REIGN OF BLOOD
THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES ISSUE 826 FRIDAY MARCH 13TH 2015
WE TALK TO THE MAN BEHIND PS4 HORROR BLOODBORNE P14
With Guitar Hero expected to walk the stage again soon, we uncover the remarkable true story behind its rise and fall P04
GAME: ‘VR is the games industry’s next big thing’ by Alex Calvin VIRTUAL reality will have as big an impact on video games as motion controls, says GAME The statement follows last week’s GDC, which was ﬁlled with VR products including Sony’s Project Morpheus and Valve’s Vive headset. “VR is the next big thing in the industry and as much of a gamechanger as the Wii and Kinect
were,” said GAME UK category director Charlotte Knight. “VR oﬀers limitless potential; developers can build immersive experiences that have never been possible before.” GAME isn’t the only UK retailer expecting huge success from VR. “VR is, on paper, a potentially game-changing innovation,” said Games Centre MD Robert Lindsay. “I’m excited to see how developers
utilise the tech to expand the immersive element of games and tell stories from a diﬀerent perspective – literally.” ShopTo senior buyer Alison Fraser added: “There is no denying that VR will be a big part of gaming. It has the potential to stay long-term, but that will be the big test of the technology – and depends on how streamlined they can make the tech over the next few years.”
PLUS STEAM MACHINES IN PROFILE IS IT TIME FOR PAY-PER-VIEW ESPORTS?
Amazon names new games boss
by Christopher Dring
A lack of new releases causes the video games market to dip in value this week £15m
£11.9m 400,994 units
£12.5m 391,384 units
£8.2m 282,224 units
Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending Mar 8th Feb 22nd Mar 1st
AMAZON UK has hired Alessandro Traverso as its new category lead for video games and software. His appointment follows the departure of former category boss Ketu Patel. Traverso has a long career in media and entertainment, having held numerous business, strategy and sales roles for the likes of IPC, Channel 5, BBC, Discovery, Wanadoo and Hit Entertainment. He has also worked as COO for successful mobile app developer Outﬁt7 and, most recently, as managing partner for consultancy ﬁrm Radcycle. His appointment follows another successful year for Amazon’s entertainment teams. According to
research ﬁrm Kantar Worldpanel, Amazon took one in every four pounds spent on physical music, games and video in Britain for the 12 weeks leading up to Christmas.
UK RETAIL TOP 10
Grand Theft Auto V
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Dragon Ball Xenoverse
Minecraft: Xbox Edition
The Order 1886
Zombie Army Trilogy
Minecraft: PlayStation Edition
WARNER BROS Rockstar EA
Sony Rebellion/Sold Out 2K Games Sony
PRE-ORDER TOP 10
WOLFENSTEIN: THE OLD BLOOD (PS4)
MGS V: The Phantom Pain Day One Ed (PS4)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remastered (PS4)
Battleﬁeld Hardline + Versatility DLC (XO)
Final Fantasy Type 0 + FFXV demo (PS4)
Battleﬁeld Hardline + Versatility DLC (PS4)
Borderlands The Handsome Jack Collection (PS4)
Borderlands The Handsome Jack Collection (XO)
March 13th 2015
The Candy Banana network includes VideoGamer, The Sims Resource and Planet Destiny
BETHESDA Konami Sony Square Enix PQube
New VideoGamer.com owner eyes further acquisitions THE new owner of VideoGamer.com, Swedish ﬁrm IBIBI, is on the look-out for other portals to add to its network of technology websites. The network - named Candy Banana - includes VideoGamer, The Sims Resource, Planet Destiny, Sportra and more. “Candy Banana will be investing in and improving the existing sites and, for the coming few months, we are looking to acquire additional high-quality sites to grow the network,” said Candy Banana director Adam McCann.
McCann is optimistic about the future for Candy Banana, but warned that online media in its current form is not sustainable. “We’ll see lots more sites close or pivot,” he said. “Large editorial teams are a thing of the past and the majority of incumbent networks, even independent ones, are bloated and stuck in a race with each other to the bottom. “Our long term strategy is to try to migrate away from this, embracing smaller editorial teams and passionate siloed communities and empowering them with awesome technology.”
Supermarkets lose game market share to specialists and online retail by Alex Calvin THE game revenue share held by supermarkets decreased in 2014. Last year, supermarkets took a 25.8 per cent share of the UK games software market by value, down on the 29.7 per cent recorded in 2013. This is according to the latest data from Chart-Track and published by the Entertainment Retailer’s Association. The result follows a decrease in shelf space given to video games by certain supermarkets.
It’s also important to consider that supermarkets sold software – on average – at a lower price than competitor sectors, which will have had an impact on its market share. However, it was good news for High Street retail and online stores. Argos, GAME and HMV saw their share reach 42.4 per cent, up from 41.1 per cent in 2013. Meanwhile, home delivery – which includes the likes of Amazon – saw market share increase to 31.7 per cent, up from 29.2 per cent the year prior.
PC GAMING’S BATTLE FOR THE LIVING ROOM
here are some real mindblowing creation stories in the games industry. Such as when Nintendo and Sega rejected Sony’s ambitions to work with them, resulting in the birth of PlayStation. Or when EA cut ties with Medal of Honor studio 2015 Inc, forcing it into the arms of Activision so it could build Call of Duty. Here’s another. In the early 2000s, Microsoft was a PC gaming powerhouse. But with Xbox looming, it was becoming increasingly disinterested. When Valve asked it to make a system that would let it update its game Counter-Strike more eﬀectively, Microsoft said no. So Valve decided to come up with its own, and created Steam. Valve loves the freedom oﬀered by PC and it informs all that it does. Take this year’s GDC: Valve announced a new games engine called Source 2, and rather than keeping it to itself and its own games, it’s letting other developers use it for free. It showed oﬀ its new VR tech and is letting hardware ﬁrms build headsets with it. It revealed it’s partnered with even more manufacturers to build Steam Machines. If someone wants to use Steam Link - the box that allows streaming from PC to a TV - for something a little diﬀerent, they’re welcome to. Even the Steam Controller is packed with tech that other companies are welcome to use if they wish. To some, this will lack business sense. Surely Valve should make one Steam Machine and one VR headset and sell them, not oﬀer 20 variations from 15 diﬀerent companies? Surely
Supermarkets accounted for 25.8 per cent of the UK game software market in 2014
Boxed games prices reach new high THE average selling price of a game rose last year to over £31. That’s according to GfK ChartTrack and Entertainment Retailers Association, which said the average selling price of a game in 2014 was £31.40, a 6.7 per cent increase on 2013’s £29.43. This is due to the increase in sales of PS4 and Xbox One titles, both of which carry a high selling prices. The biggest increase in price was seen at home delivery outlets such as Amazon, where the selling price rose 7.5 per cent to £30.38. The highest price for video games was at specialist stores,
generalists and indies, where consumers were paying an average of £33.19 for their games. In 2013 this ﬁgure was £31.04. Supermarkets saw the smallest increase in average selling price. The average grocer game price was £30.09, a rise of 5.5 per cent over 2013. Video games was the only entertainment medium that saw prices rise in 2014. DVD prices fell 0.1 per cent year-on-year to £7.02, and the average selling price of a Blu-ray was £12.06 – a dip of 1.9 per cent. Meanwhile, album costs decreased 1.8 per cent to £7.71.
If Microsoft is taking PC gaming seriously, it needs to take a long, hard look at Valve. Valve should encourage gamers to buy its controllers, not allow rivals to build competitors? But this is contrary to Valve’s philosophy of openness, and it’s this philosophy that’s made it the world’s biggest games ﬁrm. Valve’s latest eﬀort is to simplify PC gaming for the living room via its new controller and the Steam Machines. It wants to oﬀer developers a more open alternative to Xbox One and PS4. It’s uncertain how successful it will be. If Steam Machines want to take on Xbox and PlayStation, they need promotion, compelling games and reasonable pricetags. The console ﬁrms are not taking this competition lightly, either. Microsoft has reacted by insisting it’s now taking PC gaming seriously and will be using Windows 10 and Xbox One to prove it. If Microsoft can utilise its strength in the living room to oﬀer PC devs access to the Xbox audience, that’s something to get excited over. And something Valve currently cannot oﬀer. But if Microsoft is really taking PC gaming seriously, it needs to take a long look at Valve and at the freedom it oﬀers studios and manufacturers. Because the real appeal of PC is the liberation it oﬀers creators and their fans. firstname.lastname@example.org
March 13th 2015
THE GUITAR HERO STORY
NO ONE WANTED TO STOCK IT NO ONE WANTED TO BACK IT
THE REMARK ABLE STORY OF GUITAR HERO
For five glorious years, Guitar Hero was the biggest video game on the planet. And then, almost overnight, it vanished. On the eve of its expected return, Christopher Dring speaks to former employees of Red Octane and Activision to discover the incredible story behind a rock legend
March 13th 2015
THE GUITAR HERO STORY
Kai and Charles funding the launch themselves, they could only afford to build 100,000 units at the time. Sumner recalls: “It sold so damn quickly, that people had to pay us fast so that we could make some more. When EB said it wanted extra, it couldn’t have any more because it hadn’t paid for the last lot. It was a tight credit control situation.” Guitar Hero launched in November 2005 and was the second-biggest selling game of the month. It arrived in Europe at the start of the following year, and by then Red Octane had attracted some serious attention.
n September 2005, a man named Charles Huang returned home from work to ask his wife if he could remortgage their house. He and his brother Kai, who owned games business Red Octane, had created a new title (along with developer Harmonix) called Guitar Hero. But after visiting multiple investors, they couldn’t find anyone to give them the money they needed to manufacture and launch it. So, reluctantly, the two decided to fund it themselves. But Charles’ wife was understandably reticent. They had two young daughters at the time and had it all to lose. “Where will the kids live if you sink?” she asked him. And Charles responded simply: “I just think the game will sell.” Two years later, Guitar Hero was the biggest game on the planet. THE FIRST HIT Red Octane started life as a games rental business in 1999 – a bit like LoveFilm – and some of the most popular titles it lent out were Japanese music titles like Dance Dance Revolution and Drum Mania “There was a demand for these music games in the US,” says Charles Huang of Red Octane’s move into music game publishing. “We got more involved in this business and started making dance pads for Dance Dance Revolution, and from there we thought: ‘hey, let’s make a dance game’.” That release was called In The Groove, but Red Octane was eager to move away from dance and try to capitalise on the popularity of rock music. So it teamed up with developer Harmonix to work on a guitar game. The Huangs were relative novices when it came to publishing, but there was one man on their Board who knew a thing or two about releasing games, former Take-Two CEO Kelly Sumner. But he was initially sceptical about Guitar Hero. “I remember having a phone meeting and they said: ‘We’ve got this idea for a guitar product.’ And my heart sank, because I had been involved with guitar products in the past and they were all dead wood,” recalls Sumner.
Red Octane was constantly surprised by Guitar Hero’s mainstream appeal
“They had this developer called Harmonix, who were really good but hadn’t really had a success. We were doing dance mats at that stage. Dance mats to guitar wasn’t that huge a leap. So I said: ‘yeah, okay. But how much will it cost us to develop?’ $1.6m was the figure. Red Octane had only generated $2m the year before. We were betting the house on this one.” After much discussion Guitar Hero was green lit. And by June 2005, Red Octane took the game to E3, showing the game to the press in what Huang calls a ‘basement’. “We came out of that E3 nominated for several ‘Best of Show’ awards, but even then we could only get two retailers on board,” remembers Huang. “Most said: ‘the box is too big for the shelves’, or ‘the price is too high,’ And some said: ‘Music games don’t sell in the West.’ And so we only managed to convince two stores to carry the product.” Electronics Boutique and Best Buy were the two retailers willing to stock Guitar Hero, both ordering a modest number of units. But with
In 2005, Red Octane had only made $9m. Two years later, Guitar Hero III made $1.1bn. We were in a tornado holding on. Charles Huang, Ex-Red Octane
ENTER ACTIVISION “One of the first investment offers we got after Christmas was for $30m,” says Huang. “I remember turning to my brother and saying: ‘Two months ago, nobody would invest $2m in our company. Now they want to invest $30m’. That same day, Activision called us and said it would like to talk to us.” By June, Activision had acquired Red Octane for an initial $100m. “Some people said we sold out too early,” says Sumner, who had become Red Octane’s CEO by the time the game was acquired. “But for Kai and Charles, the money was lifechanging.” Sumner departed after the acquisition but Kai and Charles stayed to build Guitar Hero 2. And with the success of the original game, Red Octane were able to strike deals with music acts. “We had one song by Buckethead [former Guns and Roses guitarist],” says Huang. “He liked Guitar Hero so much that he called us up and said ‘I want to record a song for Guitar Hero 2’. He wrote ‘Jordan’ for us. We were starting to get a bit of notoriety in the music industry. “The big breakout for Guitar Hero III was when we went to licence out The Sex Pistols. All their original records were either lost or stolen, and The Pistols said: ‘We will get back together and re-record those songs you want, if you pay for studio time.’ Of course we said yes.” Guitar Hero III was a milestone for the games industry – it was the first
March 13th 2015
THE GUITAR HERO STORY
console title to break $1bn in sales in a year “There was so much going on at the height of Guitar Hero,” reminisces Huang. “There were Guitar Hero parties, nights at bars, people playing Guitar Hero on stage at venues... just all these places where you had just never seen a game before. We were constantly shocked at how far Guitar Hero was pushed into the mainstream.” Former Activision marketing exec Ian McClellan adds: “It was this perfect storm of Wii going on a rocket ship and with Guitar Hero we positioned ourselves close to music, and it just took off alongside it.” McClellan recounts a story of when Activision got Guitar Hero on stage at the Isle of Wight festival in-between the bands. “We were on the afternoon slot and we followed The Enemy. But they had nobody to run it, so the roadies just handed Simon [Byron, PR for Guitar Hero] a guitar and me a mic, and then told us to walk out to the centre of the stage. So Simon and I stood in front of thousands, and just made it up. “That was the stage we were at with Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero and music were just hand-in-hand.” BAND AID At this point Guitar Hero started to face opposition, including semiregular lawsuits from artists and record labels. “I’ve jokingly told entrepreneurs since if no-one is suing you, then you’re not doing anything interesting,” laughs Huang. Red Octane was also dealing with criticism about the number of games it was releasing. Huang says that just releasing the songs digitally wasn’t an option then because Guitar Hero was so popular on Wii and PS2, where downloading was either not popular or non-existent. But the real threat to Guitar Hero came from its original developers. Harmonix was cast aside by Activision when it acquired Guitar Hero, but the studio returned in 2007 with its own IP – Rock Band – which introduced drums and a microphone. And the launch and success of this had an impact on what Guitar Hero would do next.
March 13th 2015
“We had talked about what we wanted to do beyond Guitar Hero,” says Huang. “There was a concept for Synth Hero, which was going to be 80s electronica with a keyboard. There was also a Drum Hero idea we were playing around with. Then when Rock Band came out, it synthesised this marketplace for a full band experience. So we went off in that direction.” ROCK DJ Guitar Hero had become a monster of a series, but worryingly for Activision, the revenue was starting to decline. So Red Octane decided to push into a new music genre with DJ Hero, a game by UK studio FreeStyle. It launched to critical acclaim, but it didn’t have anywhere near the same impact as Guitar Hero. “DJ Hero was incredible,” says McClellan. “Maybe it came a year early. We had David Guetta supporting the first DJ Hero, and he had only had one No.1 at that stage. A couple of years later, David Guetta has 20 No.1s. “We went out to Ibiza to launch DJ Hero. You couldn’t do anything more iconic than that. But it wasn’t enough.” That was the beginning of the end. Activision gave Guitar Hero and DJ Hero another year, but as sales plummeted further, the publisher announced in early 2011 that there would be no more Hero games. “A lot of it was our own doing between us and the guys at Harmonix,” admits Huang. “There was this massive battle between Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and as a result we flooded the market with product in a shorter span of time than was normal for games.” He continues: “Sometimes, the faster you rise, the faster you fall. Did we expect it? We knew it would peter out eventually. It had to. But it was such an incredible experience that no-one really thought about issues such as longevity. We took a small product from a company that in 2005 had done $9m in revenue, to two years later when Guitar Hero III alone was doing $1.1bn. There was just no time for us to think about whether it would continue. We were in a tornado holding on, as opposed
The sheer quantity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band games killed the genre, for now
Like an ailing rockstar, you don’t want to see Guitar Hero struggling. You want it to be there one minute, and gone the next. Ian McClellan, Ex-Activision
to business people, planning growth over a period of time.” McClellan adds: “Guitar Hero was that job that you dream of having. It was a very emotional time for everybody who was involved. We were having so much fun that we had forgotten that this was a commercial product. “I didn’t see it coming. But then I reflect back and there were four or five years where it was one of the biggest things out there. I sometimes think that maybe when you start to see the market moving on, if you want to keep the good feeling and the positive brand image of something like Guitar Hero, then you do have to take the tough choice and stop it. A bit like an ailing rock star you love, you don’t want to see him or her struggling. You just want them to be up there one moment and gone the next.” He concludes: “There are still people who work at Activision who basically joined because of Guitar Hero. I remember Simon saying to one of the guys who was about to go on–stage at the Isle of Wight: ‘enjoy it, because you don’t know when this will ever happen to you again, and it probably won’t’. You could probably say that about the whole period of video games at that time – we were all involved in this incredible moment when everything came together – we all took risks because we believed in the games, and it all worked out. I don’t know if that has really happened since and not sure when it will happen again.”
eSPORTS ROUND-UP THIS WEEK’S BIGGEST NEWS 20% OF ESPORTS FANS WOULD PAY $200 FOR TICKETS Half of eSports fans leave events more interested in purchasing additional in-game content
MAY 22ND – 24TH ESL UK PREMIERSHIP MCM Expo, London Excel, London, UK The ESL UK Premiership is the company’s largest tournament since 2010. The competition will give UK-only Counter-Strike: Global Oﬀensive and League of Legends players the chance to win £12,000. The tournaments will be spread over two months of online brackets, to culminate in oﬄine ﬁnals at London MCM Comic Con in front of an expected 110,000 spectators.
JUNE 20TH – 21ST ESL ONE FRANKFURT Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany ESL’s Dota 2 competition returns to the Commerzbank-Arena. Players will compete for a $150,000 prize pool at what has been described as the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world. The money on oﬀer may even rise via community contributions.
41 PER CENT of eSports fans are happy to pay $49 to attend competitive games events, while 19 per cent would dish out up to $200 for tickets. That’s according to a recent survey on eSports events conducted by live event marketplace Eventbrite, which polled 1,500 individuals who attended eSports-related events.
The research additionally found that followers of pro-gaming are also inﬂuenced in their purchasing by events. 74 per cent of those polled said they went on to play a game more frequently after attending an event that included it. 47 per cent, meanwhile, also said they left events more interested in purchasing new content related to the games they saw played live.
League of Legends to reward ‘friendly’ players RIOT Games is stepping up eﬀorts to cut out hostility in its community, by encouraging players to work together. For a trial period of two weeks, players who enter League of Legends games with pre-made parties of friends will have the chance to earn bonus Inﬂuence Points (IP), one of the title’s in-game currencies.
The IP multipliers start at four times for a party of two and progress up to 16 times for the full team of ﬁve. Lone players will be exempt from any bonus IP. This IP can then be used to unlock new champions and runes. Riot hinted that the feature could become a permanent ﬁxture, subject to feedback.
YouTube stars sign up for Legends of Gaming Live POPULAR YouTubers Syndicate, Ali-A and DanTDM have been conﬁrmed for the inaugural Legends of Gaming Live tournament and exhibition this September. Sponsored by GAME and organised by Upper Street Events and Endemol, the event will take place at Alexandra Palace from September 3rd.
“Some of the most popular YouTubers in the country will be bringing their audiences to Alexandra Palace for what will be the most spectacular tournament and exhibition the games industry has ever seen,” said Upper Street event director Katie Ventresca. Tickets for Legends of Gaming go on sale later this month.
A NEW OUTLET FOR eSPORTS A new channel on MCVuk.com dedicated to competitive gaming Written by experts, and guided by an advisory board of insiders Supported by a twice-weekly email newsletter sent to over 10,000 execs Get on the mailing list - email eSportsPro@nbmedia.com to register Sponsorship packages available - email email@example.com for details
CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK: RIDE PQUBE’S campaign for Ride began last October when the ﬁrm used bike manufacturers to unveil the models appearing in the game. The publisher also had a strong presence at major UK bike shows, including Motorcycle Live and MCN London Motorcycle Show. Furthermore, PQube has been heavily promoting Ride in Bauer’s portfolio of bike publications, including MCN Weekly and Performance Bikes. On TV, PQube has booked a three-month campaign on Dave, Sky Sport, BT Sport and alongside ITV’s Moto GP coverage. Ads are also appearing over social media and YouTube.
[INFO] Formats: PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Released: March 20th Publisher: PQube Developer: Milestone Distributor: CentreSoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
IN THEIR OWN WORDS RIDE’S a title that has been requested by both bike and racing fans for over a decade and there’s been something of a pent up demand for a ‘Gran Turismo for bikes’. The last title to feature such a comprehensive list of bikes and manufacturers was [GT developer] Polyphony’s Tourist Trophy in 2006, and fans have been crying out for more ever since. Ride surpasses TT in everyway, beneﬁtting from newgen hardware, of course, but also a greater range of brands and bikes.
GERAINT EVANS Head of Marketing, PQube
WHICH CHANNELS CARRY THE MOST GAME TV ADVERTISING? GameTime uncovers which TV channels are most popular with video game publishers % Share of total TV ad pressure
Percentage share of individual TVRs
% Share of games and consoles TV ad pressure
7% 6% 5%
4% 3% 2% 1% 0%
THIS week we look at which of the over 180 commercial channels have made the most signiﬁcant contribution to games TV advertising so far this year. The above chart shows the Top Ten channels ranked by viewing of games TV advertising measured as individual TVRs. It incorporates both the ‘core’ male 16 to 34, and
emerging mobile IP like Candy Crush targeting a mass audience with a strong focus on housewives. Elsewhere, the likes of Sky Sports 1 and Dave (which occupy a greater share of games TV advertising compared to the total TV market) show there is still a strong demand for the male 16 to 34 audience in this space, with
housewife and child demographics targeted approaches that have become more prominent in this space with the growing popularity of casual gaming IP. These Top Ten form over 38 per cent of all viewing of games TV ads. ITV2 is now over-representative of games TV ads than the total market; perhaps a result of newly
older male focused triple-A titles and hardware still seeking out this ‘core gaming’ demographic. Finally, no children’s channels featured within the games TV advertising Top Ten channels. More often than not, the presence of children’s targeted campaigns in the market is dependent on Nintendo’s activity and release timeline.
MCV GameTime is provided by Generation Media 0207 255 4650 | www.generationmedia.co.uk
March 13th 2015
FUTURE BOLSTERS GAMESRADAR+ TEAM Gray swaps OXM for Attention Seekers OLaw leaves PlayStation O Bramwell joins Riot Games FUTURE | The publisher has bolstered the GamesRadar+ UK editorial team, making five new additions. Kotaku UK news editor LEON HURLEY (top left) joins as executive news editor and former Official PlayStation Magazine writer LOUISE BLAIN (second from top left) is coming on board as news lead. Meanwhile, GamesRadar+ associate editors DAVID HOUGHTON (second
from bottom, left) and JUSTIN TOWELL (bottom left) have been promoted to features and reviews editor respectively, while GamesMaster production editor DANIELLA LUCAS (top) is moving to the site as content manager. Meanwhile, Official Xbox Magazine staff writer KATE GRAY (above) has left Future. She is joining creative firm Attention Seekers as video producer, working on its Xbox account. Gray joined Future on Official Nintendo Magazine last March, before moving over to OXM when Future closed ONM last October.
“It’s great to have Kate join us,” said MARK BISHOP, Attention Seekers creative producer. “We love her writing and her passion for games.” SONY | Senior product manager BEN LAW has departed the platform holder. Law joined PlayStation at the start of 2013, and went to work on a number of marketing campaigns for the PS4 and Vita Slim. He is leaving the games industry to work in the finance sector at spread betting firm IG. Law said: “I’m moving to a completely different industry that is heavily regulated to challenge myself creatively. I’ll miss the
games industry and hopefully I’ll return in the future.” RIOT GAMES | Former Eurogamer editor-in-chief TOM BRAMWELL has joined League of Legends creator Riot. Bramwell worked at Eurogamer parent company Gamer Network for 15 years, before leaving last November. At Riot he has taken on the role of European head of writing, and will be working alongside the company’s creative services team and former Edge and Official PlayStation Magazine features editor JASON KILLINGSWORTH, who is Riot’s senior writer for Europe.
AROUND THE INDUSTRY VIDEOGAMER | Pro-G Media – the publisher and owner of VideoGamer.com – has been bought by Swedish company IBIBI HD. Following the deal, VideoGamer will be part of a new technology-focused games network called Candy Banana. This network also includes Planet Destiny, The Sims Resource, Game Debate, VideoGamer Portugal and Sportra. “This deal is wonderful news for fans of VideoGamer, as the site and content will only get better, but this is only the beginning,” said former Pro-G MD and current director at Candy Banana Adam McCann. “It’s an exciting time to be in online media with a number of significant shifts going on and, with a strategy that puts community and technology at the core, I think we’re very well positioned for growth.”
EPIC GAMES | The developer has announced that its Unreal Engine 4 is now free to use. All updates will be free, too. Epic is still asking for a five per cent royalty fee on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. UNITY TECHNOLOGIES | The fifth iteration of the royalty-free Unity games engine has launched across 21 platforms, introducing graphical improvements and an expanded editor. In a departure from past releases, Unity 5 is available in two editions: Professional and Personal. The former is aimed at larger studios or ambitious but smaller teams, and costs $75 per month. Meanwhile, the Personal Edition is available for free and targets hobbyists, one-man studios and new developers.
March 13th 2015
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March 13th 2015
Source Games and Charts compiled by GfK Chart-Track
DATA & RESEARCH
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Title Grand Theft Auto V FIFA 15 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Dragon Ball Xenoverse Minecraft: Xbox Edition The Order 1886 Zombie Army Trilogy Evolve Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Far Cry 4 Destiny WWE 2K 15 Terraria Forza Horizon 2 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Disney Inﬁnity 2.0 Saints Row IV: Re-elected/Gat out of Hell The Crew Assassin’s Creed Unity LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Super Smash Bros LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Call of Duty: Ghosts Wolfenstein: The New Order The Evil Within The Last of Us Remastered Watch Dogs
MINECRAFT – POCKET EDITION DEVELOPER: MOJANG
TITLE Alto’s Adventure Tipping Point The Chase Dino Tales Peppa Pig’s Happy Mrs Chicken Geometry Dash Peppa Pig’s Holiday Flightradar24 – Flight Tracker Football Manager Handheld 2015
DEVELOPER Snowman Barnstorm Barnstorm Kuato Games P2 Games RobTop Games P2 Games Flightradar24 Sega
Week ending: March 1st
DYING LIGHT WARNER BROS FORMATS: PS4, XO, PC
01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
TOP 30 UK RETAIL 01
TOP 10 IPAD PAID (UK)
Format Publisher PS4, XO, PS3, 360 Rockstar PS4, XO, PS3, 360, Wii, 3DS, Vita, PC EA PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Activision Blizzard PS4, XO, PS3, 360 Bandai Namco XO, 360 Microsoft PS4 Sony PS4, XO Rebellion/Sold Out PS4, XO, PC 2K Games PS4, PS3, Vita Sony PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, PS3, 360 Activision Blizzard PS4, XO, PS3, 360 2K Games PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC 505 Games/Merge XO, 360 Microsoft 3DS Nintendo PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC Disney PS4, XO Deep Silver PS4, XO, 360, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC Ubisoft 3DS Nintendo Wii U, 3DS Nintendo PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, DS, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC Activision Blizzard PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Bethesda PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Bethesda PS4 Sony PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC Ubisoft
TOP 10 IPHONE PAID (UK)
01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
MINECRAFT — POCKET EDITION DEVELOPER: MOJANG
TITLE Alto’s Adventure Heads Up! The Oﬃcial DVSA Theory Test Kit Ski Tracks – GPS Track Recorder Afterlight DVSA Theory Test Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock Football Manager Handheld 2015 The Chase
DEVELOPER Snowman Warner Bros TSO Core Coders Afterlight Collective Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Sega Barnstorm
Week ending: March 1st
TOP 10 XBOX LIVE (UK)
01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
MINECRAFT – XBOX 360 EDITION PUBLISHER: MOJANG
TITLE Resident Evil Revelations 2 Terraria: Xbox 360 Edition ApocZ CastleMiner Z Life is Strange Episode One Avatar Warfare Survival Games Season One Monopoly Plus Deadburg
PUBLISHER Capcom 505 Games Sick Kreation DigitalDNA Square Enix DigitalDNA 2.0 Studios Ubisoft Reanimated Games
Week ending March 8th
Week ending March 7th
5 SECOND FACTS
Read and remember these stats so you can sound clever at the next Monday morning meeting...
Free-to-play 3DS puzzle game Pokémon Shuﬄe has been downloaded one million times, Nintendo has revealed
Sony revealed at GDC that it has sold 20.2m PS4s to consumers. Earlier this year, it announced it had sold 18.5m consoles by January 4th
Analyst ﬁrm Jon Peddie Research says that the global gaming hardware market was worth $67bn in 2014
Future has revealed that its global userbase for GamesRadar+ increased 50 per cent to over 8m in January
PDP design & manufacture the Energizer branded charging Doc for PlayStation 4 email@example.com
www.pdp.com March 13th 2015
XXX XXXMACHINES STEAM
FULL STEAM AHEAD Last week’s GDC saw Valve’s PC-meets-console range of devices, the Steam Machines, burst back onto the scene. We run down the 13 different hardware partners set to bring their boxes to market later this year
PRICE: $500 TO $1,400 (£332 TO £929)
SYBER is a side division of previous Steam Machine partner CyberPowerPC. The firm will offer six varieties of its machine, starting with the low-tier Syber Steam Machine A, featuring a quad-core AMD processor and Radeon R9 270 2GB graphics card for $500 (£332) and
moving up to the $1,400 (£929) Steam Machine X, equipped with an Intel i7-4790K and Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4GB.
PRICE: FROM $700 (£465)
ASUS has kicked off 2015 with a slightly revised model of the Steam Machine it revealed last year. The Asus GR8S comes in a number of configurations, with users able to choose between Intel i5 or i7 processors, Nvidia’s 9-series of GeForce graphics cards, up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM and either up to 1TB of hard drive or 512GB of solid state drive storage. Prices start at $700 (£465).
PRICE: $1,000 (£664)
EMBLAZONED with the Steam logo, Zotac’s two-tone Steam Machine is designed for integration into a living room setup. As well as looking distinctive, the chassis is also designed to maximise airflow, in order to keep internal components cool. The Zotac Steam Machine SN970 allows up to four displays to be connected simultaneously, and gamers to play in resolutions of up to 4K. A sixth-generation Intel processor and discrete Nvidia GTX graphics card with Maxwell architecture are coupled to boost in-game graphics using technologies such as VXGI, MFAA and DSR. Storage is provided in the form of both a 64GB solid state drive and a 2.5inch 1TB hard drive. The box is also equipped with 802.11ac wireless connectivity for online gaming.
MAINGEAR MAINGEAR’S orange and black DRIFT Steam Machine packs an Intel Core i7-4790K processor and either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 or AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card. These are joined by up to 16GB of RAM and a choice between dual 1TB solid state
March 13th 2015
PRICE: $850 (£564) drives or a single 6TB HDD. One touted feature is ‘whisperquiet’ operation, as well as 4K gaming capability.
ONE of the first vendors out of the gate, iBuyPower teased its Steam Machine back in late 2013. Built around the firm’s illuminated SBX design, the hardware was originally priced in line with Microsoft’s Xbox One. SBX options include 500GB or 1TB of hard drive storage,
PRICE: $460 (£305) 4 or 8GB of RAM and an AMD Athlon X4 840 processor.
DIGITAL STORM A REVISION of its Eclipse gaming PC, Digital Storm’s Eclipse Steam Machine will boast a Pentium G3220 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 2GB graphics, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Currently, only one
SCAN BRITISH vendor Scan has a range of Steam Machines on offer, ranging from the lowend £589 3XS Steam MC10, with an Intel Core i5 41210M CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics, up to the highend £851 3XS ST15, complete with Intel Core i5 4460 and
PRICE: $700 (£465) version of the box is confirmed, costing $700 (£465).
HOUSED in Fractal Design’s Node 304 chassis measuring 25x21cm, the Materiel Steam Machine includes a 3.1GHz Intel Core i5 4440 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 OC 2GB graphics card and a 1TB solidstate hybrid drive. The launch price is $900 (£597).
PRICE: £589 TO £851 Superclocked EVGA GTX 970 graphics card.
PRICE: $1,100 TO $2,000 (£730 TO £1,327)
GERMAN vendor Alternate is holding up the high end of the Steam Machine offerings. The Alternate Steam Machine starts at $1,100 (£730) for an Intel i3 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti, 8GB of RAM and 500GB of storage. Three further configurations will be available,
PRICE: $950 (£630)
GIGABYTE’S Brix PC has been around for a while now, but the Brix Pro Steam Machine will mark the firm’s first SteamOS effort. The barebones machine will come with an Intel Core i7-4770R CPU, two SO-DIMM DDR3L memory slots and a selectable 2.5-inch hard drive.
FALCON NORTHWEST PRICE: UP TO $5,000 (£3,318)
STARTING at $2,000 (£1,327), Falcon Northwest’s Tiki Steam Machine, will offer users an Intel Core CPU up to i7-4790K and Nvidia GeForce GTX 900-series graphics, including Titan and Titan-Z, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of HDD space. The box is just four inches wide.
NEXT’s Steam Machine is named the NextBox, and will start at $800 (£531). For that price, users will get an Intel Core i3 CPU with Haswell architecture, Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 graphics capabilities, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of hard drive storage space.
LAUNCHED separately last year as the Alpha Windows PC, Alienware’s Steam Machine starts at $480 (£319). It includes an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card, up to 8GB
stretching up to the inclusion of Nvidia’s GTX 980 graphics card.
PRICE: $600 (£398)
CONSIDERABLY slimmed down from its design revealed in 2014, Webhallen’s newly svelte Steam Machine will contain an Intel Core i5-4460 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 2GB graphics card, 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 1TB solid-state hybrid drive, all for the price of $950 (£630).
PRICE: $900 (£597)
PRICE: $800 TO $1,300 (£531 TO £863)
ORIGIN PRICE: $900 TO $5,000 (£597 TO £3,318)
PRICE: FROM $480 (£319) of DDR3 memory and between 500GB and 2TB of hard drive space.
ORIGIN’S Omega Steam Machine joins Falcon Northwest at the top of the range, with prices between $900 (£597) and $5,000 (£3,318). The top model incudes an Intel i7 4770K chip,
three Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards, 32GB of memory and 14TB storage.
March 13th 2015
XXX XXX THE BIG GAME BLOODBORNE
THERE WILL BE BLOOD Bloodborne, the spiritual successor to the punishing Dark Souls series, is coming exclusively to the PS4. Matthew Jarvis speaks with game director and From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki and Sony product marketing manager Joe Palmer to cast some light on the title
sk a group of gamers what the hardest game of all time is, and it’s likely several will name an entry from the Souls series. Kicked off in 2010 by the release of Demon’s Souls (it launched in Japan and the US the year before), From Software’s Souls franchise, which continued with 2011’s Dark Souls and 2014’s Dark Souls II, is renowned for its punishing and obtuse gameplay. Spurred by cult popularity surrounding its oppressive atmosphere and complex lore, the series quickly grew from having a niche appeal to becoming a critical and commercial hit. To date, the first Dark Souls has sold in excess of 2.37 million units worldwide, while Dark Souls II has shipped more than 1.2 million copies in the US and Europe alone. Now, Souls series creator and director for the first two titles Hidetaka Miyazaki, returns with a spiritual successor to Souls – Bloodborne. FROM DARKNESS TO DARKNESS While Bloodborne may not be a direct Souls follow-up, it marks somewhat of a homecoming for From Software; Demon’s Souls was a PS3 exclusive, before Dark Souls and Dark Souls II expanded the franchise to Xbox 360 and PC. Bloodborne sees From Software return to the PlayStation fold. Miyazaki, who is also president of the developer, says that the return to a single platform has allowed Bloodborne to flourish as a distinctly original title, while continuing to honour its Souls predecessors.
March 13th 2015
“Bloodborne was created after thorough discussions with Sony to find out what would be the best for the title,” he says. “We didn’t try to make it similar to Demon’s Souls – but nor did we try to make it totally different, either. “Since Bloodborne was developed for one platform, we were able to sharpen some of the ideas and implementation.”
Since Bloodborne was developed for only one platform, we were able to sharpen some of the ideas and implementation. Hidetaka Miyazaki, From Software
Joe Palmer, product marketing manager at Sony, adds that From Software’s return to PlayStation is in fitting with the platform’s past legacy of RPG titles. “RPG fans are hugely important to us,” he states. “It’s a genre that traditionally feels like core PlayStation territory. “Bloodborne provides a great chance for us to tap into a highly engaged audience and give an invaluable contribution to PS4.” BLOODY DIFFICULT It’s been half a decade since Demon’s Souls proved that not all players are after an easy ride in their games. In the time since, several titles –
BLOODBORNE THE BIG GAME
Bloodborne adopts a faster, more aggressive gameplay style than Demon’s and Dark Souls
both indie efforts like The Binding of Isaac and triple-A big hitters such as Alien: Isolation – have similarly introduced gameplay elements designed to lend more weight to failure. So, with players perhaps relishing more of a challenge, does Miyazaki see more of a market for the sadomasochistic tastes of Bloodborne? “We were so glad that Demon’s Souls was widely accepted by a number of players, but we don’t think the game changed their interests or tastes,” he responds. “There were a lot of users who were already interested in this type of game before the launch of Demon’s Souls, and it was lucky that the game attracted such users.” Palmer, meanwhile, does see Demon’s Souls as the catalyst for player interest in a new wave of tougher releases. “We knew that Demon’s Souls was a really strong title and that critical acclaim would be
widespread,” he says. “However, this often doesn’t translate to commercial success, so our approach in 2009 was fairly conservative given the niche concept of the title. “Demon’s Souls helped to establish a big demand for these kinds of games, giving publishers – including ourselves – more confidence to invest more. “Furthermore, the success of the Dark Souls franchise has proved that gamers want more of a challenge – and this is something that we fully embrace in our approach to Bloodborne.” Miyazaki adds that, while returning Souls players may recognise elements of past titles in Bloodborne, this is ultimately a whole new experience. “As Bloodborne is a brand new IP, we are not thinking about differentiating between new users and existing users,” he comments. “We have tried to design the game
As Bloodborne is a brand new IP, we are not thinking about differentiating between new users and existing users. Hidetaka Miyazaki, From Software
so all users can enjoy exploring the unknown areas like the world or story and learn combat strategies using transforming weapons and guns. However, in that sense, this game may be more interesting for new users as many of its features are still unknown to them.” Palmer reveals that Sony’s marketing of the game will seek out fans of Souls, but also emphasise that this isn’t just Dark Souls III. “The Souls games are phenomenally popular, so ensuring that fans are aware of the common ground they share with Bloodborne is a vital part of our strategy,” he says. “However, it’s not just the similarities with previous From Software games that we want to communicate; how Bloodborne differs from the Souls series will be at the forefront of our communications.” One feature that embodies this ‘familiar yet unknown’ approach is Bloodborne’s multiplayer, which
March 13th 2015
THE BIG GAME BLOODBORNE
The medieval settings of Demon’s and Dark Souls are replaced by a Victorian-era landscape in Bloodborne
remains a bit of a mystery. Miyazaki says the mode will differ from that of past Souls titles, which allowed players to invade other games and summon human helpers through the use of in-game items. “The multiplayer system in Bloodborne differs from those in Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls,” he explains. “As for the matchmaking system criticised in Dark Souls II, we are using a level-matching system similar to the previous titles I have directed.” BORNE AGAIN Bloodborne might be its own distinct game, but it’s clear that the legacy of the Souls series lives on. “We have not changed at all in the way that we make games,” Miyazaki comments. “Just as when we were making Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, we are again just making games that we like. That’s very important to us.”
March 13th 2015
It’s clear that the games From Software likes, players like too. With the success of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls II already proving consumer interest in the Souls series, will Bloodborne kickstart another hit franchise? Palmer stays quiet on the matter. “We have a really great relationship with From Software, and can’t wait to see what people think of Bloodborne,” he responds. But until news of a sequel arises, Bloodborne fans will have plenty to keep them busy – the highly popular New Game Plus mode of the Souls games, which allows players to replay the story on a higher difficulty with new monsters and items for even more of a challenge, makes a return. “Yes,” Miyazaki confirms. “There will be a New Game Plus mode.” He laughs. “We’re having trouble beating it, though.”
The success of the Dark Souls franchise has proved that gamers want more of a challenge. Joe Palmer, Sony
BLOODBORNE THE BIG GAME
UNFORGIVING ENVIRONMENT THOUGH it shares much of its development DNA with the Souls games, Bloodborne also features some major differences. One big change is a new focus on aggressive, fast-paced combat, in stark contrast to the slow, methodical encounters of the Souls games. To keep pace, the player character is freshly equipped with firearms, such as shotguns, and weapons that can transform mid-combat, while shields are far less common. Bloodborne also replaces the medieval castles and forests of Demon’s and Dark Souls with a more contemporary setting – a fantastical take on Victorian London, entitled Yharnam. In fact, at first glance, Bloodborne’s environment is similar to that of another recent PS4 exclusive – The Order: 1886. “For better or worse, we have taken a very unique approach with Bloodborne so that it will not be similar to other titles with the same themes,” comments Hidetaka Miyazaki, From Software president and director for the game. “Rather, we are very interested in and looking forward to seeing the world based on the history and traditions described in The Order: 1886.” He adds: “We are not worried about players growing tired of titles set in a Victorian environment.” Sony product marketing manager Joe Palmer echoes this sentiment, adding that the differing tones of Bloodborne and The Order: 1886 set the games apart. “Bloodborne and The Order: 1886 share a similar setting at first glance only,” he explains. “This is a coincidence, however, with two very different studios working on very different games. “Bloodborne’s setting of Yharnam is an ancient gothic city, rife with a strange illness. There is a constant threat of danger, death and madness lurking around every corner, giving the world a unique atmosphere that is more unrelenting than any other IP.”
March 13th 2015
INDIE INTERVIEW SOCCER MANAGER Sponsored by
FOOTBALL CRAZY, SOCCER MAD Unhappy with the state of management simulations, the Gore brothers set up SoccerManager.com to provide their take on the genre. Alex Calvin speaks to operations manager, Steven Gore
hen you think about football games, your mind probably drifts to FIFA, or perhaps PES and Football Manager. You probably don’t think of Soccer Manager World, a ten-yearold franchise developed by the aptly named SoccerManager.com. Created by the Gore brothers, Andy, Steven and Chris, Soccer Manager is a free-to-play browser-based game. The website – which now acts as a portal to both multiplayer title Soccer Manager Worlds and the single player Soccer Manager 2015 – is visited by 600,000 people each month, and has had over 10m players since its launch in 2005. “Andy would speak to me and Chris about making a football management game. Our plan was to take the best elements from different games and make something we’d want to play,” says operations director Steven Gore. “That was back in 2005. What launched was what is now Soccer Manager Worlds, and that just grew virally to start with, through friends and word of mouth. We have a few hundred thousand monthly active users on that game, and over 10m playing it over time.” And more recently, the firm decided to give solo players something to enjoy. “About two years ago we decided to try and make a single player version. That came about because we could do more stuff, make a testing environment for the single player. We launched that in beta last October or
March 13th 2015
SoccerManager is visited by 600,000 people each month
November. We have two titles and SoccerManager.com is a portal to two different football management games.” ON THE MOVE SoccerManager’s games are primarily browser titles, but the firm has moved into mobile apps, with players being able to continue gaming on the go. Gore claims this is a huge selling point for the titles. “Our main selling point is that we develop in HTML5 using a Chrome browser,” he says. “We have a great relationship with Google. Previously browsers weren’t good enough to make games feel playable. “You can play the game anywhere and everywhere. If you register on our site and save the game, it’s stored in the cloud. So if you then are on a bus or train, you can load it up on our app and play where you left off. That’s something that a lot of our competitors aren’t doing.” For the majority of its tenyear existence, SoccerManager. com has been commercially independent, funded by ad
For a small studio, tax breaks are invaluable. They let you employ more staff to help get your game out there. Steven Gore, SoccerManager
revenue. But last year the company turned to investment firm Mercia Fund Management who put £300,000 behind the developer. “To take the game where we wanted we got some investment from Mercia. We looked into partnering up with a publisher or something along those lines, but when we started speaking to Mercia and – with the background [investment director and former Sega CEO] Mike Hayes has – we thought these people could help us grow our product as big as it could be. We’ve got [former Codemasters boss and Mercia panel member] Nick Wheelwright onboard as our chairman at the moment. And through Mercia we also met people like [freelance marketer, former Sega GM and brand marketing boss] Matt Eyre. His help and work have been invaluable as well. Mercia were the ideal people.” Soccer Manager 2015 was also one of the first 14 titles to be approved for video game tax breaks by the UK government. “We use a London-based legal firm called Sheridans, and there’s an excellent lawyer there called Alex Chapman who has worked in the industry for years,” Gore says. “He advised us about tax breaks and we got approved very quickly. It’s an excellent thing that the Government has introduced. For a small studio, having tax breaks are invaluable. They let you employ more staff to help get your product out there.“ He concludes: “The entire process is seamless. I can recommend it to any other small development studio in the UK.”
TIME FOR PAY-PER-VIEW ESPORTS Jean-Charles Lacoste, MD of sports monetisation experts InPlayer, discusses what eSports businesses can do to generate better income
ewzoo’s recent white paper said that eSports is now worth $200m and that this will more than double by 2017. Audience-wise, pro-gaming is predicted to match the 190m annual audiences achieved by ice hockey and American football by 2017. But when it comes to revenue, there’s an imbalance between sports and eSports. Currently, over one third of eSports revenue is sourced from online advertising and the industry is reliant on investment from publishers for the remainder. Sponsorship and consumer contributions are growing. But compared to sports broadcasting, that contribution is minimal, currently standing at an estimated $2.20 a year per person compared to the $20 a year contributed by sports fans. This overreliance on advertising and the low income from end users is holding eSports back from achieving its potential. It’s something that can be resolved easily if eSports broadcasters looked at other sports broadcasting. When BSkyB launched in November 1990 some claimed that viewers wouldn’t pay for content when they already had access to TV for free (although obviously it wasn’t free). Viewers didn’t need more choice and would certainly not pay for it, they said. Then Sky won the broadcasting rights to the Premiership in 1992 – cue same objections. Pay-perview on individual sports events followed. Repeat to fade... We now know those objections were short-lived. Viewers did –
and do – pay for quality, relevance and exclusivity. In 2013, the US broadcast of [boxers] Floyd Mayweather versus Robert Guerrero secured 2.2m pay-perview buy-ins. In 2007, HBO sold 4.8m PPV buy-ins raising $255m – more than $5 per customer. The birth of streaming services like Netflix introduced viewers to the concepts of both appointment and mobile viewing. Their success has shown that viewers are not just happy to pay for quality, relevance and exclusivity, but they’re also happy to pay for immediacy, convenience, customisation and an advertising-free experience. Viewers want more choice and are happy to pay for it.
eSports should adopt a pay-perview model similar to the Canadian Ice Hockey League
Introducing a fee for live-streaming matches doesn’t automatically oﬀend or split a community.
PAYING FOR ESPORTS My question is: ‘when will eSports start monetising its content in a more efficient and profitable way?’ I’ve heard the argument that channel owners feel they can’t introduce PPV because publishers don’t want to upset the community. I don’t buy it. Introducing a fee for live-streamed matches or tournaments does not automatically offend or split a hard-built community. What it will do is give the community a choice, for example: to pay for an ad-free experience, to watch in HD, or for additional, exclusive content. It doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ offering. For the channel owner, introducing a paywall also makes sense. Advertising is not the most effective form of monetisation. Broadcasters receive £2 to £3 CPM (cost per thousand) from online
Jean-Charles Lacoste, InPlayer
advertising yet if they introduced a PPV fee of £1 per person with a two per cent conversion rate this rises to an income of £20 CPM. In 2014, a Canadian Ice Hockey League partnered with EverSports to monetise its online league championship and, using InPlayer technology, it generated $100,000 in its first four weeks based on an audience of 234,000 and 7,000 paid for tickets. This was an 89 per cent increase year-on-year and vastly more than if it had funded the stream through online advertising, which - based on a $3 CPM rate and 234,000 users – would have generated just $702. A paywall can also capture donations mid-game for a charity that’s close to the developer’s or the community’s heart – such as GamesAid – thereby further instilling a sense of communal purpose. Users can also be invited to donate to the channel or to the players, which is called tipping. eSports broadcasters are on the cusp of something massive, but it could be even bigger. We need just one brave player to adopt an alternative revenue model. Jean-Charles Lacoste is MD of InPlayer. He’s a video monetisation expert who has worked with clients in sports, music and religious broadcast industries
March 13th 2015
“2”and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also, “ ” is a trademark of the same company. Bloodborne™ ©2014 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Developed by FromSoftware, Inc. “Bloodborne” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. All rights reserved.
Available March 27th
FROM THE CREATORS OF DEMON’S SOULS & DARK SOULS ™
“BLOODBORNE IS A GIFT FROM THE GODS” GameSpot
“PROFOUNDLY CHILLING” Kotaku
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For more information, please contact: SCE UK Team at CentreSoft 0121 625 3903
“STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL” IGN
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SHELF LIFE Andy Wareing of Morecambe-based Lees Games talks to MCV about the sales success of Dying Light, why Nintendo’s DLCSoft codes aren’t selling in huge numbers and whether VR will be a hit when it comes to retail How has business been for you recently? It’s been quiet, but boosted by the likes of Evolve, The Order and Dying Light. February has been quite slow, but January was busy. Everyone received PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones for Christmas, so we had loads of people in buying games for them – games like DriveClub and Destiny. What’s been selling well? Dying Light did really well. We
Evolve or The Order. But a week before Dying Light was released we had a lot of people putting deposits down for it. Then the day before it came out we doubled our order with CentreSoft. We were expecting it to be a bit of a ﬂop, but it did twice what we thought it was going to do.
didn’t expect it do nearly as well as it did, especially as it was released digitally ﬁrst. We did pretty well with The Order, but not as well as expected. We have a quarter of our initial stock on shelves still. Evolve did okay, too. It was a steady seller. Do you think the delay helped Dying Light sell well? A little bit, yes. A few people pulled their pre-orders when Dying Light was delayed and moved them to
What is your digital oﬀering like at the moment? We do the DLCSoft Sony and Nintendo codes. Nintendo stock
PRICE CHECK: WOKING
TOP 10 PRE-ORDERS 1. BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE + VERSATILITY DLC, EA, PS4 2. Zombie Army Trilogy Rebellion ..................................................................XO
3. Bloodborne Sony.........................................................................PS4
BATTLEFIELD 4 EA, PS4
4. Battleﬁeld Hardline + Versatility DLC EA ...............................................................................XO
Activision Blizzard, PS3
Activision Blizzard, XO
9. Amiibo Toad Nintendo............................................................. Wii U
10. Dragon Quest Heroes Square Enix..........................................................PS4
6. Amiibo Wario Nintendo............................................................. Wii U
5. Zombie Army Trilogy Rebellion ...............................................................PS4
CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE
7. Final Fantasy Type-O + FF XV Demo Square Enix..........................................................PS4
UPLOADING The latest digital releases coming to market
HOTLINE MIAMI 2: WRONG NUMBER
THE SIMS 4: GET TO WORK
The sequel to the brutal Hotline Miami is out for PS4, PS3, Vita and PC
Team 17’s ‘70s-themed shooter is coming out on PC and Xbox One
EA’s ﬁrst expansion pack for The Sims 4 will be out next month
March 13th 2015
8. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D Nintendo.................................................... New 3DS
OUT: MARCH 13TH
Lees Games 280 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, LA4 5BY
sells quite slowly. A lot of those fans really like physical products. They’re collectors and don’t want a digital version of Super Mario Bros 3. It’s trying to sell something to someone who doesn’t like what you’re selling. What more do you want from the publishers digitally? Microsoft content would help. At the moment we just buy the subscription and denominations cards from Exertis. We buy ﬁve
Phone: 01524 425 404 Facebook: www.facebook.com/ pages/Lees-Games/ Twitter: @LeesGames
memberships and about £100 in points a week and they go quite quickly. We’d rather see a terminal like CentreSoft has, where you just pay a bill at the end of the week and that’s your DLC paid oﬀ. As a retailer, are you excited about VR and do you think it’s going to sell well? I’ve seen VR come and go before. But no-one comes into our stores asking about VR. There isn’t much excitement there right now.
WANT TO FEATURE YOUR OUTLET IN MCV? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 515 303
It’s going to be a busy few weeks for racing fans with the upcoming releases of PQube’s Ride and Slightly Mad’s long-awaited Project CARS FORMAT
Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea
01462 476 130
Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams – Directors Cut
01902 861 527
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters
020 8664 3485
March 20th Battleﬁeld Hardline
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Final Fantasy Type 0
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Mario Party 10
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Resident Evil: Revelations 2
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The Awakened Fate Ultimatum
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March 27th Bloodborne Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
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Inazuma Eleven GO Chrono Stones: Thunderﬂash
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Inazuma Eleven GO Chrono Stones: Wildﬁre
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Xblaze Code: Embryo
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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
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April 3rd Hyperdimension Neptunia Hypercollection
March 13th 2015
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE The next entry in EA’s military shooter series takes the action to a local level, pitting cops against criminals. Matthew Jarvis steals a glance at upcoming merchandise for Battleﬁeld Hardline
EA’s Battlefield franchise has seen multiple incarnations over the last 13 years, and is probably the closest competitor to Activision’s giant Call of Duty franchise. Starting out in 2002 as a PC-exclusive, multiplayer-only game set during World War II, inaugural release Battlefield 1942 soon expanded into modern-day combat with sequel Battlefield 2. Light-hearted spin-off Battlefield: Bad Company brought the IP to PS3 and Xbox 360
Battleﬁeld games engage people for a really long time. It’s a community-building type of experience. Steve Papoutsis, Visceral Games
in 2008, and introduced EA’s renowned Frostbite engine, which allowed for destructible terrain and buildings. It was followed by a sequel in 2010, Bad Company 2, which has sold more than 12m units. Battlefield 3 brought the main series to consoles one year later and Battlefield 4 arrived in 2013. Despite a launch troubled by technical problems, Battlefield 4 was the second-best-selling game in the UK during its debut
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE BEANIE - CRIMINALS Stylised with the emblem of the Criminal team from the latest entry in the Battleﬁeld series, this oﬃcially licensed beanie also features the bad guy’s motto: ‘Hunt Together’. Gamers will look the part wearing this alongside a balaclava and a gym bag stuﬀed with stolen banknotes.
SRP: £12.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: email@example.com
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE MAXI POSTER
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE SHOT GLASSES
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE STAMP LONG SLEEVE TEE
This 61x91.5cm poster features the pistoltoting protagonist of EA’s upcoming shooter, detective Nick Mendoza.
This set of four glasses is branded with the playable class symbols for Operator, Mechanic, Enforcer and Professional.
Stamped with the symbols of a shotgun, vehicle and an in-game character, this long sleeve shirt is ready for action.
SRP: £3.99 Manufacturer: GB Eye Distributor: GB Eye Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SRP: £12.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: email@example.com
SRP: £22.74 Manufacturer: Jinx Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
March 13th 2015
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE Sponsored by
gaming merchandise uk
week, behind Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It was also named by research firm NPD as the secondbest-selling game of November in the US, behind rival shooter Call of Duty: Ghosts. It has sold more than seven million copies so far. This year’s Battlefield Hardline marks a departure from series creator DICE, with Dead Space developer Visceral Games taking over. And it also sees the series move from military-based warfare to cops
versus robbers inspired by police television shows. “It actually feels different and that’s a reason to get this,” Steve Papoutsis, VP and GM of Visceral Games, told MCV. “What’s cool about Battlefield and a lot of multiplayer games is they engage people for a really long time. People play them with their friends, it lasts a great length of time and it’s really a community-building type of experience.”
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE OFFICIAL GAME GUIDE This paperback game guide will help players through both the single and multiplayer aspects of Visceral’s cops versus robbers ﬁrst-person shooter. The book includes multiplayer tips from professional gamers, ranging from advice on which weapons to utilise to which vehicle to take to the streets in. The physical edition also includes access to the mobile-friendly eGuide, which features digital content suitable for a second-screen experience while playing. SRP: £9.99 Manufacturer: Prima Games Distributor: Exertis Contact: 01279 822 800
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE POLICE MUG
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE POLICE CAP
BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE CRIMINALS PATCH
Virtual police oﬃcers could consider pairing this badge-branded mug with some donuts to tie-in with Hardline’s cop show feel.
This cap features the slogan of Hardline’s police force, ‘Service With Integrity’, and has an adjustable Velcro-cotton headstrap.
This patch can be attached to Velcro surfaces or clothes for those wishing to express their aﬃnity for Hardline’s wrongdoers.
SRP: £9.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: email@example.com
SRP: £14.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SRP: £3.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: email@example.com
March 13th 2015
HOT PRODUCTS MCV takes a look at the best accessories heading to UK retail. This week, we investigate Nvidia’s living room debut and hook up with GameCube controllers on Wii U and PC
NVIDIA SHIELD NVIDIA’S Android gaming platform is coming to the living room in the form of the Nvidia Shield. The Shield runs the Android TV operating system, meaning that it can connect to Android mobile devices and use apps that run on the platform, such as Google Play, Pandora and YouTube. Google’s voice search service is also included, allowing users to search for ﬁlms and TV shows by speaking. Consumers can additionally use the Shield to ‘Cast’ content to a connected TV, in a similar manner to Google’s Chromecast dongle. The box is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra X1 processor, which runs on the Maxwell architecture, reaching up to 1 teraﬂops of processing performance, bolstered by 3GB of RAM. 16GB of onboard storage, which can be increased via MicroSD cards of up to 128GB,
and 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity are also among the machine’s specs. Streaming is a core part of the Shield; Nvidia claims the machine is the ﬁrst streaming device built with native 4K resolution support in mind, allowing for video streaming of up to 60 frames per second. Shield will launch with more than 200 titles that support the platform, including more than 50 Android games.
Additional titles can be accessed via Nvidia’s Grid instant gaming service, which allows players to instantly stream games, including Metro: Last Light Redux, Saints Row IV, Dying Light and the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight. These games will run at up to 60 frames per second, at a resolution of 1080p. The Shield will come bundled with Nvidia’s Wi-Fi direct controller, which features twin analog sticks, a D-pad, face buttons and triggers, alongside media and Android controls.
[INFO] RRP: $199 (£130) Release Date: Q2 2015 Distributor: Nvidia Contact: nvidia.co.uk
GAMECUBE CONTROLLER ADAPTER FOR Wii U and PC owners wanting to recreate the experience of playing using a GameCube controller, accessories ﬁrm Mayﬂash oﬀers its GameCube Controller Adapter. The simple box allows players to connect up to four wired or wireless GameCube controllers via USB to either platform. However, the box isn’t limited to just four controllers – with two GameCube Controller Adapters, players can use up to eight GameCube controllers at the same time. The adaptor can be switched between Wii U and PC compatibility using a switch on the side of the peripheral. Wii U players can use the box to connect GameCube controllers for games such as
March 13th 2015
Super Smash Bros for Wii U, while PC owners can use it with compatible games. The GameCube adaptor supports the controllers’ builtin vibration feedback, free of delays. This can be enabled by plugging the two USB ports of the adapter into two USB connector ports on a Wii U or PC. This device is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Mac OS while using the PC mode.
[INFO] RRP: $19.99 (£13) Release Date: Out Now Distributor: Mayﬂash Contact: sales@mayﬂash.com
Thursday May 14th 2015
A new event for developers and publishers in a unique Central London arts space Connecting content makers and investors Guaranteeing delegates at least 10 good intro meetings Meet an investor or sign up the next big game
Indie Zone Partner
For more information contact Conor Tallon on 01992 535647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL BRIDGE MEDIA GROUP Tel: 020 3283 8466 www.bridgemediagroup.com ........................................................................................................
DEAD GOOD MEDIA Tel: +44 (0)7780 600 728 www.deadgoodmedia.com ........................................................................................................
DIEGO MANCA MURA Tel: +44 (0) 2032909246 (UK) +39 328 2730697 (Italy) www.diegomancamura.com ........................................................................................................
FLUID Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.ﬂuidesign.co.uk ........................................................................................................
Tel: 0117 214 0404 www.studiodiva.co.uk ........................................................................................................
LOCALISATION, QA & TESTING KEYWORDS STUDIOS GROUP Tel: +353 1 902 2730 www.keywordsstudios.com
SUPERHERO Tel: +4020 3031 6180 www.superheroscreen.com ........................................................................................................
LOCALSOFT Tel: +44 (0) 1934 710024 www.theaudioguys.co.uk
Tel: +34 952 028 080 www.localsoftgames.com ........................................................................................................
POLE TO WIN EUROPE LTD
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8607 7900 www.poletowineurope.com
Tel: +44 (0)114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com
THE AUDIO GUYS LIMITED
Tel: +44 (0) 1480210621 www.usspeaking.com
GAMING ACCESSORIES & MERCHANDISE
GAMING MERCHANDISE UK LIMITED
Tel: 0207 167 6997 www.gamingmechandiseuk.com
Tel: +44 (0)1753 849 700 (UK) www.vmc.com ........................................................................................................
GAME ROOM Tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 3033 www.gameroom-agency.com ........................................................................................................ BY FRONTROOM
KENNEDY MONK Tel: 020 7636 9142 www.kennedymonk.com ........................................................................................................
PERFORMANCE DESIGNED PRODUCTS LTD
(Part of the Indigo Pearl Group) Tel: 0208 964 4545 http://PressXtra.net
Tel: 01628 509047 www.pdp.com
MANUFACTURING OK MEDIA LTD
SOUNDING SWEET LTD Tel: +44 (0) 1789 297453 www.soundingsweet.com ........................................................................................................
STUDIO CO2 Tel: +44 (0)1483 414 415 www.studioco2.com ........................................................................................................
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CLD DISTRIBUTION Tel: +32 81 83 02 02 www.cld.be ........................................................................................................
Tel: 02076886789 www.okmedia.biz ........................................................................................................
MONETISATION & PAYMENT MILLENNIAL MEDIA Tel: +44 (0) 207 151 3320 www.millennialmedia.com ........................................................................................................
CLICK ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED Tel: +44 203 137 3781 www.click-entertainment.com Wholesaler and distributor of video games, consoles and accessories
TO LIST YOUR COMPANY HERE AND ONLINE EVERY WEEK PLEASE CONTACT CTALLON@NBMEDIA.COM OR CALL 01992 535647
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT AGENCIES AND SERVICE COMPANIES MEDIA & MARKETING CURSE, INC.
COMPANY PROFILE /
Tel: +1 415 856 0056 www.curseinc.com ........................................................................................................
IGN Tel: 0203 701 5682 www.ign.com ........................................................................................................
Dom Superhero email@example.com 020 3031 6183
45-51 Whitﬁeld Street London W1T 4HD
RECRUITMENT AMIQUS Tel: 01925 839700 www.amiqus.com ........................................................................................................
LIS WELSH SEARCH & SELECTION LTD Tel: +44 (0) 7968 114812 www.liswelsh.com ........................................................................................................
SPECIALMOVE CONSULTANCY LTD Tel: +44 (0) 141 530 4555 www.specialmove.com ........................................................................................................
WAYFORWARD RECRUITMENT LIMITED Tel: 020 7734 4664 (London) 0117 966 6038 (Bristol) www.way-forward.com ........................................................................................................
SUPERHERO is a boutique creative and production agency. Our mission: to produce inspired work that cuts through, engages and delivers a sucker punch or two – whether our subject matter is a Premiership footballer, cuddly toy or post-apocalyptic wasteland. Put simply, we create excitement! We’ve delivered multichannel campaigns around the globe to help gaming giant Bethesda continue its run of number one releases. We’ve helped turn Moshi Monsters into the world’s fastest growing kids’ entertainment brand. We’ve even created the world’s ﬁrst gig inside a magazine page using augmented reality! We have a wealth of experience in video games, live entertainment, toys, ﬁlm, music, publishing, retail and much more. Why not visit us and say hello? We make the best tea ever.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS COMPANY AND MANY MORE ONLINE NOW AT:
MCV DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS Sony DADC ............................................ +44 (0) 207 462 6200
CREATIVE Fink ................................................................. info@ﬁnkcreative.com
GAMING ACCESSORIES DISC REPAIR
L3I............................................................................+ (0)1923 471 020
Total Disc Repair ..................................+44 (0) 1202 489500
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DISTRIBUTION Click Entertainment ............................ +44 (0) 203 137 3781 Creative Distribution ......................+44 (0) 20 8664 3456 RATES
Curveball Leisure ................................... +44 (0) 1792 652521
£70 per two column box (100mm x 75mm). To run weekly for a minimum of 1 year. Please phone for other size and/or position requirements.
Enarxis Dynamic Media ............................. +302 1090 11900
TOTAL DISC REPAIR
Tel: +44 (0) 1202 489500
March 13th 2015
ENQUIRIES CONOR TALLON Tel: 01992 535647 firstname.lastname@example.org
Artworking Mastertronic Brand Identity Ukie Localisation Rising Star Games Advertising BBFC Website Design Deep Silver Exhibition Bethesda Illustration Just Flight Appynation Digital Media IntentMedia Charity GamesAid Banners & Takeovers Konami Packaging Design Just Flight Email: info@ﬁnkcreative.com CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION
Tel: +44 (0) 208 6643456 ENARXIS DYNAMIC MEDIA
Tel: +44 (0)203 137 3781
Web: www.ﬁnkcreative.com DISTRIBUTION
Tel: +44 (0) 1792 652521
Web: www.curveball-leisure.com DISTRIBUTION
Empowering your creative business
Tel: +44 207 462 6200 email@example.com
www.sonydadc.com Tel: +302 1090 11900
Tel: +44 (0) 207 462 6200
March 13th 2015
New officially licensed products
For the authentic arcade experience
Hurricane Steering Wheel
Tel: + (0)1923 471 020
Take racing to the next level
ADVERTISE WITH US “
WANT TO ADVERTISE IN OUR DIRECTORY?
” and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also, “ ” and ” ” are trademarks of the same company.
Web: www.venomuk.com Phone: +44 (0)1763 284181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL CONOR TALLON ON 01992 535647 OR EMAIL HIM AT CTALLON@NBMEDIA.COM
Tel: +44 (0)1763 284181 March 13th 2015
Venom UK Gaming @VenomGamingUK
w w w. v e n o m u k . c o m
Web: www.venomuk.com www.mcvuk.com
INSIDER’S GUIDE INSERT COIN
WHO? Specialism: Clothing Location: Unit 11, 55 Progress Road Leigh-on-Sea Essex SS9 5PR
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,500 subscribers every month.
Insert Coin’s Dan Long discusses the ﬁrm’s strategy when it comes to making gaming merchandise
FOR GREAT ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES, CONTACT ALEX BOUCHER ABOUCHER@NBMEDIA.COM
Tell us about your company. Insert Coin is a game clothing company with a bit of a diﬀerence. Rather than working on products based on cover art, we dig for references from deep within each game, creating apparel and accessories that only other fans would recognise.
THIS MONTH’S DIRECTORY SPOTLIGHT: Epic Games .................................................. www.epicgames.com/careers
What is your biggest success to date? We’ve had quite a few – we’ve repeatedly hit the headlines with some of our designs, including our Assassin’s Creed hoodies, Hotline Miami jacket and, most recently, our hugely popular PlayStation 20th Anniversary range. What projects do you currently have in the works? We’re always working on more designs. We’re introducing some new ranges, starting with ones inspired by Metal Gear Solid, Bloodborne, Wipeout, Uncharted, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, and much more. What are the biggest challenges you face? Timing all our new releases to make sure our community doesn’t miss a thing. We’ve got a great schedule lined up, so it’s just about giving each range time in the spotlight. Tell us something about your company no one knows. Where do I start? Jon Rhodes, Insert Coin’s creative director, and I have worked together since To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and now every week in MCV) contact email@example.com
We dig for references in games to create apparel only other fans would recognise. Dan Long, Insert Coin
2006 – we were a creative design and writing team at a marketing agency. Coming up to a decade and he still hasn’t killed me yet – it’s amazing. How did you choose your company name? We always knew we wanted to choose a name that was intrinsically linked with the heartbeat of gaming. For us, our love aﬀair with games began in the arcades and ‘Insert Coin’ was always the start of another new adventure. It was the perfect ﬁt.
WANT TO FEATURE YOUR COMPANY IN INSIDER’S GUIDE? PLEASE CONTACT MJARVIS@NBMEDIA.COM OR CALL 01992 515 303
Contact: P: 01702 521 850 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: insertcoinclothing.com T: @InsertCoinTees
March 13th 2015
FACTFILE PORTUGAL Sponsored by
INTERNATIONAL FACTFILE: PORTUGAL Population: 10,427,301 Capital City: Lisbon Currency: Euro GDP (Per Capita): $22,089 KEY RETAILERS Worten, MediaMarkt, Fnac, Auchan, Radio Popular, Toys R Us, Pingo Doce, El Corte Inglês TOP DISTRIBUTORS Ecoplay, Infocapital, Koch Media, Bandai Namco
PORTUGAL is a fast-growing European region for games, despite a recent withdrawal of games retail in the area. According to the latest Video Games in Europe Consumer Study, conducted by data analytics outlet Ipsos MediaCT in partnership with industry trade body ISFE, 40 per cent of Portugal’s population engages with video games at least once a year. One in four adults play at least once a week. 17 per cent of all consumers opt to purchase and play boxed titles, with the same proportion gaming using apps on mobile devices. Online games attract the same size audience of both sectors combined, with 34 per cent of consumers playing such titles. However, Portugal’s video games retail has suffered in recent years, as major outlets
TOP DEVELOPERS Artbit, Awaking Giants, Awesome, Spawn Studios, Tio Atum, Upfall Studios, Wingz Studio, Yucca Studios, Biodroid, BSure Interactive, Nerd Monkeys PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, EA, Bandai Namco
retreated from the area. GameStop pulled out of the Portugese territory in January 2012, as part of its complete withdrawal from the European physical market. Meanwhile, GAME’s Portugese stores were closed in March 2012, following the firm’s fall into administration. Cherrilux Investments purchased GAME’s 290 stores in April 2012. The growth of the local games industry has led to the introduction of more games events aimed at both consumers and the trade. 2014 saw the inaugural Lisbon Games Week, a convention running over the course of four days that, like its sister events in the rest of Europe and the US, showcases the latest from major games companies. Approximately 50,000 visitors attended the event.
17 per cent of all Portugese consumers purchase and play boxed titles.
March 13th 2015
MEANWHILE IN... BENELUX Koch Media and Focus Home Interactive have signed a distribution agreement in the Benelux region for a series of the publisher’s 2014 DISTRIBUTOR Koch Media and French publisher Focus Home Interactive have entered a new distribution agreement for the Benelux market. The new partnership will kick oﬀ with the debut of Focus’ next entry in its hit simulation series, Farming Simulator 15, on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. In Spring, Koch Media will bring to the Benelux market Act of Aggression and Blood Bowl 2, the sequel to the original Warhammer-meetsAmerican football title. The team will then conclude the
ﬁrst half of 2015 with the launch of two cycling titles in the Benelux region: Tour de France Season 2015 and Pro Cycling Manager 2015. The launch of these two
titles will coincide with the build-up towards the start of the Tour de France in the Dutch city of Utrecht on July 4th.
March 13th 2015
HAVE YOU BOOKED YET? THURSDAY, APRIL 16TH
LONDON LANCASTER HOTEL
MAKE SURE YOU’RE IN THE ROOM FOR THE BIGGEST MCV AWARDS YET CONTACT: JESS FARNAN / JFARNAN@NBMEDIA.COM / 01992 535 646
FOR SPONSORSHIP CALL CONOR TALLON ON 01992 535647 OR EMAIL CTALLON@NBMEDIA.COM GOLD PARTNER
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OFF THE RECORD
OFF THE RECORD This week, indie retailer Virtual Games burns rubber, Loading Bar goes loco for Roto and The Guardian debates the state of games INDIE POLE POSITION Independent games retailer Virtual Games is hitting the track after investing in a race car. Director Paul Kenwright will take the wheel of the ﬁrm’s vehicle for the ﬁrst time at Snetterton on March 28th. Racing for Team Hard, owned by British Touring Car legend Tony Gilham, Kenwright will participate in the VAG Trophy, while top professional driver and hot-tipped F1 hopeful Laura Tillett will compete in the VW Cup. The outlet is also looking for sponsorship for the season – interested parties can contact Kenwright at vg-crow2@ btconnect.com. Let’s hope Kenwright has been putting in the necessary hours on Gran Turismo and Forza. That’s how all pro-drivers practice, isn’t it?
THE WEEK IN 140 CHARACTERS The Tweets you might have missed in the last seven days @Shakacarnage My honest opinion is this is all great tech. However, outside of developers, I see less than a million units globally for each VR tech.
@ultrabrilliant I love PC gaming, but sometimes you just want to play a game, not edit an .ini ﬁle to get a German strategy game working.
Gareth Williams, Premier Tuesday March 3rd
Andy Kelly, PC Gamer Friday March 6th
@djhsecondnature I wonder how many next-gen games have had their last-gen version cancelled in the past year; it seems like a lot.
@GAMEStirling #ZombieArmyTrilogy & #ScreamRide out today. Get some earplugs for all the screaming households this weekend.
Davs Howard, One Hit Pixel Tuesday March 3rd
GAME Stirling Friday March 6th
@optimisticindie Looking forward to next year’s GDC announcement that game engine developers will pay me to use their engine.
@keefstuart Q: What is the best display format to play music games in? A: Dance Dance Resolution!
The Optimistic Indie, parody account Tuesday March 3rd
Keith Stuart, The Guardian Friday March 6th
@VGJames The MGS5 Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is priced quite well. Probably because you’re only getting an arm and not also a leg.
@MisterBrilliant I play videogames because I’m searching for my father who was sucked into a videogame when I was seven. That’s why I play okay, are we done.
James Orry, VideoGamer.com Wednesday March 4th
Steve Hogarty, PCGamesN Friday March 6th
@Vahn16 Valve’s VR is on a diﬀerent level. Can’t count the number of times I said “wow” during that demo.
@schillingc The Independent’s laughably poor games coverage makes me sad that only The Guardian seems properly invested in writing about the medium.
Nathan Grayson, Kotaku Thursday March 5th
Chris Schilling, freelance journalist Friday March 6th
March 13th 2015
OFF THE RECORD GUARDIANS OF GAMING YOU SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND Last Wednesday, The Guardian’s gaming team invited Guardian Live members and other guests to an evening of games chat and debate. Hosted by Guardian games editor Keith Stuart, the 90-minute panel looked forward to the biggest releases of the year, provided industry insight and opened the ﬂoor to questions from the audience. The panel included freelance journalists Jordan Erica Webber and Rich Stanton, PC Gamer writer Andy Kelly, former Oﬃcial Xbox Magazine writer Kate Gray and Rock Paper Shotgun writer Philippa Warr. Apparently there were macarons too. We’re quite upset we didn’t go along. We love a good macaron. Lemon ones. Not mint. No one likes mint.
There was a lot of virtual reality news out of GDC in San Francisco last week, but the hot new trend was also making waves closer to home. British entrepreneur Elliott Myers brought his Roto VR platform to Dalston’s Loading Bar, showing oﬀ the device’s unique 360-degree VR experience. The headset allows players to turn all the way around without tangling wires or causing nausea – something many of its competitors are yet to recreate. To demonstrate the technology, Roto set up a demo using last year’s sci-ﬁ horror hit Alien: Isolation. Fitting, really – we can’t think of a game where’d we’d much rather be facing the opposite direction (and running for our lives) more.
No, it can be done now, a Steam Machine is nothing revolutionary.
RDVLVPDUN #RDVLVPDUN It might widen the audience a smidge, but I’d never expect anything revolutionary.
DO YOU THINK STEAM MACHINES WILL REVOLUTIONISE PC GAMING IN THE LIVING ROOM? #GMGASKS
For those who don’t have a gaming PC only, yes. Tone ˫#WRQHBSRVVXP Because of the Linux OS, no. FreakOrama @FreakOramaXD
Not really. The ‘revolution’ was in software. Steam in-home streaming means any small form factor PC can do the job.
Depends on whether Linux (SteamOS) is invested in.
March 13th 2015
It gives more options to gamers in general. Steam has a lot of games not offered by consoles. Variety is awesome!
Alan T. @Dryden13 From what I’ve seen, Steam Machines are too expensive. I would rather just build my own PC for the living room. Drew L ˫#GUHZBWKHSRRK Steam machines were a good idea at the time but not now seeing prices when self build is cheaper (and better). ȿɜɪɨɩɟɣɫɤɢɣ ɤɨɦɢɫɫɚɪ @MoodySlayerUK Why would a PC gamer want to leave the comfort of their chair and desk to play with a sub-par controller in the living room? Mi19 ˫#:KRRSVB
Call our specialist sales team 01279 822 822 exertis.co.uk/home exertis.co.uk/home/store