In the quest for an easy headline, desperate journalists will cut corners. But when it comes to the bigger picture, games don’t get it that bad overall. Let’s not forget that usually newspapers give games a good ride. From The Independent to The Sun, the industry’s at times a little spoilt for choice when it comes to mainstream coverage. Games get more analytical pieces, reviews and anecdotal ‘and finally…’ stories than ever before. Often those pieces are still written with a sense of wonder about games – most writers aren’t bored of us yet. So one newspaper doesn’t get it. That’s their problem, not ours.
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL LOBBYING for this year’s MCV Awards opens today. As we explain in the thorough guide to the event in this issue, these are the only awards which give everyone in the trade, from peripherals company to publisher – by way of retail and even the creative firms responsible for our best ads – a moment in the spotlight. We’ve even overhauled the PR Team prize to allow a panel of journalists to choose the winner, proving the awards are constantly evolving and improving. Turn to page 21 for the full guide to the event. Michael French@intentmedia.co.uk
BBC readies multiple Doctor Who games Iconic characters set to feature in a variety of new titles soon by Michael French BBC WORLDWIDE HAS told MCV that talks are underway to turn Doctor Who into an array of new games. Last week the broadcaster exclusively revealed via MCV that it plans to re-enter games – after killing off its BBC Multimedia division in 2005. As part of the move, a variety of licensing deals for key BBC IPs are in the offing, with the BBC finally releasing its grip on the coveted Doctor Who licence. Until now, the BBC has held off making a game based on the popular TV show, only allowing Eidos to release Top Trumps: Doctor Who in 2008. But that’s set to change. “We’re having a lot of interesting discussions for a variety of ideas around Doctor Who that are complementary to each rather than in
competition with each other – boxed product console games, virtual worlds and other experiences,” explained Dave Anderson, head of multimedia development at BBC Worldwide. “The deals we are looking at are in different spaces, probably looking at overlapping but different audiences and are certainly delivering a different
kind of experience. “The Doctor Who audience who love that show want to have different experiences around it and it has a huge shelf life going back 47 years – it’s about managing and satisfying expectations of both older and younger audiences.” To learn more about BBC Worldwide’s new games push turn to page 16
Merlin rights up for grabs, too by Christopher Dring ANOTHER BBC Saturday night TV show could become a game this year as well. Rights-holder and production house FremantleMedia is on the hunt for partners to create a game based on fantasy drama Merlin. The show can be seen in some 165 countries and boasts 6m viewers in the UK. A third series is currently planned for a September launch, complete with a variety of licensing tie-ins including, playsets, figurines, DVDs, books, costumes, calendars, bags, wallets and more. “We are already talking to a number of games companies,
but nothing has been signed yet,” said VP of brand licensing and retail at Fremantle, Pindy O’Brien. “It’s quite perfect for a video game, with Arthur and Merlin trying to conquer evil, and all the weird and wonderful characters. The third series begins in September, so
hopefully we can have something out for the end of the year – if not we can always look towards next year. “I think this could be a real core game. It is one of our key properties and the BBC is fully committed to Merlin.” FreemantleMedia: 020 7691 6000
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Tradewest and Black Bean forge publishing partnership TOP 10
[PRE ORDERS] MASS EFFECT 2 360 EA
New Euro publisher to handle UK and French release of racing and lifestyle games by Michael French GAMES FROM Italian publisher Black Bean will be released in the UK via up-andcoming firm Tradewest, MCV can reveal. The new publisher label, founded by Martin Spiess following the collapse of Midway’s European operation, has been chosen to distribute Black Bean’s games in the UK and France. All of the Italian firm’s 2010 games will be sold into retail and marketed by Tradewest. “We´re delighted to announce our distribution partnership with Black Bean
2. BIOSHOCK 2 360 ....................................2K GAMES
3. MAG: COLLECTOR’S EDITION PS3 ..........................................SONY
4. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX SALES DRIVE: Spiess’ (left) Tradewest will publish the racing titles from Black Bean, headed by Virgilio Bixio (far left)
portfolio of products that addresses a broad audience from casual to core gamers. Black Bean Games has a long
These products address a broad audience from casual to core gamers. Black Bean has a long history of quality. Martin Spiess, Tradewest
Games for two of the most important markets in Europe,” said Spiess. “Black Bean Games provides an outstanding
history of delivering quality product. Combined with our team’s longtime distribution and marketing expertise we’re confident that our partnership
will greatly benefit both Black Bean Games and Tradewest Games for years to come.” Titles covered by the agreement include console and PC racer Superstars V8 Next Challenge in February, Wii title NewU Fitness First Mind, Body, Yoga & Pilates in March, multiplayer game NatGeo Quiz Wild Life in April and console and PC motorbike sim SBK X in May. The pair are also handling the return of the WRC to games – the new title hits PS3, 360 and PC in Q4.
“The distribution deal with Tradewest Games for the UK and French market marks an important step forward in the international strategy of Black Bean Games,” said Virgilio Bixio, CEO of Black Bean. “We were impressed by the cooperation and the enthusiasm of the marketing and sales team. The group at Tradewest has all the skills and the experience to launch our original franchises successfully in UK as well as in France.”
5. HEAVY RAIN PS3 ..........................................SONY
6. BIOSHOCK 2 PS3 ....................................2K GAMES
7. FINAL FANTASY XIII: SPEC ED. PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX
8. GOD OF WAR III PS3 ..........................................SONY
9. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION PS3 ..........................................SONY
10. ALIEN VS PREDATOR 360 ..........................................SEGA Week ending January 29th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 51 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
Tradewest: 020 7456 0450
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… The UK games software market fell 19 per cent last week, down to £18.6 million. Unit sales also fell 19 per cent to 829,704. It is the fourth consecutive decline in game sales since the Christmas week. Capcom’s Dark Void was the only game of note launched last week, so once again sales were driven by Ubisoft’s Just Dance and Activision’s Modern Warfare 2. However, both games saw a decline in sales this week.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending January 23rd 2010
25 20 15 10
Next week’s sales data should make for better reading, with the muchanticipated release of EA’s Mass Effect 2 on Xbox 360 and Sony’s MAG on PlayStation 3.
Just Dance held firm at No.1 in the UK charts this week
0 Week Ending January 9th
Week Ending January 16th
Week Ending January 23rd
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Dance smash backs MCV Awards as event nears record sell-out Ubisoft’s Just Dance to sponsor After Party at MCV Awards 2010 Lobbying opens for potential finalists by Stuart Dinsey WIN OR LOSE, at least guests at this year's MCV Awards will be able to shake their booty into the small hours thanks to current charttopper Just Dance. The Wii game from Ubisoft has provided the biggest surprise of 2010 so far by outselling everything during midJanuary, remaining at number one for a fortnight. Just Dance is the sponsor of this year’s After Party at the MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2010, which takes place on Thursday, April 22nd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London. “Just Dance has been brilliantly supported by the trade and is part of a real longterm strategy for us,” said Ubisoft’s brand manager Rachael Grant.
“We know that every retail buyer and all key media will be at the MCV Awards. It is a hugely important event, so this partnership delivers excellent cut-through for us.” The awards are almost sold out and will host over 600 retailers and execs from all sectors of the business. New categories this year include Game Creative (based on a single ad execution) and Peripherals & Accessories Brand. Other sponsors include Nintendo (Retail Partner) and Codemasters (Pre-Event Reception Partner), plus award-specific sponsors AntiGrav Media, The Hut and Premier Public Relations. Pre-Event Reception Partner
AWARDS LOBBYING OPENS Companies can now put themselves forward as potential finalists for this year's MCV Awards. Lobbying for the 17 main awards. Detail should be sent to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Turn to page 17 for our guide to the event.
Euro PR role for EA’s Goddard JONATHAN GODDARD is set to take up the new role of senior manager of European PR for the EA Games label. Goddard is due to leave his current position of senior PR manager for EA UK on February 1st and join the European team to bolster the firm’s releases on the continent. “EA is a phenomenal place to work and I’m excited to be able to expand my role within the company and help define product PR strategy in such a vital region,” said Goddard. UK PR director Simon Smith-Wright added: “It’ll be sad to lose Jon from the UK team. However, it’s great to have someone with solid
Goddard joins the European EA PR team next week
territory PR experience and a media background representing European PR interests for EA Games titles.” Goddard joined EA in 2007 as UK PR manager and was
promoted to his current position last year. He has led UK PR campaigns titles such as Dead Space, Mass Effect 2, Army of Two and Mirror’s Edge. EA: 01483 463000
UK PS3 SALES TOP THREE MILLION The PlayStation 3 has sold more than three million units in the UK alone. A strong first-party software line-up and the price cut announced at last year’s Gamescom have been highlighted as key factors in this success. Sony UK MD Ray Maguire said: “We’d like to offer a huge thank you to our retail partners in helping us pass the three million PS3 milestone. “The £249 price point is enabling us to reach a much broader audience and our line-up of software, including Heavy Rain and God Of War III, should help maintain the momentum.”
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Koch targets global domination German entertainment giant takes minority stake in SouthPeak as it seeks to capture US market share by Christopher Dring KOCH MEDIA wants to be a global games force, with US success the vital next step for the firm. Deep Silver – Koch’s publishing label – has teamed up with SouthPeak Games to help boost its presence in North America. The US firm
“We have invested heavily in product development and are very excited about our upcoming release schedule. The SouthPeak organisation instantly brings a vast wealth of marketing, PR and distribution to Deep Silver. “It would have taken Deep Silver US some time to build a great team like SouthPeak’s.
Success in the US has often been based upon a company’s reputation and willingness to work with retail. Klemens Kundratitz, Koch
will work with Koch on marketing, retail placement and distribution. “Koch Media has a welldefined strategic initiative to expand our global reach,” said Koch Media International CEO Klemens Kundratitz “Naturally the US games business, both retail and online, is a logical extension to our success here in Europe.
Being able to immediately draw upon their strengths allows Deep Silver to focus on product and brand development, while growing internally at a modest and fiscally responsible pace. “Furthermore, success in the US games industry has often been based upon a company’s reputation and willingness to work with retail.”
KOCH CEO Kundratitz is optimistic that Deep Silver can become a big player in North America by partnering with SouthPeak
As a part of the deal, Koch has acquired a minority stake in SouthPeak Games, which is set to bring the two firms even closer together. “We see a great deal of potential in Koch Media and SouthPeak partnering and believe it can create tremendous value for both companies,” added Kundratitz. “Additionally, taking a minority position in the company further signifies our confidence in SouthPeak’s ability to execute on its strategic expansion initiatives as well as to expand our partnering activities and align the interests of both parties. “SouthPeak is one the fastest growing publishers in the industry and they bring us established relationships with key industry players that can support our goal to broaden our reach among leading constituents in both the packaged goods and interactive and social gaming space.” Koch: 0870 027 0985
Rising Star signs new Marvelous deal
PlayV dominates DS pre-order charts PLAYV’S upcoming Purple Hills range is dominating the DS pre-order charts at several leading online retailers. At the time of writing, the company’s Jewel Match is at No.1 on Play.com’s chart, followed closely by fellow Purple Hills title Titanic Mystery. Both games have garnered more pre-orders than
the highly anticipated Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver. On Amazon’s DS pre-order chart, Titanic Mystery comes in second – only beaten by DSi XL. PlayV’s Around The World In 80 Days came in fourth, with Jewel Match in sixth. “The Purple Hills range has been hugely popular in Germany, selling over 1.1
million units last year,” said marketing manager Brian Faller. “With the first titles placing so high on many DS pre-order charts and beating some highly anticipated titles on the platform, we are confident the Purple Hills brand can match, if not surpass, the figures coming out of Germany.” PlayV: 01582 436 040
RISING STAR GAMES has told MCV it has secured the rights to Marvelous Entertainment’s future release, thanks to a new agreement between the two companies. A share restructuring announced earlier this week led to Marvelous selling its controlling stake in Rising Star Games to fellow Japanese publisher Intergrow. However, Rising Star has assured the trade that it will still be handling Marvelous’ software catalogue, which includes popular brands such as Harvest Moon.
“I am delighted to have secured further additional backing from an important Japanese company, whilst continuing our content relationship with Marvelous,” said Rising Star managing director Martin Defries. “It is further vindication that Rising Star Games has the right strategy, outlook and prospects. “We’ve an exciting line-up for the next quarter and will soon make announcement for products due later in 2010 that emphasise our growth and optimism.” Rising Star: 01582 433700
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Bigben returns to the UK Peripherals giant to release its own games and hardware range in the UK Ann Hurley heads up UK office by Christopher Dring BIGBEN HAS announced it is returning to the UK following its split with former distribution partner Venom. The French peripherals manufacturer and software publisher will now launch its
industry, including stints at US Gold, 2020 Logistics, Focus Multimedia and Europress. “Bigben Interactive has succeeded in securing big market share numbers around Europe and we would like to see the same success within the UK,” said Hurley.
The UK is such an important market to get right and I’m confident that we have the right strategy to achieve this. Ann Hurley, Bigben
products in the UK itself. Only a selection of its games are currently available in the UK – including My Body Coach and Cyberbike, which are on sale at Argos. Industry veteran Ann Hurley will handle sales and marketing in the UK. Hurley has spent 20 years working in the games
“We have some great new product ranges launching this year, which we plan to support extensively with marketing, so I hope this will be a move that will be welcomed by all of our retail partners.” Bigben CEO Alain Falc added: “The UK is such an important market to get right
BIG PLANS: Ann Hurley will use her 20 years of experience to help Bigben establish itself in the UK
and I’m confident that we have now identified the right strategy and the right team to achieve this.” Bigben is set to launch its DSi XL peripherals range next
month, which will be followed by a licensed range of Marvel accessories for multiple formats. Bastion has been hired to handle PR and marketing for these products, as well as
Bigben’s current catalogue of games and hardware. The distribution agreement between Bigben and Venom will end on February 3rd. Bigben: 07787 283 951
Trilogy to be rebranded as Gem Logistics THE SURVIVING elements of UK distributor Trilogy are soon to be rebranded as Gem Logistics. The move follows Gem’s acquisition of Trilogy back in December, and will allow the distributor to further develop both businesses. Trilogy founder and Gem Logistics’ general manager Matthew Allen revealed the imminent changes during an interview with MCV. “Trilogy is just a name and the real value in the acquisition was always in the experience of the management team and staff,” explained Allen. “Gem will shortly be rebranding Trilogy as Gem Logistics and, along with Gem’s existing primary distribution partners including
Codemasters and Take Two, will be developing a best of breed distribution solution for DVD, music and video games publishers. “Gem’s senior management team have been incredibly supportive and have already
Allen assured clients that the efficient service they have come to know and expect from Trilogy will still be present at Gem Logistics, as Gem works to preserve as much as possible. “Fundamentally very little will change as we have
Gem’s investment will see us develop our infrastructure and systems to improve our support for our partners. Matthew Allen, Gem Logistics
committed to significant investments to enable us to continue to develop this business. With Gem’s financial backing, we are all committed to achieving great things and to continuing to build on our previous successes.”
managed to retain all of our key staff and will continue to operate as a separate business under the existing senior management team,” he said. “Gem’s investment will see us develop our infrastructure and systems to ensure that we
NEW ERA: Trilogy founder Matthew Allen pledges that Gem Logistics will maintain its standards and services following its rebranding
are better placed to develop our services and improve the support that we provide to our existing and future partners. “I think it’s essential to keep the business as familiar as possible with a key focus on service levels and adding value
to our partners. Our attitude has always been a ‘can do’ one and this will continue as we focus on the future development of the business.” Gem: 01279 822800
For the full interview, turn to page 13
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Balance Board to bolster Super Monkey Ball series Sega confident Wii peripheral can broaden audience of long-running arcade franchise by James Batchelor SUPER MONKEY BALL: Step & Roll will expand the fanbase for its long-running arcade-style puzzle franchise, thanks to Balance Board compatibility. That’s according to Sega, which is holding high hopes
“It’s going to broaden the reach of Super Monkey Ball games even further, and that can only be a good thing.” The previous Super Monkey Ball released on Wii, Banana Blitz, sold through over 250,000 units, and Sega is hoping to top this with Step & Roll. To help boost the game further,
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll is the most accessible title yet. It’s going to broaden the series’ reach even further. Kate Billingham, Sega
for the upcoming Wii title, due for release on February 12th. The firm believes the device’s accessibility will introduce the series to a whole new audience. “This is the first time any game in the series has utilised the Balance Board, which opens up a whole new way to play,” Sega PR and marketing exec Kate Billingham told MCV.
the company has drawn up a targeted marketing push. The majority of the campaign will be aimed at children, such as a partnership with popular kids’ site, Bin Weevils, which will host treasure hunts and launch parties. There will also be contests, puzzles and ads in kids’ print press, as well as community-
“How-To-Draw lends itself to the category of interactive games and software,” says Christopher Hart. “I can offer the most popular, cutting edge drawing programs based on my books. I have characters and cartoon styles that are targeted to specific age groups and genders. “I have built-in market research: we simply select the best-selling books from amongst all of the Christopher Hart library of 60 plus titles, and turn it into e-content.” www.atnewmedia.com
SONY: The PS3 Motion Controller will is now due for launch in the autumn, as opposed to the March release date previously hinted at. SCE boss Kaz Hirai claimed this was to ensure Sony can offer “an exciting and varied line-up of software” at launch. NINTENDO: New Super Mario Bros Wii has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. More than 4.5 million were sold in North America, while Japan and Europe each racked up sales of around 3 million copies. WARNER: LEGO Batman: The Videogame has sold more than one million copies in the UK since it launched in September 2008. The game’s sales have been boosted recently by its inclusion in Microsoft’s hardware bundles along with Disney’s Pure.
SPRING BOARD: AiAi and friends could become more popular than ever thanks to the Wii Balance Board-compatible Step & Roll
dedicated challenges targeting veteran fans through YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. “We think Step & Roll is the most accessible title yet,” added Billingham. “The Balance Board element fits perfectly with the rolling gameplay mechanic and
really brings the collection of puzzles to life. “Super Monkey Ball has a strong heritage, and with every title the quality just gets better. If you’re a fan or a newcomer, there’s something to suit you.” Sega: 020 8995 3399
Art books getting Pinpoint signs new Wii and DS games WWE licensing deal HOW-TO-DRAW author Christopher Hart wants to launch a series of art games that utilises the DS stylus, as well as Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3’s motion controllers. Hart’s books, which teach readers to draw a wide range of subjects – from Manga to human anatomy – have sold more than 2.5 million copies around the world. And, following the success of THQ’s Drawn to Life, Hart has hired licensing agent AT New Media to capture the video game audience.
A NEW RANGE of WWElicensed accessories will soon hit shelves, thanks to a new deal between the wrestling federation and Pinpoint Consumer Electonics. Under the agreement, the peripherals firm will be able to produce and market accessories and other products boasting officially licensed images of WWE’s most popular wrestlers, as well as the official WWE hologram of authenticity.
SQUARE ENIX: A Limited Collector’s Edition of Final Fantasy XIII will be released for Xbox 360 and PS3 on March 9th. The product will include a copy of the game, a CD soundtrack, art prints and a hardback book: The World Of Final Fantasy XIII. ZAVVI: The online retailer has won the exclusive rights to the Rapture Edition of BioShock 2 for Xbox 360 and PS3. This will include a copy of the game and an Deco Devolution: The Art Of BioShock 2 book.
The first batch of products due for release includes the Crystal Case for DS Lite and DSi, and its PSP Console Case. These will features picture of John Cena, The Undertaker, Ray Mysterio and other stars. “We’re really excited to add these product lines to our evergrowing portfolio of products,” said Tom Armstrong, Pinpoint’s product manager. Pinpoint: 01606 558 428
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Gamescom targets UK trade Chartered flights available as organisers plan to attract more Brits MCV and Develop sign as partners GAMESCOM MEDIA PARTNERS REVEALED
by Christopher Dring THE TEAM BEHIND Gamescom wants to increase the number of UK trade visitors to Gamescom this year. A healthy number of UK attendees visited the show in 2009. But this year Koelnmesse chief executive Oliver P. Kuhrt hopes to see an even bigger British turnout, with an array of travel options available – including chartered flights. “More than 90 per cent of the trade visitors were pleased about their visit to Gamescom last year, and said they’d like to come again in 2010,” Kuhrt told MCV. “Moreover, the high level of international visitors was a big positive. For instance, ten per cent of all trade visitors came from Great Britain – a satisfactory number that we would like to increase this year.
Gamescom has appointed MCV and Develop as its official media partners. The event will take place in Cologne from August 18th to the 22nd, and in the build-up to the event both publications will run a series of previews, as well as registration, exhibitor and trip-planning details. That is as well as extensive online coverage before and during the show on www.mcvuk.com and www.developmag.com. “This agreement with MCV and Develop underlines the wide appeal of Gamescom to the international business community,” said Koelnmesse chief executive Oliver P. Kuhrt.
TAKE OFF: Chartered flights are available for international visitors to Gamescom 2010
More than 90 per cent of trade visitors to Gamescom in 2009 said they’d like to come again this year. Oliver P. Kuhrt, Koelnmesse
“Cologne is situated in the heart of Europe and can be reached easily and quickly. Cologne Bonn airport connects
Cologne with the international video games community in 45 different countries. The airport reaches about 180 destinations
and 100 of these routes are covered by low cost carriers, including Cologne to London. “In cooperation with Air Partner, we are also able to offer individual chartered aircrafts, from helicopters and exclusive jets to widebodied aircrafts.” Gamescom 2010 takes place in Cologne on Wednesday,
August 18th and will run until Sunday, August 22nd. More details on travelling to Cologne and where to stay can be found on the Gamescom website at www.gamescomcologne.com/travelservice. For more on Gamescom 2010 check out our full interview with Oliver P. Kuhrt on page 18.
Games anime spin-offs due in February FEATURE-LENGTH ANIME films based on hot gaming properties will be hitting retail shelves next month. Dante’s Inferno: The Animated Movie is due for release from Anchor Bay Entertainment UK on Monday, February 8th, arriving three
exploring the universe of Microsoft’s flagship FPS series. Both products will be released on DVD and Blu-ray. The films have been created with the help of leading film studios, including Film Roman, Production I.G and Toei Animation. Between them, the
We’re pleased to be working with Microsoft. Halo Legends provides some great backstory and is a treat for fans.
Dan Gilson, Warner Home Video
days after the upcoming action adventure game from Electronic Arts. Following this, Warner Home Video will release Halo Legends on February 15th,
firms boast a portfolio that includes Ghost In The Shell, Dragon Ball, Digimon and Dead Space: Downfall. Halo Legends is a compilation of seven
standalone stories set within Microsoft and Bungie’s hugely popular universe, produced by Microsoft’s 343 Industries. Some of the episodes have already been broadcast through the Halo Waypoint portal on Xbox 360 and will now be available to consumers on disc for the first time. “Halo is one of the truly great gaming narratives,” said Warner Home Video product manager Dan Gilson. “We are really pleased to be working with Microsoft and handling this animated title, it provides some great backstory to the Halo universe and is a real treat for fans of the series.” Meanwhile, Dante’s Inferno: The Animated Movie follows the storyline of the first part of
DVD and Blu-ray films based on the Halo series (top) and EA’s Dante’s Inferno (right) are due next month
Dante Alighieri’s 13th Century epic poem The Divine Comedy, as well as Electronic Arts’ upcoming video game adaptation. Anchor Bay’s product manager Thom Leaman said: “We are really pleased to be working alongside EA on the release of Dante’s Inferno.
“The film ties into the game as both have the same modern version of the original storyline. Watching the film is a great way for fans to continue the experience that they have enjoyed while playing the game.” PremierPR: 020 7292 8330
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MCV 29/01/10 11
NEWS ANALYSIS: JUST DANCE’S JOURNEY
Just Dance has done well even in the face of a competitive Wii market and a recent wash of titles aimed at the hardcore
DANCING WII’S TROUBLES AWAY When a casual title topples Call of Duty from the top of the charts, can publishers still insist it’s not possible to succeed on Wii? James Batchelor looks at how Just Dance grew into a hit… THE SURPRISE NEWS that Ubisoft’s Just Dance topped the All Formats Chart last week was, let’s be honest, a bit of a jawdropper. While the game had grown in popularity since its debut, rising from No.100 to No.3 in the space of six weeks, few would have expected it to seize the No.1 spot – least of all from the grasp of Activision Blizzard’s revenue goliath Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game’s victory is multi-faceted. In addition to dethroning one of the world’s biggest selling entertainment products ever, it has undermined the conventional wisdom that has dogged Nintendo: it turns out third-party publishers can succeed on the Wii. DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION The charts speak for themselves. While it’s true that no game holds the top spot forever – Modern Warfare 2’s decline was inevitable given that millions of consumers have already purchased the game – that does not change the fact that the odds were arguably against Just Dance ever becoming No.1. But Nintendo and Ubisoft both believe the game proves that the Wii’s ship certainly hasn’t sailed yet. “I think it is indicative of the current market and how many actual Wii owners there are in the UK that are looking for a game that is pure and simple fun like Just Dance,” says Ubisoft brand manager Rachael Grant. “If the game is the right game and is targeted at the right audience then there is no reason why third-party publishers can’t become successful on Wii. Just Dance has clearly offered
something unique to casual gamers and is not trying to be something it isn’t – it does what it says on the tin and consumers have embraced its simplicity and concept.” Nintendo’s senior product manager Robert Lowe adds: “It is not hard to have successful titles on Wii and DS if the right commitment is made behind the right product. There is a tendency to assume that third-party games don’t perform on Wii or DS – this is simply not true. “Wii has the biggest home console installed base and is the most successful home console of this generation. It is a potential goldmine for publishers who are willing to support their titles on the format.”
JUST THE TICKET And boy did Ubisoft get the support right. As MCV reported just before Christmas, the industry’s average marketing spend was down for Q4 2009 but campaigns were still essential to success. Ubisoft’s extensive efforts to promote Just Dance were a testament to this, making it impossible to deny that marketing played a significant role in the game’s achievements. “Just Dance’s success is down to all the elements of our marketing campaign working together,” says Grant. “Trial and awareness, the current dance craze going on at the moment, great word of mouth, a targeted TV campaign, online and print media support – these all culminated in a great success for Just Dance.” To give the target audience a greater understanding
of Just Dance and its selling points, the game was featured as part of Ubisoft’s nationwide shopping tours, including the Imagine Tour, giving consumers a chance to try it out for themselves. From this, word of mouth spread among the public – something Grant believes had a vital part to play in Just Dance’s rise through the charts. The heavily targeted TV campaign was also crucial. In addition to ad spots secured during key TV shows such as The X Factor, Just Dance was also
Toppling Modern Warfare 2 from the top of the charts is more than just a triumph in the ongoing battles between rival publishers – it’s a great example of shift in the UK’s general gaming demographic, and of the dwindling dominance of self-proclaimed hardcore gamers. Of all the titles that could have risen up in the wake of Call Of Duty’s nineweek chart-topping spree, it was a casual dancing game for Wii that emerged victorious – despite the recent arrival of ‘traditional’ hits such as Bayonetta and Darksiders. Ubisoft, however, believes this was inevitable. “The gaming industry has definitely expanded and changed over the years but there has always been an audience of casual gamers out there who are looking for something that is made with them in mind,” says Grant. “The demographic is not so much changing as evolving and adapting to their surrounding environment. As technology evolves, it is inevitable that more and more people are going to look to new resources for their entertainment fix, such as video games. “The fact that Just Dance was the game to knock Modern Warfare 2 off the top spot shows that the gaming demographic out there is as much casual as it is core and that the casual market is very much alive and kicking. There is a huge audience for fun, social party games that breaks down barriers and brings everyone together.”
Just Dance’s success shows that the gaming demographic out there is as much casual as it is core. Rachael Grant, Ubisoft featured on programmes such as The Gadget Show and Sky One’s Angela & Friends. All this proves that if publishers make the effort to market their titles effectively to the coveted casual audience – which despite its breadth can be somewhat elusive with its irregular spending habits – they can be successful even on the most competitive format. “Just Dance is a well-produced, fun and relevant game that has received full marketing support from Ubisoft,” says Lowe. “They have invested in the marketing in the title both preChristmas and after, having embraced the new sales curve seen by the expanded audience.”
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12 MCV 29/01/10
EK E W E H T F O N IG A P CAM BIOSHOCK 2 2K Games prepares a significant marketing push in support of its mega sequel, BioShock 2â€Ś
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MCV 29/01/10 13
MCV INTERVIEW MATTHEW ALLEN, GENERAL MANAGER, GEM LOGISTICS
Polishing Gem After Gem’s acquisition of Trilogy last year, James Batchelor spoke to general manager Matthew Allen about the distributor’s next step… Now that you are owned by Gem, what is the next step for Trilogy? Trilogy is just a name and the real value in the acquisition was always in the experience of the management team and staff. Gem will shortly be re-branding Trilogy to Gem Logistics and, along with Gem’s existing primary distribution partners including Codemasters and Take Two, will be developing a best of breed distribution solution for DVD, music and video games publishers. The senior management team at Gem have been incredibly supportive and have already committed significant investments to enable us to continue to develop this business. Thanks to Gem’s financial backing, we are all committed to achieving great things and continuing to build on our previous successes. How much will change about the way you currently operate? Fundamentally very little will change as we have managed to retain all of our key staff and will continue to operate as
adding value to both our clients and retailer partners. Our general attitude has always been a ‘can do’ one and this will continue as we focus on the future development of the business. Will this department be expanded or streamlined in any way? We absolutely intend to develop this business and Gem’s support makes this possible in a way that I could only have dreamed of before. Expansion is key, but in a controlled manner. And although our development plans are well advanced, it would be premature to announce them now. When the time is right, MCV will be the first to know. Do you still have plans to enter the digital distribution space? How do you plan to accomplish this? This is one of many areas in which Gem is looking to develop their proposition. Whether organically or through further acquisitions, we will absolutely have a part to play in digital distribution.
Gem’s support will enable us to develop this business in a way that I could only have dreamed of before. Matthew Allen, Gem Logistics
a separate business under the existing senior management team. Gem’s investment will see us expand our infrastructure and systems to ensure that we are better placed to develop our services. In this way, we can improve the support that we provide to our existing and future partners. What stays the same? Why is it important to maintain that continuity? I think it is essential for us to keep the business as familiar as possible with a key focus being on service levels and
What lessons have you learned from 2009? How will this affect the way you operate this year? In difficult economic times, everything becomes more competitive and ensuring that we never lose sight of our customers’ needs has become even more essential. Having gone through a very tough period, emerging with the majority of our trading relationships intact is a massive testament to the service that we have provided and to the quality of our team. We are committed to ensuring that the support our partners have given us
Now at Gem, Trilogy founder Matthew Allen prepares to develop his distribution business in new ways while still holding true to the practices that made it successful to begin with.
through this difficult period is repaid by unrivalled service in the months and years ahead. What challenges do you now face? Do these differ from those you faced before the acquisition? Running any business is always challenging, and being part of a much larger group will undoubtedly present different challenges. No longer having to worry about the banks will certainly be a pleasant relief and being able to focus all of our energies on developing the business is something that we are all looking forward to. What are your hopes for this year? What do you hope to accomplish? This year is about putting in place the foundations to enable us to become the natural choice for any DVD, music or video games publisher looking for distribution solutions.
There are always many opportunities within the entertainment market and we are already in discussion with a number of potential partners. As the market and our partners’ needs evolve, we will ensure that we evolve with them. What are your long-term goals? Where will the business be in five years’ time? With Gem’s support, I genuinely believe that we will be able to develop an unparalleled business that provides bespoke distribution solutions and more to a broad range of partners. This will include primary distribution, store front distribution, end user fulfilment, web fulfilment, digital distribution or other support services. After more than ten years in this industry, I am convinced that the next five years will be both exciting and challenging and I am looking forward to what the future holds.
ÂŠ SEGA. The CREATIVE ASSEMBLY, TOTAL WAR, NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR and the TOTAL WAR logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Creative Assembly Limited. SEGA and the SEGA logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Windows, the Windows Vista Start button and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and â€˜Games for Windowsâ€™ and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. All rights reserved.
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16 MCV 29/01/10
MCV INTERVIEW THE BBC’S NEW GAME PLAN
New World order IT’S NOT OFTEN that companies in the games space get a second chance. Individuals may regroup to form new companies, but usually if a publisher cocks it up and has to make a sharp exit, they are gone for good. The brand dies. Midway, Acclaim, Empire. But the BBC, which famously ran a games publishing business for a decade until the CD-ROM market it was built on crashed and burned, isn’t like other companies when it comes to games. Gatekeeper to a wealth of IP perfect for video games, the BBC may be different things to different people the world over, but for the games industry, it simply wants to be relevant again. LICENCE FEE TO THRILL
“There are two structural changes within the games industry that have made us refocus on this area,” explains Neil Ross Russell, head of children’s and licensing at BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC overseeing the bulk of the broadcaster’s push back into games. “The first is the emergence of what we see as new gaming business models; the growth of the non-boxed product part of the industry, be that casual games, iPhone games, new social games. Anything where the type of user is different, the price point is lower and the volumes are higher. It’s a lot more relevant to the brands we have in our portfolio – brands like Antiques Roadshow, MasterChef, Top Gear and a lot of the quiz shows we have got. There are lots of opportunities to go through the back catalogue as well as do things with the jewels in our crown. We’re looking to see how they can be applied to those new and exciting areas.” The second area, he says, is the clear fact that during this generation of consoles, video games have hit critical mass with consumers: “DS and Wii is relevant to our children’s brands. The size of the installed bases and the positioning of those platforms in particular suits us – the Wii is in the family living room and not the bedroom, and the DS is something that gets
passed down to siblings and shared between family members.” Because the BBC is funded by the public’s money via the licence fee, any money-making strategies are handled by the vast Worldwide operation, which creates a ‘church and state’ style relationship between the two. What that means is the BBC as most people see it remains a broadcaster of a diverse array of content, with some distance from its commercial cousin Worldwide, which also handles international distribution of that content overseas. That also means not all of the output viewers love is immediately available as the BBC sometimes retains close control over the rights to some programmes. But Ross Russell and colleague Dave Anderson, head of multimedia development at BBC Worldwide, namecheck a range of properties which prove how committed this new games strategy is. There are effectively three types of content that BBC Worldwide has up for grabs, they explain. The first is the many children’s brands the BBC has broadcast and expanded. Historically, the firm’s youth output is iconic around the world – Teletubbies is the best example, right up to the latest big thing In The Night Garden. Other key brands include Charlie and Lola, 3rd & Bird, and new properties such as ZingZillas. From BBC Worldwide’s point of view,
BBC Worldwide’s Neil Ross Russell (above left) and Dave Anderson (above right) are keenly watching changes in the games industry and how it fits with the properties they look after
global games brand… but Teletubbies, or Charlie and Lola, these are brands we have sold around the world already on TV and The games business changed have big audiences. They so much we would have had are big, global to seriously rethink our place opportunities. “I am the least in it anyway. qualified to design a Dave Anderson, BBC Worldwide game, but it’s easy to see that creates a rare opportunity for how you would translate Charlie and publishers targetting platforms like DS Lola into a video gaming environment. and Wii. It’s no stretch of the imagination.” “Outside of Disney we have the best GROWN UP GAMES known line-up of children’s characters Non-children’s brands make up the around the world – so this is a global other two areas of BBC IP that is poised conversation we’re willing to have. to leap into video games. Perhaps more so for the children’s The first half are the aforementioned brands – I don’t really see A Question of local brands dominated by UK Sport or Match of the Day being a
personalities that are culturally specific and won’t exactly work well on a global stage. A Question of Sport, Match of the Day – EastEnders, even. The other brands are of course the ‘box office draw’ that grabs most people’s attention when you say ‘games and the BBC’. Yes, that’s tentpole brands like Doctor Who and other dramas whose adventure qualities suit games well – but don’t forget Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, plus Planet Earth and other natural history shows, says Anderson. Strictly has already made the jump to games with its American counterpart Dancing With the Stars turned into a game for the US by UK studio Zoe Mode under the watch of Activision. The tricky licensing web around the brand means it’s still viable for the UK –
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MCV 29/01/10 17
MCV INTERVIEW THE BBC’S NEW GAME PLAN MCV unveiled BBC Worldwide’s plans to re-establish the broadcaster’s games interests last week. Here, Michael French speaks to the firm’s children’s and licensing head Neil Ross Russell and multimedia development head Dave Anderson to find out more…
WHAT ABOUT WHO? SPECULATION has been rife for years that the BBC wants to turn flagship sci-fi drama Doctor Who into a game. But the broadcaster has held off, only allowing Eidos to release Top Trumps: Doctor Who in 2008. That is set to change now that BBC Worldwide has its sights set on interactive content once again. “We’re having a lot of interesting discussions for a variety of ideas around Doctor Who that are complementary to each rather than in competition with each other – boxed
but Anderson says it’s a good example of the challenge BBC Worldwide faces when it comes to basing games on brands that have global appeal but are populated by local talent. He explains: “The challenge is to make something that can be relevant to each territory but isn’t ruinously expensive.” Doctor Who faces a similar challenge – it’s an iconic sci-fi series, but it’s most popular in the UK of course, plus Canada (which co-funds the latest series) and Australia, but not the USA. Yet BBC Worldwide’s thinking is that while the children’s brands are a clear fit for console releases, the rest suit a different scale of games. A console shooter based on Torchwood isn’t necessarily a priority. Instead Anderson
product, console games, virtual worlds and other experiences,” explains Dave Anderson, head of multimedia development at BBC Worldwide. “The deals we are looking at are in different spaces, and probably looking at overlapping but different audiences and are certainly delivering a different kind of experience. “The Doctor Who audience who love that show want to have different experiences around it and it has a huge shelf life going back 40 years. We have to manage and satisfy expectations of both older and younger audiences.”
says platforms like iPhone and Android, plus the rise of Facebook and virtual worlds means the online arena is ideal for the BBC’s latest step into games given content can be produced quickly and cheaply. “I still have nightmares about starting development on a project and then by the time it hit retail the show was no longer on TV,” says Anderson, referring back to the BBC’s previous games experiments. “The TV is a tremendous strength – its our window on the brands. But this is about speed to market and the economics, because you have lower costs you can build UK-specific opportunities and commercial relationships with distributors, plus we can be the publisher. And there are real opportunities to see how we marry our content and interactive opportunities together.” WORLD SERVICE
But expanding the BBC’s formatagnostic view of content to include games is probably a way off – for now, Worldwide wants to control the gaming destiny for brands that already exist. “We’re a content business. But content is no longer simply pushed out by a broadcaster – interactive content is just as valid as TV,” says Ross Russell. “There are a number of our brands where we would much rather have creative control – so that the app or game is clearly still ‘BBC content’.” It’s a far cry from 2005, when the BBC ditched its Multimedia division. “We learnt some lessons before, but the business changed so dramatically that we would have had to seriously rethink our place in what the market used to be anyway,” says Anderson. Fact is, the traditional games market became so insular and publisher dominated towards the end of the last cycle that the BBC probably wouldn’t have fit in even as a company responsible for boxed product. He adds: “Right now, it’s highly unlikely that we will re-enter the boxed product business. There is little case to be made for that. It makes sense to leave that for the consolidated part of the industry where there are less publishers but
where there is scale for distribution that you can let someone else take care of. The nature and scale of our involvement over the next few years is really undecided, but what is interesting is that we are using different skill sets.” He adds that the different licensing deals mean BBC Worldwide’s games activities will range from taking the role of a publisher closely controlling a title’s release, to straight up licensor. “That means the opportunity to work on a case-by-case basis – if a creative company comes up with a great idea for our properties in interactive space, we will look at it in terms of direct licensing but also see how we can establish a different relationship.” That might be hard to grasp for some of the global publishers, who are used to grabbing a timed, format-wide licensing deal for IPs. But it’s important for how the BBC wants to rebuild its place in the games industry, and build new relationships with games companies. “This is not about opportunistic licensing,” says Anderson. “If we wanted to do that we would have done more with these key brands over the last few years. This is about going into the right place and trying to sustain it.” Top Gear, for one, already has a mobile partner, he adds, while Doctor Who will inevitably be supported by a mix of games (see ‘What about Who?’). It’s also about future-proofing the BBC’s place in games, adds Ross Russell. “The boxed product games industry is going the way the movie industry goes – to persuade someone to pay full price you need to either have an incredible game backed with a big budget or something tied to a Hollywood,” he says. “Do we have any properties we could convince people to pay £40 a pop on? We probably do. Are we prepared to put two or three years of development into that? Probably not. We’re realistic about the brands we have and where they fit. “Our strategy reflects the fact we are TV not film. Film burns bright but burns quickly – people will talk about Avatar for weeks, but Match of the Day has been a fixed favourite for years.”
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18 MCV 29/01/10
MCV INTERVIEW OLIVER P. KUHRT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KOELNMESSE
Com back What was the final verdict on Gamescom 2009? There were more than 245,000 visitors last year, including over 17,000 trade attendees, 458 exhibitors from 31 countries, and there were 1.4 billion media articles written about it. Gamescom set an example in August of last year. The exclusive business area and the spectacular entertainment area, the Game Developers Conference, the games competence focus and the Gamescom festival, all provided the framework of the Gamescom concept, which we’ll further develop in the years to come. And what was the feedback from the attendees? It was positive. The atmosphere in the business area – given the short distances between booths, direct access to the roof of the fair halls, and the attractive lounge and service offer – was very well received. More than 90 per cent of the trade visitors were pleased about their visit to Gamescom and said they’d like to come again. Moreover, the high level of international visitors was a big positive. For instance, ten per cent of all trade visitors came from Great Britain – a satisfactory number that we would like to increase this year. What new additions should visitors look forward to this year? Our aim is to develop the Gamescom framework with regard to new target groups, entertainment and business. Consultations with the industry has helped recognise trends and developments. For example, online and browser games are on the rise. Leading online companies participated as exhibitors in Cologne in 2009, and this year this submarket will get its own theme world at the show, as a part of hall nine of the entertainment area. Furthermore, we will establish two new service tools: online matchmaking and personal planners, which will make the contact management between trade visitors and exhibitors even more efficient.
The build-up to Gamescom 2010 has begun, and the organisers say this year will be bigger and better than ever. Christopher Dring speaks to Koelnmesse’s Oliver P. Kuhrt on what we can expect from the show…
Will there be any changes to the business centre this year? We will keep the exclusive concept of the business area and only adapt the opening hours depending on the needs of the exhibitors. Our trade visitors can once again look forward to accessing the roofs of halls four and five without any traffic lights, park there and enter the business area in a kind of ‘drive-in’ way. Short distances, the welcoming lounge and catering areas, adequate hotel capacities – as well as an attractive event programme – will offer all the comforts trade visitors from all over the world will need. With the Gamescom card – which will be sold in the online shop – trade visitors and partners are also granted an additional day with free entrance and numerous advantages on the fair grounds. How many exhibitors and attendees are you anticipating this year? We are expecting more than 245,000 visitors and 485 exhibitors, but we do not want to forecast fixed figures just yet. As we aim to increase the number of trade visitors, we have already started the communication. The demand for exhibition space is very pleasant, new exhibitors are joining in and some are extending their exhibition areas. We have received feedback that Gamescom is fixed in company calendars and that exhibitors have started their trade fair planning far earlier than last year.
KUHRT: Koelnmesse MD says Gamescom set an example for other trade fairs in 2009
industry. Only here, the entire market of interactive entertainment meets, from developer to publisher and trade to consumer. For that Ten per cent of trade visitors matter, the separation of came from Great Britain – a business and entertainment satisfactory number that we’d area guarantees ideal like to increase this year. conditions for successful business and orders. Oliver P. Kuhrt, Koelnmesse Furthermore, Cologne Do you plan to increase the number offers additional highlights beyond the of consumers attending the show? fair grounds, from the Gamescom Further growth is what we want. Even festival to gastronomic meeting points. in 2009 we wanted to increase the number of visitors compared to previous How easy is it to travel to Cologne? shows [Leipzig], and we succeeded. And are there many places to stay? Cologne is situated in the heart of So why should the UK trade attend Europe and can be reached easily and Gamescom this year? quickly. Cologne/Bonn airport connects Gamescom is internationally the biggest Cologne with the international games business and innovation platform for the community in 45 different countries.
The airport reaches about 180 destinations and 100 of these routes are covered by low cost carriers, including Cologne to London. Together with other airports situated nearby – Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt – Gamescom is connected to international hubs all over the world. We also offer best booking conditions at www.gamescomcologne.com/travelservice. In cooperation with Air Partner, we are also able to offer individual chartered aircrafts, from helicopters to widebodied aircrafts. For those who’d like to stay in Cologne, Koelnmesse Service offers accommodations with more than 75 partner hotels in all categories, from high-class hotels to motels. All in all, about 80,000 hotel beds are available. For easy booking, use our online service at www.hotelzimmerbuchung.com.
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FOR ALL ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT NICKI TUNNEY ON 0121 625 7141
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MCV 29/01/10 21
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
HOW TO WIN AN
D R A W A V C M s The MCV Industry Excellence Award And this return on Thursday April 22nd. aked year the categories have been twe and ned slightly. Lobbying has now ope for a you have less than a month to try next few position on the shortlist. Over the each of pages we explain the criteria for ut the categories and how to go abo … rds winning one of the coveted awa
MCV AWARD CATEGORIES
2010 RETAIL Star Store Online Retailer res) iler (under 30 sto Independent Reta High Street Chain Supermarket STRY PEOPLE & INDU am Te t en UK Developm am Te n tio Distribu Sales Triumph Sales Team Games Publisher NG PR & MARKETI Peripherals & d Accessories Bran Game Creative ion - any media) (single ad execut PR Team Team Trade Marketing d New Game Bran Game Campaign Marketing Team DS SPECIAL AWAR y Board: or vis Ad MCV Retail on Special Recogniti
TELL US, TELL THE WORLD…
ns an everA fast-moving games business mea 0 event changing trade awards, so our 201 and voting features some tweaked categories procedures. & Accessories New awards include Peripherals single ad execution across Brand and Game Creative – for a door, cinema, print etc. any media, such as TV, radio, out categories and criteria. The next few pages will detail all where we choose the MCV runs a transparent system, s the winners. Finalists and the industry choose lists we give everyone a Fina se tho But before we choose So if you think your chance to lobby for consideration. genuine excellence over company or project has achieved ly, you can lobby on behalf the past year, let us know. Similar rival. of a supplier, customer… even a Vawards@intentmedia.co.uk MC il ema All you have to do is and why. telling us who you are lobbying for
r and are “These awards cover every secto eryone deliberately structured to give ev the chance to compete.” 100-strong Judging Winners are mostly decided by our are named after the event. Panel, who vote confidentially but r will this year be voted However, the PR Team of the Yea ones who should know, specifically by media. They are the Panel will be published in full after all. Again, the PR Judging after the event. voted only by retail and, The Special Recognition Award is Retail Advisory Board. specifically, all members of the MCV pages then have a think So have a nose through the next sidered. about whether you should be con and are deliberately tor sec ry eve These awards cover chance to compete. structured to give everyone the ady, which suggests an The event is almost sold out alre e again this year. intense level of competition onc y, Chiswell Street, It’s at the usual venue, The Brewer London, on Thursday, April 22nd. ned. But we have a few surprises plan See you there. Stuart Dinsey, Publisher, MCV
award Finalists for each V on MC in d ce un will be anno 26th ry ua br Fe , ay id Fr
Pre-Event Reception Partner
After Party Host ™
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22 MCV 29/01/10
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
RETAIL AWARDS INDEPENDENT RETAILER
SUPERMARKET Who is eligible for this award? This new award is open to all largescale retail chains that stock video games as part of a wider range that includes grocery, clothing and electrical goods. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Window and in-store merchandising Games-specific marketing activity Sales growth Customer service Product knowledge and range Commitment to street dates How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a retailer by emailing a nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
(UNDER 30 STORES) Who is eligible for this award? This award is back by popular demand and is for any independent retailer operating one or more stores (up to a maximum of 29), which stock video games. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
STAR STORE Who is eligible for this award? This award is open to a single branch of any retailer of computer and video games products â€“ inclusive of independents and chains. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Sales performance Product knowledge Customer service In-store merchandising and compliance Marketing activity How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a retailer by emailing a nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
ERS PREVIOUS WINN w Street n Birmingham Ne 2007: Gamestatio et re St d for 2008: Zavvi, Ox New Street n, Birmingham 2009: Gamestatio
Judges will consider the following criteria: Customer service Product knowledge Range Window and in-store merchandising Commitment to street dates and an orderly market Marketing activity How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a retailer by emailing a nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS ns for 2010. This award retur include: ers nn wi s Previou 2006: ePlay 2007: ePlay Games 2008: Grainger
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MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
ONLINE RETAILER Who is eligible for this award? This award is open to any retailer which has a significant online offering of computer and video games. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Customer service and delivery Product knowledge and range Commitment to streetdates and an orderly market Games-specific marketing activity Sales growth How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a retailer by emailing a nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
AWARD s award? Who is eligible for thi active y pan com Any UK-based tive rac inte the hin wit that has entertainment industry critical enjoyed commercial and g highest win sho ilst wh s, ces suc efficiency levels of support and at trade level.
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PREVIOUS WINNERS 2003: Microsoft s 2004: Electronic Art 2005: Nintendo 2006: Sony 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo 2009: EA Sports
2003: Gameplay 2004: Amazon 2005: Amazon 2006 Play.com 2007: Play.com 2008: Play.com 2009: Play.com
HIGH STREET CHAIN Who is eligible for this award? This award is open to any retailer running a chain of 30 or more stores, which stocks video games. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Customer service Product knowledge Range Window and in-store merchandising Commitment to street dates and an orderly market Marketing activity How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a retailer by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
ERS PREVIOUS WINN 2009: GAME
HIP Street, London. Over 600 games TICKETS & SPONSORS l 22nd at The Brewery, Chiswell rds takes place on Thursday, Apri t is always a sell-out. A wide
e Awa , as this even This yearâ€™s MCV Industry Excellenc to purchase tickets or tables early tigious event. Guests are advised industry executives attend this pres on attendance and sponsorship. are also available. tentmedia.co.uk for more details range of sponsorship opportunities Contact Kathryn.Humphrey@in
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MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
PEOPLE & INDUSTRY
UK DEVELOPMENT TEAM
SALES TEAM Who is eligible for this award? Any UK-based sales team or specialist sales force, including inhouse staff and outsourced service companies. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Product knowledge Depth of advance information Telesales customer care Field sales reliability Sales performance How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular sales team by emailing MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS Gem 2003: Microsoft/ soft tre en /C ny So : 2004 on isi 2005: Activ 2006: THQ 2007: THQ 2008: Ubisoft 2009: Sega
How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, retailers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, developers, retailers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Consistency of product quality Sales performance Critical acclaim Innovation How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular developer by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS North 2003: Rockstar on Studios nd Lo ny So 2004: rth No r 2005: Rocksta eations Cr rre za Bi : 06 20 Tales 2007: Travellerâ€™s rs 2008: Codemaste rth No r sta ck Ro : 2009
DISTRIBUTION TEAM Who is eligible for this award? Any distributor active within the interactive entertainment industry.
Who is eligible for this award? The Development Team award looks to recognise and celebrate British games development talent. It is open to any UK-based team or studio irrespective of international ownership.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Speed of service Order fulfillment Customer service Product condition Commitment to an orderly market How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular distribution team by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS 2004: Gem ft 2005: Centreso ft 2006: Centreso 2007: Koch Media ft 2008: Centreso ft 2009: Centreso
Who is eligible for this award? Any company publishing interactive entertainment software in the UK market that has achieved notable commercial or critical success and generally high levels of performance over the last 12 months.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Sales development Product quality Trade relations Customer service Marketing agility
How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular company by emailing MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS 2006: EA 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo Blizzard 2009: Activision
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MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
SALES TRIUMPH Who is eligible for this award? Any publisher – from the biggest corporation to the smallest start-up – has the chance to snap up this award, which will highlight the product that has achieved better-than-expected sales at UK retail. Whether an original software title, a new style of gaming controller or a ‘quirky’ new game that attained surprise hit status, the award will celebrate the over-achiever of the past year. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Sales performance Product expectations Over-achievement
How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular game or publisher by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Friday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
ERS PREVIOUS WINN rd) Warcraft (Blizza 2007: World of Games) 5 (50 ma Ma 2008: Cooking (Bethesda) 2009: Fallout 3
RD RETAIL ADVISORY BOA N SPECIAL RECOGNITIO this award? Who is eligible for within the y or individual active pan com sed -ba Any UK had dealings has t tha ment industry interactive entertain Retail Advisory V MC the by ed ent with the stores repres 12 months. Board over the past ia: the following criter Judges will consider nce ma for Sales per ncy Attitude and efficie tion ova Inn getary constraints Success within bud problem-solving Long-term vision and
Y MCV RETAIL ADVISSOR BOARD MEMBER LISA MORGAN S DUNCAN CROS MARTYN GIBBS DON MCCABE TIM ELLIS KEITH SHARPE SARAH JASPER JON BIGGS AZEEM SADIQ BERS GRAHAM CHAM PETER WILLIS TA IGOR CIPOLLET KER ANTHONY STOC EY STEPHEN STAL JOANNA HUNT AN GURDEEP HUNJ PHIL MOORE
PREVIOUS WINNERS n (Centresoft) 2007: Margaret Pearso m) (Ge 2008: Paul Donnelly do) ten (Nin es Yat y And 2009:
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MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
PR & MARKETING
AWARDS GAME CAMPAIGN Award Partner
NEW GAME BRAND Who is eligible for this award? Any company that has introduced a new game brand over the past 12 months that has made a signficant impact at consumer level within the UK marketplace.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Commercial success Long-term brand potential Innovation and creativity Marketing support and impact
How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, publishers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a new brand by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it is outstanding and worthy of an award.
PREVIOUS WINNERS 2004: EyeToy DS 2005: Nintendo gs 2006: Nintendo ro 2007: Guitar He s Creed inâ€™ ss sa As : 2008 lanet gP Bi 2009: Little
PR TEAM Who is eligible for this award? The PR team is open to all PR staff who worked on UK games industry campaigns during the past 12 months. Inclusive of in-house departments and retained or project-based agencies. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, journalists, retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th Unlike our other awards, however, MCV will invite a diverse panel of specialist, consumer and mainstream press journalists to help vote for the winner. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Originality and imagination in the execution of campaigns Effective use of existing materials and creation of new materials Responsiveness and relations with the media How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular PR team by emailing MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS kie Cooper 2003: Sony/Jac Red ft/ 2004: Microso Red ft/ so cro Mi : 2005 2006: Nintendo 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo 2009: Nintendo
Who is eligible for this award? Any company, whether manufacturer, publisher or retailer, that ran a significant marketing campaign in the UK supporting products or services within the interactive entertainment industry. Media considered includes TV, online, radio, outdoor and print, plus trade marketing and direct initiatives. Details of any relevant agencies will also be included. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
PREVIOUS WINNERS ion 2 2005: PlayStat DS do en nt Ni : 2006 War 2007: Gears of 2008: Halo 3 2009: Wii Fit
Judges will consider the following criteria: Effective communication of product or brand messages Creativity and execution Influence on sales performance Impact versus budget available Media strategy How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a campaign by emailing a nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it was outstanding and worthy of an award.
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MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010
MARKETING TEAM Who is eligible for this award? Any UK-based marketing team or specialist company that has worked on more than one product or project within the interactive entertainment market over the past 12 months. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Effective communication of product or brand messages Creativity Influence on sales performance Impact versus budget and resource level How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular marketing team simply by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS Arts 2003: Electronic Arts 2004: Electronic on isi tiv Ac : 2005 2006: Nintendo 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo 2009: Nintendo
TRADE MARKETING TEAM Who is eligible for this award? Returning for 2010, this award is for
any company or team that worked on product or brand campaigns dedicated to in-store and retail support, inclusive of trade advertising, POS, distribution and merchandising. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Effective communication of product or brand messages Creativity Influence on sales performance Efficiency and customer service How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular marketing team simply by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months.
PREVIOUS WINNERS ns for 2010. This award retur include: ers Previous winn do en nt Ni : 05 20 2006: Microsoft 2007: Ubisoft Arts 2008: Electronic
GAME CREATIVE (SINGLE AD EXECUTION â€“ ANY MEDIA)
PERIPHERALS & ACCESSORIES BRAND Who is eligible for this award? This new award is for any company that designs, distributes and/or manufactures its own brand of peripherals and accessories for use with home consoles, handhelds or PC games.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Innovation Quality of products Marketing Retail strategy Sales
How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from retailers, suppliers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular peripherals brand by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you think it has had an outstanding 12 months. Award Partner
Who is eligible for this award? This new award is for any single ad creative in any medium (print, online, TV, cinema, etc.) supporting the release of a new PC or video game. Nominations will be shared between both the publisher which commissioned the ad and the agency/design team that created it. How is this award won? MCV will take soundings from the industry and consider any direct lobbying from publishers, creative agencies, retailers or general readers before announcing a set of Finalists on Friday, February 26th The winner is voted for by the Judging Panel, which will consist of around 100 highly regarded industry executives taken from all sectors of the business. Members of the jury vote in confidence and are only revealed after voting is complete. They cannot vote for themselves or associated companies.
Judges will consider the following criteria: Quality of the creative Effectiveness in terms of campaign messaging The creativeâ€™s fit with the rest of the campaign Impact on sales How do I make my opinion heard? All MCV readers can put forward a particular peripherals brand by emailing their nomination to MCVawards@intentmedia.co.uk by Monday, February 19th with a brief summary of why you the creative was outstanding and worthy of an award.
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Koelnmesse Ltd. 4th Floor, 205/207 City Road London EC1V 1JN, Great Britain Phone: +44 20 75 66 6340 Fax: +44 20 75 66 6341 email@example.com
open to all visitors
GDC exclusive day for industry professionals and the press
business area closed
13.01.2010 12:26:09 Uhr
13.01.2010 12:26:16 Uhr
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DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL
It is cheaper to buy PC blockbusters such as BioShock 2 from traditional retail than via digital distributors
The Digital Age The PC download market is now as important as its retail counterpart, with some publishers using digital platforms over High Street stores. But with prices on certain games still so high, is the sector holding itself back? Christopher Dring investigates… THERE’S NO hiding from it – digital The retail sector for PC games is in downloads are now a major part of the decline. Earlier this month, ChartTrack video games industry. data showed that PC game sales fell by Last year there were some significant 27 per cent during 2009. releases in the digital space, such as Sony’s PSPgo and Steam has seen year-on-year Rockstar’s GTA IV DLC. growth of more than 100 per Meanwhile, almost every cent for five years running, big new game launch is followed by additional and that looks to continue. downloadable content. Doug Lombardi, Valve Even Nintendo – a firm notoriously cautious when it comes to However, without the inclusion of the internet – is heavily promoting its digital sales in the PC charts, the true Wii and DSiWare services this quarter. state of the market is unknown. For But for all the progress made by the instance, many PC publishers bypass home and portable consoles, the real traditional retail outlets altogether and growth in digital is happening on PC. head straight for the download route.
In fact, 1C’s international publishing director Darryl Still told MCV this month that he expects digital sales to eclipse retail by 2011. So the significance of stores such as Steam and Direct2Drive is likely to increase greatly in the year ahead. “Steam has seen year-on-year growth of more than 100 per cent for five years running,” says Valve’s VP of marketing Doug Lombardi. “Every indication shows that growth is likely to continue through 2010 as well. We still have a very long list of new features and functionality we’d like to roll out.”
THE DISTRIBUTOR BOOM
The growth in PC digital sales has seen a huge rise in companies trying to get in on the act. New digital distributors are appearing on an almost weekly basis, while traditional retailers are also making moves into the download space. So how much can a growth in digital retailers benefit the sector? “I think it was just a matter of time until the digital distribution market started to grow bigger,” says classic PC games distributor Good Old Games’ marketing manager Lukasz Kukawski “Lots of new services popped up in the last two to three years, and that’s good news for all gamers – the bigger
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DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL
competition on the market the better offers and prices. We’ve picked a niche – classic PC games – which hasn’t been exploited yet.” Oliver Birch, director of digital download marketing and PR agency PlayReplay, agrees: “More digital entrants will provide an industry of niche download services that cater for specific types of gamers. “This is great for smaller indie publishers and developers who want to promote their games to as wide an audience as possible and be able to compete for online exposure.” Although a rise in digital distributors has its benefits, it can be a difficult thing to get right, and a bad distributor can be detrimental to the entire sector. “There are many companies who attempt to enter the digital market but not many who get it right as it’s a very tricky area of business to be in,” says NCSoft’s European marketing manager Marc Berekoven “There are so many factors involved in making digital platforms work well – from download capability to payment systems to customer service. The ones who make successful businesses out of digital platforms are still relatively few.” Valve’s Lombardi adds: “We view competition as healthy for the market – it drives progress and provides customers with choices. We’re a lot more concerned about platforms that don’t provide an enjoyable experience than we are about those posing a threat to Steam’s market share. Everyone stands to suffer if their first experience is a bad one.”
Some PC publishers expect revenue from digital downloads to eclipse retail sales by early next year
“The revenue share model, with fixed prices, rarely provides us with the flexibility to respond to aggressive pricing, and whilst we’re not into driving profit out of the market, we still need to have the ability to compete. “Digital consumers are some of the smartest players around and they just won’t pay a premium for the ability to
One of the biggest The biggest challenge digital challenges for the digital faces is achieving competitive market is the issue of pricing with the High Street game pricing. More often than not, a and online retailers. major new game can be Rich Keen, Direct2Drive bought cheaper on the High Street than through digital download games at home – a process platforms, which has been a big many of them consider should result in deterrent for consumers who might be games being cheaper, not more looking to download. expensive than the High Street.” “The biggest challenge digital Marcus Whitney, sales and business distribution faces is achieving director at game code distributor competitive pricing with the High Street TripleACodes adds: “Pricing is tough as and the traditional online retailers, such the margins are so small. Publishers also as Play and Amazon,” says Direct2Drive’s keep a close eye on these and keep UK marketing director Rich Keen. RRPs consistent across territories and
platforms. But, I think pricing with digital should be experimented with more.” That’s not to say everyone has been inflexible with their pricing. Last year saw a selection of publishers trial new models, such as when Eidos allowed consumers to choose their own price for the latest Championship Manager game. Meanwhile, Steam often plays with its prices with regular special offers and promotions. Dan Connor, CEO of digital studio TellTale Games, says: “If you have your own store then experimenting with the pricing model is critical. The digital consumer expects a different experience than the retail consumer and the price point is a big part of that. It’s important to remember that 95 per cent of the content on the internet is free.” Meanwhile, GameStreamer’s EVP of marketing Robb Lewis feels that the industry should try experimenting with entirely new business and pricing models: “We think there’s an
opportunity to test things such as rental or tiered subscription packages similar to cable TV,” he said. “This is a much harder rock to move since you have to get the publishers on board as well as the online sellers.” It’s becoming increasingly clear that the digital market for PC has grown, so much so that ChartTrack will be incorporating digital sales into its PC charts over the next few weeks. But the scope for further growth is still huge. New streaming services – such as OnLive – are fast approaching, and digital retailers are experimenting with new business models, such as Green Man Gaming’s trade-in solution. But most excitingly, retail want in on the act. Play, The Hut, HMV and GAME have all talked up their digital strategies, and when these businesses get involved we can expect prices to become more fluid and the number of digital consumers to increase. And maybe next year talk will turn to the revival of the PC sector, and not its continued decline.
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DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL
A digital directory MCV provides a run-down of the key digital delivery firms currently operating in the games industry… AWOMO
A World of My Own boasts super-quick download speeds, and is also offered as a white label games download service. www.awomo.com
Gamesload is a German download service owned by Deutsche Telekom, which also owns T-Mobile. The company has recently expanded into 20 countries, including the UK and Ireland. www.gamesload.co.uk
Another white label specialist, Nexway has 500 publishing partners and references more than 3,000 games to download. www.nexway.com
GAMESTREAMER See GameStreamer profile is on page 38 www.gamestreamer.com
OTOY Similar to Gaikai and OnLive, OTOY will stream video games to consumers through any web browser on any internet-enabled device. www.otoy.com
GAMETREE GameTree Online is a digital games store targeted at Mac users. It is run by Transgaming, a company that is responsible for delivering many PC titles to the Mac platform. www.gametreeonline.com
BIG FISH Big Fish Games is the largest distributor of casual PC titles. The firm distributes its in-house developed titles as well as those from third-party firms. www.bigfishgames.com
GET GAMES Get Games focuses on new, independent, classic and free-to-play PC games. www.getgamesgo.com
GREEN MAN GAMING
Digital River is the firm behind many of the web’s online digital stores, powering digital downloads for THQ, EA and its own store GameZone. www.digitalriver.com
The new platform doesn’t launch until March, but will allow consumers to trade-back their digital games for money off their next purchases. www.greenmangaming.com
GOOD OLD GAMES
See Direct2Drive profile on page 39 www.direct2drive.co.uk
EA STORE See EA Store profile is on page 37
Good Old Games is a digital platform focused on classic PC games. Games are available for between £4 to £6, and all have been made compatible with today’s operating systems. www.gog.com
IMPULSE Gaikai is the rival to OnLive, although co-founder Dave Perry insists Gaikai is not going after the same mass-consumer audience and instead hopes it’ll become a tool for publishers (and even Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) to deliver their games to any web browser. www.gaikai.com
The games-on-demand service promises to change the way games are consumed. It hasn’t launched yet, but Take-Two, Ubisoft, EA, THQ, Codemasters, Atari, Epic and Warner are all on board. www.onlive.com
Impulse is a digital distribution platform by software specialists Stardock, featuring big budget games and indie-developed titles. www.impulsedriven.com
Operated by IDEA Games – an association of indie developers – Sprocket sells games from its member studios – which includes Bohemia, Black Element and Altar Games. www.sprocketidea.com
STEAM See Steam profile on page 39 www.steampowered.com
GameHouse offers a range of digital downloads for Mac (as well as PC), and sells more family-friendly mainstream games. It is operated by Real Networks. www.gamehouse.com
Yummy is a US-based white label provider and offers games-on-demand, subscription and rental services. It also runs its own digital store. www.yummygames.com
GAMERSGATE The GamersGate digital store allows you to download games without a client, and features in-game chat and web browsing powered by PlayXpert. www.gamersgate.com
METABOLI Metaboli provides white label sites for companies such as GAME. The firm offers a subscription-based games-on-demand service, in addition to a downloadto-own platform. www.metaboli.co.uk
WILD TANGENT The large family and casual games portal is available pre-installed on many new PCs worldwide, including, HP, Dell, Toshiba and Acer machines. www.wildtangent.com
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DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL: PROFILE
Electronic Art’s digital commerce marketing manager for Europe and Asia, Shane Bellamy tells us all about the EA Store…
What is the EA Store? EA Store is the online destination where people can download games, expansion packs, downloadable content and direct from EA to their PCs. We feature upcoming games to pre-order and preload, digital exclusive content, the latest new releases and an impressive back catalogue of EA titles. What makes your platform unique compared to the others? It’s not a platform, for a start. It’s simply a website – so you can visit it from anywhere you can get online, and that means you can browse and purchase at work or college, then download at home. It also means you don’t have to be online to play a game from EA Store – good for people with decent laptops. But once you’re at the Store, we provide exclusive content direct from EA studios, plus other exciting reasons to buy (for example, guaranteed beta access to the Bad Company 2 beta) for our customers. What type of customer do you serve? A whole range – when I started with EA Store, it felt as though our audience predominantly comprised of hardcore gamers, FPS and RPG fans that had the
The EA Store team: Bellamy (left) and product marketing manager, Emma Fisci (right)
best tech and had paid for the top broadband solutions. But with time and increased knowledge of our customers we see that it’s a much wider spread than that. To demonstrate this, our two best ever selling titles have been Dragon Age: Origins and The Sims 3. For me, this shows we have a strong and wide audience base and more people embracing digital content every day.
be in honing their skills before the masses come online, whereas for more casual gamers that means they have plenty of time to download the game before it’s released. Once a game has been around for a while, we can look at promotions, additional content and other added value offers. At the time of writing we have a ‘Games for under a tenner’ promotion on Store which has a good choice of old favourites, plus some new and upcoming titles like Battlefield 1943. We also look at promotions on older titles for a good period before the latest in that series comes out. www.eastore.com 01483 463000 What kind of offers do you promote through your store? For new titles, we offer pre-load, exclusive content, beta access, etc. Pre-load has been a great addition to EA Store as it allows our customers to begin the download process days before the release date. Then, at the point of release, there’s a short conversion process and you’re in, nice and early. For hardcore fans that means they can
What are your ambitions for this year? We’ve made massive steps in the past year in how early we can get products up and this will only improve. Right now you can pre-order Command & Conquer 4, which launches in March, with guaranteed beta access. We’re already working on titles due in April, May and June. We’re also putting a lot of work in with the studios, looking at what exciting content we can offer our customers on new releases. There are some bigger changes to EA Store in the works too.
DESIGNED BY BILL TILLER ( A VAMPYRE STORY - MONKEY ISLAND)
RELEASE DATE: 19TH FEBRUARY 2010 RICH & DETAILED GRAPHICS FROM THE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND “THE CURSE OF MONKEY ISLAND” SWITCH BETWEEN 3 PLAYABLE CHARACTERS USING SPECIAL GHOST POWERS TO SOLVE INNOVATIVE PUZZLES NUMBER 5 IN THE “MOST ANTICIPATED ADVENTURE GAMES” - JustAdventure.com Visit: www.ghost-pirates.com for more information. Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island © 2009 dtp entertainment AG. All rights reserved. Developed by Autumn Moon Entertainment. Distributed by Lace Mamba Global Ltd All company names, brand names, trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.
For sales contact Glenn Hayes tel: 07919 415 728 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL: PROFILES
MCV speaks to GameStreamer’s EVP of marketing Robb Lewis to discuss the firm’s ever-evolving digital offer…
What is GameStreamer? GameStreamer is a digital platform service provider, developing innovative technology for the digital distribution, commerce and social engagement of video games. We have built the first truly enterpriseclass digital distribution platform for digital media and sell our products as software-as-a-service solutions. What makes your platform unique compared to the others? Unlike other service providers that cobble together third-party services and don’t develop their own technology, we develop our own IP. Our primary differentiator is the GameStreamer proprietary streaming technology. This tech produces a readyto-play stream that negates the need for consumers to install games. It also allows them to play a game after just a very small percentage has been delivered over the internet. But this is just the beginning. GameStreamer technology will bring in the next-generation of gaming – Instantaneous Gaming Anywhere. GameStreamer’s streaming technology architecture is built to support streaming
enables games to be merchandised across a number of third party websites. Premium offerings we are developing include integrated achievement rewards, player matching systems, and social network integration. For website owners, our base offering is a white label software-as-a-service turn-key game store. All stores contain online merchandising and management tools and website operators can select from multiple store templates and refine the style sheet directly to achieve the desired store design. Premium offerings include fully customisable templates, private domains with SSL cert, newsletter creation and distribution as well as the option to have GameStreamer manage the store.
GameStreamer www.gamestreamer.com 0203 318 4226
delivery to any connected CE device, such as set-top-boxes, internet connected TVs, mobile phones, home entertainment systems, even in-vehicle entertainment systems – enabling games to be streamed over next generation LTE networks to cars connected to the cloud. We demonstrated this at CES. Additionally, we have taken a financial market approach to digital distribution: we have built out a large, distributed
multi-honed network across two continents for today’s market and will be expanding into more data centers in the future. Speed and uptime are critical to our business. What type of customer do you serve? We serve two primary customers: publishers and website owners. For game publishers, our base offering is a digital distribution solution that
What kind of offers do you promote through your store? We have a number of different offers going on at any one time. As a baseline, we ensure our distribution partners are aware of publisher promotions and ensure the stores are all merchandising the right promotions. We also work with publishers to craft marketing campaigns unique to our channel and sometimes for a specific distribution partner.
agile online marketing™ We are a trusted digital distributor for publishers and developers. • Contact us if you are a publisher developer wishing to expand your digital business. We can help you with our network of over 100 channels across 34 territories. • If you are an online business looking for a reliable and stable supply of digital product please also contact us. Now is a great time to expand your digital business, we look forward to hearing from you.
We are the only Marketing & PR agency focused exclusively on the effective promotion of digitally distributed games on all of the download platforms. • XBLA • DSiWare
• PSN/PSP • iPhone
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• WiiWare • MMO
Don’t let your game disappear!
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TripleACodes and TripleACodes logo are Registered Trademarks of TripleACodes Ltd. All other logos, Trademarks or Registered Trademarks are properties of there respective owners. All rights reserved.
www.PlayReplay.net enquiries@PlayReplay.net twitter.com/PlayReplay
TEL: +44 (0)20 7138 1062
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DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL: PROFILES
Valve’s VP of marketing Doug Lombardi tells MCV how Steam remains the most popular digital platform…
Marketing director Rich Keen discusses the advantages and future of IGN’s download service…
What is Steam? Steam is a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC games with over 25 million accounts, and over 1,000 games from over 100 publishers and developers around the world.
DIRECT2DRIVE has sister companies such as IGN.com, FilePlanet and GameSpy, which provide a breadth and depth to its services that are both unique and constantly evolving. At its heart, Direct2Drive is about delivering triple-A and indie PC and Mac games to anyone that wants to play, with an easy access solution coupled with depth of content and great customer service. As a result we enjoy a broad range of customers – we’re incredibly proud of the serious committed players who use our site, yet we’re also pleased that we’ve been able to attract more casual gamers. By being aligned with the demo and patch distribution community of FilePlanet, we’re able to provide MMOs and publishers the ability to drive beta and demo programs as well as full price pre-order promotions. Incentivisation of consumers is a necessity within digital distribution. We have knowledgeable and demanding customers and we have learnt over the years that offering value for money isn’t always about discounts.
What type of customer do you serve? Steam services over 25 million accounts worldwide with games that span from the latest ground-breaking independent titles to top selling blockbusters. What makes your platform unique compared to the others? The majority of other systems are simply download services – they offer games for purchase and nothing more. Steam offers a host of services for customers, such as the ability to access their game and game data from any PC, social networking services via the Steam Community, and more. There is also plenty for publishers and developers, such as Steamworks’ services offered free to developers includes antipiracy systems for tangible and electronic goods, support for paid DLC, and more.
Steam www.steampowered.com What kind of offers do you promote through your store? Steam offers a variety of special promotions for publisher and retailers. These include ‘Free Weekends’, ‘Gifting’ and more – all of which are trackable via Steam’s backend reporting so publishers and developers can see in great detail the success of failure or each promotion run.
War of the World © 2010 Muzzy Lane Software Inc . All rights reserved. Published by Lace Mamba Global Ltd
Direct2Drive www.direct2drive.co.uk Many consumers are motivated by exclusive content, or early access and pre-load. For others, it’s about exclusive bonus content and competitions. Even within price promotions, consumers respond to varying types of offers depending on the title. In short, price alone cannot provide the perfect solution to product promotion – it has to be part of a range of incentives.
For sales contact Glenn Hayes tel: 07919 415 728 email: email@example.com
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MCV INTERVIEW NIK BLOWER, SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR, NORDIC GAMES
Nord Focus Up and coming publisher Nordic Games enjoyed a highly successful year in 2009 thanks to a strong line-up for its UK debut. James Batchelor speaks with the firm’s sales and marketing director Nik Blower about how this was accomplished…
What were Nordic’s 2009 highlights? At launch, when there was plenty The major success was of course of stock in retail, the only music title launching our first titles across the PAL selling more than We Sing was SingStar region. Those being Kart and Truck Take That. Outside of the UK the Racer, Dance Party Pop Hits and Club picture was even better – the worst Hits – eight SKUs in all. We also found position we had was still in the Top 10. some fantastic distributors to work with, all of which have been more supportive How important is the UK market to than the economic situation would have your business? led us to expect. For us, this varies depending on the title In product terms, We Sing is the and format. In the UK, We Sing was shining star for us. The initial reaction strongest compared with other markets, was mixed, but we had the majority of but only just – Kart Racer and Dance the big guys coming to us during Gamescom to Packaged and priced discuss distribution, or correctly, our games will find poke around to see what the right consumers instead we were doing. We sold out at launch, of the bargain bin. we sold out our second Nik Blower, Nordic Games shipment and now we are doing our best to keep up with demand. Party Wii were by far the strongest overall. We are also naturally strong in the Nordics, especially on PS2.
Blower claims sensible pricing is just as important as quality when aiming for success on Wii
What challenges do you face as a new publisher, and what have you done to overcome them? The first challenge is getting people to listen. If you don’t begin your pitch with big numbers, a lot of people turn off. But if you go in with big numbers and never reach them, the same thing happens. So it took some time to gently persuade people to give us a go, even if we weren’t offering big volumes with big marketing and bigger licences. We also had to source accessories to complement our games, which in itself was very time consuming and often complicated, but our leader – Pelle Lundborg – is exceptionally smart and he solved this without any drama. Have you faced many difficulties getting your titles into retail, and has the use of new IP helped or hindered this? It is always tricky to generate interest for new IPs and notnew genres. Many retailers have preferred partners too, making the challenge even more exciting. The upside of a new IP
is it takes some explaining, during which time you can involve people in the journey of the game’s creation. Whilst Dance Party and Kart Racers were selfexplanatory, We Sing had something worth talking about. The Wii market is often criticised for being oversaturated with poor quality third-party titles. What have you done to avoid being tarred with the same brush? The key to not being one of the many companies making rubbish games is to build one that makes good games. We quickly realised the benefits of making the quantum leap from Dance Party ‘s level of production to that of We Sing. That’s not to say every game we make will score in the top percentile of Metacritic, but packaged and priced correctly they will find the right consumers instead of the bargain bin.
A key selling point for your titles was the affordable price tag. Do you plan to stick to this price bracket, or will you venture into full price products? We try our best to make the price relative to the overall product. Apart from typical online discounts, you’ll struggle to find our games reduced or in multi-buys anywhere. In fact, We Sing’s price actually rose in some outlets. We carefully manage our supply of stock and always offer the right price. In relation to pricing itself, we don’t categorise between budget or full price. The price of our games will reflect their quality and value and have more to do with what consumers would be happy to pay than fitting in to a price category. What lessons have you learned? That two blokes, a little cash from a ‘parent’ and a fantastic production agency can both launch products and have a bonafide hit. Also, the same two blokes and their agency need very understanding and patient families.
mcv Feb Frenzy advert:Layout 1 25/01/2010 16:16 Page 1
For more information on the fantastic offers available throughout this promotional period, contact your Gem account manager on 01279 822822 or go online at www.gem.co.uk/februaryfrenzy Terms and conditions apply Offers available for a limited time only and while stocks last
42 MCV572_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 42 MCV 29/01/10
BBC Worldwide hires games boss Former EA and Yahoo exec heads up broadcaster’s games reboot Byron joins VSC expert advisory panel BBC ROBERT NASHAK has taken on the role of executive vice president of digital entertainment. His appointment comes as part of BBC Worldwide’s plans to build up its games presence. He will be based in Los Angeles and will report to the broadcaster’s CEO John Smith. Nashak has previously served as general manager of Yahoo Games and led production at Electronic Arts’ Casual Studios. He has also worked at Glu, Disney Online and Acclaim. He told MCV: “BBC Worldwide has great potential in digital entertainment simply
Nashak will help the BBC relaunch its games team
by the quality and variety of content it has to offer. “I am extremely excited to be playing a leading role in realising this potential and growing its audience base around the world.”
THQ IS RECRUITING... Sales Director UK & Ireland Export Sales & Marketing Manager Senior PR Manager Finance & Operations Director (Paris)
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR... Applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
VSC The Video Standards Council has named the members of its new expert advisory panel. New members include TANYA BYRON (right) – author of the Byron Report on violent video games – GEOFFREY ROBERTSON QC (far right) and Dr GUY CUMBERBATCH, a psychologist and expert on media violence. Together, they will be responsible for assisting the VSC Board in carrying out the new legal responsibilities detailed in the Digital Economy Bill – including the new video games ratings system.
“The newly established expert advisory panel will play a key role,” said VSC chair Baroness GILLIAN SHEPHARD. “The VSC will have the ability to effectively ‘ban’ a video game from supply in the UK if it infringes the limits set out in the law. Any such decision will not be taken
lightly and will involve a number of legal, clinical and psychological issues. “The VSC will now be able to call upon some of the most eminent experts in these fields and ensure that all relevant factors are properly taken into account before any such decision is reached.”
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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
KISS ‘N’ SELL Disney’s teams work as one to bring the amphibian-smooching fairy tale to gamers
NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR P46 History’s most ruthless Frenchman serves as inspiration for Creative Assembly’s RTS MEMENTO MORI P47 Mamba Games challenges point and click fans with a new mystery TNA IMPACT P47 TNA’s brand of out-of-control wrestling hits PSP in Cross The Line DYNASTY WARRIORS P48 Following its success on PSP, Strikeforce makes its way to consoles GUITAR HERO: VAN HALEN P48 The newest band-specific version of the music phenomenon focuses on Van Halen
RETAILBIZ: THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG 44 MCV 29/01/10
Princess Tiana is set to become the latest iconic Disney princess, lending herself to merchandising opportunities and further promotion for the game
While its Hollywood parent prepares for its cinematic return to form, Disney Interactive Studios works to ensure the video game will have the same effect…
“The Princess and the Frog is a new Disney classic that will stand the test of time,” says UK marketing manager Steve Woodward. “Like previous smash hit franchises such as The Lion King, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid – and
the compelling characters and experience Tiana’s magical world DISNEY GAMES were once among together with their family and friends.” some of the highest quality titles on the Available for Wii and DS, The market, thanks to the likes of The Lion Princess and the Frog offers two King, Aladdin and Castle Of Illusion different experiences for Nintendo’s starring Mickey Mouse. broad audiences. With Epic Mickey and The Wii edition focuses The Princess and the Frog Split Second on the way, on family fun in the form will become an enduring IP, Disney Interactive Studios is of mini-games, with so the game has the potential well on the way to restoring players exploring the to be a truly evergreen title. this reputation and The movie’s different locations Princess and the Frog is a to unlock new challenges. Steve Woodward, Disney crucial step towards that goal. All mini-games can be Based on the upcoming movie, the their game tie-ins – we’re expecting the played with up to four players, with game follows the classic tale of a prince game to continue selling through eight playable characters and more than turned into a frog seeking the kiss of a strongly well beyond the theatrical and 30 activities to choose from, including princess to restore him to his true form home entertainment release. dancing, cooking and dressing up. – mirroring the Hollywood Disney’s “Through the game, fans will love Meanwhile, the DS version is a more own efforts in returning to its traditional being able to relive their favourite traditional platformer, with players animated feature films. moments from the movie, interact with guiding the princess through a series of
by James Batchelor
RETAILBIZ: THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 29/01/10 45
ROYAL PLANS Collaborating with other areas of the Disney business, Disney Interactive Studios has prepared a mammoth campaign to promote The Princess and the Frog in the run-up to its big screen counterpart’s debut. A joint media buy has been arranged with the film’s TV campaign, with promotion for the game appearing at the end of all theatrical advertising on a multitude of channels. This includes Five, E4, More4, Film4, Sky 1, SkyMovies, Gold, Living, Dave, Discovery, Five US, Fiver, Trouble, Virgin 1, MTV, E!, Comedy Central, Nick, Nicktoons, Nick Jr, CITV, Boomerang and Cartoon Network, as well as video-on-demand services. A targeted print campaign will see ads appear in relevant young girlfocused magazines, such as Disney Princess and Disney Girl.
27 levels based on key scenes from the upcoming movie. There are also a range of mini-games available, allowing players to perform a variety of music and cook traditional New Orleans cuisine. In addition to boasting the traditional Disney charm in its animation, The Princess and the Frog also features characters that are set to become icons in the company’s portfolio. In particular, the film’s protagonist Princess Tiana crosses over with the existing Disney Princess brand. DISNEY’S FAMILY REUNION
Given the importance of this release for the entire Disney company, the marketing campaign has brought Disney Interactive Studios together with its sibling departments in other industries.
The entire Disney empire is currently working to ensure The Princess and the Frog achieves its full potential in all its forms (see Royal Plans). “Tiana is the latest Disney princess and as such will be supported by the company heavily throughout multiple categories,” says Woodward. “Disney Interactive Studios are working with other areas of the business, more closely than we’ve ever done before. As part of Disney, we’re really leveraging the huge array of opportunities that exist to us. “For example, combined presence on theatrical advertising, presence on the Disney Channel, a combined franchise website, print advertising in our magazine and more, right through to cross category merchandising solutions at retail.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 5 FORMATS: WII, DS PUBLISHER: AMAZE (WII), GRIPONITE (DS) DEVELOPER: DISNEY INTERACTIVE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 2893
“As such, retailers can expect a truly integrated campaign which will bring huge additional exposure, beyond what we’d normally expect to achieve through a standalone game campaign. “The Princess and the Frog will no doubt become an enduring franchise and consequently the game has the potential to be a truly evergreen title.” With half-term already on the horizon, expect strong sales as popularity for the film picks up over the coming months.
The Princess and the Frog’s official website will have a dedicated games area. The game will also be promoted alongside the film online on Stardoll and Heart. Disney will be supporting retailers with plenty of cross category merchandise, including toys and home entertainment. Special ‘Princess Ball’ Disneyland Paris prize packages are also being offered to key retail partners. A five-month dedicated lifestyle PR campaign has seen news and reviews of the game across various children’s, family and women’s publications. Features have also been secured in national press such as the Star On Sunday, the Mirror and more.
RETAILBIZ: NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR 46 MCV 29/01/10
Sega follows up from last year’s PC smash hit with the latest entry in Creative Assembly’s critically acclaimed Total War series… by James Batchelor THE TOTAL WAR series has long since led the RTS genre with its epic scale, detailed battles and historical accuracy. Now the franchise turns its attentions to a particularly iconic era of warfare, following the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon: Total War follows on from last year’s best-selling smash hit Empire: Total War. Given the success of its predecessor, Sega is confident that the new title will continue the legacy of the critically acclaimed RTS series. “The long-running Total War series has always been the strategy game of choice for PC gamers, and the last release, Empire: Total War, epitomises Creative Assembly’s knowledge and prowess within the genre.” says senior product manager Ben Walker. “Multiple awards and a Metacritic score of 90 positioned Empire as not only one of the Games of the Year, but the benchmark for the strategy genre. Creative Assembly has built upon the incredible quality of Empire to deliver an even more involving and historic experience and as such we are confident of its success.” Players work their way through the most notable battles of the Napoleonic age, either as the strategic genius himself “Napoleon: Total War opens up a or as one of four enemy nations: Britain, new narrative layer to the franchise, an Prussia, Austria or Russia. era defined by one legendary general,” Once again, they must grow their says Walker. “From the early Italian empire by carefully managing their campaign to the Battle Of Waterloo, troops and resources, making the most of the The consistent quality of the units available. franchise created a dedicated Gamers will also fanbase, so we are confident have access to the most of Napoleon’s success. advanced weaponry of the time. Ben Walker, Sega Should they master the single-player campaigns and Napoleon: Total War covers two skirmish mode, they can take on rival decades of relentless battles, against dictators with the refined online which the story of an extraordinary multiplayer mode. military career unfolds.” As well as allowing them to challenge While the game has more than any Napoleon player around the world, enough features to please any RTS fan this mode now boasts a number of new and armchair general, Sega can’t help functions and rewards, including but point back to the success of Empire achievements, gameplay bonuses and as a strong omen for Napoleon’s potential voice communications. sales triumph.
“Empire has been a consistent performer, selling over 130,000 units,” explains Walker. “It ranked as the fourth biggest PC release of 2009 and it hasn’t dropped out of the Top 10 PC chart since launch, which is an amazing feat. “The consistent quality of the franchise has created a dedicated fanbase, which we believe will once again be drawn by the incredible depth and strategy offered in this critically acclaimed franchise.” As with previous Total War releases, Napoleon will be released alongside a special collector’s edition for hardcore fans of the era. In this case, the Imperial Edition features a full copy of the game in premium packaging, full to the brim with extras. Consumers will receive an illustrated wallchart depicting the life of Napoleon
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 26 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: CREATIVE ASSEMBLY PRICE: £29.99 (STANDARD) £39.99 (IMPERIAL EDITION) DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3817
himself, and a Steam unlock code that can be used to download two exclusive in-game units. There are also two DLC packs available to customers, depending on whether they bought the game at retail or via digital distribution. Both outlets offer the Heroes Of The Napoleonic Wars pack with the Imperial Edition, which gives players access to ten exclusive in-game units. Meanwhile, the Elite Regiment pack features five elite units and is available in both the boxed standard edition and Imperial Edition.
RETAILBIZ: TNA IMPACT/ MEMENTO MORI WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 29/01/10 47
TNA wrestling returns to gaming shelves in South Peak’s latest handheld release… by James Batchelor
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 19 FORMATS: PSP
AFTER ITS console debut in 2008, courtesy of Midway, TNA Impact returns to gaming in the form of a new PSP title, Cross The Line. The game recreates the lycra-clad antics of the popular wrestling show currently shown on Bravo and Virgin. “TNA Impact: Cross The Line for PSP is the first time fans of the TNA brand have been able to have the power of their favourite wrestling stars in the palm of their hand,” says European marketing director Ed Blincoe. “There are fans across the country so we’re extremely excited to let TNA, wrestling and general fighting enthusiasts get to grips with this fantastic portable grappler.” TNA – which stands for Total Nonstop Action – prides itself on offering a wreslting experience unlike any other. While gamers can still subdue their opponent with well-placed punches, kicks and throws, they can also use other objects to gain an advantage. For example, they can bash someone in with a fridge door, or hurl a TV at an unsuspecting combatant. All of the most notable TNA wrestlers are present and the game has been developed to take advantage of the PSP’s power.
Mamba Games keeps PC gamers intrigued with this gripping point and click adventure… by James Batchelor
PUBLISHER: SOUTH PEAK DEVELOPER: SOUTH PEAK PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
South Peak is also working on a DS version, currently due in Q2. LAYING THE SMACKDOWN
The publisher has readied an extensive marketing campaign to promote the return of TNA Impact. Cross the Line sponsored this month’s TNA Maximum Impact Tour, with leaflets handed to wrestling fans around the country. This was supported by coverage and competitions in national publications such as The Sun Online and the Daily Record, as well as local press close to the venues. Finally, online ads will be hitting key wrestling and gaming sites, along with movies across YouTube and the Google Video Network that target the game’s core audience of avid wrestling enthusiasts. Blincoe adds: “Retailers should expect to be tackled to the ground and pinned down by avid fans of the series clamouring to get their hands on a new entry in the TNA franchise.”
FANS OF POINT and click games in search of new thrills need look no further than Mamba Games’ upcoming mystery Memento Mori. The game boasts fiendish puzzles and a strong storyline with multiple endings for added replay value. Max, a French ex-art counterfeiter, is forced to team up with Russian policewoman Lara to investigate an art robbery from Saint Petersburg’s famous Eremitage Museum – a journey that will take the pair across the length and breadth of Europe. What begins as a simple theft soon escalates into something more sinister as the two investigators discover a possible connection to the mysterious secret order of Ikuinen Nukkuja, or ‘The Eternal Sleeper’. CHOICES, CHOICES
Throughout the game are a number of key scenes, disguised as puzzles or dialogue sequences, that affect the outcome of the game and set players on the path to one of six endings. These scenes will often depend on previous decisions made and even tie into the characters themselves. For example, Lara will be forced to question her integrity as a policewoman
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 12 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: MAMBA GAMES DEVELOPER: CINEMAX PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
when faced with moral dilemmas that could help or hinder the investigation. Mamba Games is confident that Memento Mori has everything it needs to be a hit with adventure fans, from the twisting storyline to the attractive price point. “The feedback we have received from the public has been great so we are looking for retail to support the product as much as possible, both online and in stores,” says head of UK sales Glenn Hayes. “As the demand for the product has been high, we are looking for a good sell through. The storyline is fantastic and this, along with the visuals, makes it a little different from the typical adventure products within the retail market.” Mamba will be marketing Memento Mori through full-page ads in a variety of trade and consumer magazines in the run up to release. The publisher has also arranged for site takeovers and skyscraper ads on key websites.
RETAILBIZ: DYNASTY WARRIORS/GH: VAN HALEN 48 MCV 29/01/10
Tecmo Koei advances the Dynasty Warriors series with a console version of PSP hit Strikeforce...
The Guitar Hero family expands further with a new band-specific edition dedicated to Van Halen… by James Batchelor
by James Batchelor TECMO KOEI’S Dynasty Warriors series has always delivered epic battles to hack ‘n’ slash fans, but now the latest entry is set to deliver something new. Strikeforce is based on the PSP hit of last summer and brings the action to Xbox 360 and PS3 owners. Set in a mystic version of ancient China, the game goes beyond the typical historical battles and grants warriors devastating powers, such as superhuman strength, lightning fast speed and the ability to fly. Most notably, the console edition of Strikeforce features online multiplayer for the first time, allowing up to four friends to play together. They can either launch raids as a team or battle against each other to prove who is the best warrior. Voice and text chat can used to coordinate attacks. Vice president of sales and marketing Will Curley is confident that sales for the new Strikeforce will be strong, especially with the enticing online multiplayer features. He says: “The online multiplayer aspect is a function that many gamers have been demanding for ages, so to be able to engage in combat and team up with your mates for the first time truly sets this game apart from anything you might have seen before.”
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 19 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: OMEGA FORCE DEVELOPER: TECMO KOEI EUROPE PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01462 476 130
Strikeforce will be appearing at several key consumer events, such as Memorabillia and MCM Expo to give fans a taste of what to expect. Tecmo Koei will also be promoting the game to its followers directly through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. RETAIL WARRIORS
The publisher is also spending a considerable amount on promotions at retail, including pre-order incentives such as character figurines and exclusive DLC at key partners GAME and HMV. “We hope that Strikeforce will show gamers that the Dynasty Warriors series is evolving and encompassing new ideas, while retaining those core values our fans love,” says Curley. “Public reaction to the Strikeforce game that came out on PSP was overwhelmingly positive, and I think reviewers genuinely saw something engaging in the series. With the game now appearing on new formats we hope to see a continued upsurge of interest for the series.”
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 19 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, WII
THE GUITAR HERO train continues to steam through the High Street: next stop, Van Halen. The American rock band provides the inspiration for the newest bandspecific Hero outing, following on from Aerosmith and Metallica. “Guitar Hero: Van Halen brings to life the flamboyance and musical genius of Van Halen, letting fans test their abilities alongside one of the very best,” says brand manager Jon Edney. “Having launched in the US prior to Christmas, we’re delighted to finally release the game in the UK so gamers can compete against the most challenging guitar riffs the franchise has ever produced.” There are 25 of Van Halen’s greatest hits on offer, including ‘Jump’, ‘Panama’, ‘Eruption’, ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’, ‘You Really Got Me’ and more. There are also 19 guest acts from other iconic artists, such as Lenny Kravitz, Queen and Blink 182. As with previous band-specific versions, the development of Guitar Hero: Van Halen has benefited from the contributions of its namesake. “We’re excited to be reuniting through Guitar Hero,” says Edney. “The game will allow both existing fans and newcomers an opportunity to relive classic Van Halen moments.
PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: UNDERGROUND DEVELOPMENT/ RED OCTANE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
“Whether it’s for the eighties revival night audience and their love of ‘Jump’ or the Van Halen diehards and their appreciation for the spinetingling riffs of ‘Eruption’, the game has something for everyone.” START THE MUSIC
While the Guitar Hero name is as prominent as it has ever been amongst the pubic, Activision will still be working to raise awareness of this new addition’s arrival in order to draw out hardcore Hero collectors and Van Halen fans. “The launch will see us build on the successful model we have used to launch previous band specific titles,” adds Edney. “We have heavily-targeted above-the-line, PR and social media campaigns planned.” “Van Halen adds another dimension to the Guitar Hero range and we’re really excited about the gauntlet it’s about to lay down to all the Guitar Hero aficionados out there.”
49 MCV572_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 29/01/10 49
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Hell corrupts shelves in February Electronic Arts kicks off February with Dante’s Inferno, while avid fans finally get to explore strange new worlds together in Star Trek Online. Also approaching shelves is Final Fantasy, BioShock, The Princess and the Frog, AVP and more... TITLE
PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 DS / Wii PSP / PS3 / XBOX 360 PSP Wii PC Wii PC DS PSP / DS / PS3 / XBOX 360 PC PC PC PC DS / Wii PC DS / PC PC
Action/Adventure Action Action RPG Simulation Strategy RPG/Action Simulation Casual Racing Casual Casual FPS MMORPG Action/Adventure Casual Casual Simulation
D3Publisher Zushi EA Tecmo Koei Nintendo Excalibur Publishing Square Enix First Class Simulations Zushi THQ S.A.D S.A.D bitComposer Atari Disney Interactive S.A.D S.A.D Excalibur Publishing
0208 222 9700 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130 0870 027 0985 01869 338833 020 7324 5200 01869 338833 01279 822 800 0121 506 9585 01582 436043 01582 436043 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 01582 436043 01869 338833
Namco Bandai Gem Centresoft Open Koch Open Open Open Gem Advantage PlayV PlayV Koch Advantage Centresoft PlayV PlayV Open
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360
01279 822 800
DS Wii PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC PSP DS Wii PC DS DS DS Wii PS3 Wii PC
Puzzle Simulation Fighting Action Simulation Action / RPG Music Music Casual/Adventure Puzzle/RPG Action/Adventure RPG Simulation RPG Puzzle Strategy
Rising Star Games 505 Games Zen United Sega Excalibur Publishing Rising Star Games Disney Interactive Konami Mamba Games Ubisoft Activision Blizzard Sega Zushi Square Enix Sega Excalibur Publishing
01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01869 338833 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0208 987 5706 01273 202220 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 01869 338833
Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Open Centresoft Centresoft Open Lace Gem/Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Gem Open Centresoft Open
DS GBA/PSP DS/PC/Wii/PS3/PS2/360 DS PC PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii DS PC / XBOX 360 PC XBOX 360 / PS3 PSP
Mystery Action Adventure RPG Action Mini-games Casual/Adventure Strategy Music Imagine Racing Strategy Survival Horror Wrestling
Capcom Sega City Interactive Excalibur Publishing Tecmo Koei D3Publisher Mamba Games Kalypso Media Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Zushi Mamba Games Capcom South Peak
0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 01869 338833 01462 476 130 0208 222 9700 01273 202220 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 01273 202220 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388
Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Open Open Namco Bandai Lace Advantage Centresoft Gem/Trilogy Gem Lace Centresoft Centresoft
FEBRUARY 5th Astroboy Chicken Blaster Dante's Inferno Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days Endless Ocean 2 Farewell to Dragons Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers Flight Deck 6 Jig-a-Pix: Love is... MX vs AV Reflex Mystery Cookbook Natalie Brooks: Secrets Of Treasure House S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Star Trek Online The Princess And The Frog The Treasures Of Mystery Island Titanic Mystery UK Truck Simulator
FEBRUARY 9th BioShock 2
FEBRUARY 12th Animal Kororo Big Catch Bass Fishing 2 BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Bleach: The Third Phantom Driving Simulator Half Minute Hero Jonas Karaoke Revolution Memento Mori Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Phantasy Star Zero Reel Fishing: Anglers Dream Star Ocean: The Last Hope International Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll Theatre Of War: Afrika Corps
FEBRUARY 19th Ace Attorney: Miles Edgeworth Investigates Aliens Vs Predator Art Of Murder Blood Of Europe Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Family Party: Winter Fun Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island Grand Ages Rome: Gold Edition Guitar Hero: Van Halen Imagine Journalist Indianapolis 500 Evolution Making History 2: War Of The World Resident Evil 5 (Platinum/Classics) TNA! Impact: Cross The Line
FEBRUARY 26th Adventures To Go
MUSTSTOCK .........................DANTE’S INFERNO Released: February 5 Format: 360, PS3, PSP Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Electronic Arts explores Hell as described by 13th Century poet Dante Alighieri. Players are tasked with bringing down the demons that inhabit the various circles of Hell as they search for the soul of Dante’s beloved. This adventure stays true to its literary source material.
MUSTSTOCK .......................STAR TREK ONLINE Released: February 5 Format: PC Publisher: Atari Distributor: Namco Bandai Contact: 020 8222 9700
Developer Cryptic invites fans to go boldly where no MMO has gone before: namely, the Star Trek universe. Taking the helm of a starship, gamers get to explore Gene Roddenberry’s vision of humanity’s future, battling with Klingons, Borg, Romulans and other Trekkies.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 50 MCV 29/01/10
POLL IS GAME RIGHT THAT MOTION CONTROLLERS WILL UNLOCK 'AN UNPRECEDENTED INSTALLED BASE'?
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Tatsunoko vs Capcom Wii Capcom
55% Yes Not Sure
Sky Crawlers Wii Namco Bandai
Army of Two: The 40th Day PS3 EA
Guitar Hero: Van Halen PS3 Activision
Dark Void 360 Capcom
As excited as the industry is about Project Natal and the PS3 Motion Controller, it seems its members are also divided over the limits of the peripherals’ potential. More than half of those who voted in the latest MCV online survey disagree with GAME’s recent comments that the two hardware releases would bring substantial new audiences to gaming in a similar way to the Wii’s launch.
Almost a third of the voters are divided over the matter, preferring to wait and see how the controllers fare when released later this year. Only 15 per cent are confident that the pair will change the face of the gaming audience at large. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40th DAY FORMAT: 360
DEVELOPER: EA MONTREAL PUBLISHER: EA
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY PS3
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
Hundreds of consumers are currently fighting the winter fat and many are doing so through Wii Fit Plus and various other fitness titles. Venom offers gamers the equipment to help them have a more productive workout. The company’s Step Up Pro (£17.99) pack stands will make any exercises that
require stepping on and off the Wii Balance Board will help users expend more energy as they work out. The Step Up pack also comes with weighted neoprene gloves. These weigh 500gsm each and provide more resistance during arm exercises. Venom: 01763 284 181
SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DEAL OF THE WEEK
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
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.
Sega’s casual gaming fans can save £50 when they pick up a standard Wii bundle with Samba De Amigo and Rapala’s Fishing Frenzy at Play.com for £199.99
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 29/01/10 51 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Army of Two: The 40th Day PS3, EA
Vancouver 2010 360, Sega
Professor Layton: Pandora’s Box DS, Nintendo
James Cameron’s Avatar Wii, Ubisoft
WOW: Lich King PC, Blizzard
TOP 10 FINAL FANTASY XIII
IN STORE: WARRINTON
PS3 SQUARE ENIX
2. MASS EFFECT 2
3. MAG: COLLECTORS EDITION
4. HEAVY RAIN
360 ..........................................................................EA PS3 ......................................................................SONY PS3 ......................................................................SONY
5. GOD OF WAR III
6. BIOSHOCK 2: LIMITED EDITION
360 ................................................................2K GAMES
7. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION
8. ALIENS VS PREDATOR
9. BIOSHOCK 2
360 ................................................................2K GAMES
10. BIOSHOCK 2
PS3 ................................................................2K GAMES Week ending January 22nd Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE We speak to former GAME man Billy Walker, now at G Force... What are the major differences between working at GAME and independent retail? GAME was very structured and there wasn’t much leeway, but with an indie you’ve got a bit more freedom to do your own thing and customer service can only benefit from that. Obviously, we sometimes face stock problems – I worked in some of GAME’s bigger stores so I never had problems with the triple-A titles – unlike here.
“Working at GAME was very structured but with an indie you’ve got more freedom.”
What are the big challenges indies face? Fighting against the supermarkets, and trying to make it look like we’re good value for money when supermarkets can offer triple-A titles at ridiculous prices. It’s tough to get our regulars to come in rather than buying elsewhere. So what we do is get in the special editions and stuff like that, things that make us a little bit different from our competitors. We focus on our pre-owned service, our customer service and we even have a loyalty service that rewards anyone that keeps coming back to us.
TOP 10 MASS EFFECT 2 360 EA
2. MASS EFFECT 2
3. ALIENS VS PREDATOR
4. FINAL FANTASY XIII
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
5. BIOSHOCK 2
360 ................................................................2K GAMES
6. NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR
7. HEAVY RAIN
8. BIOSHOCK 2 What can indies offer customers? Customer service. When you go into GAME, they don’t really speak to you, whereas we can help customers find the game they’re looking for, give them information on thier purchases.
PC ..................................................................2K GAMES
9. FINAL FANTASY XIII
360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
10. BIOSHOCK 2
PS3 ................................................................2K GAMES Week ending January 22nd Source: AMAZON.COM
52-53 MCV572_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 52 MCV 29/01/10
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS.
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA NINTENDO: CROSSWORD COLLECTION NINTENDO PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS NINTENDO TAKE A BREAK’S PUZZLE MASTER UBISOFT MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO
3 5 4 2 6 7 8 11 9
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 THQ SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P DISNEY SING IT: POP HITS DISNEY GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360, PS3, PC, DS
WII FIT PLUS Wii
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 360, PS3, PSP
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
NINTENDO EA NINTENDO EA
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC UBISOFT
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
MARIO KART WII Wii
DARKSIDERS 360, PS3
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER Wii
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
BAYONETTA 360, PS3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
MICROSOFT SEGA SEGA WARNER BROS
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
WII PLAY Wii
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
PUBLISHER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
2 4 5 6 7 11 8 10 8
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
2 3 4 5
2 3 5 8
FIFA 10 EA GRAN TURISMO SONY ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES UBISOFT JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME UBISOFT
THE SIMS 3
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
6 7 8 9 10
YU-GI-OH! GX TAG FORCE 4 KONAMI FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 SEGA GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: SQUADRON LUCASARTS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV
LEFT 4 DEAD 2
7 4 6 9
DEVELOPER: SCE CAMBRIDGE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SONY
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ELECTRONIC ARTS ROCKSTAR
52-53 MCV572_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 29/01/10 53
fall in sales and the rise of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to second place. The game is the first Ubisoft title to hold onto No.1 for more than one week since the original Assassin’s Creed. The publisher boasts a strong presence in the Top 10 – bested only by Nintendo – thanks to Avatar and Assassin’s Creed II.
almost broke the sales record for the third week.
PS3 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
UP 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY 360
PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS
OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360, PS3, PC
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3, PC
WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS
THQ NINTENDO SONY ROCKSTAR
CODEMASTERS EIDOS THQ CODEMASTERS
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
LEGO INDIANA JONES 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP
DARK VOID 360, PS3, PC
SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE 360, PS3
PURE 360, PS3, PC
CAPCOM SEGA DISNEY
LEGO STAR WARS: SAGA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360, PC
MARIO KART DS DS
ASSASSIN’S CREED PS3, 360, PC
EA NINTENDO DISNEY
RATCHET & CLANK: A CRACK IN TIME PS3
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT
CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010
MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR X
SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Every game in the Top 40 saw a decline in sales. Capcom’s Dark Void is the only new title in the charts, making its debut at No.33. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY ASSASSIN’S CREED II UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES FIFA 10 DARKSIDERS JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR RATCHET & CLANK: A CRACK N TIME BAYONETTA BORDERLANDS
2 4 6 7 3 8 26 5 11
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA UBISOFT SONY EA THQ UBISOFT SONY SEGA EA
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
CITY INTERACTIVE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER
THE MYSTERY OF THE CRYSTAL PORTAL GSP/AVANQUETS
THE SIMS 2 TREASURE SEEKERS 1 & 2: COMPLETE
ELECTRONIC ARTS FOCUS
WII SPORTS RESORT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR YOUR SHAPE F1 2009 MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 LEGO INDIANA JONES 2: ADVENTURE CONTINUES
2 3 4 7 5 6 12 10 16
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
1 4 2 7 5 9 6
WOW: BATTLE CHEST
Only WoW: The Burning Crusade’s sales in week three of 2007 held Just Dance back.
WEEK ENDING 23/01/10
ever sales for the second week of a year and
Last week, Just Dance achieved the highest
of the All Formats Top 40, despite a 33 per cent
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO NINTENDO SEGA UBISOFT UBISOFT CODEMASTERS SEGA EA LUCASARTS
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 ASSASSIN’S CREED II DARKSIDERS FIFA 10 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY BAYONETTA JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR BORDERLANDS
1 3 6 5 10 8 4 9 7
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
JUST DANCE racks up a second week at the top
DEVELOPER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: INFINITY WARD EA MICROSOFT UBISOFT THQ EA ROCKSTAR SEGA UBISOFT 2K GAMES
YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES
creative and promotional SErvices 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net
Indigo Pearl Tel: +44 (0)20 8964 4545 www.indigopearl.com
The Audio Guys Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1788 565230 www.theaudioguys.co.uk
AN.X Ltd. Tel: 020 7785 7156 www.anxagency.com
JR DESIGN Tel: +44 (0) 7824 506436 www.joeryandesign.co.uk
The Pixel Tel: 0800 043 1040 www.thepixel.com
Ark VFX Ltd. Tel: 0114 268 4999 www.arkvfx.net
Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0)1225 471 202 www.mediasafari.co.uk
Über Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com
Barrington Harvey Tel: +44 (0)1462 456780 www.bhpress.co.uk
More Creative Tel: 020 7561 6010 www.morecreative.co.uk
uk distribution and logistics
Bastion Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 7600 www.bastion.co.uk
Multiplay Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 1337 www.multiplay.co.uk
Gfk Chart-Track Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 20 8741 7585 www.chart-track.com
Parker Consulting Ltd Tel: 07771571639 www.parkerconsulting.biz
Dilute Recordings Tel: 01483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com
PMA Marketing Tel: 020 7483 0568 www.pmamarketing.com
Eye-D Creative Ltd Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 1440 www.eye-dcreative.co.uk
RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS Tel: +44 (0)20 8254 5300 www.rainbowproductions.co.uk
FEREF Tel: +44 (0)207 292 6330 www.feref.com
RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682 363 www.realtimeuk.com
FINK Creative Ltd Tel: 01480 302350 www.finkcreative.com
Richard Jacques Studios Tel: 07831 756977 www.richardjacques.com
Fluid Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.fluidesign.co.uk
Shorewood.Blueprint Tel: 020 7183 9666 www.shorewood-blueprint.com
Freeform.London Tel: 020 7183 6664 www.freeformlondon.co.uk
Side Tel: +44 (0) 207 631 4800 www.side.com
Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com
SKYSKRAPER® Tel: +44 (0)20 7252 3288 www.skyskraper.net
Game Frontier Ltd Tel: 0870 420 2424 www.gamefrontier.com
Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0) 1483 414 415 www.studioco2.com
Discstribution Tel: + 44 (0) 845 4308735 www.discstribution.com EntaTech Tel: 0333 101 1000 www.entaonline.com Gem Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk Meroncourt Europe Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 www.trade.meroncourt.co.uk Trilogy Logistics Ltd Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com
international distribution ComputerLand doo Tel: +381 11 309 95 95 www.computerland.rs CURVEBALL LEISURE Tel: 01792 652521 www.thegamecollection.net Funtastic Tel: +61 3 9419 5444 www.funtastic.com.au GameStreamer, Inc. Tel: 001-813-527-0383 www.gamestreamer.net
TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS
In association with
Tel: +44 1 480 210 621 www.usspeaking.com
LOCALISATION QA AND TESTING
4-Real Intermedia GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 69809088 - 0 www.4-real.com
Orange Studio Tel: +39 051 588 04 50 www.orangestudio.it
Harbottle & Lewis Tel: +44 (0)207 667 5000 www.harbottle.com
Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com
Partnertrans Tel: +44 1753 247731 www.partnertrans.com
Marriott Harrison Tel: +44 (0)20 7209 2000 www.marriottharrison.co.uk
ANAKAN GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 30531420450 www.anakan.de
PlayableGames Tel: 020 7421 6487 www.playablegames.net
Babel Tel: 01273 764100 www.babelmedia.com
Testronic Laboratories Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1753 653722 www.testroniclabs.com
Cenega Poland Sp.Zo.o Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com
Universally Speaking Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com
Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229-9999 ext.312 www.enzyme.org
U-TRAX Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com
ChaYoWo Games Tel: +1 917.650.0010 www.chayowogames.com Crytek UK Tel: +44 115 949 0808 www.crytek.com Data Design Interactive Tel: +44 0 1384 44 79 00 www.datadesign.uk.com xaitment GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 6897-600 80-0 www.xaitment.com
manufacturing services Arvato digital services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com
OK Media Tel: +44 (0) 20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.com
DISCHROMATICS LTD Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk
Technicolor Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com
MPO UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8956 2727 www.mpo-international.com
The Producers Limited Tel: 0845 234 2444 www.theproducers.co.uk
Multi Media Replication Ltd Tel: +44(0) 1264 336330 www.replication.com
Total Console Repair Ltd Tel: 08719 181 721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
gaming accessorieS AntiGrav Media Ltd Tel: 01932 454929 www.antigrav-media.co.uk Hubb Accessories Tel: 01642 204343 www.playwithhubb.com I-Globe Accessories Ltd Tel: 01332 756610 www.i-ga.co.uk Logic3 plc Tel: 01923 471000 www.logic3.com
recruitment Aardvark Swift Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com
Game Options Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1382 731909 www.gameops.co.uk
Pebble Entertainment GmbH Tel: +49 (231) â€“ 477 927 0 www.pebble-entertainment.com/en
Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com/games
Specialmove Consultancy Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com
Pinpoint Consumer Elec. Tel: +44 (0) 1606 558 428 www.pinpointce.co.uk
GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT: ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK OR 01992 535647
56-57 MCV572_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 56 MCV 29/01/10
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: email@example.com
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 : email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bascodistribution.com
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
56-57 MCV572_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 29/01/10 57
INTERNATIONAL NEWS USA
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 email@example.com www.usgamesdist.com
UAE ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY
NINTENDO’S Wii Play, a collection of mini-games that comes bundled with the standalone Wii Remote, has been named as the best-selling non-PC game of all time in the US, according to new numbers from NPD. The second biggest selling non-PC game of all time in the US was Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, followed closely by GTA: San Andreas in third. Meanwhile, there are three entries from the Call of Duty series in the Top 10 – Modern Warfare 2 is in fourth spot, the original Modern Warfare makes it to No. 7, while Call of Duty: World at War takes ninth position.
Curry said: “Australia’s interactive entertainment industry continues to maintain sales despite the global economic slowdown. Video games remain a popular household pastime that can be played by the entire family. “We expect that in 2010 the industry will continue to maintain its steady sales performance as playing video games becomes as popular as watching television or surfing the net.”
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999
Meanwhile, US publisher and developer MumboJumbo is to release a boxed version of XBLA hit Braid for the PC in North America. The time-bending platform game has been a huge success as a downloadable title on the Xbox 360, and its retail release goes some way to demonstrating the potential of DLC platforms as a launch pad for product eventually released at retail.
Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
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
AUSTRALIA’S games industry set new sales records last year, with total revenues coming in at AUD $2.05 billion. Data from market research group GfK Retail and Technology Australia showed this figure had increased by four per cent when compared to the previous year. Software sales rose by six per cent year-on-year with family games accounting for 27 per cent of all games sold. The genre proved to be a key sales driver for a second year in a row, up 11 per cent when compared to 2008. Action games came in second, making up 15 per cent of sales. Hardware sales remained relatively flat, down slightly from 2.249 million units in 2008 to 2.247 million units. Peripherals sales rose by 31 per cent. The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association CEO Ron
SQUARE ENIX’S hugely popular RPG Dragon Quest IX has emerged as the best-selling game of 2009 in the country, racking up sales of over four million units throughout the year. Hot on its heels is the new Pokémon titles HeartGold and SoulSilver, with combined sales of 3.382m units, and New Super Mario Bros Wii which shifted 2.458m units. Despite having hit the streets in the closing moments of the year – and having only ten days to register in Famitsu’s sales data – new PS3 RPG Final Fantasy XIII manages to chart highly, claiming fifth place thanks to its 1.698m sales. SONY’S Asian aspirations have been given a fresh boost with news that SCE Asia has officially launched the PS3, PS2 and PSP in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Vietnam becomes the eighth country in the region to get an official hardware launch. Official SKUs now on sale include the 120GB PS3 Slim, the PSP-3000 in both Piano Black and Pearl White and a region-free charcoal black PS2 Slim. The PS3 will be priced at VND 9,990,000 (£330), the PS2 at VND 4,490,000 (£150) and the PSP at VND 5,990,000 (£200). All prices include regional tax. The other SCE Asia territories (aside from Japan) are Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Korea.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456
Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562
Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online
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+44 (0) 845 430 8735
Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720
Call Kevin, Ashley, Richie or Pete Accepted Payments - Paypal - Google Checkout - Credit Cards - Bank Tranfers and 30 Day Credit Accounts
Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 The Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891
DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com DISTRIBUTION
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . email@example.com
AMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 UK Shopfitters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800
For further online advertising information please contact
Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call
SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
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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 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 last year’s strong line-up of real-time strategy titles, including Empire: Total War, Halo Wars and Dawn Of War II, 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. FRIDAY MARCH 5th 2010
QA & LOCALISATION As the emerging markets of the world continue to develop, growing ever closer to the likes of Europe, the US and Japan, localisation becomes increasingly important to publishers hoping to release the next global hit. MCV talks to leading QA and localisation specialists on the latest developments facing the sector and the biggest advances seen in the last year. FRIDAY MARCH 19th 2010
GDC REVIEW We offer an in-depth rundown of the various revelations that will inevitably emerge from the first major gaming event of the year. With new hardware expected from all three platform holders and numerous unannounced projects in the works, all eyes with be on this year’s Game Developers Conference. FRIDAY MARCH 26th 2010
DUPLICATION AND COPY PROTECTION MCV takes a look at the process between the end of a game’s development and its release. We speak to the key players in the duplication and copy protection sector in order to shed some light on this cruical but often overlooked segment of the industry.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
STUDIOS Epic Games ...................................................+1 919 870 1516 nDreams...........................................................01252 375754 Razorback ...........................................www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds ...............................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games.......................email@example.com
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
TOOLS Blitz Games Studios ......................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 bluegfx ..............................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Crytek ........................................................+49 69219 77660 Dolby...........................................................(0) 1793 842 922
SERVICES amBX UK Ltd. ...............................................www.ambx.com Ian Livingstone..................................+44 (0) 1483 421 491 Imagination Studios..............................+46 (0) 18-106930 CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
Onteca................................................+44 (0) 151 709 0028 DISTRIBUTION
Partnertrans.......................................+44 (0) 1753 247 731 TC Associates.................................+44 (0) 7768 883 808 Testronic Labs ..................................+44 (0) 1753 653 722 Universally Speaking .......................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 Xaitment............................................+49 6897 - 600 80-0
COURSES University of Hull.............................+44 (0) 1482 465 951
The Producers offer a full supply chain management service covering manufacturing, warehousing, fulfilment and distribution Save money - Pay in £ not € - Flexible Inventory
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
Contact Rob Gross on: +44 (0)7774 672891 – firstname.lastname@example.org
THE PRODUCERS . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 . . . . . . . . . . . www.theproducers.co.uk
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GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . email@example.com
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . . 08719 181721 . . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
AMA DISPLAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 . . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk UK SHOPFITTERS
...bringing you all the right lines WWE DSi Lite Console Case
SkipDr Classic Disc Repair System
Nyko Wii Charge Station Quad
01606 558 428
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
UK SHOPFITTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 . . . . . . . . . www.ukshopfitters.com
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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 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
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London kathryn.humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk The biggest night in the UK games industry’s calendar returns to The Brewery in 2010, and will once again feature awards split across three main categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential games industry event that gives credit to the industry’s most deserving execs.
E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.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
Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing
For further information, please contact email@example.com www.testroniclabs.com
JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 July 13th - July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
The biggest developer event in the world brings together the development community to connect, share techniques and showcase the hottest upcoming technology. This year’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.
UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
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MCV 29/01/10 63
Green Man gets green light MCVUK.com commenters offered their views on Green Man Gaming’s plans to create a digital distribution service that allows consumers to trade-in their purchases, with many intrigued by the premise… Nice idea. One thing I don’t understand though is who would ever purchase new games from Green Man Gaming given that the pre-owned ones will be the same? Digital downloads don’t depreciate in value as there is no physical box or disc to take a beating. In other words, given the choice between a ‘new’ digital download and a cheaper ‘preowned’ download, why would you ever go for the new one?
It all sounds good but I can think of only one problem with this. With boxed product, the consumer has a number of trade-in options: CEX, GAME,
Also, if this company were to disappear, you wouldn’t be able to trade them in anywhere else. Martin
I should expect back exactly the same amount as I paid. This will end up as nothing more than a digital rental service – in which case, they
week. At least I know that in two years, if my harddrive were to fail, I won’t suddenly have to download 2TB of game data again. LeeC
This isn’t a trade-in, its a loyalty scheme. The idea that you’re ‘selling back’ code is ridiculous – all you’re doing is getting a discount by showing you’ve already bought a game from them before. David Evans
It’s simple, Chris. When a game is first released, early adopters will need to pay top dollar (because no pre-owned is available). There isn’t an option to buy pre-owned, so just like with physical products you either pay the price to be first to play, or wait and pay less. It’s a simple case of supply and demand here. Prices will fluctuate based on this, and pre-owned (or more specifically the price of a pre-owned code) will generate a larger demand. If Green Man can’t supply, consumers will need to pay for a new one. Selling back is a retention strategy. Zildjian
Gamestation, indies, Grainger Games, Cash Convertors, eBay, Play.com, Amazon, selling to friends and so forth. With this, the consumer can sell to Green Man and no one else. Hence a lack of competition would result in the potential for poor price offerings.
When selling a used physical item, it has depreciated value but when it is digital, there is nothing to depreciate. KB
If there’s no depreciation in quality, then I should expect no depreciation in value. Therefore
cannot expect people to suffer any greater loss than they would have done had they rented the game. While every company like Sony insists on charging as much for the download as they do for the disc, I’ll take the disc with resale value any day of the
This sounds like a very good idea. I’ve always argued against downloading games because you can’t trade them in, so if this is incorporated into the global gaming scene as opposed to just PC, then this will be huge. If this reached the PS3 store it would be a great feature because I could then trade-in, add some credit to my wallet and buy a couple of games. I think there is huge potential to massively increase sales in games here. Let’s hope they make the most of it, and prevent people from hacking to keep their code but still trading in. ViPER
‘Does the M in MCV stand for misogyny?’ I READ A issue of MCV (MCV 570, January 15th) and am both tired and disgusted with the misogyny that your it features. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed it, but this time was a new low. Pages 48 and 49 covered a contest with women dressing up as Bayonetta. Now the pros and cons of this type of competition could be discussed and make for interesting copy – indeed humour – but the MCV
writers seem to think hatred of women is funny. It’s not. The women who decided to take part in the competition are called (directly or indirectly) tarts, prostitutes and ugly. This is a classic dehumanisation tactic disguised as humour. By contrast, how does MCV treat men? Very differently; there is a guy dressed as a game character on page seven and what insults does he get? None. The back page article about
Ron Jeremy attacks him not on his gender but his hypocrisy. Fair should be fair – treat people on what they do, not on ‘70s attitudes to their gender. The games industry, I am glad to say, is changing fast. Your own articles can be included, such as the breakthrough for Just Dance on Wii and your interview with Mary Bihr of Lucas Arts. But this backwards mentality where gender are to be feared and
insulted is frankly both boring and insulting. Tomas Rawlings, Development Director, FluffyLogic
Apologies for any offence caused by Off The Record. That section of the magazine is different in tone to the rest of it, but isn’t intended to upset readers. Tomas’ points have been taken on board – MCV welcomes all constructive criticism.
LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:
64 MCV 29/01/10
PIC OF THE WEEK Behold, the latest winner of a Guinness World Record from the Gamer’s Edition 2010. What record could it be? Most obvious cry for help? World’s most financially reckless parents? No, this young girl is owner of the world’s largest collection of Pokémon memorabilia. We’re not convinced, of course – for all the stuffed toys and other crap she’s hoarded, she doesn’t seem to own any of the games.
[ November 17th, 2000]
FROM THE ARCHIVE We take a trip down memory lane, looking at past news stories and other events... NEWS Infogrames secures European distribution rights to Square and Bandai… Sega’s Euro boss JF Cecillon predicts Q4 sales of 500,000 plus for Dreamcast… Sony unveils its Third Place campaign for PlayStation 2. The centrepiece is a frankly impenetrable TV ad directed by Hollywood oddball David Lynch… Crave closes its offices in Europe. PEOPLE Tina Hicks joins the Xbox team as games marketing manager… Respected industry veteran Jim Mackonochie quits his role as UK managing director at Mattel Interactive… Leo Zullo leaves FastTrack for CDV.
[CHARTS] ALL FORMATS WWTBAM? ..........................Eidos PLAYSTATION FIFA 2001 .........Electronic Arts N64 Pokemon Snap ............Nintendo PC Champ Manager 00/01...Eidos Game Boy Colour Pokemon Pinball ........Nintendo Game Boy Colour Pokemon Yellow .........Nintendo
AND FINALLY On page 20, there’s an ad for Tomb Raider Chronicles carrying a quote from GamesMaster magazine describing it as “most definately worth buying”. Idiot rankings: 1) GamesMaster for writing it 2) Eidos for copying it 3) Us for running it. Definately.
MCV 29/01/10 65
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
SARAH JASPER, THE HUT
Off The Record Guinness World Records are awarded to a toy-hoarding fangirl and the First Lady of gaming, while Sonic The Hedgehog unveils something special at Alton Towers and Ed Vaizey calls out Keith Vaz...
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
AZEEM SADIQ, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
LARA’S SIX-PACK OF GUINNESS As if the Pokémon-obssessed youth (above) wasn’t proof enough, the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition has awarded six of its accolades to someone who doesn’t even exist. So they’re practically giving them away now. Lara Croft picked up the award for Most Successful Video Game Heroine, Most Recognisable Female Character in a Video Game and Most Detailed Video Game Character. The series itself also claimed the records for Most Official Real Life Stand-Ins in a Video Game, Most Successful LiveAction Transfer and Highest Grossing Computer Game Spin Off – although surely these three now partly belong to Angelina Jolie.
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S
PHIL MOORE, GRAINGER GAMES
66 MCV 29/01/10
OFF THE RECORD
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Tell [Vaz] that the Parliament website has a video game on its front page and no one has been killed yet.” Shadow Culture Minitster Ed Vaizey questions MP Keith Vaz’s attitude towards games after the belligerent backbencher failed to turn up for this week’s Westminster eForum debate.
MUST’VE COASTER FORTUNE Sonic The Hedgehog is heading to new heights. A new deal between Sega and Alton Towers will see the launch of a Sonic-branded rollercoaster, Sonic Spinball, which will open at the UK’s most popular theme park on February 13th. Sadly, Sega has yet to confirm that the cars will smash through robots as they go round the track, unleashing the fluffy rabbits trapped therein, or bounce repeatedly on top of a bald-headed scientist before returning to the station. Also part of the deal is the Sonic The Hedgehog-themed room, which will launch on the same day at the Alton Towers Hotel. Guests will be able to live and sleep in a room filled with Sonic memorabilia, and even get the chance to play the latest Sonic games. You’d think parents would want to get the kids away from games when they go on holiday.
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646
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Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688
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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
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