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THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES

ARE GAME BUNDLES DEAD?

ISSUE 836 FRIDAY JUNE 5TH 2015

EXPERTS DISCUSS ISSUES FACING DIGITAL PACKAGES P04

UK PS4 vs Xbox One price war is bigger than anywhere else in the world, says GameStop International boss says industry has been too quick to abandon PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by Alex Calvin THE rapidly eroding price of PS4 and Xbox One in the UK has taken global games giant GameStop by surprise. GameStop has been at the forefront of this price battle, selling the Xbox One for as low as £250, while also running PS4 bundles for £290 and less. International president and EVP Mike Mauler says this activity has been driven by the platform holders, and that he’s not seen such aggression in other markets. “The UK market is incredibly competitive from a price perspective,” he told MCV. “I remember how it was during the Christmas holidays – adding games into bundles and discounting the bundles. We have not seen that type of aggressive discounting in other markets. “Most of the promotions are from the manufacturers – we

work very closely with them. Depending what their goals are, we provide them with support. It’s not as haphazard as it might appear – it’s part of a broader strategy that each platform holder has to gain market share.” Another strategy that has surprised Mauler is the industry’s rapid abandonment of PS3 and Xbox 360. And he says the market’s decision to stop making games for these platforms have buoyed its pre-owned business. “The older machines have tremendous install bases, and – except for a few major titles like Call of Duty and FIFA – everything is about the new consoles,” he said. “A lot of consumers have the old hardware. Our used business is growing as there are less new titles for that older hardware. if you have a PS3 or Xbox 360, you are prone to buying a lot of used games that you haven’t played before.”

Square Enix UK outsources retail business to Koch Media KOCH Media will handle the sales and distribution of Square Enix’s retail games in the UK, the firm has announced. The partnership follows a similar set-up between the two companies across Europe. Square Enix returns the favour for Deep Silver - Koch Media’s publishing arm - in the US. Square Enix will continue to handle PR and marketing for its products in the UK. Upcoming

Square titles include Final Fantasy XIV, Just Cause 3 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. “We’ve enjoyed a hugely successful relationship with Koch Media throughout the EU for some time now; expanding this mutually beneficial relationship to include UK sales is the next natural step and one that we at Square Enix are delighted to take,” said Square Enix’s

Square Enix’s Gaff ney (above left) and Koch Media’s McNicol (above) are ‘delighted’ by the new deal

PLUS SUBSCRIPTION BOXES „ VICE’S GAMES JOURNALISM

general manager for UK and Export Justin Gaffney. Koch Media’s Northern Europe MD Craig McNicol added: “Square Enix has some of the most recognisable game franchises in the world, and we are delighted to be representing them in the United Kingdom. The teams at Square Enix and Koch Media are already collaborating at a deep level to ensure the transition for retail is professionally managed.”

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CHEAT SHEET

Market Data The market falls slightly as The Witcher 3 sales drop by 69 per cent in its third week £20m

£15m

The Witcher 3 is part of a good start to 2015 for Bandai Namco, says Galloway

£15.1m 419,370 units

£10m

£6.1m 220,881 units

£5m

Bandai Namco is No.1 publisher for the first time

£9.7m 338,223 units

by Christopher Dring

Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending May 30th May 23rd May 16th

UK RETAIL TOP 10

1

THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT

2

Splatoon

Nintendo

3

Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar

4

FIFA 15

5

Farming Simulator 15

6

Battlefield Hardline

7

Project CARS

8

Destiny

9

Mortal Kombat X

10

Minecraft: Xbox Edition

BANDAI NAMCO

EA Koch Media

BANDAI Namco was the UK’s most successful games publisher last month for the first time in the firm’s history. GfK Chart-Track data showed that almost 25 per cent of all the boxed games sold last month were from the publisher. In terms of revenue, Bandai Namco accounted for a whopping 36.6 per cent of the software market. The surge up the charts was down to the firm having the two biggest games of May – The Witcher 3 and Project CARS. “It’s been a very positive start to 2015 for Bandai Namco, especially in our EMEA and Australiasian territories,” said the publisher’s VP for Northern Europe, John Galloway.

EA Bandai Namco Activision Blizzard Warner Bros

GameSpot staff start new video production outlet

Microsoft

by Christopher Dring SPONSORED BY

PRE-ORDER TOP 10

1

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE (PS4)

2

The Elder Scrolls Online (XO)

3

Batman Arkham Knight + Harley Quinn DLC (PS4) Warner Bros

4

Amiibo Pikmin + Olimar (Wii U)

Nintendo

5

Amiibo Dr Mario (Wii U)

Nintendo

6

Amiibo Smash Bowser Jr (Wii U)

Nintendo

7

Batman Arkham Knight + Harley Quinn DLC (XO)

8

Until Dawn – Extended Edition (PS4)

9

Steins;Gate (Vita)

10

LEGO Jurassic World Inc Jurassic World DLC (PS4) Warner Bros

June 5th 2015

“With the successful launch of our first new-gen and PC titles – Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the astonishing Project CARS and the record-breaking The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – we continue to demonstrate our key publishing and distribution strengths. The teams have worked hard with our internal studios, PR, marketing and retail partners to deliver stand-out campaigns. “We will soon be releasing F1 2015, working with Codemasters, and will continue our strong year with group titles such as J-Stars Victory Vs+, Godzilla, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3, Tales of Zesteria and Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, and continue to work with partners to support our mascot Pac-Man and his 35th anniversary this year.”

BETHESDA Bethesda

Warner Bros Sony PQube

EX-GAMESPOT video specialists Cam Robinson and Seb Ford have left the media giant to start a new video production company called DoubleJump. The presenters and producers want to work with any business looking to target gamers, and promise to create decent content that will resonate with that audience. “Cam and I have been inspired by how the industry is changing,” said Ford. “We feel that we see a real gap in the market.” Robinson added: “In the industry right now there is a huge demand for quality, commercial video that really appeals to a gaming audience. Some companies have already successfully

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demonstrated that you can make video that both appeals to gamers but also represents the clients. We want to help more companies do this.” The pair have also launched YouTube channel CamAndSeb.

DoubleJump’s Ford (above) and Robinson (above)

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CHEAT SHEET

E3: Over a third of our exhibitors are mobile and PC companies THE organiser E3 insists that the LA event is not all about console games. E3 has become synonymous with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo down the years. This year, PC giant Valve has announced it will not be exhibiting at the show, while the PC-focused Sega will also have a reduced presence. Mobile has also struggled to get attention at the show; Nintendo announced last month that it would not be showcasing its new range of smartphone titles at E3 because ‘it is an event for dedicated video game machines.’ But Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications with E3 organiser the Entertainment

THE EDITOR

Software Association, has dismissed the notion that the LA show is all about the consoles. “The exhibitor and attendee lists show that these industry sectors are already present,” he told MCV. “More than a third of our exhibitors are involved heavily in the mobile space and in PC games. We also have the Online and Mobile Game Pavilion, which specifically showcases the great titles available on these platforms. “E3 will continue to evolve — like the industry — and our exhibitor list will reflect those new industry players.” For more on E3, check out our preview on page 10.

MY TOP E3 TIP: SEE SOMETHING DIFFERENT

I

t is pre-E3 season, which means our inboxes are already starting to fill with press releases for newlyannounced titles. Warner Bros has unveiled LEGO Worlds, EA has preannounced Need for Speed, while 2K has given the world a first taste of XCOM 2. These early announcements are attempts to generate some excitement for games that might get overlooked at E3. What chance has a Warner Bros LEGO game got against an onslaught of new Nintendo announcements? How will Need for Speed fare when sandwiched between Mass Effect 4 and a new Star Wars Battlefront trailer? And as for XCOM 2 – a PC-only strategy game – you may as well not bother. Of course, LEGO Worlds is a Minecraft rival, Need for Speed is the eagerly-awaited next instalment in the world’s most popular racing game franchise, while XCOM 2 is the sequel to one of 2K’s most acclaimed games. The fact that even these products might not get the attention they deserve during E3 just goes to show how hard it is to be heard above the cacophony of noise that echoes around the halls of the LA Convention Center. So feel especially sorry for those smaller firms. MCV analysed the E3 exhibitor list this week and discovered companies we’ve never heard of, making games that actually look quite nice. How many of you will see these games when faced with multi-hour booth tours for EA or Activision?

E3 host ESA has dismissed accusations that the show is console-focused

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Gamescom is just six weeks after E3; is it really worth seeing Halo or Call of Duty at both of them? Will you bother with the Online and Mobile Game Pavilion? So here is my tip for E3 this year: whether you’re media or retail, go and have a look at these companies. Do a little research and book a couple of appointments. Gamescom is taking place just six weeks after E3; is it really worth seeing Halo or Call of Duty at both of them? If you think about it and plan your time wisely, you can use the close proximity of these trade events to your advantage. And we are going to help you. Next week MCV is publishing ‘The Alternative Guide To E3’, where we will highlight a selection of indie, VR, AR, mobile and PC games that may be worth your time. We’ll even reveal some secrets on how to get the most from the show. If you want to take part, my email is at the foot of this column. At E3 2005, a company called Red Octane was hidden in the depths of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Only two media outlets and a retailer went to see them. A year later, its new game – Guitar Hero – was the biggest in the world. There are secrets to uncover at E3, if you just bother to look for them. cdring@nbmedia.com

June 5th 2015


FEATURE GAME BUNDLES

Death of the bundle? In theory, game bundles sound like a great idea. Companies get their titles out in front of thousands of people who might not have given them a second look otherwise. But according to some, these deals are acting as a gateway for profiteers and are eroding the price of games. Alex Calvin investigates

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t may not have invented the concept, but it was Humble who popularised the notion of the games bundle. The idea is a simple one – consumers pay a low price for a selection of titles. There are a variety of offerings out there – Humble lets fans pay what they want, and lets them dictate how much of their money goes to Humble, the publishers and various charities. And it can certainly have a positive impact on a games business. “We introduce games to millions of customers,” Humble co-founder Jeff Rosen says. “The result is more consumers and revenue.” Rob Clarke, PR and marketing manager at Curve Digital, who has had games in bundles, and recently launched its own Indie Mixtape bundle scheme, adds: “If you get it right, bundles can be massively helpful. Especially if you have a new game out. Aside from increasing the lifecycle of a game, you get a lot of exposure. We put Stealth Inc in deals close to when Stealth Inc 2 was coming out. You tend to get more legitimate fullprice sales as well. But we need to be careful when we put games in bundles. If you go too early you’re going to lose your sales. If you go too late, bundle sites aren’t as interested in you.” This is a concern echoed by indie developer Dan Marshall adds: “Bundles can do a lot for exposure and getting the games in the hands of people who wouldn’t normally have taken a punt. They’re great for players, because you can dip into a game without feeling like you’ve

June 5th 2015

Humble’s Rosen (below) and Size Five Game’s Marshall (bottom)

spent a fortune on it. They can do really well in terms of bringing in a nice lump of cash during dry spells, but I’d be very wary of putting any of my games in a bundle too soon. Once you drop the price, it’s hard to bring it back up. Bundles can harm your regular sales.” CROWDED HOUSE But it’s a crowded sector, and only getting busier with every passing week. Perhaps inspired by the success of Humble, there are huge numbers of competitors joining this area of the industry by the day. And you can see why – in 2014, Humble generated $31.1m, and so far this year it has generated $11.1m. “There is just so much noise out there,” Clarke says. “There’s a lack of quality control. When you look at some of the huge amounts of bundles out there, a lot of them tend to be on the side of lower quality, smaller games, titles that people haven’t heard of. More people will already have a lot of the games in these bundles, which ultimately makes them less attractive. “The bundle sites are increasing hugely in number and the amount of choice is growing as well, and that’s great. But the value of them is decreasing in that respect. The biggest problem for bundle sites is competing with everyone and finding enough quality games to make it worth it for consumers.” Marshall adds: “The bundle sector is pretty swamped, and the sort of returns they’re seeing seem to be a lot less than when they first started out. There’s a big of a moral obligation with bundles that they

If we’re looking at being in a bundle, the fear of key re-selling makes us question whether we want to do it or not. Rob Clarke, Curve Digital

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really need to start making sure that the people who have done the sweeping majority of the work, the developers, see suitable financial returns. There can be too much of a tendency to exploit developers, and it’s a worry.” PIRACY PROBLEMS And saturation and quality aren’t the only things concerning publishers and developers. Earlier this year, Steam ditched support of its OAuth system. OAuth bound together a group of codes and tied them to a user’s account. Thus, it effectively stopped people splitting games out of a bundle and selling them on. And Valve’s decision to remove the system has worried games companies. “It was a massive pain for us. OAuth was a saving grace for us in terms of people re-selling our codes,” Clarke says. “It’s a big thing for us. If we’re looking at being in a bundle, the fear of key re-selling is the thing that makes us question whether we want to do this or not. Because we know that the keys will end up on CD key sites. We can’t really control that. We can attempt to stop it, but like all piracy, it’s not really possible to stop once it happens.” Eleonora Lucheroni, PR and social media strategist at bundling site IndieGala, adds: “OAuth was simply phenomenal. It was an excellent feature and most users loved it – while scammers and key resellers hated it. All the developers we have spoken with were very disappointed by the removal of OAuth support. Nobody knows why it was dropped. We’d like to know.”

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GAME BUNDLES FEATURE

BUNDLES GLOBALLY

Humble recently launched its first console bundle, the Humble Nindie Bundle

THE Humble Bundle is a force within games, and is popular across the globe. But where is the bundling scheme most popular? It shouldn’t be surprising given its size – that the USA takes the biggest slice, with 22.7 per cent. But interestingly, emerging markets like Russia and Brazil are popular users of these sites, too. “Considering it is an English-speaking website, it is mostly the Western markets that spend on the Humble Bundle,” SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen says. “Gamers in developing game markets like Russia, Brazil and Turkey tend to use the Humble Bundle because of a relatively higher presence of PC in combination with lower purchasing power. To these audience, it offers a really good deal.” GLOBAL LEAGUE TABLE 22.7% 1. United States 2. Russia 7.2% 3. Brazil 5.8% 4. Germany 5.2% 5. Turkey 5.1% 6. United Kingdom 5.1% 7. France 4.7% 8. Canada 2.9% 9. South Korea 2.6% 10. Poland 2.2%

(From left to right): IndieGala’s Eleonora Lucheroni, UKIE’s IP Mo Ali and Curve Digital’s Rob Clarke

But Humble’s Rosen thinks those getting worried about the removal of the feature are over-reacting. “We have operated for years without it, and we have now operated for almost a half a year since we removed it from the site,” he says. “It was a good, shortlived feature that was great for customers and developers. I’m sad it’s gone, but let’s not blow it out of proportion. We have a number of features to detect and curb fraud and resellers.” And UKIE’s IP co-ordinator Mo Ali says that the removal of OAuth has ultimately given companies more information about where there keys end up being sold.

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that they don’t know and trust to get a game, they’re getting a worse experience,” he explains. “With re-sold keys, the experience is nearly identical as legitimately buying the game. We will help anyone using them like they are a customer. You’ll be able to load it up in Steam in the same way anyone who legitimately bought it can. “The other issue is with key resellers, people don’t realise what they are doing is essentially piracy. They think because they are paying for it then the developer must be getting something for it.” Meanwhile, Marshall is concerned that bundle deals are ultimately harming game prices.

“From an infringement point of view, not having OAuth can potentially help some games businesses,” he tells MCV. “They can better identify if and where keys are resold online because they can then better track sales and activation numbers.” HEAVY COST But for Clarke, the problem is not with the key reselling itself, but the consumer perception that by buying keys from reselling websites, they are not damaging developers and publishers. “If a consumer goes to a torrent site, accesses a crack, or has to download something from a site

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“I’m worried that bundles are contributing towards this ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of pricing,” he says. “‘I’ll wait till it’s in a bundle’ is the new ‘I’ll wait till it’s in a Steam Sale’. And for people trying to make games for a living that’s always disheartening to hear - indie games tend to be pretty cheap really, generally under £15 or so for hours worth of entertainment. “Anyone who has bought a bundle and played a game so much should buy another copy full price, and support a developer who is making things you love. “Because otherwise developers might not always be there.”

June 5th 2015


DATA MAY CHARTS

MONTHLY CHARTS Bandai Namco conquers a good May for the UK games retail, courtesy of two major new releases: Project CARS and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Christopher Dring reports

THIS MONTHS UPS AND DOWNS WARNER As Mortal Kombat slips down the charts, as does its publisher

- week one sales were over 50 per cent higher than EA’s Battlefield: Hardline. Meanwhile, at No.2 is Project CARS, developed by UK studio Slightly Mad. Both games sold strongly on PS4, causing a spike in the platform’s software market share month-on-month. Elsewhere, Bethesda’s Wolfenstein: The Old Blood debuts at No.9, but perhaps most surprising is the not-so-niche-anymore Farming Simulator 15 at No.12 by Focus.

INDIVIDUAL FORMATS TOP 40: MAY (APRIL 26TH - MAY 23RD)

BANDAI NAMCO The Witcher and Project CARS fires the company to No.1 SONY In the month after Bloodborne’s launch, Sony fell down the publisher list

SONY PS4’s market share grew dramatically thanks to canny third-party deals June 5th 2015

AT LAST a month worth shouting about for the UK games industry, as more games were sold In May 2015 than May 2014 There was one publisher responsible for this and that was Bandai Namco. The firm launched the two biggest selling games of the month, both created by independent studios. At No.1 is the CD Projekt Red RPG, The Witcher 3. It was only on sale a few days when these numbers were counted, but it was the fastest-selling title of the year

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Title The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Project CARS Project CARS Mortal Kombat X Grand Theft Auto V Mortal Kombat X Grand Theft Auto V Halo: The Master Chief Collection Minecraft: Xbox Edition Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Dying Light Forza Horizon 2 Dying Light Battlefield Hardline Bloodborne Final Fantasy X/X-2 Hd Remaster FIFA 15 Battlefield Hardline Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Minecraft: PlayStation Edition The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt FIFA 15 Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Grand Theft Auto V FIFA 15 Terraria Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Destiny Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Minecraft: Xbox Edition Kirby And The Rainbow Paintbrush Assassin’s Creed: Unity Destiny Farming Simulator 15 Farming Simulator 15 The Sims 4 Disney Infinity 2.0 Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Grand Theft Auto V

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Format PS4 XO PS4 XO PS4 PS4 XO XO XO 360 PS4 PS4 XO XO PS4 PS4 PS4 360 XO XO PS4 PC PS4 PS3 360 XO 360 PS4 XO XO XO Wii U PS4 PS4 XO XO PC 360 3DS PC

Publisher Bandai Namco Bandai Namco Bandai Namco Bandai Namco Warner Bros. Rockstar Warner Bros. Rockstar Microsoft Microsoft Bethesda Warner Bros. Microsoft Warner Bros. EA Sony Square Enix EA EA Activision Sony Bandai Namco EA Sony Rockstar EA 505 Games/Merge Activision Activision Bethesda Microsoft Nintendo Ubisoft Activision Focus Home Interactive Focus Home Interactive EA Disney Capcom Rockstar

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MAY CHARTS DATA ALL FORMATS TOP 50: MAY (APRIL 26TH - MAY 23RD)

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY PUBLISHER [UNITS] LM 09 02 01 03 04 07 05 08 06 16

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

TITLE Bandai Namco Warner Bros EA Take-Two Nintendo Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Microsoft Sony Bethesda

MARKET SHARE 24.6% 10.3% 8.7% 8.4% 7.2% 6.2% 5.4% 5.0% 4.3% 2.9%

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY PUBLISHER [VALUE] LM 09 01 03 02 05 07 06 08 04 13

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

TITLE Bandai Namco Warner Bros Take-Two EA Nintendo Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Microsoft Sony Koch

MARKET SHARE 36.6% 10.9% 9.5% 9.1% 6.3% 4.8% 3.7% 3.6% 3.4% 2.2%

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY FORMAT [UNITS] LM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

TITLE PlayStation 4 Xbox One Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 PC 3DS Wii U DS Wii PlayStation Vita

MARKET SHARE 35.9% 24.9% 13.3% 7.8% 6.3% 5.5% 3.2% 1.1% 1.1% 1.0%

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY FORMAT [VALUE] LM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

TITLE PlayStation 4 Xbox One Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 3DS PC Wii U PlayStation Vita Wii DS

PRESENTS

MARKET SHARE 44.5% 29.8% 8.2% 4.5% 4.4% 4.3% 2.9% 0.6% 0.5% 0.4%

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

TITLE The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Project Cars Grand Theft Auto V Mortal Combat X FIFA 15 Battlefield Hardline Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Dying Light Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Minecraft: Xbox Edition Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Farming Simulator 15 Destiny Halo: The Master Chief Collection Forza Horizon 2 WWE 2K15 Terraria Disney Infinity 2.0 Far Cry 4 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Assassin’s Creed: Unity Bloodborne Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Skylanders: Trap Team Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Watch Dogs LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Borderlands: The Handsome Collection The Crew Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 Super Smash Bros Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush Evolve The LEGO Movie Videogame The Sims 4 Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare Mario Kart 8 Mario Party 10 Tropico 5 Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Wolfenstein: The New Order Just Dance 2015 Skate 3 Pokémon White Version 2 The Sims 4: Get To Work Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag Ride Alien Isolation

5 SECOND FACTS

FORMAT PUBLISHER PS4, XO, PC Bandai Namco PS4, XO, PC Bandai Namco PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC EA PS4, XO, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, Wii, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, PC EA PS4, XO, 360, PS3, PC EA PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Activision PS4, XO, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, PC Bethesda XO, 360 Microsoft PS4, PS3, Vita Sony PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Focus Home PS4, XO, PS3, 360 EA XO Microsoft XO, 360 Microsoft PS4, XO, PS3, 360 2K Games PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC 505 Games/Merge Games PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Disney Interactive XO, PS4, PS3, 360, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, PC Ubisoft PS4 Sony PS4, PS3, Vita Square Enix PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, Wii, 3DS, PC Activision PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO 2K Games PS4, XO, 360, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Konami Wii U, 3DS Nintendo Wii U Nintendo PS4, XO, PC 2K Games PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros PC EA 3DS Nintendo/Capcom PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Bandai Namco PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC EA Wii U Nintendo Wii U Nintendo PS4, 360, PC Kalypso PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Capcom PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Bethesda PS4, XO, PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii, PC Ubisoft PS3, 360 EA Wii U Nintendo PC EA PS4, XO, PS3, 360, Wii U, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC PQube PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Sega

Read and remember these stats so you can sound clever at the next Monday morning meeting...

12

£24,000

4

25m

The number of women national teams that will feature in the next FIFA video game

Bandai Namco’s Arcade game Star Wars: Battle Pod is now available to buy for home use. It’s pretty expensive

MCV will be sending out a special eDaily on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during E3 2015

The number of copies the BioShock franchise has sold across three games worldwide

Xbox ONE Rock Candy Wired Controller - PDP Design and manufacture the Officially Licenced Microsoft Rock Candy Wired Controller for Xbox ONE

europesales@pdp.com

www.pdp.com www.mcvuk.com

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June 5th 2015


MARKET MOVES

APPOINTMENTS

MCV biz dev role for West Laura West comes on-board as a consultant OGifford replaces Smith as GAME CFO ONew hire for Indigo Pearl MCV | The managing director of marketing agency Super-M LAURA WEST has joined MCV as a freelance business development consultant. “I am delighted to be working with the team at MCV,” West said. “The brand is the heart and soul of the games industry and it is a real honour to be playing a part in their plans for the future.” West will be supporting both the main MCV brand in its print and online incarnations, working with key accounts, and also across MCV’s suite of events including Interface, Games Media Awards, and a new Q4 showcase event launching in the summer.

MCV publisher MICHAEL FRENCH added: “We are proud to be adding Laura to the team. She’s been working in the games business for over a decade and has a bulging contacts book and plenty of ideas that will help support our clients and key launches over the next six months.” Laura can be contacted on lwest@nbmedia.com.

He has also held senior finance roles at First Choice. He replaces BENEDICT SMITH (above left) who is leaving the business in July. Meanwhile, SUZIE CARR (left) joins as HR director. Prior to moving to GAME, Carr worked at international cable firm Liberty Global and also worked as head of talent at Virgin Media. She has also held HR roles at the NHS and Sainsbury’s. “I am delighted that Mark and Suzie are joining GAME Digital and I and all the team would like to welcome them,” GAME CEO MARTYN GIBBS said.

GAME | The High Street retailer has hired a new CFO and HR director. MARK GIFFORD (top left) comes on board as chief financial officer having worked since 2007 in the same role at House of Fraser.

“They bring a wealth of invaluable experience to the business and I know they will both make a huge contribution to the future success of the Group as we continue in our mission to deliver for the UK and global gaming communities.” INDIGO PEARL | The PR firm has made a new hire. PAUL STONE comes on board straight out of university, having completed a film degree. “Paul is what we look for in a team member – enthusiastic, hard-working and passionate about games,” Indigo Pearl boss CAROLINE MILLER said.

AROUND THE INDUSTRY SURREAL VISION | The UK-based developer has been acquired by virtual reality behemoth Oculus. Surreal Vision has been working on real-time 3D scene reconstruction with aims of realistically re-creating realworld in VR. It was founded by KinectFusion inventor Richard Newcome, SLAM++ creator Renato Salas-Moreno and DTAM’s Steven Lovegrove. The team had been based in Bushey, Hertfordshire in the UK, but will now move to the USA. FUTUREFLY | Former Remedy, EA, Sulake and Microsoft staff have opened a new studio in Helsinki, Finland. Called Futurefly, the firm has aims of implementing gameplay mechanics into traditional non-gaming apps.

June 5th 2015

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It is currently working on a mobile game messenger with features similar to WhatsApp. KOBOJO | The indie developer of mobile RPG Zodiac has raised $7m in funding. The investment round was led by Oxford Capital Partners, in addition to finance that came from Endeavour Vision and Scottish Investment Bank. The funding is to be used to expand the studio’s operations, as well as contribute to the production of Zodiac. STARBREEZE | The Swedish publisher has acquired the Valhalla game engine in a deal worth $8.6m. The tech is a browser-based engine, able to power triple-A games. Starbreeze is planning on using the tool suit in its upcoming Walking Dead game.

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EDITORIAL CONTACTS

EDITORIAL CONTACTS Christopher Dring Editor

Michael French Publisher

cdring@nbmedia.com

mfrench@nbmedia.com

Ben Parfitt Associate Editor

Conor Tallon Account Manager

bparfitt@nbmedia.com

ctallon@nbmedia.com

Alex Calvin Staff Writer

Sam Richwood Designer

acalvin@nbmedia.com

srichwood@nbmedia.com

Matt Jarvis Staff Writer

Laura West Business Development Consultant

mjarvis@nbmedia.com

lwest@nbmedia.com

Production Executive: Elizabeth Parker eparker@nbmedia.com

Finance Manager: Michael Canham mcanham@nbmedia.com

Head of Operations: Stuart Moody smoody@nbmedia.com

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Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England SG14 1JA Newbay Media specialises in tradededicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Newbay publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Music Week, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two onlineonly brands: Mobile Entertainment, dedicated to the growing mass market smartphone 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.

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June 5th 2015


E3 PREVIEW

Battle: Los Angeles In just one week, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will head to LA to do battle for the hearts and minds of consumers at E3. But there’s more to this year’s show than meets the eye. Christopher Dring reports

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head of that E3 show in 2013, there were genuine questions over the future of the US games expo. E3 is a show built on the retail and console businesses, and as of 2013, both sectors were under siege from digital, PC and mobile. Then the battle between Xbox One and PS4 happened. The machines hit the headlines of all the major mainstream publications across the globe. If there were any question over E3’s ability to attract the world’s media and make (or break) new titles, that week at the LA Convention Center answered them emphatically. But two years on and E3 still has the same perception problems. Console and retail may not be under the same threat, but PC and mobile remain the biggest platforms in the world. And in the build-up to this year’s show, PC giant Valve has announced it will not be at E3, while Sega – a company very much based in the PC space these days – will also have a reduced presence at the event this year. “The exhibitor and attendee lists show that [PC and mobile] industry sectors are already present,” defends Rich Taylor, SVP of communications at the Entertainment Software Association, which organises E3. “Over a third of exhibitors are involved heavily in the mobile space and in PC games. We also have the Online and Mobile Game Pavilion, which specifically showcases the great titles available on these platforms. E3 will continue to evolve – like the industry – and our exhibitor list will reflect those new industry players.“ There have certainly been some efforts made to pull in the wider games industry at E3. The

June 5th 2015

aforementioned Online and Mobile Pavilion is one, as is a PC Gaming press conference, put together by games publication PC Gamer. E3 is also opening its doors to consumers for the first time. The LA convention has become – effectively – a global PR event. It’s no-longer a pure-play trade show. And consumers are playing an increasingly active role in talking about games, via forums like NeoGAF, YouTube, Twitch and a lot more. And the ESA is inviting 5,000 fans to attend the show, something that will increase the show’s attendance by ten per cent.

E3 is the home of VR and AR. This year’s show will have the largest collection of VR and AR under one roof.

NEW PLAYERS But one of the most exciting elements about this year’s E3 is the arrival of two new press conferences. The conferences take place before E3 and are the most watched and talked about events in the industry all year. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA and Ubisoft hold them each year (although Nintendo’s one has changed to an online-only affair). Yet this year there have been some additions – a showcase starring Bethesda on Sunday, while Square Enix will be holding an event on the Tuesday. The former has never actually announced a new product at E3 before, and together this all suggests that a number of big games will be announced this time. “All this underscores the fact that E3 is the preeminent games event in the world,” says Taylor. “It entertains and excites millions. We’re excited about these new additions to the E3 schedule and are proud of the show’s history and its future.“ But what of the future? E3 is described by its own organisers as a ‘global launch pad’ for new

Rich Taylor, ESA

games and tech. It’s not always the show that sees the debut of new tech (CES and GDC normally see it first), but it is the expo where almost consumer-ready products make an appearance before hitting shelves. And so the world will be watching this year’s expo very closely for what the future might hold for VR. “E3 is the home to VR and AR,” continues Taylor. “This year’s E3 will have the largest collection of VR and AR under one roof and we are incredibly proud to be the home of these new technologies.” He concludes: “I’ve been to many E3s and each is a success in its own right. You can’t really compare – there are new announcements, new products, and new surprises every year. Each time we start planning anew and enhance the event for a variety of audiences. We’re proud of its leadership place in the entertainment industry.”

DATES AND TIMES: PRESS CONFERENCES BETHESDA Sunday, June 14th 18:30/ (UK: 2:30 June 15th) The Dolby Theatre Hollywood & Highland 6801 Hollywood Boulevard MICROSOFT Monday, June 15th 09:30 (UK: 5:30) The Galen Centre, 3400 South Figueroa St EA Monday, June 15th 13:00 (UK: 21:00) Shrine Expo Hall, 665 West Jefferson Blvd

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UBISOFT Monday, June 15th 15:00 (UK: 23:00) The Orpheum Theatre, 842 South Broadway PLAYSTATION Monday, June 15th 18:00 (UK: 2:30 June 16th) Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena NINTENDO DIGITAL EVENT Tuesday, June 16th 09:00 (UK: 05:00) Online SQUARE ENIX Tuesday, June 16th 10:00 (UK: 18:00)

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E3 PREVIEW

EXHIBIT HOURS Tuesday, June 16, 2015 12:00PM - 6:00PM Wednesday, June 17, 2015 10:00AM - 6:00PM Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:00AM - 5:00PM

MEETING ROOM HOURS Tuesday, June 16, 2015 12:00PM - 6:00PM Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:00AM - 6:00PM Thursday, June 18, 2015 9:00AM - 5:00PM

The likes of PlayStation are joined by Bethesda and Square Enix in having conferences at E3 this year

E3 PREDICTIONS When it comes to E3, you should expect the unexpected. Not to mention the expected. Here is our E3 predictions checklist – what are you hoping to see? Make sure to tick these off when (and if) they happen

XBOX T New game from Rare (maybe more than one) T Ear damage caused by the inevitable trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III T Gears of War announced T Crackdown, Forza 6, Halo 5, Fable Legends and Rise of the Tomb Raider shown T Not a single mention of Kinect or SmartGlass T ID@Xbox all over the place T Microsoft unveils the Xbox Two

SONY T “Look at how many PS4s we have sold” T The Last Guardian... oh who are we kidding.

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T A new Destiny. Perhaps Destiny 1.5 T Uncharted 4 shows up to remind us what we’ll all miss this year T Tearaway, Ratchet and Clank, No Man’s Sky, Until Dawn will be shown T Lots of indie games that don’t look like indie games T Street Fighter V gets a major E3 showing T PS4 slim

Robot fully demoed and given release dates T Nintendo executives do something really weird in the opening video T More Amiibo than you can shake a Skylander at T Wii U price cut

UBISOFT T New Splinter Cell or Ghost Recon T Watch Dogs 2 T A humble Ubisoft apologises for Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s issues T New footage of The Division, Rainbow Six and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate T Beyond Good and Evil 2 is finally re-revealed

NINTENDO T Barely a mention of Zelda, NX or Nintendo Mobile T Nintendo’s new gaming network revealed T Miyamoto’s Star Fox, Project Guard and Project Giant

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EA T Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. T Mass Effect 4, Mirror’s Edge and that unique Criterion racing game fully shown T FIFA 16 and Need for Speed receive global reveals T Peter Moore gets another tattoo, this time of Han Solo

AND THE REST T Bethesda unveils Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2 T New Hitman T Everyone has a virtual reality product T Lots of next-gen remakes T Loads of triple-A games that look like indie games

June 5th 2015


XXX XXX SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

Boxing clever The market for game and geek subscription boxes has exploded over the last few years. American firm Loot Crate is leading the charge, but a number of British companies are entering the fray. Alex Calvin speaks to some of these firms to find out more

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t seems you can pick up a subscription box for just about anything these days. Are you after an assortment of healthy snacks? Graze has you covered. What about make-up? Then try Glossybox. So it’s no surprise then that a number of these subscription boxes have appeared within the game and geek space. Chief among these is American company Loot Crate, which goes out to over 300,000 subscribers. The concept for these services is simple – consumers pay a monthly fee for a box of themed content. They have only a vague concept of what might be inside. Some have even popped up in the UK, with a number of companies trying to cash in on the boom of the geek market. MyGeekBox launched at the start of 2014, while The Hut Group started its Zbox last December. Meanwhile, Scottish firm MyRetroGameBox arrived at the start of this year. “A lot of the recent popularity of subscription boxes is down to the boom in the industry in general,” MyGeekBox manager Kirk McKeand. “Geekiness and

gaming are no longer niche, and encompass all ages and backgrounds. Combine this with the boom in the superhero cinema scene and you’ve got a cocktail for success.” Hut Group buyer Joe Anderton adds: “There’s always been an appetite for products and collectibles associated with these big games and films. Marvel is going from strength-to-strength in the UK. It’s always been thought of as a being led by American audiences, but the appetite is there in the UK. We were hoping to tap into that. The amount of people going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron is huge, so you have the customer base there – kids after toys and adults who have grown up with Marvel comics – and suddenly its becoming cool and they’re keen to get their hands on products associated with that. That’s hopefully what we’re allowing them to do.”

WHY A BOX? THESE subscription box companies are selling merchandise from some of the most prolific entertainment brands the world has. Surely these items would sell on their own – so why even put them together in a box? “We started off with our merchandise division in January of last year,” Hut Group buyer Joe Anderton says. “It was a multi-million pound business in year one. But we still wanted to grow that side of things. “We saw other people doing subscription boxes – it just makes perfect sense to add that. We’ve had a few exclusive products on our site. “Zbox is not in any way going to cannibalise our merchandise offer. We have big plans to grow that this year and next year. It’s an incremental offer.”

OUTSIDE THE BOX But why would entertainment giants like Marvel want to get involved with these boxes? “We entered the merchandise market about eighteen months

ago,” Anderton says. “The idea was to drive more business through the studios and publishers directly and to sell more games and DVDs off the back of that. It’s a chance for companies to diversify and to supply merchandise directly. “It’s a great idea for whatever the games publishers or studio priorities are around that time. They can get a really cool product promoting their film to our key database of geeks and collectors. It’s a bit of PR around whatever key titles are coming that month. If you can get some Call of Duty into a box then there’ll be a higher awareness around that title. There’s

MyGeekBox’s McKeand’s (above) and MyRetroGameBox’s Craig (above)

June 5th 2015

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MyGeekBox manager Kirk McKeand adds: “People like so many franchises that sometimes it’s a bit of a task to grab yourself a collectible when overwhelmed by choice. That’s where we come in. With us, each month you get a little surprise, almost like the birthday feeling you got when you were a child. Who wouldn’t want to revisit that?” This feeling of surprise is something that MyRetroGameBox’s Katy Craig agrees with: “People actually like the idea of not knowing what they are getting. It’s so easy to go online and buy whatever you want but it’s a new kind of thing to not know what you are getting. With these subscription boxes, they’re all quality items. People really feel like they’re getting a bargain as well.”

always going to be opportunities for us to create unique boxes for tentpole releases.” McKeand adds: “We have a team that sources products and we generally just buy them in large quantities from wholesalers. We are working with a couple of publishers on some exciting things, We’re always looking to work with more.” And so far, the reception to these schemes has been mostly positive. “Reception has been fantastic,” McKeand says. “We have a decent number of subscribers who have been with us since the very beginning and they’re brilliant. Obviously, not everyone will love every item in the boxes, but we

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SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

The Hut Group started its Zbox subscription service in December 2014

always try to put a nice variety in each one, so we hope there’s always going to be something our customers really love.” Anderton adds that it’s most been good, but there have been some minor issues: “From consumers, reception has been diverse. We have taken on board some minor criticisms. A lot of the feedback has been that we’ve pretty much hit the ground running. Because of the relationships we have with the industry, we’ve been able to deliver great products from the get-go. Other companies have had a bit of a learning curve as they’ve had to go from nothing. whereas we already have those connections. We are growing every month. Companies are keen to get involved.” McKeand concludes: “We’re a generally new and exciting distribution model and we have a passionate community full of video game enthusiasts - you only have to look at our social media channels to see how vibrant our community is.”

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CASE STUDY: MYRETROGAMEBOX MYRETROGAMEBOX founder Katy Craig was a long-time fan of subscription boxes, and signed up to one for Japanese stationary. Her partner wanted one for retro games – and after being unable to find one, the couple decided to set up their own. “We’re just little at the moment. It’s myself and my partner, who are working from home doing it,” Craig says. “Our customer isn’t an avid collector, because they are already spending all of their time and effort getting the best prices on games anyway. Our market is the casual collector, or not just players who are interested in retro stuff. “Some people are saying we aren’t worth the money as they’re going to get five copies of the same game. And obviously that wasn’t our idea, but people know they can get

Publishers can promote really cool products to our database of collectors and geeks. Joe Anderton, The Hut Group

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games for cheaper sometimes. But obviously we send out boxes that are far above and beyond the value.” Despite the issues, MyRetroGameBox has gone down a storm – something the firm did not expect. “Working from home means we have one room to work from. For the amount of games we want to buy we need a warehouse. But we still kind of have to keep it small, because what happens if all the retro games get bought up and there are no more?” asks Craig. “We just didn’t think it would be so popular. We thought it would be a totally niche thing that 50 people would sign up to. “Now we’re thinking of getting major bank loans and we’re going to have to hire more people. We really didn’t expect it at all. But it’s a success story.”

June 5th 2015


XXX XXX INTERVIEW MIKE DIVER, VICE

Alternative Vices Global media brand Vice is best known for its investigative journalism in war zones and its insight into alternative lifestyles. So why is it turning its attention to video games? Alex Calvin talks to the firm’s UK games editor Mike Diver

I

f you’re not a ‘hip’, ‘cool’ millennial, you might not have heard of Vice. Founded in Canada in 1994, the media brand has gone on to become an online juggernaut that operates across 36 countries. It has become famous for its iconoclastic and edgy reporting that touches everything from investigative journalism in North Korea to the effects of LSD on its interns. But this year, Vice has turned its attention to video games. Though it has run a column called Video Games Killed the Radio Star in its print magazine for some time, as of this March it has now expanded fully into this sector. “We launched the Vice Gaming section in earnest this year, having found a huge appetite amongst our readers for this kind of content,” games editor Mike Diver tells MCV. “Video Games Killed the Radio Star was an incredibly popular facet of Vice’s print presence, so many of the themes touched on there have come to inform Vice Gaming in its current incarnation. We’d been increasing the amount of gaming content on our website over a number of months, to about three or four pieces a week.” CULTURAL VALUES But there are already enough sites covering games. What is Vice doing differently? Well, it seems to have taken a peek at Kotaku’s editorial strategy. “We’re almost less interested in the games themselves – what they do when you press A, how difficult a boss is to kill – and more interested in the hows and whys surrounding their places in our lives, and people who play them,” Diver says.

June 5th 2015

Vice will be producing more video game documentaries like this year’s ‘eSports’ film

“A fundamental part of our approach is looking at what games bring to contemporary culture that other media doesn’t; what they mean for storytelling; how they’re impacting on our social interactions. We’re hopeful that Vice’s reputation can push gaming towards those who maybe haven’t been paying attention to, or aren’t aware of, the rapid growth of gaming culture across the globe.” He continues: “It’s all about being personable, relatable, and speaking in terms that nongamers can understand. We want to get people who haven’t played a game in years excited to try a one; we also want veterans to find a new way of looking at one of their favourites.”

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FUTURE PLANS At the moment, Vice Gaming is just Diver, who is commissioning editorial from some of the biggest names the UK games media has on offer. And he is hoping to expand this in time. “We are in the process of massively scaling up our gaming editorial internationally and bringing in lots of new staff,” he says. “Plus there will always be a very active roster of amazing freelancers. Some of the names I’ve already brought to the section are pure dream team acquisitions like Cara Ellison, Leigh Alexander, Andy Kelly, Chris Schilling, Matt Lees and Keza MacDonald - I’m really made up that they’ve been so excited to write about games for Vice.” And alongside its editorial, Vice is producing video documentaries looking at the sector. In March it released a film about competitive gaming, simply entitled eSports. “There will be more video content on games,” Diver says. “eSports was fantastically received and is indicative of how we’re approaching video. We have a successful formula with video journalism: telling incredible, original stories, and getting them to millions of people across the world.” He concludes: “Vice Gaming will continue in that tradition. It’s an approach that is missing within the industry. We’re here to fill that void.”

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XXX XXX EDITION GAMES SPECIAL

Reversing the pre-order decline Regular readers will be aware that pre-orders are dipping in the UK – but there are companies that can help reverse this trend with fancy special editions. MCV speaks to one such firm, Novobox

P

re-orders are falling in the UK. According to data from research firm GameTrack, 3.4m UK gamers are holding off from pre-ordering. The reasons for this are numerous and subject to endless debate. But there are companies – like Novobox – who produce those special editions you see in every advert for every triple-A release coming to market. And it’s these firms who are tasked with turning this around. Novobox has technology, such as the new Futurepak game case, which can be customised with all manner of special features for different clients. “Every retailer can sell out their stock quickly with these retailer exclusive packs,” says Novobox managing director Jean Noël. “For example, GameStop can take a Futurepak with sound and artwork, GAME can take Futurepak with no sound and different artwork, while Asda can take Futurepak with a Steelcard with another piece of artwork.”

cloth maps, key holders, bracelets and wallets.” And it’s not just custom box art and loot, either. Novobox is integrating new technologies into its game box. “We also offer the option to Shazam the Futurepak with sound recognition, and link to game companies website for special promotions,” Noël says. “We have another option with Layar – an augmented reality app where users can see the trailer of the game by their mobile application before they buy the game in-store, or benefit from special promotions.”

Special editions should be more than a simple metal case. They should have a ‘woah’ effect.

INCREASED DEMAND With pre-orders dipping, it perhaps should come as no surprise that Novobox is seeing an increase in orders from UK publishers for special edition content. “We’re get more and more orders from UK-based

Jean Noël, Novobox

FUTURE TECH But fancy packaging isn’t all stores are demanding. “All retailers want to be different than others, hence they’re all asking for something different,” Noël explains. “A Futurepak is not the only point of difference they want. They want a cap or a bracelet or a wallet as special exclusive items to make end users come to their shops. “Special editions should be more than a simple metal case. They should have a ‘woah’ effect, and include more goodies like June 5th 2015

companies,” Noël says. “Maybe they feel tricked with Steelbook prices compared to Futurepak. “We have seen an increase in interest for our design protected Steelcard, which we did for Warner Games Mortal Kombat Special Edition. The Steelcard is a unique item in the industry, we can print it in four colours and even emboss it. Games companies can get their DLC codes directly printed on the Steelcard. “Moreover we have seen an increased interest for metal posters, like the one we manufactured for Dark Souls II for Bandai Namco. We make these metal posters in Europe with short delivery times. Now it seems a lot of games publishers are interested in Futurepak ‘integrated’ in the base of their figurines. We are working on a few new concepts at the moment.”

Novobox worked on the special edition for Warner Bros’ Mortal Kombat X

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SPONSORED FEATURE

Pacific products It’s responsible for the Pacific distribution of some of the biggest brands in video games, including Koch Media and Turtle Beach. MCV speaks with QV Software’s CEO, Paul Elliot

Can you tell me a bit about QV Software? We’re an interactive entertainment specialist, and a games and accessories distributor based in Sydney, Australia. QVS has been operating in Australia for over 18 years, and it’s been under the current management for 13 years. We started with no more than five employees, the company’s portfolio was heavily skewed towards productivity and lifestyle software, which was the market’s leading trend at the time. But you have expanded beyond that sector now? Yes after a few years of successfully carving out a niche segment of the market, we started to expand our portfolio by bringing on gaming publishers and accessories brands into the fold. This resulted in several years of steady growth and success, transforming the company into the region’s largest distributor and home to some of the world’s leading publishers and accessories brands. With a team of over 20 dedicated staff across all disciplines of business – sales, marketing, finance and operations, QVS is not a traditional ‘box moving distributor’. With a collective team experience across gaming, entertainment and consumer brands, the company is a fully-fledged sales, marketing and PR operation that understands all aspects of bringing a product to market, delivering results for its publishing partners and ultimately offering-

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more engaged in marketing and PR than in previous years. Distributors are now operating on a similar thinking model as publishers in their product positioning and marketing strategies.

QV Software is over 18-years old and now employs more than 20 staff

consumers the ultimate gaming experience and engagement. What do you offer customers? We are a distribution company offering exclusive sales, marketing and distribution solutions across the Asia-Pacific region. We are extremely integrated with our partners, to them it doesn’t feel like we’re an external distributor but more as an extension of their respective teams, be it European or North American partners.

Distributors are now operating with a similar thinking to publishers in their positioning and strategies.

What sets you apart from your competitors? Our ability to bring a product to market given our team’s extensive knowledge and experience. Our end-to-end approach makes us a one-stop-shop for our partners.

Paul Elliot, QV Software

What changes have there been within the distribution market recently? There are far fewer distribution companies in the market now. The mentality and approach has also changed with companies now far

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Tell me a bit about your sister company, Turn Left Distribution. Turn Left – which operates completely separately to QVS – was established a few years ago to launch Disney Infinity. Since then, we have successfully added iconic brands such as Capcom, Razer, and Thrustmaster to our portfolio. What are the challenges facing the Pacific games market at the moment? The main issues for the Pacific region, and in particular Australia, have been the same or similar for a number of years - classification, price parity and grey importing, which isn’t necessarily limited to gaming and affects all goods in Australia. On classification though we’re finally making some strides in the right direction, which saw the R18 rating finally becoming a reality. Price parity is always part of the conversation. For years, the exchange rate has meant that we in Australia have been charged a premium – this isn’t limited to games by the way – and the current currency exchange rate as is doesn’t help. Over time, as we work with our overseas partners on finding the right margin mix, hopefully the market will correct itself.

June 5th 2015


05.-09.08.2015, Cologne Secure your tickets now! gamescom-cologne.com


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INDIE INTERVIEW RODEO GAMES Sponsored by

This isn’t Ben Murch’s first rodeo In fact, he and the three development veterans who founded Rodeo Games have worked at some of the most renowned studios in the UK, including Codemasters and Criterion. So why did they jack it all in to make mobile strategy games? Alex Calvin finds out

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n 2010, four triple-A development veterans banded together to form their own studio. Between them they had an impressive CV that included stints at Lionhead, Codemasters and Sony. Among them was Ben Murch, formerly of Criterion, whose portfolio includes work on the likes of Burnout Paradise. “We all got together and decided to make a new games studio,” Murch said. “We had this idea of doing turnbased strategy games and wanted to do it on mobile because there wasn’t that much out there for that kind of thing. We initially did Hunters, our own IP, which was a top-down turn based game. “We just wanted to have it on a mobile device – you have these great smart phones but no great turn-based strategy games. We took a £20,000 bank loan and started up the company and moved off the good graces of partners and things like that. Hunters took about seven or eight months to complete and then we stuck it up on the App Store.” LEAVING TRIPLE-A But with such an impressive CV, why did Murch and co leave some of the biggest development studios the UK has to offer? “When you’re at one of the bigger places you do feel a little bit like a cog in the machine,” Murch explains. “At your own studio you do have a bit more ownership over what you are doing. Criterion was great – I learnt a lot, but that team was about 150 people-strong. You do feel like a tiny little bit of it. If you’re

June 5th 2015

Rodeo is preparing to launch its second Warhammer game – 40,000 Deathwatch

doing your own thing it’s all you – there’s no-one.” And with a career’s worth of experience on console and PC, why move to mobile? “At the time there weren’t as many games out on mobile,” Murch explains. “If we tried to do something similar these days we definitely wouldn’t be able to approach it in the same way as we did with our IP. We’d have to try something else. Mobile is still pretty exciting. You can have these amazing gaming experiences on the go. It’s very different experience than traditional console or PC experience where you are stuck in one place for a long time. At the time that was the only way we could get our studio off the ground without going down a publishing route because you can self-publish on the App Store.”

At one of the big triple-A studios, you do feel like a cog in the machine. If you’re doing your own thing, it’s all you.

THERE IS ONLY WAR While the firm started out with its own IP, Hunters, it is now working on Games Workshop’s Warhammer licence following a

Ben Murch, Rodeo Games

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chance encounter between Murch and the table-top firm’s head of licensing. Rodeo has already launched one title based on the licence – Warhammer Quest – and is now preparing to release Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch. “We were one of the first mobile firms working on the Warhammer IP,” he says. “There are loads of Warhammer products out there. We talk to Games Workshop every week on the phone. They don’t tell us how to make games or anything, they’re very much entrusting with the licence. We make the games, they make toy soldiers, and never shall the two mix. “They’re there to make sure that everything is licence-specific. We’re making Space Marines at the moment, and we send them over models and they look and tell us the knee pads are wrong or something. They never really talk to us about gameplay, that’s almost all on the studio. They look after the brand and the rest of it is down to us.” And though right now it is making titles for Games Workshop, Murch isn’t ruling out going back to working on its own IP. “We always have interest in doing our own IP, or someone else’s IP, is always there. We always talk about it. We’re still quite a small studio, there’s only nine of us here. Going off and making another Hunters game would be great. But is that commercially viable at the moment? Can’t possibly say, we’d have to look at that kind of stuff.” He concludes: “Everyone has their own little side project that they’d love to do. It’s just finding time and money to do it. “

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OUT

NOW

£19.99 – STEAM DIGITAL CARD

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MARKETPLACE

SHELF LIFE Ronnie McColm of Stranraer’s Discover tells MCV about the success of Farming Simulator 2015, how he has been using Facebook to advertise his business and what he wants to see from E3 How has business been recently? It was quite slow. Then we had last week with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Farming Simulator 15 selling extremely well. Both of those were very popular. Having two great releases in the same week isn’t a bad thing. Before then it was peaks and troughs with new releases. Was the success of Farming Simulator a surprise? Not really. The last one did really

PRE-ORDER CHARTS

our Facebook page. I’ve moved away from print ads because they’re quite expensive, but Facebook is a great free tool. I’m just trying to get customers in store that way. If the store is quiet I’ll spend a lot of time posting up stock to Facebook.

well here, and it’s always been a really great back catalogue seller. It’s something I keep in stock all the time. As far as simulation games go, it’s probably the best one we could have. It’s an amazingly popular game – though it depends where you are. Here there’s a big farming community.

You have your Facebook presence and a site. Is online retail something you’d consider? No, not at the minute. It’s still just me here and the margins are quite

How have you been getting people in the store during the quieter release periods? I’ve just been pushing games over

Farming Simulator 15 sold extremely well. Here there’s a big farming community. Ronnie McColm, Discover

PRICE CHECK: SOUTHAMPTON

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The latest in Arc’s fighting series is available now for PS3 and PS4

The third DLC pack for last year’s Advanced Warfare is out for Xbox

EuroVideo’s multiplayer racing title is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC

OUT: NOW

June 5th 2015

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2. Amiibo Bowser Jr Nintendo....................................................Wii U 3. Amiibo Dr Mario Nintendo....................................................Wii U 4. Batman: Arkham Knight: Day One Edition Warner Bros .............................................. PS4 5. Batman: Arkham Knight: Day One Edition Warner Bros ..................................................XO 6. TESO: Tamriel Unlimited + Explorer Pack Bethesda .........................................................XO 7. TESO: Tamriel Unlimited + Explorer Pack Bethesda ..................................................... PS4 8. Need for Speed EA.................................................................... PS4 9. Until Dawn Sony............................................................... PS4 10. Mad Max + The Ripper DLC Warner Bros .............................................. PS4

OUT: NOW (XO/360)

22

OUT: JUNE

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MARKETPLACE

Discover 87 Hanover Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RS

tight selling online. I was selling over Play before it went, and I’m interested in getting on GAME Marketplace. It’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. It’s expensive to run a website, but I’d just be making work for myself. How have your pre-orders been performing? I wouldn’t say there’s been a decline for me, but my pre-orders have always been quite low. It’s

Phone: 01776 700 069 Website: discoverstranraer.co.uk/

hard to nail people down with pre-orders. They’ll come in preorder a couple of days in advance, unless it’s something huge like Grand Theft Auto. Even Call of Duty pre-orders are slowing down with each year. What are you hoping to see announced at E3? I’d like to see a bit more of Star Wars Battlefront. Hopefully there’s going to be some new IP announced, too.

INCOMING TITLE

WANT TO FEATURE YOUR OUTLET IN MCV? Contact acalvin@nbmedia.com or call 01992 515 303

Looking towards the end of June, Warner Bros’ Batman: Arkham Knight and Nintendo’s Wii U-exclusive Yoshi’s Woolly World are coming to stores FORMAT

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June 5th 2015


FANTASY

THE ELDER SCROLLS Bethesda’s fantasy RPG series made its MMO debut on PC last year. This month, Elder Scrolls Online comes to consoles. Matthew Jarvis looks at the latest merchandise for the franchise

WITH a history stretching back more than two decades, the reallife legacy of Bethesda’s fantasy Elder Scrolls IP has become as epic as the virtual worlds its games inhabit. The series’ fifth instalment and biggest entry to date, Skyrim, has now sold more than 20 million copies since its release in 2011. This makes the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC title one of the 20 bestselling games of all time. It also means that Skyrim comprises half

The fifth instalment in The Elder Scrolls series has sold in excess of 20m units since 2011.

of the 40 million franchise sales of the entire Elder Scrolls series. The franchise’s RPG gameplay and expansive environments were channelled into an MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online. Released last year, the subscription-based game achieved more than 230,000 simultaneous PC players during its first 24 hours on Steam. Market tracker SuperData Research additionally estimated that the game had in excess

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL VOL 1: THE LAND Designed to bring The Elder Scrolls Online’s immersive world of Tamriel into reality, this hardback publication features a hoard of texts taken from the game, expanding the history and lore of the fantasy domain. The book also showcases almost 100 exclusive and originally-commissioned artworks. SRP: £29.99 Manufacturer: Titan Books Distributor: Titan Books Contact: sales@titanemail.com

OUROBOROS MESSENGER BAG

BRETON T-SHIRT

OUROBOROS MUG

This branded satchel is great for stashing gold and potions – or maybe just a laptop and some books.

The Elder Scrolls Online fans can display their fondness for the Breton race of warriormages with this top.

Decorated with the Elder Scrolls Online logo, this mug is ideal for mead – or perhaps just tea or coffee.

SRP: £29.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

SRP: £19.99 Manufacturer: Level Up Wear Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

SRP: £9.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

June 5th 2015

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FANTASY Sponsored by

O

gaming merchandise uk

of 772,000 paying monthly subscribers as of June 2014. The title transitioned to become a free-to-play offering in March, adding an in-game shop complete with real-money transactions in lieu of its previous subscription model. After much delay, the longawaited PS4 and Xbox One versions of the title, dubbed The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, will go on sale in June. As well as the removal of the subscription requirement,

the console editions boast a completely redesigned user interface, voice chat and full PlayStation Network and Xbox Live integration, as well as other new features. With the new changes and additions set to bring a brand new audience to the world of Tamriel – as well as tempting lapsed adventurers back in – retailers should be looking to stock up on Elder Scrolls merchandise in time for ESO’s launch.

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL. I: THE HISTORIES For the first time, the collected texts from the best-selling title in the Elder Scrolls series, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, have been collated together. The texts are spread across three lavishly-illustrated volumes, the first of which addresses and deepens the lore of the region of Tamriel – the same world in which The Elder Scrolls Online takes place. The book includes in-game texts on factions, landscapes, creatures, heroes, and dragons, and is decorated throughout with official art. SRP: £29.99 Manufacturer: Titan Books Distributor: Titan Books Contact: sales@titanemail.com

ESO ALLIANCE ETCHED SHOT GLASS THREE-PACK

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE MAP WALLSCROLL

MUDCRAB PLUSH

Fans can pledge their allegiance to any of Elder Scrolls Online’s factions with these three two-ounce etched shot glasses.

Measuring 77 by 100cm, this scroll showcases the whole of Elder Scrolls Online’s expansive world of Tamriel.

This soft-shelled Mudcrab includes a DLC code for its pet counterpart in The Elder Scrolls Online.

SRP: $30 (£19) Manufacturer: Bethesda Distributor: Bethesda Contact: store.bethsoft.com

SRP: £24.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

SRP: £19.99 Manufacturer: The IP Factory Distributor: Gaming Heads Contact: customerservice@gamingheads.com

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June 5th 2015


HOT PRODUCTS

Sponsored by

HOT PRODUCTS MCV takes a look at the best accessories heading to UK retail. This week, a slice of gaming history returns and Razer brings a splash of colour to its new mousepad

RECREATED SINCLAIR ZX SPECTRUM ONE of the UK’s best-selling games machines ever made has been resurrected for the modern age. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum is the UK’s most popular personal computer of all time, with more than five million units sold. Now, the device returns as The Recreated ZX Spectrum, a fullsized copy of its 1980s ancestor. Designed with an integrated keyboard, the Recreated Spectrum features authentic rubber keys, which recreate the experience of the original hardware, and allow players to control both classic and modern titles. The box comes bundled with a selection of free Recreated Sinclair ZX Spectrum apps, including the classic Spectrum title Chuckie Egg, the iconic Sinclair BASIC programming language and many others. Additional games can be downloaded via the online

Recreated Sinclair ZX Spectrum web app. One major modern addition to the Recreated Spectrum is Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, allowing the device to be used as a keyboard for various other devices, games and applications, including smartphones and tablets. Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast support is also featured, allowing the Recreated Spectrum to be hooked up to a high-definition television wirelessly.

[INFO] RRP: £99.99 Release Date: July 31st Distributor: Exertis Contact: 01279 822 822

RAZER FIREFLY THE latest peripheral to join Razer’s technicoloured range of Chroma products is the humble mousepad. The Razer Firefly takes a micro-textured mouse surface suitable for fast-paced gaming and enhances it with Chroma’s customisable 16.8 million coloured lighting. The surface is coated to boost responsiveness when using a mouse, while the mat is finished with a non-slip rubber base to avoid unwanted movement during use. Lighting is enabled when the pad is connected via the included gold-plated USB cable, which stretches for seven feet and is both lightweight and braided for durability. As with the other Chroma products, the Firefly can be set

June 5th 2015

26

up to synchronise its lighting with the rest of the range, meaning that colour and pattern is kept consistent between devices such as mice, keyboards, headsets and the mousepad itself. Available patterns include reactive and wave. Razer’s free Synapse software can be used to personalise both the lighting colour and pattern.

[INFO] RRP: £54.99 Release Date: June Distributor: VIP Computers Contact: 01925 286 900

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New AAA titles. New mobile games. New distribution channels. New trends. New technologies. New players. New deals.

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CLICK ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED Tel: +44 203 137 3781 www.click-entertainment.com Wholesaler and distributor of video games, consoles and accessories

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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. Tel: +1 415 856 0056 www.curseinc.com ........................................................................................................

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CLICK ENTERTAINMENT is a leading European distributor of video games, consoles and accessories. We have been an MCV Awards finalist in 2013 and 2014. We hold large quantities of stock and have a strong market presence across the world. We are always looking for new partners – suppliers and customers.

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June 5th 2015

Web: www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

30

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DIRECTORY

ENQUIRIES CONOR TALLON Tel: 01992 535647 ctallon@nbmedia.com

FINK

CREATIVE

DISTRIBUTION

CLICK ENTERTAINMENT

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

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31

Web: www.sonydadc.com

June 5th 2015


DIRECTORY

GAMING ACCESSORIES

L3I

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VENOM

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CALL CONOR TALLON ON 01992 535647 OR EMAIL HIM AT CTALLON@NBMEDIA.COM

Tel: +44 (0)1763 284181 June 5th 2015

32

Venom UK Gaming @VenomGamingUK

w w w. v e n o m u k . c o m

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INSIDER’S GUIDE

INSIDER’S GUIDE CARBON DIGITAL

DIRECTORY

WHO? Specialism: Animation and visual effects Location: 4th Floor, The Landing, Blue Tower, MediaCityUK, M50 2ST

Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,500 subscribers every month.

Carbon Digital co-founder Sue McHugh on the visual effects firm’s work on brands such as LittleBigPlanet

FOR GREAT ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES, CONTACT ALEX BOUCHER ABOUCHER@NBMEDIA.COM

Tell us about your company. Paul – my husband – and I met at Psygnosis in the mid ‘90s, moving on to Rage Software. We set up Carbon Digital in 1998 with our first project being an interactive animated website for Rage. Our client portfolio now includes the likes of the BBC, Mind Candy and PlayStation.

THIS MONTH’S DIRECTORY SPOTLIGHT: Epic Games .................................................. www.epicgames.com/careers

To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and now every week in MCV) contact aboucher@nbmedia.com

What is your biggest success to date? This would definitely be our work on LittleBigPlanet 3 - working with the team ay Sony and Sumo on this much-coveted title was incredible. We felt we had something very precious to deliver and wanted to exceed their expectations with both the creative and the quality of the visuals. This single project really allowed us to showcase our creative, production and video effects skills, with a green screen shoot, pure CGI shots and several location shoots including a helicam over Liverpool city centre.

and often this can take up weeks before production even begins. It is the fun bit though, so no complaints there.

What are the biggest challenges you face? Whilst we have always valued the high end technical skills behind our work, we still believe that creativity is at the core of everything we do. Finding time and space to allow the team to really let loose creatively is vital and often it’s a challenge to build this into the production pipeline. Our best work has definitely been won on our creative pitches

Tell us something about your company no one knows. Between us we have taken part in a fair few marathons and 100 mile bike rides. We even have an 18 floor challenge for anyone feeling inclined to get their name on our leader board, by running the 18-floors of the Blue Tower – that’s actually 36 flights by the way. There is always a healthy buzz in the team, which we really feel is reflected in our work.

Finding time and space so the team can let loose creatively is vital. Sue McHugh, Carbon Digital

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WWW.DEVELOP-ONLINE.NET www.mcvuk.com

Contact: W: carbondigital.co.uk E: sue.mchugh@carbondigital.co.uk P: 0161 686 5740 T: @carbondigital

33

June 5th 2015


FACTFILE NEW ZEALAND Sponsored by

INTERNATIONAL FACTFILE: NEW ZEALAND Population: 4,570,038 Capital City: Wellington Currency: New Zealand dollar GDP (Per Capita): $41,555.83 KEY RETAILERS EB Games, JB Hi-Fi, The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Dick Smith Electronics, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Kmart, The GoodGuys

TOP DEVELOPERS Binary Star, Boolba Labs, CerebralFix, Custard Square, Gameloft, Grinding Gear Games, Launching Pad Games, Ninja Kiwi, Pik Pok, Runawayplay, Sidhe, Stickmen Studios

TOP DISTRIBUTORS Total Interactive, AID, GDE Distribution, FivEight, All Interactive, Gamewizz, QV Software, Tuff Kat

PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION Sony, Microsoft, Take-Two, Bandai Namco, EA, Warner Bros

THE New Zealand games industry is on the rise, growing 18 per cent year-onyear in 2014. According to research commisioned by trade body IGEA, this is largely thanks to a 34 per cent jump in digital sales, which accounted for around 62 per cent of the market. Download sales increased 13 per cent, while mobile games and in-app purchases generated NZD$132m (£62m). In total, the New Zealand games market was valued at NZD$347m (£162m) last year. Physical retail was largely static in 2014, dipping two per cent to NZD$130m (£60.9m). Meanwhile sales of physical games dropped 9.3 per cent year-on-year.

New Zealand’s hardware market remains healthy, too, rising 24 per cent year-on-year. The new consoles have had the highest sales within 12 months of any hardware in the market ever. While New Zealand’s gaming culture differs in many respects to Australia, that country plays a big part in how games go to market. Some firms, including Sony and Microsoft, have a local footprint, but much of the industry’s activities, including much of the PR and marketing, are run from territory offices in Australia. Physical units are handled via a network of locally based distributors. Some of these firms handle marketing and PR in New Zealand, such as Total Interactive with Activision.

The New Zealand games market rose 18 per cent in 2014 thanks to a 34 per cent jump in digital sales.

June 5th 2015

34

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NEW ZEALAND FACTFILE

MEANWHILE IN... CANADA A Canadian teenage member of hacking group Lizard Squad has pleaded guilty to over half of the 40 charges raised against him A seventeen-year-old member of hacking group Lizard Squad has pleaded guilty to 23 of the 40 charges levelled against him. The teen – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has pleaded guilty to allegations including swatting, extortion, public mischief and criminal harrassment. Online he went by the aliases ‘obnoxious’ and ‘internetjesusob’. According to the hearing, the teen would attempt to befriend gamers on League of Legends, and when they refused he would shut off their internet, post

www.mcvuk.com

35

personal information online, as well as call local police claiming he had a hostage at the victim’s home. These attacks occurred in both Canada and the US. Lizard Squad was the group of

hackers responsible for the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on PSN and Xbox Live over the Christmas period.

June 5th 2015


INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Sponsored by

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTORS IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NEW PARTNERS OVERSEAS, THEN LOOK NO FURTHER

BELGIUM

CLD DISTRIBUTION Rue du Grand Champs 14 , B 5380 Fernelmont Belgium Tel: +32 81 83 02 02 Fax: +32 81 83 02 09 Email: infos@cld.be Web: www.cld.be home of www.dragonwar.eu & www.mawashi.eu

BRAZIL Sony Music Entertainment Brasil # 1 Physical Distributor in Brazil Rua Lauro Muller n°. 116 – 40°. Andar Salas 4001 a 4003 Botafogo Rio de Janeiro RJ CEP. 22.290-160 Tel. +55 21 2128-0771 Fax: +55 21 2128-0747 Email : rodrigo.altieri@sonymusic.com Website: www.sonymusic.com.br | www.day1e.com.br

CYPRUS

G3 GREAT GAMES LTD 4 Gregoriou Papaflessa Street, Office 101, Engomi, Nicosia 2414, Cyprus. Tel: +357 22 666612 Web: www.greatgames.com.cy

IRAN

SWEDEN

DC GAMES GROUP No.9, Hemmatian St., Takestan St., Sattarkhan Tehran, Iran Tel: +98-912-1014090 +98-21-44228670 Email: Bahizad@Doostan-Co.com Web: www.Doostan-Co.com

GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083, S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Sales dept: ali.manzuri@gameoutlet.se Sales dept: andreas.lindberg@gameoutlet.se Purchase dept: hamed.manzuri@gameoutlet.se Purchase dept: david.nilsson@gameoutlet.se Web: www.gameoutlet.se

NETHERLANDS

UAE

SOEDESCO B.V. Koddeweg 13, 3194 DH Rotterdam The Netherlands Tel: +31 104722462 Fax: +31 104722893 Email: info@soedesco.com Web: www.soedesco.com

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 Email: marketing@alesayi.ae U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com

NORDIC WENDROS AB SWEDEN, NORWAY, DENMARK & FINLAND Jakobsdalsvägen 17 12653 Hägersten Sweden Phone: +46 8 51942500 Fax: +46 8 7466790 Email: HM@wendros.se LM@wendros.se Web: www.wendros.se

WORLDWIDE CLICK ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED Email: info@click-entertainment.com Web: www.click-entertainment.com Phone: +44 (0)203 137 3781

MCV WORLDWIDE Editorial: + 61 (0)424 967 263 Leigh.Harris@mcvpacific.com

Advertising: + 61 (0)417 084821 Joel.Vandaal@mcvpacific.com

WWW.MCVPACIFIC.COM

MORE DISTRIBUTORS AUSTRALIA AFA Interactive, Bluemouth Interactive, Five Star Games, Mindscape, Namco Bandai Partners, Turn Left Distribution BENELUX CLD Distribution, Koch Media, Gameworld Distribution B.V. CANADA E One, Importel, Just4Games, Solutions 2 Go, Vidéoglobe CYPRUS Access, Gibareio, Zilos, Nortec Multimedia CZECH REPUBLIC Cenega, Conquest, Comgad, Playman, ABC Data DENMARK Bergsala, Elpa, Impulse, Koch Media, Nordisk Film Interactive, Nordic Game Supply, PAN Vision FRANCE Big Ben, Innelec, Koch Media, SDO, Sodifa GREECE Zegatron, CD Media, Namco Bandai Partners, IGE, Nortec, Enarxis, Beacon HUNGARY CNG.hu/Cenega Hungary, CTC Trading, Magnew, PlayON, Stadlbauer ICELAND Sena, Myndform, Samfilm, Ormsson INDONESIA Maxsoft, Uptron, Technosolution IRELAND MSE Group, Baumex JAPAN Ajioka, Happinet, Jesnet NORWAY Bergsala, Game Outlet, Koch Media, Nordic Game Supply, Nordisk Film, Pan Vision POLAND CD Projekt, Cenega, Galapagos, LEM PORTUGAL Ecoplay, Infocapital, Koch Media, Namco Bandai ROMANIA Best Distribution SERBIA ComTrade, Computerland/Iris Mega, Extreme CC SPAIN Digital Bros, Koch Media, Namco Bandai Partners, Nobilis SWEDEN Bergsala, Koch Media, Namco Bandai, Nordic Game Supply, PAN Vision, Wendros, Ztorm (digital) UAE Red Entertainment Distribution, Pluto Games (LS2 Pluto), Viva Entertainment, Gameplay Entertainment, Geekay Distribution

TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CONTACT CTALLON@NBMEDIA.COM June 5th 2015

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www.mcvuk.com


OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD This week, Rock Band 4 rolls into town, Splatoon grinds its way to Corby, World of Tanks makes tracks to Bovington and Comic Con dresses to impress in London BAND ON THE RUN AS part of Rock Band 4’s European tour ahead of E3, Harmonix and Mad Catz brought the rhythm game to hip and happening venue The Social in London. The event marked the first chance for hands-on with the game outside of the US. Among those to come along and let loose the gods of rock were Green Man Gaming, Gfinity and VideoGamer.com’s Simon Miller, who put his all into a rendition of Living Colour’s Cult of Personality (right). Unfortunately, they were all somewhat upstaged by the Guinness World Record holder for Guitar Hero, George Boothby, who shredded his way through a series of tracks accompanied by the vocal talents of Rock Band 4 project manager and original Guitar Hero creator Dan Sussman.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AN XBOX ONE ARE YOU A CALL OF DUTY MASTER? SHOW US YOUR SKILLS TO WIN AN XBOX ONE XBOX has teamed up with MCV to run a series of new weekly challenges. Every Friday, Xbox will test gamers and pose key questions based around upcoming events. Just for industry folk and retailers, there’s a way to take part via MCV which could win you some fantastic prizes. Here’s how it works: every week, MCV will print a challenge on this page. You simply need to show us your answer - tweet it to us, email us or post on our other social feeds.

MCV XBOX CHALLENGE NO.9:

HOW TO ENTER

CALL OF DUTY DOMINATION Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s third DLC pack is out this week, and we’ve got a brand new Xbox One on offer for fans wanting to give it a go. All you have to do is show us your best Call of Duty skills – masterful headshots, killstreaks that seem to never end and/or amazing grenade throws. Send us a picture or video of your top performances (see right) and you could be in with a shot at winning.

WIN!

O Tweet us with a picture or

video of your entry (if relevant) to @MCVonline - don’t forget to use #AllForOne with your entry. Make sure you use both! OYou can also send entries to offtherecord@nbmedia.com - use #AllForOne in the subject OAlternatively tell us via Facebook - you can find us at facebook.com/MCVonline ODeadline for entries is 5pm on Friday, June 12th

HAVE YOU ENTERED ANY OF OUR PAST CHALLENGES? STAY TUNED – THE FIRST WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON www.mcvuk.com

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June 5th 2015


OFF THE RECORD

SQUID RIDE NINTENDO’S kid-friendly shooter Splatoon is finally on shelves, and the platform holder has splatted its local skate park, Adrenaline Alley in Corby, to celebrate. The park will remain inkified for the whole summer, with top Pixel Crew skaters Lois Pendlebury, Tom Bailey and Sam Pulley, plus rising star Salar Kooshiki, coming along to give the colourful grind poles, ramps and half-pipes an inaugural run. Adrenaline Alley will also play host to four Wii U pods, equipped with copies of Splatoon, throughout the summer holidays to give kids a chance to try out the new title. We would definitely be up for giving it a go but– ooh, ouch, our legs are a bit stiff. We can’t pull off our 900 Pop-Shove-It trick like usual. What a shame.

I want to say Fallout 4 but also a Mass Effect 4 teaser!

Borderlands 3, hopefully.

katie stubbs @katieee120

DualCORE1 @DualC0RE1

Crash Bandicoot reboot!

:+$7·6<285 %,**(67 PREDICTION FOR 7+,6<($5·6(" #GMGASKS

No end of snarky remarks on Twitter, along with thousands of others.

Alex Chapman @aLeXeLa135 I want Mirror’s Edge 2 and that new NFS to not be shit.

#DOOM4 is all I’m interested in.

dgeesio & ronMctube @Dgeesio The new XCOM should be cool to see.

I spy with one eye @RenderB Scruffy @austin0331

Kingdom Hearts 3 release date. (To then get delayed.)

As a survivor of the survivor hoax, Fallout 4 needs to happen. The anticipation has clearly impaired my critical thinking. Liam Dunne @Riam_san

June 5th 2015

CloverSmile @_CloverSmile

38

cryinbreakfastfriend @Ice_Cream_Jones Oculus, Oculus everywhere.

VicenteProD @VicenteProD

www.mcvuk.com


OFF THE RECORD

THE WEEK IN 140 CHARACTERS The Tweets you might have missed in the last seven days @TheSteveBurnio Interesting you can’t play men vs women in FIFA 16 due to ‘authenticity’, but you can play as Brazil vs Accrington Stanley.

Steve Burns, VideoGamer.com Thursday May 28th @petermooreEA So sad to see the misogynistic vitriol following @EASPORTSFIFA announcement re. women in the game. We are better than this.

Peter Moore, EA Thursday May 28th @EWoolliscroft I’m watching out for some ink-redible puns today! #Splatoon <:==

Emily Woolliscroft, Nintendo Friday May 29th @TomGrochowiak The press claims that Hatred is actually a pretty mediocre game, controversy or not. Meanwhile on Steam:

Tom Grochowiak, MoaCube, Monday June 1st

@stoonami Any minute now 2K will confirm console support for XCOM 2. Annnny minute. It’s okay, I can wait over here. No trouble. Any minute now.

Stu Taylor, Dead Good Media Monday June 1st @pilki42 This is the face you make during the solo of Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’. #RockBand4 #RB4London

Steven Pilkington, GGS Monday June 1st

COSTUME PARTY SUPERHEROES, assassins, dubstep guns, Batmobiles and zombies all under one roof can mean only one thing – MCM Comic Con is back in town. The celebration of pop culture returned to the Excel in London and saw more than 122,000 visitors during its three days, a new record for the event. Games exhibitors included Nintendo, Warner Bros, Konami, Insert Coin and Square Enix, plus a healthy splash of eSports. As ever, those bold and brave enough to don cosplay put on a fantastic effort once again. The show is back in October – best get stitching and gluing soon.

www.mcvuk.com

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June 5th 2015


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MCV836 June 5th  

MCV836 June 5th  

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