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This Valentine’s weekend, Nintendo is releasing the hottest handbag accessory for girls across the UK and Ireland: the glamorous new Nintendo DSi™ Pink, the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.
The Nintendo DSi Pink will be available from 12th February as part of a limited edition bundle with Style Boutique. Talk about the ultimate girly treat: a pink Nintendo DSi and hours of fashion fun to enjoy on it! This new colour console is packed with all the great features of the current Nintendo DSi – Camera, Music, Opera Browser, and Nintendo DSiWare™ – but is now pretty in pink for the girls.
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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 574 Friday February 12 2010 £3.25
04 The long game UK retail discuss the longer console cycle and the need for hardware marketing
16 Global vision A closer look at the US, UK and Japanese games markets during 2009
28 Retail Biz Our detailed product guides focus on Final Fantasy XIII and many more
MCV goes pink this week to celebrate the launch of Nintendo’s new pink DSi
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Mindscape returns to UK Local publishing office opens Acquisition hunt starts Parent beefs up digital plan by James Batchelor MINDSCAPE has returned to the UK publishing scene, MCV can reveal. The firm is currently based in Leicestershire and is looking for a new office dedicated to handling its titles in the UK after a successful spell working with Koch Media. While Koch remains the distributor, Mindscape UK general manager Mark Stanger will oversee direct relationships with retail. “The UK is obviously a huge games market, and therefore it’s very important that we are appropriately represented here,” Stanger told MCV. “The UK has an appetite for many of our products. This has been proven with the success of the ‘As Seen On TV’ range and more recently by the stunning performance of U-Sing.” The creation of the new office is the first step in a long-
Mindscape’s UK GM Mark Stanger is on the hunt for new titles to publish
FIRM HAS MIND ON DIGITAL, TOO Mindscape UK’s French parent is busily beefing up a digital strategy as well. Its Paris studio Punchers Impact is working on three new IPs – two to be delivered via Steam and one for PSN/XBLA – that will hit between the end of 2010 and Q2 2011. “Our aim is to develop new IPs with a strong multiplayer aspect,” studio head Guillaume Descamps told MCV. “With a digital game you can touch all markets without partners such as a US distributor – even if you are only present in Europe.”
term plan to re-establish Mindscape as a UK publisher. Originally formed in the 1980s, Mindscape has taken on many forms in its 20-year history and is now headquartered in Paris, France. Stanger said that the company will be taking a determined but cautious approach as it reaches across Europe: “Koch has been a fantastic partner for us in recent years and have played a major part in our success in the UK. This latest move reflects our approach to grow conservatively during this testing period in our market and the wider economy.” The firm is also on the look out for new titles to publish, he said: “I plan to make this a small but profitable and extremely efficient operation. We know that we cannot reach all of our objectives on our own, so we will actively seek the right partnerships with which we can grow.”
GAME plots York exit by Christopher Dring ALL OF GAME’S remaining York offices could close as part of a realignment plan. The company moved much of Gamestation’s head office staff to its Basingstoke HQ last year. Now the firm is considering a plan that will see the remaining call centre and refurbishment facility still in York closed and moved to the south. The Group is also looking to restructure certain departments at its central Basingstoke office. Altogether 83 jobs – 40 in Basingstoke and all 43 roles in York – have been put at risk, although the firm insists it is ‘committed to redeploying roles wherever possible.’ The move has been made to help the retailer cope with ‘tougher market conditions,’ the Group said in a statement.
Games market stumbles in January by Christopher Dring JANUARY SOFTWARE sales were down year-on-year despite a slew of major new releases. The likes of Bayonetta, Darksiders, Army of Two: The 40th Day, Mass Effect 2 and MAG were all launched last
month, leading some to believe the UK games industry would have a strong first quarter. But figures from Gfk ChartTrack show unit sales down 16 per cent in the UK, while software revenue has dropped 12 per cent when compared to the same period in 2009.
January 2009 was a very strong month. This time the market is quite different. Dorian Bloch, GfK Chart-Track
The comparisons come against a very strong January 2009, which benefitted from a wave of triple-A titles released during Christmas 2008. “We had some big titles right from week one this year,” said Chart-Track director Dorian Bloch. “If you compare that to last time round, there was very little out in week one and two. “The difference being is that in Christmas 2008 you had a lot of triple-A titles fighting it out, and they carried on selling into the next year. January 2009 was a very strong month – it was
JANUARY’S BIG SELLERS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Just Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft COD: Modern Warfare 2 . . . . . . . 60, PS3, DS,PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Wii Fit Plus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo Mass Effect 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Xbox 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft Wii Sports Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo FIFA 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PS2, PC . . . . . . EA New Super Mario Bros Wii . . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo Army of Two: The 40th Day. . . Xbox 360, PS3, PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA Assassin’s Creed 2. . . . . . . . . . . . Xbox 360, PS3, DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft
10 James Cameron’s Avatar . . . . . . 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PC . . . . . . . Ubisoft
following on from 2008, which was the biggest year ever for video games. This time round the market is a bit different.” Christmas releases including Just Dance, Modern Warfare 2
and Wii Fit Plus performed strongest during January. The only 2010 releases to break into the monthly Top Ten were EA’s Mass Effect 2 and Army of Two: The 40th Day.
PERSONNEL 18 RETAIL BIZ 19 NEW RELEASES 27 HIGH STREET 28 CHARTS 30
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[LEADER] UNHAPPY NEW YEAR THE FIRST SIX weeks of the year have not exactly been filled with good news for the trade. Worrying financial reports and the talk of redundancies at Namco Bandai, GAME and Take-Two have made the MCV website both a hot breaking news source, but also a somewhat difficult read. And now we report that the UK market is down year-on-year despite a slew of big January releases. But it would be remiss to judge the year on January alone, of course. It’s perhaps not a huge surprise that January 2010 hasn’t quite managed to live up to January 2009 when you consider the lack of triple-A titles we saw released last quarter. Signs remain good for the rest of the year. Sony and Microsoft’s motion controllers are a hot prospect, while the hits are definitely incoming: Tuesday’s BioShock 2 release comes just weeks ahead of Final Fantasy XIII. And that’s not to mention the upturn in companies looking to move into the UK games market. BBC, Bigben and Mindscape are three very different firms that see potential in the UK market. So while the market is down so far this year, it’s not out. There’s plenty of reasons to believe that 2010 will be a growth year for games.
THE LONGER CYCLE ONE WAY THE industry has boosted sales in the past has been through the introduction of new hardware. The arrival of a new console has always been an event for retail, and results in a huge spike in sales. But this time there’s no sign of a new machine, as platform holders try to get the most out of their current systems. How will retail react? Quite well, it seems. This week retailers told MCV they believe the longer cycle can benefit the games industry in the long run – reducing the need to re-educate consumers on new systems. But the message is clear: publishers and platform holders can’t get lazy. If there’s going to be no big hardware event this year, then games companies need to create events of their own – be it around the launch of a new game or peripheral. And a key aspect to that is in the marketing. As long as software publishers and hardware manufacturers continue to promote their products, then there’ll be no need for a new console. At least for now.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR ON THAT POINT, MCV has changed colour for one week only to celebrate the launch of this year’s top gaming Valentine’s gift, Nintendo’s pink DSi. As the number of girl gamers continue to rise, Valentine’s has become a far more profitable period for games. So maybe sales of the pink DSi can rival sales of the latest love song CD compilation or romcom DVD. Importantly, the hardware’s launch proves to retailers that Nintendo for one knows how to keep one if its long-running formats fresh. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk
Retailers ready for But High Street specialists, online stores and supermarkets stress by James Batchelor THE HIGH STREET has called for increased games hardware marketing from the industry if they are to really make the lengthier console generation work. Entertainment chains, online specialists and supermarkets have all told MCV they agree with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s strategies to extend the current hardware cycle. But they say its success hinges on closer collaboration amongst the trade.
investment across its life cycle and various upgrades – can,
We need to work together as an industry to make new controller launches as big as new hardware releases. Richard Chapple, The Hut
Retailers were responding to comments the three formatholders made to MCV last week about the benefits of a longer hardware cycle. HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis told MCV: “A long console cycle – especially if sustained with great product, marketing
clearly, deliver benefits if such an approach means household penetration grows and helps to drive sales on a regular basis. “At least that’s the ideal scenario; the reality tends to be a little different. “Obviously it will be a challenge to sustain sales without
next generation consoles, so the whole industry – publishers, distributors and retailers – will need to work together in an imaginative way to see how we can keep the market stimulated through great new titles and engaging marketing.” The Hut’s commercial director Richard Chapple added: “Hardware sales will always soften as technology gets older but advances in peripherals such as Natal and the PS3 Motion Controller are always positive for consumers and retail. “We need to work together as industry to make them as big as hardware format launches wherever possible.”
Consumers concerned by 3D UK CONSUMERS are worried that 3D TVs will make game violence more lifelike, a new survey has revealed. The research was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of IGN.com, and dealt with emerging gaming technology – including digital distribution, motion sensing and 3D. The study surveyed a control group of general UK consumers and compared their answers with those of IGN readers. 90 per cent of IGN readers see 3D as a major development in game quality. However, although general consumers are
Does 3D exaggerate violence?
also excited by 3D, 51 per cent of them are concerned it could make video game violence more lifelike. When discussing digital, the survey revealed 59 per cent of IGN visitors are heavily into
purchasing downloadable content, while just 22 per cent of the general public gaming group purchase DLC. Meanwhile, when it came to motion controllers, the study revealed most IGN 360 owners (86 per cent) and IGN PS3 readers (84 per cent) are excited by Natal and Sony’s motion controller. The general gaming population is also interested, but not to the same level, with 56 per cent of the 360-owning general public and 66 per cent of the PS3-owning general public expressing any interest. IGN: 020 3008 6020
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longer cycle Grenzbach out importance of better console marketing
at Nickelodeon TOPHEAVY10 RAIN by Christopher Dring
Retailers agree that the longer cycle benefits the industry. From left: Tim Ellis (HMV), Gurdeep Hunjan (Sainsbury’s), Richard Chapple (The Hut), Stephen Staley (Gameseek), Igor Cipolletta (ShopTo)
Increased support will help all the home consoles on the market consolidate their place in the mainstream, retailers added. Sainsbury’s games manager Gurdeep Hunjan added: “The marketing plans and launches for the accessories will reinvigorate the console sales and hopefully be well targeted to brand out to the more massmarket consumers. “There will be no need to reeducate consumers about new technology. Also, the quality of games should improve as publishers perfect their skills.”
“It’s quite clear that dramatic advancements in hardware technology over recent years has slowed to the point that right now a new console is simply not needed,” added Gameseek boss Stephen Staley. “There’s still a lot of life left in this current generation.” ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta added that that if the industry can co-operate, it will achieve “the kind of self-perpetuating cycle that has seen great PlayStation 2 titles being developed long after you would have expected the death knell to have sounded”.
NICKELODEON’S vice president for international video games, Arwed-Ralf Grenzbach, has departed the kids’ content firm, MCV can confirm. Grenzbach joined the firm in August 2007 following a successful stint as managing director for Take-Two Germany. He has also worked for media giants Disney and Sony Music. MCV understands that Nickelodeon has no plans to hire a replacement for Grenzbach. “Arwed has decided to leave Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products International to pursue new opportunities within the international entertainment industry,” said a spokesperson for MTV Networks International. “We wish much success and all the best in his new pursuits.” During his time at Nickelodeon, Grenzbach signed publishing deals with the likes of Take-Two’s
2K Play label and was also involved in a licensing deal with Activision over Nickelodeon’s hugely successful iCarly TV show. The TV giant also has a long-standing publishing deal with THQ for games based on the lucrative SpongeBob SquarePants licence. The next SpongeBob is due for release on DS and Wii on March 26th. Nickelodeon owns a range of top kids IP, and recently acquired the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for £5.9 million from The Mirage Group. Ubisoft currently holds the game rights TMNT.
2. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX
3. GOD OF WAR III PS3 ..........................................SONY
4. ALIEN VS PREDATOR 360 ..........................................SEGA
5. FINAL FANTASY XIII 360 ................................SQUARE ENIX
6. BATTLFIELD: BAD COMPANY 360 ..............................................EA
7. ALIEN VS PREDATOR PS3 ..........................................SEGA
MTV Networks: 020 7284 7777
8. BATTLFIELD: BAD COMPANY PS3 ..............................................EA
9. GTA: EPISODES LIBERTY CITY PS3 ....................................ROCKSTAR
10. STAR OCEAN: LAST HOPE PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX Week ending February 5th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 29 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… UK games software sales fell 16 per cent last week to £19.1 million, while unit sales fell 11 per cent to 913,565. Mass Effect 2 remains the key sales driver alongside Just Dance, with just 850 units separating the two at the top of the GfK ChartTrack Top 40. Only one new release managed to break into the Top 10: EA’s Dante’s Inferno, which debuted in fourth place. Retail can expect the market to jump back up again next week thanks to the long-awaited release of 2K’s critically acclaimed first person shooter, BioShock 2 – which was available on Tuesday this week.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending February 6th 2010
Mass Effect held on to the top spot this week
0 Week Ending January 23rd
Week Ending January 30th
Week Ending February 6th
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Can Koch game Break the licensing mold?
HMV is rolling out several initiatives for Valentine’s Day, such as the Love Shack photo booth (pictured right)
Customers wooed by HMV’s new campaign Entertainment chain plans ‘move closer’ Valentine’s promotion by Christopher Dring HMV IS running its biggest ever Valentine’s campaign this weekend, and expects it to lift sales of video games. The campaign features print, online and outdoor media, as well as TV ads. The firm has adapted its Nipper trademark to feature love hearts, and has changed its ‘get closer’ motto to ‘move closer’.
also,” said HMV head of games Tim Ellis. “Games are not traditionally associated with Valentine’s gifts – romance isn’t exactly a recurring theme in your average games title, although if you are buying for ‘him’, games do tend to offer a range of gift options. “Valentine’s is a big deal for the music and film sectors, and because they tend to invest a huge amount in marketing
Our activity isn’t targeted at a specific format, so there is no reason why games sales should not benefit as well.
The entertainment specialist has also installed a Love Shack photo booth into its Oxford Street store, which customers can use free of charge. “Much of our activity is generic rather than being targeted at a specific format, so there is no reason why games purchasing should not benefit
Tim Ellis, HMV
support, this generally accentuates the difference with games even more. “But there are signs that the usual status quo is beginning to shift a little. The recent trend of making games more female and family friendly is helping in this respect, such as Louise and Jamie Redknapp
KOCH MEDIA says its new game Prison Break: The Conspiracy will be a success when it arrives in March – even though the TV show it is based on finished last year. In fact the publisher says the 360, PS3 and PC title can revitalise the popular licence when it hits shelves. Koch says the TV show’s strong DVD sales and established fanbase, active across blogs, microsites and social networking, bodes well for the game’s sales potential. “Even though the series concluded last summer, there is still a huge amount of Prison Break enthusiasts thirsty for more to experience,” he said. “The TV series’ official Facebook page run by Fox has almost 1.5 million users that are still actively discussing the show and the cast on a daily basis. Our own Facebook page for the game has seen an
The Conspiracy will be marketed directly to Prison Break fans
increase of ‘friends’ in the past few weeks alone.” The firm is already laying the groundwork for further games based on Prison Break and other popular Fox licences. Said Nicholls: “We’re building European-wide relationships with Fox as the licence holder for the brand, and we hope to turn this into a long-term worldwide relationship.” Koch Media: 0870 027 0985
sharing Wii moments on TV ads together.” Ellis also highlights the new pink DSi as the sort of product HMV expects to sell well. “We are heavily promoting this as a gift recommendation in-store,” he added. HMV: 020 7432 2000
ROCK BAND PROMOTION REVEALED MTV Games has partnered with HMV and ticket exchange firm Seatwave for a new Beatles: Rock Band promotional push. Consumers who purchase The Beatles: Rock Band software or bundle from HMV will receive a £25 voucher for their next ticket purchase at Seatwave. The voucher can be used to purchase tickets for concerts, sporting events, comedy shows and more. The offer is available from the 270 HMV stores and online at www.hmv.com, and runs from today (Friday, February 12th) until June.
April release for No More Heroes 2 MCV CAN confirm No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle will be released for Wii at the end of April. The game will be published throughout Europe by Rising Star Games, and continues the critically acclaimed series from the mind of notable developer Suda 51. “The first No More Heroes game fast built a reputation as a benchmark in the Wii’s capabilities, and was brave and
bold enough to stand out from the crowd as an antidote to the glut of party games on the market for the console,” said Rising Star managing director Martin Defries. “It was one of the few games on the Wii that truly deserved the undivided attention of gamers across all formats and No More Heroes 2 promises to take this to the next level.” Rising Star: 01582 433700
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Pre-order drive for BlazBlue: Trigger PUBLISHER Zen United and distributor PQube have announced a special preorder initiative for upcoming console brawler BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. The game is due to launch on March 19th for Xbox 360 and PS3, and consumers can now advance order a limited edition set for the same price as the standard version. The pre-order set comes in special packaging, a 100page art book that features original drawings, sketches and concept work from the design team, and a bonus DVD that boasts two hours of detailed tutorial guides.
The special pack was put together in consultation with the game’s growing fanbase, and the firms say the feedback so far has been ‘overwhelmingly positive.’ “We anticipate a rapid sell through of this strong offer especially amongst those looking for great value when choosing their premium video games,” commented marketing manger at PQube, Rob Noble. Zen United MD Tomo Ohno added: “It is great to see our labour of love and passions summarised into a book and DVD pack for European users. “Both the tutorial DVD and art book present what we believe as important elements to bring the game alive and we hope that people will enjoy them.” PQube: 01488 649521
Disney plans Alice push Publisher working closely with Hollywood arm to market upcoming Wonderland game by James Batchelor DISNEY INTERACTIVE Studios is planning to work with stars from upcoming movie Alice in Wonderland in order to promote the accompanying video game. The publisher is once again joining forces with Disney’s Hollywood arm, following the successful collaboration between the teams when marketing last week’s release The Princess and the Frog. As part of this, the firm is in discussions to support its campaign from celebrities that appear in the film, which stars the likes of Johnny Depp, Helena Boham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Stephen Fry. DIS’ marketing manager Steve Woodward said: “We are
Alice in Wonderland will recreate director Tim Burton’s stange vision of the famous fictional world
Marketing efforts for the game will be heavily targeted at the film’s audience, with trailers appearing in cinemas
With the Walt Disney Company behind it, retailers can expect a stellar performance when Alice in Wonderland arrives. Steve Woodward, Disney
working particularly closely with Disney’s theatrical PR team and will hopefully have access to the cast of the film.”
nationwide before showings of Alice in Wonderland. The game will also be promoted during trade activity
with a range of non-traditional outlets, such as clothes and toy stores, tying in with the other merchandising initiatives that have been planned around the movie’s release. There will be competitions and editorial coverage in a range of specialist and kids’ print publications in order to engage with a more traditional gaming audience. Online, there will be a social media campaign running through Facebook, as well as a bespoke section on the official
Alice in Wonderland website dedicated to the game. “Alice in Wonderland is certainly not your typical movie game tie-in,” added Woodward. “With the additional weight of the rest of the Walt Disney Company behind the property, retailers can expect a stellar performance when this title hits shelves next month.” Alice in Wonderland will be released for Wii and DS on March 5th. Disney: 020 8222 1413
ELSPA joins lobbying specialist CBI ELSPA HOPES to further strengthen its Government influence by joining the Confederation of British Industry. The CBI is a business lobbying organisation, and claims to have unmatched connections with Government, policymakers and legislators. The games trade body joined the group last month, and feels the CBI’s policies are relevant to its members. The trade body also hopes to increase the influence of the
games industry within CBI’s trade association division. “The CBI is a very powerful lobby group that represents the interests of business,” said ELSPA’s director general Michael Rawlinson. “ELSPA has joined the group to strengthen the voice of our members and further enhance our access to Government. “In practical terms, many of the CBI’s general business policies have a direct relevance to ELSPA members, such as the growing concern
Rawlinson plans to improve ELSPA’s influence within the CBI
over the increasing or goldplating of regulation. “Therefore it is important to ensure our views are heard. “However, it is with regard to the CBI’s trade association division – where the creative industries are somewhat underrepresented – where ELSPA will look to have the most influence. “In this area, we will work alongside the CBI to promote the specific needs of the videogames industry in the minds of all stakeholders.”
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AntiGrav celebrates revenue growth Peripherals specialist sees turnover leap 400 per cent in 2009 More sales staff and accessories to come by James Batchelor ANTIGRAV Media saw its turnover increase 400 per cent for fiscal year 2009, and now the firm is intent on re-creating that success for 2010.
“It was also because we now offer what we believe is the most complete and broadest game accessories range in the UK – we now distribute over 500 accessories from over 20 vendors.”
In 2010 we will add more accessories to our portfolio and we will continue to grow our sales team. Robert Orchard, AntiGrav
The peripherals specialist attributes the sales triumph to its huge range of products and growing selection of licensed accessories “AntiGrav Media grew significantly in 2009,” said the company’s sales director Robert Orchard. “This was in part due to the addition of some strong licensed products, such as Disney and Ben 10.
AntiGrav is aware that the accessories market has become more crowded than ever, but its triumphs of the last year have left the firm confident it can stand out from the crowd. “There is always a lot of competition in the business and everyone is fighting for the same limited shelf space,” Orchard said. “So we have added more innovative products to our
AntiGrav’s Rob Orchard saw turnover rise 400 per cent last year
line-up and we believe that this has given us the edge over our competitors. In addition, our ‘one stop shop’ concept of
Super sequel set to top Street Fighter IV sales CAPCOM expects its upcoming beat-‘em-up Super Street Fighter IV to outperform its predecessor. The original sold more than 2.5m copies worldwide within a month of its release, and the publisher is in no doubt that its follow-up will improve on this. “Street Fighter is the biggest fighting game franchise in the world,” said Capcom’s head of UK marketing Stuart Turner. “When you factor in the new characters, bonus stages, additional moves, new online modes and a budget price, we’re confident the game will stand up as the best pound-forpound fighter on any console.”
Super Street Fighter IV is more than just an update, says Capcom
Capcom also feels it has overcome concerns from fans that there wouldn’t be enough new additions in SSFIV to warrant a second purchase. Added Turner: “There were a few dissenting voices but
these same people now show genuine excitement as we’ve released more details. “This isn’t just an update.” Super Street Fighter IV is due on 360 and PS3 on April 30th. Capcom: 020 8846 2566
accessories has proven to be a hit with retailers.” Orchard also revealed that AntiGrav has a packed year
ahead of it, with new accessories and staff on the way, as well as an increased marketing budget to ensure it can enjoy another big year. “In 2010, we expect to add more new and exciting accessories to our portfolio,” he said. “We have increased marketing plans to promote all of our products and build brand awareness. “We are also proud to be the first sponsors of the MCV Peripherals and Accessories Award this year. And, of course, we will remain totally focused on video game accessories. “In addition to this, we will continue to grow our sales team,” he added. “And we will step up our efforts to offer better service to all our retailer partners, including offering complete category management solutions.” AntiGrav: 01932 454 929
Sniper Elite targets Wii REEF ENTERTAINMENT will release Sniper Elite on Wii in the summer. The game is based on the original 2005 release, which debuted on PS2 and has since launched on other formats. Reef’s CEO Peter Rezon said: “Sniper Elite represents our most ambitious project yet. We have taken a game that has been called ‘the Gran Turismo of war games’ and improved it. We believe this will be one of the most fun shooters launched in 2010.” Sniper Elite will take full advantage of the Wii’s Remote to make the action more
immersive. The game puts players in the role of a sniper tasked with a series of missions in 1945 Berlin. The title is also compatible with the Wii Zapper and has been developed with add-ons such as this in mind, targeting Wii owners with gun-based peripherals. It also contains new levels and content that was not available in the original Sniper Elite. Added Rezon: “Following on from our recent launches of Free Running and Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre, we are incorporating features that ensure Sniper Elite will be an essential purchase.” Reef: 01908 487 587
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VideoGamer.com to power Virgin Media’s games site Broadcaster revives online games portal as Pro-G Media expands its website team by James Batchelor VIRGIN MEDIA has relaunched its online games channel, choosing VideoGamer as its editorial partner. A new partnership between the broadcaster and VideoGamer.com’s publisher Pro-G Media will see the
“Our new games portal will help games lovers play new games, watch demos and reach levels quicker than their friends but will also help families and casual gamers discover a whole new world of gaming for themselves.” Pro-G’s operations director Adam McCann added: “With a
Our new games portal will help families and casual players discover a whole new world of gaming. Alison Davis, Virgin Media
Virgin Media games portal populated with news, reviews, features and trailers, as well as downloadable PC games through Oberon and Metaboli. “With immersive games demanding instant reactions, our ultra-fast fibre optic broadband makes Virgin Media the perfect place for gamers,” said Virgin Media’s online director Alison Davis.
new fresh design, a wider selection of content and VideoGamer.com hosting the new video games channel, it has allowed for greater flexibility and functionality, hugely increasing the usability of the channel. “The launch is also great news for VideoGamer.com, with the channel already growing on a daily basis,
with Italian publisher Black Bean Games. “Black Bean has been working closely with Morbidelli,” Tradewest’s senior brand manager Aidan Minter told MCV. “Bringing his expertise to advise the game’s developer, Milestone, means that Next Challenge should be even more competitive than last year’s V8 release. “It also means that now more than ever Black Bean are looking to get closer to their target market, which is a very positive move.”
SEGA: The publisher’s secretive Project Needlemouse has been revealed as Sonic The Hedgehog 4. It will be the first true sequel to the original Sonic games in sixteen years. It will be released episodically through Xbox Live, PSN and WiiWare this summer. LUCASARTS: LEGO Star Wars III will be released this autumn for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS and PSP. The game will use the animated TV series The Clone Wars as its source material. KONAMI: The publisher reported profits of $116.7 million for the nine months ending December 31st, 2009 – a decline of 40 per cent when compared to the same period a year before. Profits were down 18 per cent from 2008 at $2.1 billion.
Virgin Media’s games site will feature articles from VideoGamer.com, while Metaboli and Oberon will power its digital download offering
further extending the reach of the site’s content.” Pro-G Media also announced it has expanded the VideoGamer.com team with the appointments of Joey Rabbitt and Alex Ridler. Rabbitt joins as designer having spent five years working for web design firm Createanet, while Ridler takes
on the role of content and community administrator. McCann said: “We’re delighted to have Joey and Alex on board. “We’re now well positioned to carry out our ambitious plans to further expand Pro-G Media in the months to come.” videogames.virginmedia.com
Star power to drive V8 racer ITALIAN DRIVING star Gianni Morbidelli will boost sales of upcoming racer Superstars V8, says UK publisher Tradewest Games. Morbidelli has been working with developer Milestone on the racing sequel, Superstars V8: Next Challenge, which is due for release on 360, PS3 and PC on February 26th. The game is based on the Italian Superstars Championship tournament, where only cars with V8 engines are eligible. Tradewest is handling the game’s release as part of its new distribution agreement
The publisher also believes Morbidelli will give Next Challenge the advantage when promoted against rival racers. “This gives us a great platform to extend our PR reach with one-on-one interviews and an inside look at the V8
Superstars Championship,” said Minter. “We’ve also got an expertise preview and review campaign across primary motoring press, motorsport press and men’s lifestyle magazines. There will be online HD channel takeovers and activity including podcast sponsorship as well. “Finally, we’re lining up competitions with the press to give away PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles, V8 merchandise and copies of the game.” Tradewest Games: 0207 456 0455
SONY: Lifetime sales of the Gran Turismo series have topped 55 million units. The latest edition on PSP has sold 1.8 million units since its release in October. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue on PS3 has sold 4.65 million. UBISOFT: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction will finally be released in the UK on April 16th. THQ: All Star Karate will be released for Wii this spring. The game is an extension of THQ’s All Star IP, following on from All Star Cheer Squad, and is compatible with Wii MotionPlus.
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10 MCV 12/02/10
EEK W E H T F O N IG A P M CA
RS RACING A T S LL A A G E S & SONIC
A comprehensive marketing campaign will promote Segaâ€™s racer to its broad target audience as well as calling to veteran Sega fansâ€Ś
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TV/MEDIA There will be a two-week national TV campaign with 20-second ads running on various channels, including Channel 4, Five, ITV2, 4Music, E4, CiTV, POP, Nickelodeon, MTV, Dave, FX, Comedy Central, and Sky 1. This will be supported by a three-week dedicated TV promotion with broadcaster Cartoon Network. The game will be the focus of a dedicated online site, with game editorial and trailers, as well as 40-second spots running on the companyâ€™s satellite channels. ONLINE There will be a three-week advertising campaign featuring homepage takeovers and dedicated creatives on key specialist
gaming websites. Ads will be timed around the launch of All-Stars Racing.
game across a range of specialist gaming and childrenâ€™s publications.
PRINT A one-month print campaign will see a multitude of advertorials promoting the
PR A five-month specialist and consumer PR campaign raising awareness of the
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MCV INTERVIEW ZOE COOPER, NINTENDO
Pretty in Pink Notice something different about MCV this week? That’s right, we’ve joined in celebrating today’s launch of the pink DSi. James Batchelor talks to Nintendo’s junior product manager Zoe Cooper about why retailers should show the new version of the handheld some love this Valentine’s weekend... Who are you targeting with the pink DSi and how will you engage with this audience? With this new colour it is definitely about the girls – although that’s not to say that it is exclusively for them. We know a lot of boys and men who picked up pink versions of the GBA SP and DS Lite. The launch date for the pink DSi bundle offers a great gifting opportunity, and so should help us to instantly engage the female audience as this is the ultimate girly accessory for Valentine’s Day.
white versions last year. We saw great success with the launch of the pink DS and DS Lite, and we hope that the pink DSi will see similar success. We would hope that all those pink DS owners will see this new colour launches as an opportunity to get a DSi in their favourite colour. What are your expectations for the pink DSi and the bundle, in terms of sales and public reception? We have released a series of colours since the launch of DSi, but pink is
It’s important that the right game is bundled so people are encouraged to make further purchases. Zoe Cooper, Nintendo
The DS has always had a strong female userbase – what do you attribute this to? It’s as much to do with the console being accessible to any level of user – regardless of age, gender or gaming experience – as it is to the great line up of software that has really enabled us to attract a larger than usual female user to the platform. I suppose you could say it all started with the release of Nintendogs and soon after that we had Animal Crossing: Wild World for younger players. Since those releases, we have continually released compelling and disruptive software on the console through launches such as Brain Training, 100 Classic Book Collection, Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Mystery Case Files: Millionheir, the Professor Layton series and Style Boutique. How do you expect the pink DSi to affect sales of the format overall? We know that both retail and a large number of our female userbase have been asking for DSi in pink ever since we launched the original black and
definitely one of the most anticipated colour variants we’ve worked on. The fact that it is released around Valentine’s Day gives us an instant gifting opportunity and the incorporation of Style Boutique software makes this a complete starter package. Why have you chosen Style Boutique as the title bundled with the pink DSi? How successful has this title been in the past? Style Boutique has performed well since its launch in October. It continues to sell consistently week in, week out for us and has now sold over 100,000 units in the UK. Including Style Boutique in this SKU will offer the ultimate accessory to girls who receive this bundle as a gift or purchase it themselves, thanks to hours of fashion game content. Offering a bundle also ensures that anyone can get playing on their DSi straight away.
Cooper feels the pink DSi and Style Boutique bundle will be the perfect gift for girls on Valentine’s Day
extra, or is a perfect fit with good software. With the pink DSi and Style Boutique, it offers girls a complete gaming experience and a great piece of hardware too.
Could we see other colours and game bundles in the future? The Nintendo DSi is available in an array of colours and we would not rule out future bundles. However, it is important that when a bundle is released it is truly offering something
How successful have previous bundles been? Bundles have performed consistently well for us right from the original Nintendo DS Nintendogs bundle through to more recent Brain Training bundles. It ensures that consumers get the complete package and an enjoyable first experience when they purchase. It’s really important to make sure the right software is included so people are encouraged to share with their friends and make further purchases.
For all enquiries please contact Nicki Tunney on 0121 625 7141 © DISNEY. TRADEMARKS ARE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. NINTENDO DS IS TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO. PRODUCT NAMES AND/OR VISUALS SHOWN ARE OF PRODUCT CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
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FRANCHISE FOCUS: BATTLEFIELD
‘Field report EA wants to reclaim its FPS crown from Call of Duty – and Battlefield could be the IP to do it. Chris Dring speaks to executive producer Karl Magnus Troedsson on the past, present and future of the franchise… CALL OF DUTY may look to have the first person shooter market sown up, but try telling that to EA. The publisher was once a market leader in the FPS genre with its Medal of Honor series. However, the company has since been eclipsed by the likes of Activision, Microsoft, Valve and Sony. It’s a situation EA are acutely aware of, and last month senior VP for Europe, Jens Uwe Intat, told MCV: “We are working on getting that crown back.” One way EA plans to do this is by relaunching its Medal of Honor series later this year, but the publisher’s first assault on the genre takes place on March 5th with Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
EA has high hopes for its next Battlefield – Bad Company 2 – which is due on March 5th
Battlefield games have evolved over consoles, but it wasn’t until 2008’s The Battlefield series began life on PC time to take in different settings, such as Battlefield: Bad Company on 360 and in 2002 with the launch of Battlefield WWII, Vietnam, modern day and even PS3 that the series hit the big time on 1942 – the spiritual successor to the the future. But the main challenge for home formats. And now EA hopes to 1999 hit Codename Eagle. DICE wasn’t taking Battlefield through take that one step further with its sequel. Since then its creator, Swedish studio history, but from the PC to the console. “Bad Company 2 is about to make DICE, has developed a multitude of “Bringing Battlefield to console was a some serious noise,” says Troedsson. “I sequels, spin-offs and expansions (see ‘A challenge but wasn’t as complicated as couldn’t be more happy with the game Battlefield Legacy’) and the popularity people seem to think,” adds Troedsson. – which the awesome team here in has grown with each release. “A lot of hard work was needed in Stockholm has created – and I hope “When launched, Battlefield pushed order to create our Frostbite engine that everyone will get to experience the huge the FPS genre forward with leap in quality that we’re the introduction of huge, taking here.” Battlefield has performed well open environments in in the digital space – and we A DIGITAL COMPANY which large numbers of expect to break internal So what of Battlefield’s longplayers could duke it out in records with Bad Company 2 term future? Well, one area vehicles as well as on foot,” EA has been experimenting says EA executive producer Karl Magnus Troedsson, EA DICE with is in the digital space. Karl Magnus Troedsson. Last year EA released Battlefield 1943 “Over the years this recipe has Battlefield: Bad Company was built on, as a download on PSN and Xbox Live, evolved with innovative additions. but getting the Battlefield formula to and the game was downloaded over one Moving forward we tread carefully, function on consoles turned out to be million times in a little over a month. realising that success isn’t only about more about having a clear understanding Meanwhile, in June 2009 a third-person having all the features but depends more of each platform.” free-to-play digital game entitled Battlefield on how they come together in a Battlefield 2: Modern Combat on Xbox Heroes was launched, and by December coherent and well-polished way.” and PS2 was the franchise’ first foray onto COMING OF AGE
three million gamers had signed up to it. “Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield 1943 have been experimental for us, not only in terms of gameplay but in the applied business models and distribution methods,” adds Troedsson. “Experiments are always a bigger risk, but so far we’re very happy with these games and consider them successes. “Coming from a multiplayer and PConly background, Battlefield has always performed well in the digital space. With the ongoing transition towards digital, we’re seeing a huge interest and expect to break internal records with the launch of Bad Company 2. “But this is not just about the distribution method it’s about getting close to our fans. We want to be in direct contact with our community, something which is easier if they’re already in the same digital space.” DICE’s commitment to its fans bodes well for Bad Company 2, and maybe, just maybe, EA finally has its game to rival the unyielding Call of Duty.
A BATTLEFIELD LEGACY Codename Eagle 2000, PC The WWI FPS was Battlefield’s spiritual predecessor
Battlefield Vietnam 2004, PC The second Battlefield game switched settings to Vietnam
Battlefield 1942 2002, PC Set during WWII, Battlefield was a big hit and a franchise was born
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat 2005, Xbox, PS2, 360 Modern Combat was the first Battlefield created for consoles
Battlefield 2 2005, PC Set in modern day, Battlefield 2 boasts a Metacritic score of 91
Battlefield: Bad Company 2008, PS3, 360 Battlefield returns to consoles complete with offline campaign
Battlefield 2142 PC, 2006 The series moved into the future for its fifth outing
Battlefield 1943 2009, PSN, Xbox Live 1m players downloaded 1943 after just six weeks on sale
Battlefield Heroes 2009, PC 3m users have signed up to this free-to-play digital game
Bad Company 2 2010, PSN, Xbox Live The next in the Battlefield series is due on March 5th
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GLOBAL MARKET ANALYSIS
World Service Want to know how the biggest three games retail markets, USA, UK and Japan stack up against each other? Here, analysts from GfK Chart-Track, NPD and Famitsu offer up insight from their joint Top Global Markets report… [UNITED STATES] TOTAL 2009 US SOFTWARE MARKET VALUE: £6.69bn Anita Frazier, Industry analyst, The NPD Group Looking at software sales performance, video game software unit sales declined seven per cent for all of 2009. Still, while year-over-year comparisons show declines, the USA market is still boasting significant volumes that were unseen before 2008. With the huge investment needed to produce software for this generation’s consoles, many publishers talk about releasing fewer titles each year, which will allow their teams to better focus on maximising the success of each title. The theory is that this will produce more high-quality games resulting in better sales. However, the
“The number of titles entering the market is still growing with 778 new titles released in 2009, up from the 764 in 2008.” year-end data from 2009 shows us that the number of titles entering the market is still growing with 778 new titles released in 2009, up from the 764 in 2008. So, while there has been no noticeable slow down in the number of titles launched each year, we do see some evidence of a converse relationship between the number of titles launched and the average unit sales of a title. When looking back at the past seven years, we see that 2004 had the lowest number of titles launched yet the highest average unit sales. On the other hand, 2009 had the most titles launched and average unit sales were lower than they’ve been since 2005.
ABOUT THIS REPORT
CONSENSUS AND CONTRADICTION
Top Global Markets Report is a monthly report from NPD, GfK Chart-Track and Enterbrain which combines point-of-sale data for console video game software sales in the world’s largest games markets (the USA, UK and Japan). Like-for-like annual comparisons mean that only the first 52 weeks of 2009 are included here (2009 was a 53-week year in the UK retail calendar, the last time this happened was in 2004).
THE COMBINED TOP FIVE VIDEO GAMES FOR 2009 ACROSS UK, USA AND JAPAN 2009 Titles Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Wii Sports Resort New Super Mario Bros Wii Wii Fit Plus Wii Fit
Publisher Activision Nintendo Nintendo Nintendo Nintendo
Total 11.86m 7.57m 7.41m 5.80m 5.44m
US Retail 8.82m 4.54m 4.23m 3.53m 3.60m
Japan Retail 237,500 1.54m 2.49m 1.30m 588,300
UK Retail 2.80m 1.49m 687,300 968,300 1.25m
[Note: Chart ranked in order of unit sales. Figures have been rounded. Due to rounding, the sum of the individual countries may not equal the total for certain titles.]
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MCV 12/02/10 17
GLOBAL MARKET ANALYSIS THE MARKET DECLINE Combined video game software unit sales across the world’s three largest games markets experienced a decline of eight per cent in calendar year 2009. A total of 379.3 million units of software was sold across UK, USA and Japan versus 2008’s 409.9 million units – but it’s still more than 2007’s figure of 367.7 million units sold. Broken down by territory, the decline can be seen like this:
JAPAN USA UK
PERCENTAGE DECLINE OVERALL . . . . . . . . CONSOLE SOFTWARE DECLINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PORTABLE GAMES SOFTWARE DECLINE 2% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[ANALYSIS] PS2 SLUMP DRAINS MARKET
[UNITED KINGDOM] TOTAL 2009 UK SOFTWARE MARKET VALUE: £1.621bn Dorian Bloch, Business Group Director, GfK Chart-Track For the UK video game home console software market it is clear that current generation systems suffered slight negative growth overall in 2009, even though PS3 and 360 both enjoyed record volume (and value) software sales for the year, and were the only formats to exhibit positive growth over 2008. Growth on these platforms did not manage to offset the steep decline in PS2 software units (down 67 per cent in the UK), which in real terms was close to a decline of four million units. Also, the incredible performance exhibited by Nintendo's Wii in 2008 meant that Wii units fell
“Within the portable market, it is clear that this is the reason for the overall console software decline.” back ten per cent, although it remained the number one format in terms of units sold in 2009. Within the portable market, it is clear that this is the reason for the overall software decline. Nintendo DS volume and value sales in 2008 reached a high point brought about by massive, record-breaking DS Lite sales, and the corresponding sales of hit titles such as Dr Kawashima, Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, New Super Mario, and Mario Kart DS. Rolling on to 2009 saw much lower DS hardware sell-through and no new must-have DS titles at the top of the charts, apart from Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box. Sony’s PSP suffered a similar fate to DS, with few must-have titles arriving in 2009, and a continued decline in PSP hardware sales, ever since the sweet spot achieved in 2006 with the original PSP.
Continuing the trend from 2008, the overall gaming software market in 2009 declined in large part due to the shrinking PlayStation 2 software market, which experienced a 57 per cent decrease across the USA, UK and Japan in unit terms. (USA’s PS2 software sector was down 56 per cent; UK’s down 67 per cent; while Japan fell 55 per cent).
[JAPAN] 2009 JAPAN SOFTWARE MARKET VALUE: £2.32bn Mitsunobu Uwatoko, Manager of Global Marketing, Enterbrain Japan’s 2009 game software market was blessed with a string of Nintendo DS software hits during the period, including the trio of doublemillion-plus sellers, Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito, Pocket Monster Heart Gold/Soul Silver, and the year’s most successful non-sequel, Tomodachi Collection, which sold two million units.
“Best-selling releases could not recover the losses experienced during the first half of the year.” Moreover, Final Fantasy XIII, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus sold over a million each on top of the long-awaited New Super Mario Bros Wii, which sold over 2.4 million during its first month at retail. However, these titles could not manage to recover the losses experienced during the first half of the year, thus the annual total sales were slightly down.
18 MCV574_final:46 MCV515
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Guitar Hero business boss departs Haddad steps in to head up music business GameStop promotes Mauler to EVP Bigpoint appoints Hein ACTIVISION The firm’s DAN ROSENWEIG has left his position as president and CEO of the Guitar Hero business unit. He leaves to pursue other career opportunities and is succeeded by veteran DAVID HADDAD, who has been named COO of the business. Haddad has over 25 years of experience, having worked as COO of Vivendi Games’ Sierra Online division. Activision president and CEO MIKE GRIFFITH said: “We would like to thank Dan for his contributions to the Guitar Hero business.
Rosenweig has overseen Guitar Hero for the last nine months
“We widened our leadership in the music genre in 2009. And now, in 2010, David, with his broad consumer product and digital/online experience, is the right leader to drive our agenda to improve profitability.”
GAMESTOP MICHAEL MAULER has been promoted to executive vice president of GameStop International. Mauler leaves his previous position of senior vice president of supply chain and international support to take operational leadership of GameStop in 15 countries outside of the US. He joined GameStop after the retailer acquired rival Electronics Boutique in 2005, where he served as vice president of logistics. “Mike’s leadership qualities have been instrumental in developing the infrastructure,
distribution capabilities, and international online sales strategies to support our continued international growth,” said GameStop chairman R. RICHARD FONTAINE. “He is the right person at the right time for this challenge.” BIGPOINT German publisher and developer Bigpoint has hired MARKO HEIN to the newly created position of chief game officer. Hein previously worked as general manager of THQ’s international office in Zurich,
and as director of acquisition and development at Koch Media. He started his career at Nintendo of Europe in 1994. He will report to Bigpoint CEO HEIKO HUBERTZ. Hubertz said: “Game development is the company’s heart and soul. That’s why it was imperative that we find an experienced, creative and wellconnected candidate for the position of CGO. Marko Hein has what it takes to work at Bigpoint. His creativity, passion, sharp business acumen and sound strategic thinking make him a valuable new addition to the executive team.”
19 MCV574_final:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
LUCKY THIRTEEN The stalwart Final Fantasy franchise is back. Could it be this quarter’s biggest game launch?
HEAVY RAIN P22 Sony’s story-driven adventure gets its longawaited release on PlayStation 3 UNDEAD KNIGHTS P24 Play as the leader of the undead in Tecmo Koei’s latest PSP action adventure ACE ATTORNEY INVESTIGATION P24 The spin-off to Capcom’s legal-based adventure series arrives on Nintendo DS MACHINARIUM P24 The popular digital game gets a PC retail release courtesy of Mamba HIGH STREET P28 This week we check prices in Chester and chat to London-based indie Awesome Games
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RETAILBIZ: FINAL FANTASY XIII 20 MCV 12/02/10
One of the most anticipated releases of the year finally hits shelves, as Square Enix readies the latest entry in its flagship series…
by James Batchelor
Final Fantasy XIII was released in Japan just before Christmas and met with remarkable success – it is the first PS3 title to sell more than one million units in Japan. Western retailers can be assured of even greater sales as the game will be
FINAL FANTASY XIII is a game that needs no introduction. It is one of the most anticipated games of all time, with a colossal worldwide fanbase eagerly waiting for the inevitably epic adventure. Final Fantasy XIII will be a It has been almost four landmark release for this years since Final Fantasy XIII was first shown to the generation, with a level of public, but Square Enix is craftsmanship and quality more than confident the game that is second to none. has been worth the wait. Adrian Arnese, Square Enix “We have high hopes for Final Fantasy XIII as you would expect,” released on both PS3 and Xbox 360, says senior brand manager Adrian Arnese. unlike the PS3-only launch in the East. “The Final Fantasy series has Arnese says: “Since its initial continuously reinvented itself over the announcement at E3 in 2006, the last two decades, with over 92 million anticipation for Final Fantasy XIII has copies sold worldwide. been growing and growing, and is now “The series is defined by constant reaching fever pitch. evolution, with each release delivering “The game has been regularly topping nothing less than the finest creative pre-order charts and the rate of prevision and audio/visual quality – Final orders is increasing as we get closer to Fantasy XIII will be no exception.” its launch.”
The hype building behind the game is impossible to miss, with overwhelmingly positive press coverage appearing across a wide range of specialist, movie and lifestyle publications. Initial review scores have been high, including a nine out of ten in Official PlayStation Magazine, and Square Enix is confident that subsequent reviews will be just as glowing. “All this considered, our aim is for Final Fantasy XIII to be a landmark release for the current hardware generation, with sales results in line with previous main Final Fantasy releases,” adds Arnese.
Final Fantasy XIII is set to appease fans with a brand new epic storyline, complete with emotionally moving twists and cinematic cutscenes. Players once again explore a world where magic and machines are at war
RETAILBIZ: FINAL FANTASY XIII WWW.MCVUK.COM
Final Fantasy XIII promises to delight fans once again with a colourful cast of characters, impressive visuals and an epic storyline in keeping with its hugely popular predecessors
RELEASED: MARCH 9 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 8636 3013
MCV 12/02/10 21
and the lines between good and evil are constantly blurred. “Final Fantasy XIII lets players embark on an adventure beyond their wildest dreams, packed with breathtaking environments to explore, unique allies to befriend, and awe-inspiring enemies to conquer,” explains Arnese. “An immersive storyline draws the player ever closer to a cast of intriguing characters. Will they have the strength to face their fate, or are they doomed to destroy everything they love? “There is a level of craftsmanship, detail design and quality here that is second to none, setting a new benchmark for the realisation of video game worlds and characters.” The game boasts a new graphics engine developed specifically for this generation of consoles. Consumers can expect stunning highdefinition cinematics and sound, as well as some of the time-honoured gameplay mechanics that have evolved as the series has progressed.
The familiar Active Time Battle system is present once more, with new features granting players the freedom to give numerous commands in a single turn in real-time. There is also a brand-new mechanic – the Paradigm System – that enables players to assign different roles, such as commando or medic, to their party members at any time during battle. RETAIL FANTASY
Square Enix plans to elevate Final Fantasy XIII’s debut above previous games releases and bring it closer to becoming one of the biggest entertainment launches of the quarter. To accomplish this, the publisher has invested in an extensive multi-million pound campaign that designed to reach millions of consumers. Key to this massive campaign will be heavyweight TV advertising, which will run across terrestrial and satellite channels – it kicks off on March 1st running into Easter and beyond.
TV spots will appear more frequently as launch day approaches, and Square Enix has secured prime advertising spots during key football programming. The publisher has also made its biggest ever investment in video-ondemand media. Meanwhile, the firm estimates that its national bus side advertising campaign will reach a staggering 75 per cent of the UK’s population throughout March, mirroring the impact of triple-A blockbuster movie campaigns. In print, Final Fantasy XIII will be promoted directly to fans and a general gaming audience through both specialist and men’s lifestyle publications. These promotions will also broaden into both the wider lifestyle and national press, such as full-page ads in Metro, Shortlist and others. Retail will be a key component for Square Enix’s plans with dedicated instore programmes booked with major retail partners and plenty of high impact POS available.
RETAILBIZ: HEAVY RAIN 22 MCV 12/02/10
Sony readies its latest key exclusive for the PS3, with Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain set to raise the stakes for video game narratives…
by James Batchelor OVER THE LAST decade, huge leaps have been made in the quality and scope of video game narrative. No longer are developers restricted by a simple, linear ‘save the princess’-style plot – now they can invite players to affect how the story progresses. While countless games each boast different endings, a few titles seek to go beyond this. The 2005 hit Fahrenheit featured a scores of endings based on player decisions, while Mass Effect 2 continues the series’ story depending on how gamers tackled it predecessor. Now Sony takes the next step with the upcoming adventure Heavy Rain. Developed by French studio Quantic Dream, the acclaimed team behind Fahrenheit, the game expands upon the innovations of its earlier efforts to bring gaming closer to true narrative interaction.
The core of the game is its dark storyline that follows the investigations surrounding the mysterious Origami Killer, who has been terrorising a city on the US Atlantic coast. Each of the killer’s victims are drowned and discovered four days after they go missing. The only clues with each body are an origami figure and an orchid.
“Heavy Rain has been coveted by PS3 owners for years, with plenty of anticipation among the global gaming press.” As news emerges of another potential victim – a young boy named Shaun Mars – four unrelated people are brought into the investigation as they race to end this terror once and for all. Players take on the roles of these four characters at varying points in the game.
Each one follows their own leads and hold their own interest in the case of the Origami Killer. Only the gamer’s actions will decide whether they succeed or fail, and which will be the one to unmask this criminal. The playable cast includes determined journalist Madison Paige, controversial FBI criminal profiler Norman Jayden, former cop turned private detective Scott Shelby and Ethan Mars, the guiltstricken father of the abductee. Each one has their own story to tell, their own personality and makes Heavy Rain feel more involving than those with a single, bland protagonist. Crucially, it is through the four characters’ actions that players will begin to see the impact they can have on the overall narrative. Events that occur in each person’s storyline are taken into account by the other three. This can occur on smaller
RETAILBIZ: HEAVY RAIN WWW.MCVUK.COM
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 26 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SONY
MCV 12/02/10 23
levels, with a few events merely mentioned in another storyline, but can go to far greater depths.
DEVELOPER: QUANTIC DREAM PRICE: £49.99
DEATH IS JUST THE BEGINNING
At its most extreme, the death of a main character will have tougher repercussions than a traditional ‘Game Over’ screen. Instead, the plot will continue through the surviving characters, and the consequences of the other protagonist’s death will even be incorporated into their storylines going forward. Players progress through the game by exploring environments, interacting with suspects, witnesses and other bystanders, and reacting to a multitude of key action scenes. None of the storyline is told through cut-scenes, instead unfolding around the player as they progress. Using a mechanic similar to that of Fahrenheit, gamers decide what action
CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
their character will take next by choosing to follow one of the available icons on the screen. These either indicate a face button or direction of the analogue stick, and can prompt the investigator to perform a simple action such as sitting down, tranpsort them to another area or employ a new attitude during dialogue. Heavy Rain even goes beyond the scope of simple point and click adventures by applying this mechanic to a character’s every action. For example, if the journalist is applying make-up in order to seduce a contact, players will have to guide the mascara and lipstick to ensure it is applied properly. Or they will need to time their attack carefully in order to take out a thug attempting to rob a convenience store. Aside from the extensive scope of the game’s main storyline, a key selling point is the graphics.
Quantic Dream has worked hard to make Heavy Rain appear as cinematic as possible, with moody lighting that suits the title’s film noir overtones and detailed character models. Players can even switch between a variety of camera angles in every scene, making the overall experience even more interactive. Sony will no doubt be pulling out all the stops to promote the arrival of Heavy Rain. The game has been coveted by of PS3 owners for three years, with plenty of anticipation among the global gaming press. In addition to a traditional marketing campaign that will raise awareness of the upcoming release, the platform holder is also holding an alternative reality game through the official Heavy Rain website, inviting players to take part in a four-day challenge that mimics the investigations of the game.
RETAILBIZ: UNDEAD KNIGHTS/ACE ATTORNEY/MACHINARIUM 24 MCV 12/02/10
Tecmo Koei invites gamers to experience the fight against the undead from the zombies’ perspective…
Capcom expands upon its successful Ace Attorney series with a brand new look at one of the franchise’s most popular antagonists…
Mamba Games brings the acclaimed digital point and click adventure to shelves with a few retail incentives…
by James Batchelor ZOMBIES ARE one of the most popular enemies in gaming and Undead Knights allows players to find out why. This title puts gamers in the role of a zombie soldier capable of turning any
by James Batchelor CAPCOM’S long-running Ace Attorney series has already seen a transition from the original Phoenix Wright trilogy to the Apollo Justice follw-ups.
by James Batchelor MACHINARIUM is a traditional point and click adventure that has already charmed PC owners with its unique art style and quirky universe. The game puts players in the role of a robot on a quest to save his girlfriend
creature – from local wildlife to enemy troops – into his undead minions. These walking corpses can then be used to attack the living, form stepping stones and platforms, set off booby traps or serve as catapult ammunition. “We hope that gamers, retailers and PSP fans engage with Undead Knights because it’s not what you’d expect,” says PR manager Ben Lawrence. “It’s not ‘just Dynasty Warriors with zombies’ – it’s more akin to Lemmings and Pikmin.” Tecmo Koei believes online marketing will be the best way to engage with Undead Knights’ target audience and has set up a dedicated website. In print, there will be reviews in key gaming and men’s lifestyle publications.
Now the franchise branches off once again in the form of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. As the title suggests, the game drops the previous spiky-haired goody-goody protagonists in favour of fan favourite Miles Edgeworth, who served as the player’s main rival in earlier titles. Rather than putting player through the usual lengthy courtroom dramas, Investigations instead turns its focus to the crime scene. Players are sent to the various murder scenes to search for evidence and contradictions that will prove to be essential to solving each of the game’s mysteries. The process of investigation is no longer as inactive as it once was, with players actively moving the main
from the evil robots of the Black Cap Brotherhood. Exiled to the scrap heap, the metallic hero must progress through a series of puzzles if he is to find his way back into the city of Machinarium and bring down his enemies. As gamers explore this robotic world, they must collect important items and speak with the scrap heap’s inhabitants in order to find their way into the city. Using an endearing design approach reminiscent of Wall-E, the game bears no speech and instead sees characters communicating with gestures and icons in cartoon speech bubbles. Machinarium has been critically acclaimed across a range of gaming publications, receiving high scores from the likes of GamesTM and IGN.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 26 FORMATS: PSP PUBLISHER: TECMO KOEI DEVELOPER: TECMO KOEI PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01462 476 130
Undead Knights was also one of the key sponsors of a zombie world record attempt held during The Big Chill Festival, with T-shirts and flyers available to the public. “We suspect that Undead Knights might well have a word of mouth appeal to it so we expect sales to start well and stay at a healthy level for a long time,” adds Lawrence.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 19 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: CAPCOM DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
character around each environment with the stylus, instead of simply tapping on a static background. There are also new game mechanics that will make the action more engaging, such as Logic mode. Once players have acquired enough evidence, they must use this to identify the connections between everything they have found and the testimony of key witnesses.
RELEASED: MARCH 5 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: MAMBA GAMES DEVELOPER: AMANITA DESIGN PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
It also won the Excellence award for Visual Art at the 2009 Independent Games Festival. While the game may already be available as a downloadable title, Mamba Games is still confident that the retail version will be a success thanks to a variety of retail-exclusive incentives. Each boxed copy of the game will include a soundtrack CD, concept art book, A3 poster and a printed copy of the official guide.
ess: plete succ m o c a s a 2009 w gamescom untries from 31 co rs o it ib h x • 458 e itors 45,000 vis 2 n a visitors th re • Mo nal trade o ti a rn te 45% in ies • Approx. 49 countr m o fr ts s urnali • 4,100 jo
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
28.01.2010 11:17:52 Uhr
26 MCV574_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 26 MCV 12/02/10
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Aliens prey on February rivals Sega’s Aliens vs Predator brings sci-fi action to gamers everywhere, while music fans can enjoy a new dose of Guitar Hero. Also approaching shelves is Final Fantasy XIII, Battlefield, Heavy Rain, Napoleon, Dynasty Warriors, Ben 10 and more... TITLE
DS PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii PSP PC / XBOX 360 PC XBOX 360 / PS3 PSP
Mystery Action Adventure RPG Action Mini-games Casual/Adventure Strategy Music Puzzle Racing Strategy Survival Horror Fighting
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 822800 01279 822800 01273 202220 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388
Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Open Open Namco Bandai Lace Advantage Centresoft Gem Gem Lace Centresoft Centresoft
PC PSP PC PC PS3 XBOX 360 DS PC Wii Wii DS / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360 PSP PS3 / XBOX 360
Simulation Adventure Strategy Simulation Adventure Music Puzzle/RPG Strategy Action Sports Racing Action Action
Just Flight Zushi Ubisoft First Class Simulations Sony Microsoft Ubisoft Sega Namco Bandai South Peak Sega Tecmo Koei Rising Star Games
0845 234 4242 01279 822800 01279 822800 01869 338833 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130 0845 234 4242
Mastertronic Gem Gem Open Centresoft Gem Gem Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Open Mastertronic
PC DS / PC / Wii DS PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS PC PC DS DS PC PC DS / Wii PC DS PC PSP / Wii / PS2 PC PC
Casual Action Puzzle Action FPS Action Simulation Casual Imagine Puzzle Casual Casual Mini-Games Casual Puzzle RPG Survival Horror Action Strategy/Action
S.A.D Disney Interactive S.A.D Ubisoft EA Zushi First Class Simulations S.A.D Ubisoft City Interactive Mamba Games S.A.D South Peak S.A.D Nintendo Deep Silver Konami Ubisoft Square Enix
01582 436043 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01869 338833 01582 436043 01279 822800 0845 362 7769 01273 202220 01582 436043 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0208 987 5706 01279 822800 020 8987 5730
PlayV Centresoft PlayV Gem Centresoft Gem Open PlayV Gem Trilogy Lace PlayV Centresoft PlayV Koch Koch Open Gem Open
PS3 / XBOX 360
020 7324 5200
DS Wii PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 / XBOX 360
RPG Simulation Action/Adventure
Rising Star Games Deep Silver D3Publisher
0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0208 222 9700
Mastertronic Koch Namco Bandai
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 Hello Kitty Puzzle Party Indianapolis 500 Evolution Making History 2: War Of The World Resident Evil 5 (Platinum/Classics) TNA! Impact: Cross The Line
FEBRUARY 26th 727 Captain Adventures To Go Anno 1404 Venice Add-on Discover Arabia Heavy Rain Lips: Party Classics Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes Napoleon: Total War Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces Sled Shred Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Undead Knights Way of the Samurai 3
MARCH 5th Alabama Smith: Escape From Pompeii Alice In Wonderland Around The World In 80 Days Assassin's Creed II Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Defendin De Penguin Discover Great Britain Gourmania Imagine Journalist Jewels Of Sahara Machinarium Magic Encyclopedia Miniclip’s Sushi Go Round Pet Show Craze Picross 3D Sacred 2: Gold Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Silent Hunter 5 Supreme Commander 2
MARCH 9th Final Fantasy XIII
MARCH 12th Avalon Code Ballerina Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
MUSTSTOCK ....................ALIENS VS PREDATOR Released: February 19 Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Sega dusts off the classic sci-fi IP and throws humans into a battle against two of Hollywood’s most iconic extra-terrestrials. Players get to experience the action from the perspectives of all three species, granting them access to alien powers an hightech weaponry.
MUSTSTOCK ............GUITAR HERO: VAN HALEN Released: February 19 Format: 360, PS3, Wii Publisher: Activision Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The newest band-specific title in the best-selling Guitar Hero series focuses on the music of Van Halen. Fans and newcomers alike can rock out to some of the group’s best hits, such as ‘Jump’, ‘Eruption’, and ‘Panama’. There are also tunes from guest bands.
Super model makeover Ad_MCV:Layout 1 05/02/2010 17:05 Page 1
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 28 MCV 12/02/10
POLL WILL APPLE'S IPAD BENEFIT GAMES RETAILERS?
MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Mass Effect 2 PC EA
BlazBlue: Trigger PS3 PQube
MX Vs ATV Reflex 360 THQ
Endless Ocean 2 Wii Nintendo
White Knight Chron. PS3 Sony
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
MASS EFFECT 2
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360
FIFA 10 360
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
DEVELOPER: EA BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA SONY
MAG: COLLECTOR’S EDITION PS3
SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA
JUST DANCE Wii
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 360
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY PS3
However, more than three quarters of voters in our latest poll believed there would be no benefit for games retailers, thanks to its non-specialist target audience and download-only business model. Only 14 per cent believed it would prove to be profitable for any games retailers that stock it. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
Echoing the views of the majority of games retailers we’ve spoken to, the participants of the latest online MCV survey are unconvinced by the potential of Apple’s download-only iPad. The device is due for release in March with a 3G-enabled version to follow in April, and some retailers such as GAME have already pledged support to it, enticed by the promise of a strong games drive by the likes of EA.
As the annual Oscars talk begins to heat up, Gem offers retailers the chance to cash in on the movie hype with this duo of Paramount movies on USB. Available through a partnership between the two firms, stores can stock digital versions of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and Star Trek. Each flick comes on a specially constructed 4GB USB stick based on familiar emblems from the films. These devices are compatible with most DivX-certified machines, including PC, Mac and PS3. The movies come in a special collector’s tin and are ideal for gifting. Exspect: 01782 748 732
DEAL OF THE WEEK
UBISOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA
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.
HMV customers receive a free copy of Mass Effect 2 when they buy a 120Gb Xbox 360 Elite for £194.99.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 12/02/10 29 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Mass Effect 2 360, EA
Mario Kart Wii Wii, Nintendo
MAG PS3, Sony
Mario & Sonic: Winter DS, Sega
COD: Modern Warfare 2 Activision Blizzard
TOP 10 BIOSHOCK 2 360 2K GAMES
IN STORE: CHESTER £39.99
2. BIOSHOCK 2
3. FINAL FANTASY XIII
4. HEAVY RAIN
PS3 ................................................................2K GAMES PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX PS3 ......................................................................SONY
5. BIOSHOCK 2: WITH LITTLE SISTER
360 ................................................................2K GAMES
6. ALIENS VS PREDATOR
7. FINAL FANTASY XIII: COLLECTORS ED
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
8. GOD OF WAR III
9. BIOSHOCK 2: WITH LITTLE SISTER
PS3 ................................................................2K GAMES
10. ALIENS VS PREDATOR
360 ......................................................................SEGA Week ending February 5th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE
“None of the High Street stores pose a serious threat to us because we give good customer service.”
We chat to Aki Querishi from London’s Awesome Games… How much competition do you have to face in your area? We’ve got all the big multiples here: GAME, Gamestation, HMV, Currys Digital. But none of them pose a serious threat to us because we give good customer service. People come to us because of our knowledge of the games industry, and we tend to stock a lot more variety than the others put together. The main chains focus on the Top 20 or Top 50 games, while we also offer much more in the way of back catalogue titles.
TOP 10 BIOSHOCK 2 360 2K GAMES
2. BIOSHOCK 2
PS3 ................................................................2K GAMES
3. ALIENS VS PREDATOR What is the biggest challenge you face? Supermarkets, because of the pricing. Over Christmas, it was a nightmare because they were undercutting us on key titles like Modern Warfare and FIFA. Apart from that, we’re okay.
4. ALIENS VS PREDATOR
5. THE SIMS: DESIGN & HIGH TECH STUFF PC ............................................................................EA
6. HEAVY RAIN What makes your store unique? I think it’s the friendly environment you get here, which you don’t really find in the big multiples. We have people that know us quite well and pop in just to say hello.
7. FINAL FANTASY XIII
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
8. FINAL FANTASY XIII: COLLECTORS ED
PS3 ..........................................................SQUARE ENIXA
9. DANTE’S INFERNO
What are your hopes for 2010? That things will probably start picking up now that we’re technically out of the recession.
10. BIOSHOCK 2: COLLECTORS EDITION
360 ................................................................2K GAMES Week ending February 5th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK
30,31 MCV574_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 30 MCV 12/02/10
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
MARIO KART DS NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO TAKE A BREAK’S PUZZLE MASTER UBISOFT ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS NINTENDO TITANIC MYSTERY S.A.D
3 2 5 4 9 6 15 7 RE
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
MASS EFFECT 2 FORMAT: XBOX 360, PC
DEVELOPER: BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA
JUST DANCE Wii
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360, PS3, PC, DS
PUBLISHER UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DANTES’S INFERNO PSP, 360, PS3
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
EA NINTENDO SONY
WII FIT PLUS Wii
JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC UBISOFT
WII SPORTS RESORT
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII NINTENDO MARIO KART WII NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS SEGA JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR UBISOFT FIFA 10 EA YOUR SHAPE UBISOFT COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD F1 2009 CODEMASTERS MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA
MARIO KART WII Wii
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 360, PS3, PSP
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
2 3 4 5 10 7 RE
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT PLUS WII PLAY SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL EA SPORTS ACTIVE INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS MONOPOLY MY FITNESS COACH: GET IN SHAPE FERRARI CHALLENGE: TROFEO PIRELLI PEPPA PIG: THE GAME
5 9 15 11
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
UBISOFT NINTENDO EA WARNER BROS MICROSOFT
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER Wii
MX VS ATV REFLEX 360, PS3, DS, PSP
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
THE SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF PC EA
1 2 3 6 4
STAR TREK ONLINE PC
STAR TREK ONLINE DEVELOPER: CRYPTIC STUDIOS PUBLISHER: ATARI
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010
MASS EFFECT 2
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. CALL OF PRIPYAT
SEGA EA KOCH MEDIA
THE SIMS 3
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
ELECTRONIC ARTS SEGA
30,31 MCV574_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 12/02/10 31
IT WAS A fierce battle at the top of the Gfk Chart-
managed to hold the position despite a 12 per
Track All-Formats Charts this week, as Mass
cent sales dip, with EA's new action adventure
Effect 2 just manages to cling onto No.1. Sales of EA’s sci-fi RPG slipped 64 per cent, while second-placed Just Dance saw sales fall by 26 per cent. A mere 850 units separated the two titles in the chart. It was also a tight battle for third place. Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Dante’s Inferno having to settle for fourth place. Dante’s Inferno was the highest new entry this week, with Atari's Star Trek Online managing 11th position, THQ’s MX Vs. ATV speeding into 18th place and The Sims 3: Design & High Tech Stuff securing No.20. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360, PS3, PC
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
CODEMASTERS 2K GAMES KONAMI SONY
WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC
WII PLAY Wii
PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY 360
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PC
ASSASSIN’S CREED PS3, 360, PC
SUPER MARIO BROS: BRAWL WII
BAYONETTA 360, PS3
DARKSIDERS 360, PS3
EA DISNEY NINTENDO
PURE 360, PS3, PC
COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS
ASHES CRICKET 2009 360, PS3, PC, Wii
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA
1 3 2 6
BIOSHOCK & OBLIVION
5 7 4 10
CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010
THE MYSTERY OF THE CRYSTAL PORTAL GSP/AVANQUEST WOW: BATTLE CHEST HIDDEN MYSTERIES: TITANIC
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DANTE’S INFERNO COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FIFA 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES ASSASSIN’S CREED II ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT MX VS ATV REFLEX
2 5 3 4 6 8 13 NEW
DEVELOPER: ZIPPER INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SONY
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA SONY UBISOFT EA UBISOFT EA THQ
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GSP/AVANQUEST 2K GAMES EIDOS
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER
SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY
THE SIMS 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
LITTLEBIGPLANET GRAN TURISMO GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY DISGAEA 2: DARK HERO DAYS YU-GI-OH! GX TAG FORCE 4
1 3 5 4 6 7 9 NEW
DEVELOPER: HB STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EA
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DANTE’S INFERNO COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 FIFA 10 ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY ASSASSIN’S CREED II GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY MX VS ATV REFLEX BORDERLANDS
2 3 6 4 5 7 NEW
SONY SONY ROCKSTAR UBISOFT SEGA UBISOFT SQUARE ENIX KOEI KONAMI
MASS EFFECT 2
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
WEEK ENDING 06/02/10
DEVELOPER: EA BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT EA EA UBISOFT ROCKSTAR THQ 2K GAMES
32,33 MCV574_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 32 MCV 12/02/10
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
45 rue Delizy,
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Email purchase: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Email export sales: email@example.com Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
EBS-Benelux...........................................Bunschoten Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
439 avenue de la Gare
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Phone : 0033 432 751 165 Fax : 0033 432 751 160
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo
Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
PO Box 5083
S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden
Phone: +46 54 854750
Phone: +48 71 354 46 10
Fax: +46 54 854759
Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
FINLAND Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
Gateway Distribution ApS +45 7026 0870 (DK)
Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB
54-426 Wroclaw, Poland
COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
32,33 MCV574_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 12/02/10 33
INTERNATIONAL NEWS AUSTRALIA
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
UAE ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: email@example.com U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
GLOBAL RETAILER EB Games is to throw its weight behind the drive to legalise violent games in Australia by promoting awareness of the campaign in its many stores across the territory. Due to the way the Australian regulators are structured, the highest certificate currently available for video games is M15+, meaning any games deemed not suitable for those older than 15 cannot be released unless publisher’s agree to censor them. Talks are ongoing about the possibility of introducing an R18+ rating, but advocates face strong opposition from anti-games campaigns. EB Games’ decision to wade into the debate at last adds some corporate firepower to the cause. “With the release of the Government’s discussion paper, we knew as a company that we needed to act on this issue as it continues to cripple our industry and cost local jobs,” EB Games Australia MD Steve Wilson told Kotaku. “We want to be sure that our customers were as passionate about the matter as we are.”
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
DIRECT2DRIVE has launched its new EU store. The new store can be found at www.direct2drive.eu, and is aimed at customers living in continental Europe, complete with Euro pricing. The IGN-owned digital distribution firm has also teamed up with publishers on a series of price promotions, which began with 50 per cent off THQ titles between February 2nd and February 9th. “Boasting a catalogue of hundreds of PC and Mac titles, Direct2Drive.eu is a natural addition to the Direct2Drive family," commented IGN UK marketing director Rich Keen “As part of IGN Entertainment our European footprint continues to grow steadily, with sales from Direct2Drive UK significantly increasing year-on-year providing us with a solid springboard into the European market.”
RETAIL GIANTS Wal-Mart and Best Buy have pulled out of a plan to extend their reach in the games market via automatic store-based kiosks. In May last year Wal-Mart teamed up with E-Play to place kiosks in 80 of its 3,600 US stores, while Best Buy also carried the experiment in a limited number of stores. However, the plan has been terminated due to underwhelming response. Ohio-based E-Play’s website is now carrying a placeholder stating that the company has suspended its operations. Under the scheme, consumers could buy and rent video games via the kiosks. They could also sell their used games. Users would key in the name of a game, receive an on-screen price, insert the game disk and deposit the packaging in a bin. Their credit card would then be credited. When it was launched last year, the E-Play plan was widely seen as an attempt by leading retailers to wrestle share of the highly profitable used game market from US retail giant GameStop. XBOX 360 owners in Japan will soon be able to get their hands on a standalone version of the 250GB HDD – a peripheral only available in hardware bundles in the UK. Until now the 250GB HDD was only available as part of special console packs – including bundles for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Forza 3. Microsoft said last September that it had no plans to release the 250GB HDD as a standalone SKU. However, the accessory will now be released in Japan on March 11th. It will cost YEN 15,540, just under £110. The same day will also see the release of an Xbox 360 black controller bundle including four Xbox Live Arcade titles (YEN 5,775) and the high-speed wirelessN WiFi adapter (YEN 8,925).
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STORE FITTINGS AMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 UK Shopfitters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800
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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 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 the changes the sector has been through, the challenges print and online publications face, 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 on-going 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, R.U.S.E, Napoleon: Total War, Starcraft 2 and Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising. We speak to the publishers behind these titles. We also discuss the future of the 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 over 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 motion controllers and more on the way from all three platformholders and numerous unannounced projects in the works, all eyes with be on this year’s Game Developers Conference.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TERRITORY REPORT Australia has regularly made the headlines in recent months, with many of the biggest adult games having to be edited before they can be released Down Under due to the region’s lack of an 18 certificate. MCV investigates the state of the Australian and New Zealand games markets, speaking to suppliers, key industry personnel and analysts. 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 . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com
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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.......................firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
AMA DISPLAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 . . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . . 08719 181721 . . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.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 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 THE DEVELOP QUIZ Thursday, March 4th Sway Bar, London Kathryn.Humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk 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
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com LOCALISATION
The biggest night in the UK games industry’s calendar returns to The Brewery in 2010, and will once again feature awards split across three main categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential games industry event that gives credit to the industry’s most deserving execs.
JUNE E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com
JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 July 13th - July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 July 14th Brighton, UK www.develop-online.net CASUAL CONNECT SEATTLE Tuesday, July 20th – Thursday, July 22nd Benaroya Hall, Seattle, US seattle.casualconnect.org
AUGUST GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 18th Sunday, August 22nd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com
THE DEVELOP QUIZ Thursday, March 4th Sway Bar, London Kathryn.Humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
Everyone thinks that they work with some clever people in this industry – but how about putting your money where your mouth is and take on your peers at The Develop Quiz? Sponsored by Premier PR and Train2Game, the latest outing for this essential networking event will pit 20 teams of five against each other. All industry members – be they studios, publishers, QA and recruitment companies – are all invited to attend, with a full night of entertainment and competition on offer. UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
PL TW ON AC O T LY ES EA LE M FT !
4th 2010 DAT E THURSDAY MARCH ORN) VENUE SWAY BAR (HOLB CI TY LONDON TEAMS SIGNED UP SO FAR INCLUDE…
Last quiz winners: Waterfront Games
TEAM ENTRY £195 - ONLY TWO PLACES LEFT! FIRST PLACE TROPHY, £2000 AD CREDIT IN DEVELOP, CHAMPAGNE* SECOND PLACE LUNCH & INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVELOP TEAM, CHAMPAGNE* THIRD PLACE CHAMPAGNE* * bottle of champagne for each member of the team - 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams
FOR INFORMATION ON BOOKING YOUR PLACE. PLEASE CONTACT: email@example.com or call +44 (0)1992 535 647 FOR INFO ON EXTENSIVE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. PLEASE CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1992 535 647
40 MCV 12/02/10
Off The Record
BioShock 2 hits the UK in Heat and HMV, aliens are running Green Man Gaming and the ESRB’s unmissable Dead Or Alive rating...
HACK ‘N’ STASH HMV’s Gamerbase store in London’s Trocadero Centre celebrated the launch of BioShock 2 by inviting gamers to win a top-of-the-line PC and copies of the game. All entrants had to do was ‘hack’ the prize PC - or more accurately, guess the six-digit code required to unlock it. The PC was put together by specialists Scan Computers and decked out with all manner BioShock miscellany. We would have had a go ourselves, but we rarely remember our own passwords.
[August 4th, 2006]
FROM THE ARCHIVE We take a trip down memory lane, looking at past news stories and other events... NEWS: The big new summer show will be in Leipzig, not LA, as Games Convention talks world domination and E3 gets all modest. Microsoft’s games marketing guru Stephen McGill promises that Xbox 360 will ‘own Christmas’ and have an installed base of 10 million before the PS3 launches. An obscure little publisher called 505 Gamestreet becomes the more manageable 505 Games as former Activision man Ian Howe becomes MD, taking Alison Mitchell and Ralph Pitt-Stanley with him. Games are performing brilliantly at Woolies! PEOPLE: Roger Bennett steps down after a lengthy and successful spell as ELSPA director general. Jo Fawell joins the Vivendi games marketing team after a stint at Empire, while Jonnie Bryant arrives from Take 2.
AND FINALLY… Paying tribute to Roger Bennett, Nintendo’s UK boss David Yarnton offers: “When I came here, I found it hard to comprehend how a foxhunting, pipe-puffing, leatherpatched, tweed-jacketed country squire could possibly be the hub of the British games industry.” He went on to say some nice things too, but they weren’t anywhere near as entertaining.
[CHARTS] ALL FORMATS GTA: Liberty City ..................Rockstar XBOX 360 Prey ............................................Take 2 PLAYSTATION 2 Cars .................................................THQ DS New Super Mario Bro ......Nintendo
MCV 12/02/10 41
SEND YOUR PICTURE TO JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK ‘SHOCK SPOTS Yes, further proof that gaming is going mainstream: BioShock 2 has been spotted in the pages of Heat (left) and Loaded (below). While the latter may not be too surprising, it’s worth mentioning for the choice headline of ‘I killed a man with a packet of crisps’. It’s the appearance in Heat that impresses. It’s not every day a game features alongside celebrities such as Matt Damon and, er, Jedward in a woman’s weekly. And hats off to the reviewer for this stunning quote: “It’s a scary computer game but it’s got female characters and everything!”
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
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
AZEEM SADIQ, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “There's some very, very big things happening in Fable III. and it's really going to upset people. I'm really scared when I go out and tell people what it is [that] they're going to get super pissed off. They really are.” Lionhead legend Peter Molyneux shares his fears about this week’s Fable III reveal with Game Reactor.
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S
PHIL MOORE, GRAINGER GAMES
42 MCV 12/02/10
OFF THE RECORD
LITTLE GREEN MEN Taking corporate branding to a whole new level, the folks at Green Man Gaming have redesigned their extra-terrestrial mascot to represent each member of the team. Pictured here are COO Gian Luzio, CEO Paul Sulyok, CTO Lee Packham, commercial director Chris Mehers and MD David Clark. Can you guess which one is which? Nope, neither can we.
PARADISE LOST The US ratings board ESRB can often be quite stale in its descriptions of a game’s content, but in the case of Dead Or Alive: Paradise, the board was right on the money. Sadly, this summary was later retracted from its official ratings site. The ESRB claimed the rating has been posted on its site “in error” and apologised after complaints about the reviewer’s ‘subjective language’. But fear not. For those who missed it online, here’s the original text: “This is a video game in which users watch grown women dressed in G-string bikinis jiggle their breasts while on a two-week vacation. Women’s breasts and butts will sway while playing volleyball, while hopping across cushions, while pole dancing, while posing on the ground, by the pool, on the beach, in front of the camera. “They can ‘gift’ items to eight other women in hopes of winning their friendship, in hopes of playing more volleyball. And as relationships blossom from the gift-giving and volleyball, users may get closer to the women, having earned their trust and confidence: users will then be prompted to zoom-in on their friends’ nearly-naked bodies and snap dozens of photos, and view them in the hotel later that night. “Parents and consumers should know that the game contains a fair amount of ‘cheesy’, and at times, creepy voyeurism-especially when users have complete rotatepan-zoom control; but the game also contains bizarre, misguided notions of what women really want (if given two weeks, paid vacation, island resort). “Paradise cannot mean straddling felled tree trunks in dental-floss thongs.” We disagree – don’t knock it till you try it.
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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 2009, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,045. 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
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AUf_Yh]b[<][\`][\hg HY`Yj]g]cb The Nintendo DSi™ Pink will be seen on TV screens from 11th February in a high impact seven day campaign showcasing the new console which will be available as part of a limited edition Style Boutique bundle, launching on 12th February. When the Nintendo DSi Pink becomes available on its own in March, an additional phase of TV activity will be activated, lasting two weeks. This TV campaign will showcase the console in a ten second spot targeting females, letting them know that the Nintendo DSi Pink is not just for Valentine’s Day, it’s here to stay.
7FA A Valentine’s message will be delivered to all pink DS™ owners on Nintendo’s database, ensuring they make room in their handbags for the new Nintendo DSi Pink.
=bghcfY Key visuals of the Nintendo DSi Pink will be available to all retailers, so they can add a touch of pink to their shop ﬂoor and get girls through the doors to purchase this hot accessory.
N12006_MCV Cover wrap2_FLAT.indd 3
d]b_ www.nintendo.co.uk © 2010 Nintendo TM, ® and the Nintendo DSi logo are trademarks of Nintendo.
N12006_MCV Cover wrap2_FLAT.indd 4
Published on Feb 11, 2010