MCV853 October 23rd

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THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES ISSUE 853 FRIDAY OCTOBER 23RD 2015

OUT 30.10.15


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© 2005-2015 Take-Two Interactive Software and its subsidiaries. 2K, the 2K logo, and Take-Two Interactive Software are all trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. © 2015 WWE. All Rights Reserved. “2”, “PlayStation” and “Ô are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “Ø” is a trademark of the same company. All other marks are property of their respective owners. T1, THE TERMINATOR, T2, TERMINATOR2: JUDGMENT DAY, ENDOSKELETON, and any depiction of Endoskeleton are trademarks of Studiocanal S.A. All Rights Reserved. © 2015 Studiocanal S.A.®


THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES ISSUE 853 FRIDAY OCTOBER 23RD 2015

JOURNO JUBILATION ALL THE WINNERS OF THE 2015 GAMES MEDIA AWARDS P18

GAME: VR needs us to succeed

VideoGamer plots global expansion

High Street chain optimistic but cautious over new technology

by Alex Calvin

by Christopher Dring IF virtual reality is going to change the world of video games, then it will need the High Street. That’s according to UK retailer GAME, which is wary but hopeful about the new technology from PlayStation, Oculus, HTC and Samsung. CEO Martyn Gibbs tells MCV that in order for VR to reach its potential, it will have to get into the hands of consumers. “My view on virtual reality is that we have all tried them, and they are fantastic experiences,” he says. “Whether they are going to drive huge consumer engagement is yet to be seen, because we haven’t got a major one out on the market at the moment, so it is an incredibly difficult one to judge. “But we are seeing that gamers’ appetite for knowing and understanding a lot more about VR is definitely there. As for our position, for virtual reality to

The first major VR headsets are due out in 2016

If you look at forecasts for VR, they are huge. If we get even half of those numbers, that will be good news. Martyn Gibbs, GAME

succeed, GAME will need to play a significant part in that. We need to allow people to be trialling the products in an environment that they are comfortable with. “VR is not something that we have any big numbers in our budgets for, but we are excited about it. If you look at the market forecasts for VR, they are substantial. If it gets to even half of those numbers, that will still be good news for the whole sector.”

MEDIA firm Candy Banana wants to grow its VideoGamer brand across the world. VideoGamer launched a Portuguese arm in 2013 and has just opened a website in Greece. It’s now planning sites for Spain and Italy for early next year. “Candy Banana’s long term goal is to expand VideoGamer into every large non-english speaking country - either as wholly owned entities or with collaborations,” Candy Banana director Adam McCann told MCV. “We expect this to gain further momentum after the launch of the next version of the VideoGamer site. We are also looking at launching non-English versions of Candy Banana’s other sites, such as the hugely popular PlanetDestiny.com.” Candy Banana was formed in March of this year, after Swedish firm IBIBI HB acquired former VideoGamer parent Pro-G Media.

Loading Bar to open new Stratford venue next month by Alex Calvin DALSTON-BASED games bar Loading is launching a new outlet in Stratford. The new location will be in the former Princess of Wales pub and is set to open its doors on November 2nd. Speaking to MCV, Loading boss James Dance says that the space will allow the games bar to do larger events, and its more

central location – in addition to its proximity to GAME’s flagship Stratford store – will mean it is better positioned for bigger publishers and events. “I wanted to be in a different space, but also be somewhere which had better transport links and a lot more going on,” Dance said. “Our audience is currently just people who have been fans of Loading or are making a trip especially, Stratford gave us the

PLUS CHANNEL 4 TUNES INTO GAMES

Loading Bar boss Dance says he can do bigger events at the Stratford site

scope to put something there that was somewhere you could just drop in.” He continued: “Publishers can promote their titles in two locations – they have a much bigger outreach. They can do a launch in somewhere like Stratford and then do more long-term PR in Dalston.” In addition, Loading is in talks with a leading digital codes specialist about selling download vouchers in its stores.

WWE 2K16 ENTERS THE RETAIL RING


NEWS

Atari boss promises to fix its video game ‘mistakes’ by Alex Calvin THE new boss of Atari has pledged to make amends for the firm’s recent video game flops. In March, the company released a survival game based on its Asteroids brand, Asteroids: Outpost. It also turned its Alone in the Dark franchise into a team shooter with Alone in the Dark: Illumination in June. Both games were poorly received. “We make mistakes in games,” Frédéric Chesnais told MCV. “With

‘Stop grey imports and retail street date breaks or risk chaos,’ says ERA

Asteroids: Outpost, the idea was to start with a solo experience and keep adding to it. The fans did not respond to that. On Alone in the Dark, the game is very stable but people didn’t like the gameplay. We’re working on addressing that. “We do care about these brands, we are really trying to pay attention to what the community is saying and to do our best. You are only as good as your last game. That’s the problem and also the beauty of our industry. We don’t do it on purpose.”

by Christopher Dring THE Entertainment Retailers Association is teaming up with UKIE and calling on games publishers to help stop grey importing and street date breaks. In a letter to MCV, ERA boss Kim Bayley said: “There have always been some less than scrupulous retailers who try to steal a march on the competition by selling new titles too soon, but recently it has become all too common. The problem is that if rogue retailers get away with it, there is little incentive for anyone to stick to the embargo, and we could end up with chaos. “Naturally, on the rare occasions an ERA member is implicated, we act swiftly, but

Asteroids: Outpost (pictured) and Alone in the Dark: Illumination made mistakes, admits Atari boss Chesnais

there is little ERA can do when this bad behaviour takes place outside our membership. That’s when we need publishers to play their part. “It’s the same with grey imports; just as with broken street dates, grey imports leech off the investment, the effort and the commitment of reputable retailers. “To be fair, some publishers have been very pro-active on these issues. Activision in particular deserves praise for its efforts, but we would welcome the opportunity to work with others. “That’s why this week we are reaching out to our colleagues at UKIE to see if we can make a concerted effort to drive the cowboys out of town.”

2K hails ‘Arnie action’ as Terminator DLC boosts WWE pre-orders ARNOLD Schwarzenegger has been a great ambassador for the upcoming WWE game, says 2K. The movie star has been on the promotional trail for the game. His character from The Terminator movies is available for those that pre-order the upcoming sports wrestling game, which arrives on October 30th for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3. “Our pre-order fans are our most devoted fans in many ways,” Bryce Yang, director of brand marketing for WWE at 2K Games, told MCV. “Even before the big pre-order announcements, whether it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sting or Mike Tyson or whoever we’ve got over

October 23rd 2015

gotten to do a lot of firsts with this franchise. “The first time you’ll see Arnold in a ring wrestling is as The Terminator in WWE 2K16, which is something that can only happen through the magic of video games. “Arnold has been a great

the years, those guys will run and buy the game before launch. “The pre-order story is always my favourite one every year, because it’s always been a big surprise and we’ve

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ambassador for WWE and our game, as well. He filmed a commercial with [wrestlers] Dean Ambrose, Paige, Finn Balor and some of the other guys a few months back that we released, and helped us promote the game through interviews and social media. The reception has been great.”

www.mcvuk.com


NEWS

THE EDITOR

‘PlayStation has put Paris Games Week on the international radar’ by Matthew Jarvis NEXT week’s PlayStation conference has made Paris Games Week part of the global calendar, but don’t expect it to become a Gamescom rival, organiser SELL has told MCV. Speaking ahead of next week’s show, SELL president JeanClaude Ghinozzi said that the main focus of the event remains on French gamers. “The Sony conference will be a great highlight for Paris Games Week,” he stated. “It will give some visibility to our consumer show internationally. That’s the prime outcome; Paris Games Week will have a more established and recognised presence in the international gaming calendar.”

Nearly 300,000 visitors are set to attend this year’s event, but Ghinozzi said that rivalling the scale of trade shows such as Gamescom and E3 was not the focus of the consumer expo. “The DNA of Paris Games Week is as a gamer-first event,” he said. “Gamescom is much better than us on the trade part, and that’s simply because it’s not one of the reasons why we built our show. “We have doubled the size of the event in the last three years, so it’s now 100,000km squared. It’s a very large show. But the objective for us is not to grow the number of visitors. What is critical for us is focusing our energy and budget on the quality of experience. It’s where we put our dollars: to have a better show.”

WHAT IS VIVENDI UP TO?

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t’s hard to resist speculating on Vivendi’s recent decision to invest £117m in Ubisoft and Gameloft. Vivendi has significantly reduced its stake in Activision Blizzard over recent years, so why the sudden U-turn? Vivendi is big in movies, TV and music, owning and operating a number of significant businesses in these areas. It’s also been keen to grow in the smartphone and tablet markets – two areas seen as a major battleground for the big media companies. Activision Blizzard has not always fit with this vision. Although it’s actively made music and movie-based games, it’s been reluctant in transferring its IP in the other direction. Activision has repeatedly shot down speculation over a Skylanders or Call of Duty film or TV show (the upcoming World of Warcraft movie is a notable exception). Ubisoft is not so wary. It has already turned Rabbids into a popular TV show in France, and is currently developing big-budget movies based on Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and more. As for mobile, Activision Blizzard has been relatively subdued in this market, focusing more on triple-A console and PC development. Meanwhile, Gameloft is one of the most established names in smartphone game development, with a number of big brands in its portfolio. So both Ubisoft and Gameloft fit with Vivendi’s other media businesses. And they are also complementary companies. Ubisoft and Gameloft are operated by two members of the Guillemot family and

SELL president Ghinozzi says the focus of Paris Games Week is on quality, not quantity

SPONSORED BY

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Microsoft

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Bethesda

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Star Wars Battlefront Inc Battle of Jakku Pre-order DLC (PS4)

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Call of Duty: Black Ops III (PS4)

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Rise of the Tomb Raider Inc Hope’s Bastion Pack DLC (XO)

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www.mcvuk.com

BETHESDA

EA Activision Blizzard Microsoft Activision Blizzard EA 2K Games Ubisoft

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It’s too early to suggest Vivendi is about to launch a fresh assault on the games market. (possibly because of that) have largely avoided competing against each other. A merger between the two could make sense with little overlap. Perhaps that’s Vivendi’s plan. Yet maybe, just maybe, we’re all reading a bit too much into it. Vivendi is sitting on a huge amount of money and is under pressure to do something with it, or return some to its shareholders. Investing that cash into non-competing businesses makes sense. Gameloft, and to a lesser extent Ubisoft, has not had a strong year so far. But things are looking up with a number of significant releases on the immediate horizon. Vivendi – being a fellow French business and well versed in the video games market – has perhaps spotted two companies that might be a little undervalued. In fact, Vivendi’s mere interest alone has caused both companies’ share prices to rise and its investment to grow. Vivendi’s decision to invest in games businesses again has certainly raised some eyebrows. But for now, there’s little to suggest that the corporation is about to launch a fresh assault on the games market, just a few short years after leaving it all behind. cdring@nbmedia.com

October 23rd 2015


INTERVIEW GAME

GAME on... Christopher Dring talks Black Friday, digital, the state of physical games retail and eSports with GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs and CFO Mark Gifford

...GETTING BACK INTO PC TEN years ago, the High Street effectively abandoned the PC games market, giving rise to digital distribution in a major way. GAME admits that it was too quick to abandon the platform and, with the aid of Steam and its newly acquired eSports division Multiplay, hopes to reclaim some of this sector. “We are well aware of where we have not performed and not given our customers the offer they deserve, and PC is top of that list,” confesses GAME boss Gibbs. “It is fair to say that with the acquisition of Multiplay, they have taught us a lot and we have a much better understanding of the approach that we need to take

October 23rd 2015

for our PC customers. Both from a PC digital point-of-view and a PC accessories perspective, we are seeing immediate traction with understanding the market far better. It will continue to be a real focus for us as we move into 2016. “We have a very good relationship with Valve. The guys at Steam are just really aiding all of our efforts to really close the loop. We have been very strong on console for many years, and when PC moved digitally we didn’t move with it quick enough. We are now in the position where we have the right supplier partnerships, plus the right internal talent, to drive that category forward.”

...SLOW PHYSICAL GAME SALES ACCORDING to GfK Chart-Track figures, UK boxed game unit sales are down 10.3 per cent year-to-date, while revenue has dropped 6.5 per cent. It makes for concerning reading, particularly for High Street stores. But Gibbs is optimistic that the picture will change. “If you look at the release schedule year-on-year, we had Destiny and Shadow of Mordor come out earlier last year,” he says. “This year we have Battlefield, Call of Duty and Fallout in November, so the

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way we’ve expected things to phase is that September and October would be softer, and November stronger.” He adds: “Those three games are coming out within 14 days. It is potentially the best-looking November that we have witnessed. In terms of volumes of products, we still haven’t got 15m people that own a newgeneration console – so we are hampered a little bit by the amount of console owners. But we think all three of those are going to be real successes.”

www.mcvuk.com


GAME INTERVIEW

...ITS ESPORTS AND EVENTS BUSINESS GAME spent £20m acquiring eSports specialist and events organiser Multiplay in March of this year. Since then, it has embarked on a recruitment drive, moved the Insomnia events from Coventry’s Ricoh Arena to Birmingham NEC, developed a small Insomina event in Spain and is now eyeing more international territories. It is also hoping to bring eSports to the GAME store estate. “We have a couple of bigger stores that we are trialling, and part of that is around eSports and how we are going to do that within a shop environment,” says CEO Martyn Gibbs. “We are early stages on that. We see eSports as an engagement both in and outside of stores. We will talk to our strategy on eSports over the coming months; it is very differentiated to what we are seeing and where everyone else seems to have focused at the moment.”

...BLACK FRIDAY BLUES BLACK FRIDAY returns to Britain on November 27th, and it’s going to be big. Last year’s pre-Christmas sales event resulted in severe discounting on recently released games as well as Xbox One and PS4 consoles. Yet the overall performance of Q4 last year was within analyst expectations – it seemed that rather than increase sales, Black Friday simply meant consumers bought their Christmas presents during November rather than December. It begs the question: is Black Friday really beneficial to the games business? “We see Black Friday very differently to anyone else,” says GAME boss Martyn Gibbs. “It is not about just one day for us, it is about recruiting customers into the GAME ecosystem and community. We have seen the amount of people that bought a console from us on Black Friday last year, but it is the amount that have engaged with us since which is the key point. We are set-up well commercially and operationally, but for us it is about the opportunity of recruiting tens of thousands of new customers.“ GAME says it is preparing its website for the Black Friday rush, but believes it will be

He continues: “We have just moved Insomnia from the Ricoh to NEC, and the first one of those will be in December. We run Insomnia three times a year and we know there are opportunities to run that event in places where people can’t actually access it at the moment – from a UK perspective. We did a small Insomnia experience at the Madrid Games Week, and we are in discussion on other international territories as well.” There will be other noneSports events, too. Although don’t necessarily expect a rival to EGX. “We are doing other retail experiences with publishers this Christmas and we see a great opportunity to do more and more gaming events,” adds Gibbs. “These are the sort of occasions that we don’t see happening anywhere. This is not the case of doing something that someone else is doing in other territories.”

in-store that benefits the most from discounting this year. “We have been getting everything focused around the amount of traffic that we believe could potentially come to us on Black Friday,” says Gibbs. “We have done a lot of research and it is very interesting about how customers see Black Friday. There is a tranche of customers that are saying – and this isn’t a GAME point – that they want a shop to go to on Black Friday. They would much rather stand in a queue and walk out with a carrier bag with their goods than press refresh a lot.” CFO Mark Gifford adds: “Customers are savvy and they remember very well what happened last year. Will Black Friday be bigger this year? Of course. You’ll see from the research that people are holding back their purchases until then. But there were a number of websites across the country that did not perform well on Black Friday last year. More than that, the entire distribution network across the UK started to fail. There just weren’t enough reliable deliveries and, when it’s somebody’s Christmas present, consumers don’t want to take that risk and will trust going into the store much more.”

GAME CFO Mark Giff ord (above) and CEO Martyn Gibbs (above)

www.mcvuk.com

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October 23rd 2015


CHEAT SHEET

UP & DOWN

Market Data Software revenue dips again ahead of the Assassin’s Creed and Guitar Hero launch

£30m £15m

£30m £15m

FIFA 16 sales dipped 40 per cent but it still manages to hold the Top Spot

£21.9 581,418 units

Week Ending October 3rd

£12.9m 369,581 units

£10.1m 307,453 units

Week Ending October 10th

Week Ending October 17th

GTA V RISES from sixth place to No.5 as sales increase four per cent

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK: HALO 5: GUARDIANS

[INFO] FORMATS: XO RELEASED: October 27th PUBLISHER: Microsoft DISTRIBUTOR: Exertis CONTACT: 01279 822 800

October 23rd 2015

XBOX started its marketing push for Halo 5: Guardians in January with a multiplayer beta which saw 20m matches played. The firm claims it has reached over 80 per cent of the 16 to 34 audience since then with its TV ads, and Xbox has recently ramped up its campaign. It did this with two TV spots, which content and services boss Amanda Farr says has been viewed 2.7m times on its UK YouTube channel, with a third spot launching earlier this week. Microsoft’s marketing push for Halo 5 has occured across outdoor, TV, digital, social media, radio and print advertising. “It’s a truly multi-channel campaign with the weight and breadth to do justice to such an important franchise,” Farr says. “With Halo 5: Guardians set to be the biggest exclusive title of 2015, there’s definitely a lot to be both proud and excited about. One element of the game that

Xbox’s most recent Halo 5 trailer has been viewed over 2.7m times on its UK YouTube channel

particularly stands out is that it’s the largest investment in multiplayer in the history of the franchise. Halo 5: Guardians features skillbased classic modes designed for eSports and competitive gamers, as well as Warzone, which is a brand-new multiplayer experience combining the best elements of

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Halo gameplay into one, gigantic multiplayer mode. “Taking full advantage of the Xbox One and Xbox Live, Halo 5: Guardians is built from the ground up to take full advantage of our technology, and is our most ambitious and epic Halo to date.”

www.mcvuk.com


CHEAT SHEET

PRESENTS

5 SECOND FACTS

THE NEWS IN 140 CHARACTERS The Tweets you might have missed in the last seven days

Your shortcut to sounding clever in the pub, we take you around the industry in under 30 seconds

INDUSTRY TOASTS TOP JOURNALIST TALENT

1,114

Last week, over 200 members of the UK games media came together to celebrate the best journalism the sector has offered in the last twelve months at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom. You can read about all the winners from last week’s event on page 15.

Amazon has issued a lawsuit against 1,114 people accused of posting fake reviews on its website

$100m

@LaurakBuzz Huge congrats to Kate Gray on winning Rising Star at the GMAs. So much achieved in such a short time. A really deserving winner.

@SimonMiller316 A genuinely overwhelming amount of tweets about the GMAs. Thank you to everyone for the kind words. A fake man won but hey... What a man. Simon Miller, Videogamer, Wednesday, October 14th

Laura Kate Dale, Destructoid UK Wednesday, October 14th

NINTENDO SENDS OUT FIRST NX DEV KITS

FIRST TRAILER FOR UPCOMING RATCHET AND CLANK FILM RELEASED

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has dispatched its first NX dev kits to its development partners. The publication claims that the NX will include ‘both a console and at least one mobile unit’.

Sony has given us our first taste of the upcoming Ratchet and Clank film with a trailer that launched last week. The movie is set for an April 2016 release.

@tomphillipsEG As always, NX home/ handheld concept strength will rest on Nintendo’s ability to sell idea through software. Needs a Wii Tennis moment.

@lizardengland I MIGHT be biased but I do think the Ratchet and Clank film will avoid the curse of video game movie adaptations.

Tom Philips, Eurogamer Friday, October 16th

Liz England, Insomniac Games, Thursday, October 15th

@schillingc I’m sure NX will be great, and it makes sense. Not having to develop for two very different devices will fill those release schedule gaps.

eSports firm Virtus,pro has received a $100m investment from Arsenal stakeholder Alisher Usmanov’s USM Holdings

£40 EA has announced a Season Pass for Star Wars Battlefront that will set consumers back £40

15% Korean firm Nexon has sold off its 15 per cent stake in rival publisher NCSoft

@Just_Ge0 I am extremely hype for Ratchet and Clank. Played the remaster at EGX, many many memories.

Chris Schilling, freelance writer Friday, October 16th

George Morgan, Sold Out, Friday, October 16th

58.5m eSports organiser Gfinity has recorded 58.5m online views for its 2015 Championship Series ANKA Headset - PDP Design and manufacture the Officially licensed Microsoft – fully Wireless Headset for Xbox ONE

europesales@pdp.com

www.pdp.com

GAMESAID THIS WEEK HUMBLE LAUNCHES CAPCOM BUNDLE ..................

.................................................... PLAY YOUR PART BECOME A MEMBER AMBASSADOR TRUSTEE WWW.GAMESAID.ORG

www.mcvuk.com

Humble’s new Capcom Bundle features nine of the publisher’s recent releases, with proceeds supporting both GamesAid and Direct Relief. The Humble Capcom Bundle is available until Tuesday October 27th.

BETHESDA GAMERBAKE

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

..................

..................

On Friday October 30th, Dalston’s Loading Bar will be playing host to a Bethesda-themed Gamerbake. Fallout-themed cupcakes have been promised, and a portion of the sales are going to be donated to GamesAid.

Developer HotGen is going the extra mile for GamesAid by taking part in the Mens Health Survival of the Fittest on November 21st. If you think completing a 5km run through a 20-obstacle course is worth donating to, visit www. justgiving.com/HotGen-Ltd

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October 23rd 2015


MARKET MOVES

APPOINTMENTS

Further changes for Nintendo UK team Operations manager departs platform holder O Woolliscroft joins Activision O IGN UK hires new video producer

(Clockwise from top left): Bunce, Lloyd, Bowden, Shibaie, McGuinness and Tucker NINTENDO | The platform holder has announced a number of changes to its UK team. EMMA BUNCE moves from the product marketing team over to the PR team as assistant PR manager. She will report to head of communications JO BARTLETT.

October 23rd 2015

is leaving the business at the end of the year. Both McGuinness and Lloyd will be reporting to channel sales manager and head of digital retail, JONATHAN STANTON. Finally, Nintendo has revealed that head of operations PARHAM SHIBAIE will be leaving the firm at the end of the year.

Meanwhile JAMES BOWDEN is permenantly brought on board as Nintendo UK’s social and community manager. Bowden has been working with Nintendo since the start of 2015, and will be reporting to digital strategy boss JOSE MARTINEZ. Joining Nintendo’s retail division is Konami’s NIALL MCGUINNESS, who has come on board as national account manager, handling the firm’s relations with Amazon, ShopTo and The Hut. National account manager JAMES LLOYD is moving from grocery and distribution channel management to handling Nintendo’s account with GAME. He is replacing national account manager CLAIRE TUCKER, who

ACTIVISION | Nintendo junior PR manager EMILY WOOLLISCROFT has left for Activision. She has been hired by the Call of Duty publisher as a PR manager. Woolliscroft joined Nintendo in 2010 as a junior PR manager, a role she held for five years. Before that, she did a one

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year stint as EMEA PR assistant for Disney. IGN | The games media juggernaut has made a new hire to its UK team. DALE DRIVER comes on board as a video producer having spent four years at Blue Ridge Film, working as an editor and director. Recently he has spent eight months as a television producer for Leisure Leagues, Europe’s largest fiveand six-a-side football leagues. “Dale has tremendous technical knowledge and video experience, which will enable us to do even more exciting things with video,” UK editor-in-chief ALEX SIMMONS said.

www.mcvuk.com



INTERVIEW CHANNEL 4

Games at the Four-front Channel 4 isn’t a stranger to producing games, but now the TV network has opened up a dedicated publishing arm to this end – All 4 Games. James Batchelor talks to studio boss Colin MacDonald to find out more

Why start All 4 Games? It came from a few different places. For one thing, mobile has gone crazy over the last couple of years. Channel 4 is essentially a provider of content on screens. Historically, that has been TV – that’s changing, because it’s increasingly on mobile these days. Gaming is just another form of content. So actually it’s exactly the same thing, whether it’s games or TV, we’re providing great content for screens. There’s a nice alignment with Channel 4 there, which ties into the growth of mobile. We get developers, which we used for our commissioned games, coming to us with their own IP, saying they’ve made a great game, launched it, but it’s tough to find an audience, and they’re asking if we can help. Post-launch, there’s a limit to what we can do, so All 4 Games is a way of us getting involved from the start. We can shine a light on them and promote these gems that are sinking without a trace to a bigger audience. Why focus on mobile? It’s mobile initially, as that’s where our strengths are. We’ve had a lot of success on mobile so far. The Snowman hit No.1 in the charts, Made In Chelsea reached No.2. It also comes down to that alignment with Channel 4. People can be watching something on a mobile device – an episode of Made In Chelsea, for example – and in the break we can dynamically serve ads for whatever we want. So we could serve up a trailer for the Made In Chelsea game or we can look at other titles in our portfolio that

October 23rd 2015

really early on, we can play lots of trailers online and stick stuff on social media. So as soon as we launch something, we can make a big splash, get our titles up the charts and from there tonnes of people find it. All 4 Games is an evolution of that.

appeal to young, 16 to 22-year-old females that are watching. In terms of other platforms, yes, that’s the ambition longer-term. But we’re a relatively small team right now – there’s five of us – so let’s build on our strengths just now. Going forward, we’re bound to have games that could benefit from a port to consoles. We know all the guys at Xbox, PlayStation, Steam and so on, so in due course we’ll have that conversation.

Is the plan that all games commissioned by Channel 4 will be published by All 4 Games? Yes. We’ve got an umbrella team.

We don’t want your IP. We’re not going to mandate that you make changes. This is your game. Colin MacDonald, All 4 Games

We’re telling developers that there are two ways of working with us: we can fund stuff providing it is linked to a Channel 4 brand. If you have your own IP, we can’t fund it but you can work on whatever you like. And in some cases we’re working with developers in both capacities at the same time.

Channel 4 already commissions a lot of games, including some educational ones. What have you learnt from those projects, and how have you used that to shape All 4 Games? The questions in my mind during my first year were: should Channel 4 even be working in games? Can we make great games? And do we have the show content that we can make great games from? For the first year, we didn’t worry about monetisation because that was just another hurdle. We focused on whether we could do it. A lot of our marketing is laserfocused around launch to have maximum impact on the charts – as soon as you get up the charts, organic discovery is in the hundreds of thousands of users. We can do a lot of that targeting

The team is small, but it’s all people who worked in the games industry before. Why was that important? At Channel 4, we’ve got dedicated PR and marketing teams for every genre of TV, we’ve got the finance team, strategy teams – and they’re all brilliant, but they don’t know games. There’s no point in us bringing in someone that doesn’t know games. We needed

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to be up and running quicker so it needed to be a combination of a core, experienced games team in Glasgow combined with the broader experience of the rest of Channel 4’s resources. Why are you based in Glasgow? There is a games industry in London, but its no bigger a hub than any of the other places around the UK. It didn’t really matter if we were in London, Brighton, Cardiff or any of those places – they’re all equally wellsuited. We’ve got the benefit of a nice quiet office in Glasgow, but most of all I think it looks good. It shows Channel 4’s support for all nations and regions, and it’s not sticking everything in London. We’ve seen so many indie labels rise in the last year. What makes All 4 Games different? We’re not trying to be another publisher: we’re trying to be a third option. Most developers want to retain control over their game and they want all of the fruits of their labours. They don’t want to lose control or give up chunks of revenue share to traditional publishers – that includes a lot of folk who have come along recently. We’re not going to take any of that. We’ll take a token share, but we don’t want your IP and we’re not going to mandate that you make changes. This is your game. I want the developers to be at the forefront – more of a Devolver Digital sort of model. It’s all about the ‘talent’, to use a TV term. It’s about getting the developers out there, making a story about their history. If the developer is more associated with the game than

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CHANNEL 4 INTERVIEW

Channel 4’s The Snowman went straight to No.1 in the App Store charts

Channel 4, I’ll be happy because it’s their game, not ours. What are you looking for in studios? It’s mobile-only at the moment, but we can look for pretty much any genre. The only thing I’m not looking for is kids stuff – Channel 4 doesn’t have a big kids audience. Channel 4’s programming is targeted at 16 to 34-year-olds. And kids stuff is a minefield in terms of pricing and data protection and stuff. And nothing that’s gratuitous, like Manhunt or Catherine. If it’s a driving or shooting game that skews young and male, we can promote it around Inbetweeners or Misfits. If it’s a female-skewing game, we’ll push it with Made In Chelsea and Hollyoaks. Are you open to studios pitching ideas for Channel 4 games, like The Inbetweeners? Absolutely. The Inbetweeners is one I’ve always wanted to do and not managed to find the right thing. I’m open to people pitching ideas. How can studios get involved, get in touch, pitch games? They can get in touch at any stage. We’ve got developers with games that are pretty much finished, and that’s fine. We’ve got others coming to us with really early

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concepts. We can work with either. One of the things I’m keen to do is not just have games always be made of TV IP – I want to turn the tables. The dream is to have titles coming through All 4 Games that become successful, prove they can get a big audience and then I can go to my TV commissioning counterparts with these amazing worlds, characters and story that have got a big community and start talking about a TV show. How can developers make their games more appealing to you? The most useful thing that we can see is if people are passionate about it. If people are coming to us with a game that they’re just pitching around to everyone and don’t really care where it lands, it almost doesn’t matter how good that idea is or how many manmonths have gone into it – the passion comes through the work. If people are passionate about something, it shines through the mechanics, the visuals, the production values, and to me that’s a better indication of a title that would continue to deliver.

Indie developers can meet All 4 Games and pitch their projects on November 12th at Interface. Details can be found at www.interface.events

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Congratulations to all the winners at the

Š SEGA.


ABBEY GAMES INDIE INTERVIEW

Escaping the basement The runaway success of its first release, god title Reus, has allowed Holland-based Abbey Games to quadruple in size in the last three years. Alex Calvin speaks to co-founder Manuel Kerssemakers to find out why he doesn’t need a publisher and why the studio is focusing on PC development

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ike many development studios, Holland-based Abbey Games was set up by a group of friends who shared a passion for video games. The four founders, Adriaan Jansen, Bas Zalmstra, Maarten Wiedenhof and Manuel Kerssemakers met as prospective game programmers at University of Utrecht and decided to set up a studio and started work on their first release – god title Reus. “Reus started in the basement of the university, where a small team came together to spend our extra hours working on a project. But we quickly moved to an office in the [Utrecht-based games business centre] Dutch Game Garden,” Kerssemakers tells MCV. “We grew and spent more and more time on Reus instead of our studies or other jobs. From there we worked another one and a half years, strengthened by lots of criticism from peer game developers.” PLAIN SAILING That title hit Steam in May 2013 and to date has sold 800,000 copies. It was so successful, in fact, that it has kept the studio afloat financially, and allowed them to continue games development – specifically work on its second release, adventure title Renowned Explorers: International Society. “Reus was created with the incredibly low up-front investment of €12,000,” Kerssemakers says. “The only way we could create our follow-up, Renowned Explorers, was by reinvesting our profits from Reus.”

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This success and financial stability allowed the studio to remain independent. Renowned Explorers is being created without the aid of any outside company. “Turning to a publisher wasn’t necessary for funding, and we’d rather have full control over the project, both creatively and in terms of project management,” Kerssemakers explains. “Publishers nowadays are especially great to work with for marketing purposes and connecting to a greater audience. “But Reus showed us that we could do a great job on that ourselves. Renowned Explorers is mostly created for the same audience, which allows us to build that relationship without the help of a publisher.” Thus far Abbey Games has focused entirely on PC development. Although there may be console gamers who’d appreciate its roster of releases, we aren’t going to see a

Our first game Reus showed us that we could do a great job of marketing our games ourselves. Manuel Kerssemakers, Abbey Games

Abbey launched its second title, Renowned Explorers, in September

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PlayStation 4 or Xbox One port of Reus or Renowned Explorers any time soon. “We create games of a larger scope and complexity than most titles in our price range. Due to interface and game history, we find our audience is mostly on PC,” he says. “Both Reus and Renowned Explorers could have an audience on console, due to the strategy genre being even more underserved there than on PC. But Reus is technically a hard port to do. “Renowned Explorers has been created in our own engine, which gives us the option to do it ourselves, but also increases the cost of that option. We’d rather focus on the already strong community for Renowned Explorers on PC before we start working on ports.” Kerssemakers also says that there was no interest at Abbey Games of chasing PC trends, such as Early Access, either. “While Reus was released as a premium game, Renowned Explorers was released with community in mind,” he says. “We still finished the game before releasing it, since we feel that selling a finished game fits us better than working with, for example, Early Access. But we’re in constant dialogue with the growing community and are looking into many ways of developing the game further if possible. “We ask everyone that’s playing Renowned Explorers to get into contact with us and let us know what you want, be it expansions, modding, Renowned Explorers plushies, translations or ports.”

October 23rd 2015


GAMES MEDIA AWARDS THE WINNERS

Stop the presses Last week, the British games media gathered to celebrate the best journalists in the sector. MCV looks back at the publications and personalities who won big this year

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ver 200 members of the UK games media descended upon London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom to celebrate the best journalism from the last twelve months at the Games Media Awards 2015. Last year the then-new Journalists’ Journalist gong went to industry veteran Matthew Castle. This year it went to the titular character in Videogamer’s flagship YouTube series – The Miller Report. Videogamer’s Simon Miller accepted the award as the infamous journalist, before breaking character to genuinely thank those who voted for him.

The character may be fictional, but the show was not, nor are the people behind it, and it has been hugely popular amongst the games media. The site also took away the Video Team prize. Eurogamer also picked up two awards on the night – the show opened with deputy editor Wesley Yin-Poole walking away with the News Writer gong, before returning to the stage with his team as Eurogamer won the Online Editorial Team nod, sponsored by Xbox. Meanwhile, freelance writer and industry vet Simon Parkin also picked up two awards –

Last year, the Journalists’ Journalists gong went to industry vet Matthew Castle. This year it went to a fictional character.

the Mainstream Voice and the Features Writer prize. PC Gamer’s Andy Kelly took away the first of our new awards this year – best YouTuber – for his Other Places series, before returning to the stage as PC Gamer won the Print Team prize. The second new award – streamer – went to Resero. Meanwhile, the Players’ Choice award – voted for by 9,000 consumers on Playfire – was given to The Explosive Alan Podcast. And GameSpot UK’s Kate Gray was awarded the Rising Star prize, sponsored by Sega.

SPONSORS GOLD SPONSOR

October 23rd 2015

EDITORIAL TEAM ONLINE PARTNER

RISING STAR PARTNER

PLAYERS’ CHOICE PARTNER

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EVENT PARTNERS

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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS THE WINNERS

GAMES CRITIC NATHAN DITUM

VIDEO TEAM VIDEOGAMER

I’d like to thank everyone who gave me work this year. Thanks to all the people who make games. And thanks to everybody who read anything that I wrote this year and thought it wasn’t shit.

Alright you chuffsters. Who else were you really going to vote for? IGN? GameSpot? Chuff you. Eurogamer? Like anyone is voting for them. All you need to know is that you voted for me. I’m the man. I’m the king.

Nathan Ditum, PlayStation Access

The Miller Report’s Miller, Videogamer

NEWS WRITER WESLEY YIN-POOLE

FEATURES WRITER SIMON PARKIN

Thank you very much for this. I want to thank everyone who voted, and the Eurogamer team – particularly the people who work with me on news. And everyone else who chips in.

I love telling stories and this is the best industry possible to be writing about. Receiving this award means a great deal because it means that there are people who enjoy those stories. Thank you very much.

Wesley Yin-Poole, Eurogamer

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Simon Parkin, freelance writer

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October 23rd 2015


GAMES MEDIA AWARDS THE WINNERS

MEET THE JUDGES JUDGES LAST year’s new judging system was retained for the GMAs 2015. We selected groups of industry experts, including journalists, developers and marketing staff. They were given the nomination material for each candidate, which they had to read before voting. We’d like to thank our judging panels for giving up their time reading/listening/ watching the long lists and providing their thoughts. This year’s judges included: Adam Mason, Adam Rosser, Alex Simmons, Alison Beasley, Alistair Hatch, Andy Farrant, Andy Hartup, Andy Kelly, Ann Scantlebury, Ben Barrett, Ben Parfitt, Brett Claxton, Brian Ayers, Caroline Miller, Chris O’Regan, Colette Barr, Craig Chapple, Christopher Dring, Craig Stephens, Dan Griliopoulos, Dan Webb, Daniel Nye-Griffiths, Daniela Pietrosanu, Danny Russell, Dave Cox, David Houghton, Debbie Timmins, Dom Carey, Dominic Sacco, Gareth Dutton, Gareth Williams,

Gav Murphy, Gem Woolnough, Grahame Gallacher, Guy Cocker, Holly Nielsen, Jake Tucker, James Batchelor, James Jarvis, James Orry, Jamie Nightingale, Jo Bartlett, Joseph Merrick, Joe Skrebels, Joel Snape, Johnny Chiodini, Johnny Cullen, Kat Osman, Kate Gray, Ken Barnes, Keza MacDonald, Kirk McKeand, Laura Skelly, Lee Price, Lucy Starvis, Luke Karmali, Mark Brown, Mark Robins, Martin Mathers, Matthew Castle, Matt Gilman, Matt Jarvis, Matt Pellett, Mike Diver, Mike Holmes, Nathan Brown, Nathan Ditum, Neil Gorton, Patrick Dane, Peter Willington, Bex May, Ria Jenkins, Rich Bearpark, Richie Morgan, Rob Crossley, Robert Purchese, Simon Ward, Sam Van Tilburgh, Sam White, Scott White, Simon Miller, Stefan McGarry, Stefano Petrullo, Steve Boxer, Steve Burns, Steve Hogarty, Steve Merrett, Tim Edwards, Tom Welsh, Tracey McGarrigan, Vikki Blake, Wesley Copeland, Wesley YinPoole and Will Freeman.

MAINSTREAM VOICE SIMON PARKIN

YOUTUBER ANDY KELLY

I want to thank The Guardian’s Keith Stuart. He’s done so much to change how we talk about games. It’s an exciting time to be discussing games with a broader audience who are, maybe for the first time, interested.

As someone who has written for a magazine for 11 years, finally it’s good to be recognised as the world’s best YouTuber.

Simon Parkin, freelance writer

October 23rd 2015

Andy Kelly, Other Places

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THE WINNERS GAMES MEDIA AWARDS

STREAMER RESERO

RADIO OR PODCAST TEAM – INDEPENDENT BIT SOCKET

I’ll be honest, we never expected to win, we only came to get drunk and have a good night. Thanks to everyone for making this a great industry. We are proud to be part of it. Thank you very much.

I can’t believe this. I just want to thank everyone for nominating us. And I’d like to thank my mum. Thanks for everything.

Dan Webb, Resero

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Joe Merrick, Bit Socket

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October 23rd 2015


GAMES MEDIA AWARDS THE WINNERS

RADIO OR PODCAST TEAM – IN-HOUSE IGN UK

RISING STAR KATE GRAY

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Last year we won Players’ Choice, which was hugely appreciated. But being recognised by our peers means a huge amount. And, most imporantly, last year Gav won nothing but this year he won this.

Congratulations to everyone who was in the Rising Star category. Thank you, everyone. This is super awkward.

Alex Simmons, IGN UK

Kate Gray, GameSpot UK

EDITORIAL TEAM OF THE YEAR – ONLINE EUROGAMER

EDITORIAL TEAM OF THE YEAR – PRINT PC GAMER

Thank you to Gamer Network, including my brilliant boss Rupert Loman. Thanks to the amazing Eurogamer team. It means a lot to win this year, as everyone here is finding the fun in what we do again.

There are a few people who make PC Gamer what it is. Our production editor Tony Ellis is the reason it’s as good as it is. And our art editor John Strike, site team and US team, are the best in the business.

Oli Welsh, Eurogamer

October 23rd 2015

Samuel Roberts, PC Gamer

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THE WINNERS GAMES MEDIA AWARDS

PLAYERS’ CHOICE THE EXPLOSIVE ALAN PODCAST

JOURNALISTS’ JOURNALIST THE MILLER REPORT’S MILLER

Thank you very much to those who voted for us and those who listened to the podcast. There were so many great articles nominated that we’re not sure we deserve it, but we are genuinely excited to receive this.

How does it feel that a fictional fake man just won an award? A great man once said if you don’t know the score, you don’t the truth. It’s a powerful line. It means something.

Dan Maher, Explosive Alan

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The Miller Report’s Miller, Videogamer

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October 23rd 2015


“2” and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also, “-” is a trademark of the same company. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection ©2007-2015 Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, 10 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7LP. Created and developed by Naughty Dog, Inc. “Uncharted” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. All rights reserved.

3 OF THE MOST LOVED GAMES OF ALL

“2” and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also, “-” is a trademark of the same company. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection ©2007-2015 Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, 10 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7LP. Created and developed by Naughty Dog, Inc. “Uncharted” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. All rights reserved.


TIME, FULLY REMASTERED FOR PS4™


THE BIG GAME WWE 2K16

October 23rd 2015

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WWE 2K16 THE BIG GAME

WWE 2K16

King of the ring 2K’s series of WWE wrestling games returns with the franchise’s biggest offering yet. Bryce Yang, director of brand marketing for WWE at 2K Games, tells Matthew Jarvis why this year’s game isn’t afraid of the packed Q4 schedule and how it plans to pin down fans both old and new Release Date: October 30th Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 Publisher: 2K Games Developer: Yuke’s, Visual Concepts

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tone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, Macho Man Randy Savage, Triple H... even if you’re not a wrestling fan, these names are sure to be familiar to you. They are just some of the flagship figures of WWE’s wrestling line-up from the last three decades and, as such, they also represent just a fraction of the roster in 2K Games’ upcoming title WWE 2K16. The game boasts the largest range of playable characters in WWE history, with more than a hundred separate names gracing the virtual wrestling ring. Bryce Yang, director of brand marketing for WWE at 2K Games, insists the number of superstars is designed to give fans of the franchise exactly what they’ve been asking for. “We definitely took a lot of the feedback from players, and that helped created WWE 2K16,” he explains. “At the very top, there’s the roster itself. That seems to be the thing that fans are most excited about. It’s almost twice as big as it was last year. You have 120 characters – what that means is that you have 120 of those guys, but a lot of them have different versions. You might have different types of Steve Austin or of The Undertaker throughout the

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years with various incarnations. There are a lot of different sets of looks and gear for the talent in the game. “The roster reaches back pretty far to the mid-1980s for some of these guys, up until current wrestlers, so there’s a wide net cast over 30 years of WWE stars.” CROWD PLEASER The focus on pleasing fans is clear. It comes as little surprise – last year’s WWE 2K15 marked the first entry in the series to come to PS4 and Xbox One, and some players expressed disappointment at the absence of some game features that had become staple inclusions on the previous set of consoles. Yang says that WWE 2K16 turns the criticism around to give gamers the healthiest virtual WWE offering yet. “WWE 2K16 is definitely a very complete package,” he enthuses. “It’s been many years in the making. Last year’s WWE 2K15 was a fantastic start on the new consoles. It’s always a great opportunity every time there’s a new hardware cycle to be able to give our fans the best WWE game experience they can have. “I grew up playing these games, so I remember every new

generation of hardware looking forwards to the latest and greatest in the WWE games. This year is no exception.” THE ROLLING STONE As with FIFA, NBA and other major sports games, WWE’s cover star is always a hotly discussed topic among fans. The last two instalments in the series were fronted by two of the most popular wrestlers of all time – The Rock and John Cena. It may seem a tough act to top, but Yang is certain this year’s frontman is the biggest the franchise has ever seen. “Stone Cold Steve Austin is the cover guy, so the showcase mode this year is built around his career,” he reveals. “It starts in the beginning at the first Austin 3:16 match with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts at King of the Ring. Then it follows his career through WWE, all the way to his last match with The Rock in 2003 at Wrestlemania Bryce Yang, 2K Games XIX. There’s also a couple of bonus matches, as well. “That’s why we have a more diverse and larger roster this year, because you have guys that Austin interacted with throughout his career; Mikey Whipwreck is a good example of someone on the roster this year whom people didn’t

Every new generation of hardware brings the latest and greatest in the WWE games. This year is no exception.

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Ocotober 23rd 2015


THE BIG GAME WWE 2K16

LADIES’ FIGHT STONE Cold Steve Austin may be on the cover, but WWE 2K16 isn’t all about the male wrestlers. The female Divas also have their biggest presence to date, as director of brand marketing for WWE at 2K Games, Bryce Yang, explains. “There are more Divas in this year’s game than we’ve had in the series so far,” he says. “The presentation of Divas and women in wrestling is changing very quickly. You can point to a number of figures, but Ronda Rousey has been very pivotal in that. It’s ushered in a change. Certainly the women in NXT [WWE division featuring up-and-coming wrestlers] – Sasha Banks and Bayley

expect. Then you have all the greatest hits: Andre the Giant, Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man Randy Savage, all the stars of the Attitude Era and into the currentday major names.” Stone Cold is an obvious crowd-pleaser for dedicated wrestling fans but, as one of the most well-known names in the sport’s history, Yang is confident even casual followers will be drawn into giving WWE 2K16 a go. “Steve Austin is the biggest star ever in WWE, so you’re reaching a wider fan base,” he says. “During the Attitude Era there were a lot of mainstream fans of WWE and we’ve got the guys helping attract those people as well.” MATCHES MADE IN HEAVEN Even Stone Cold Steve Austin may not be the most widely-recognisable wrestler entering the ring this year.

October 23rd 2015

probably had the best wrestling match in WWE all year at NXT TakeOver in Brooklyn.” Yang adds that the recent discussion surrounding female representation in games has contributed to the Divas’ growing presence in the WWE series. “It’s definitely something we’re taking note of,” he responds. “Things like Create a Diva are back in the game this year, which was not in WWE 2K15. Then you have a solid representation of the Divas on the roster and in the DLC packs you have Medusa and Alundra Blayze, as well. It’s something that I definitely see moving forward, especially as they have a bigger role in both NXT and WWE.”

Social media was sent into fervent excitement earlier this year following the announcement that action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger would be making a cameo as his iconic killing machine, The Terminator, in the form of bonus add-on content for early buyers. “Our pre-order fans are our most devoted fans in many ways,” Yang observes. “Even before the big announcements, whether it’s Arnold or Sting or Mike Tyson or whoever we’ve got over the years, those guys will run and buy the game before launch. “The pre-order story is my favourite one every year, because it’s always been a big surprise and we’ve gotten to do a lot of firsts with this franchise. The first time you’ll see Arnold in a ring wrestling is as The Terminator in WWE 2K16, which is something that can only happen through the magic of video games.

WWE 2K16 is the first time you’ll see Arnold Schwarzenegger in a ring wrestling as The Terminator. Bryce Yang, 2K Games

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“The reception to Arnold has been fantastic. He’s been a great ambassador for WWE and our game, as well. He filmed a commercial a few months back that we released, and helped us promote the game through interviews and social media.” The roster may be sizeable to begin with, but The Terminator won’t be the last character to join WWE 2K16’s line-up. “In terms of post-launch content, we’re offering a number of different things for both newer and older fans,” details Yang. “There’s a Hall of Fame showcase in there, where you have a lot of the great names from the past year that you would expect and also some that you wouldn’t. “There are a lot of great moves that have been added, too – a number of awesome manoeuvres that you might not see on TV every day. There are loads of great characters and postrelease content.”

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WWE 2K16 THE BIG GAME

BRITISH BRAWLERS AS WWE’s NXT division (which champions up-and-coming wrestlers) prepares for its firstever UK show, Bryce Yang, director of brand marketing for WWE at 2K Games, looks at the future of wrestling in the country “The UK wrestling fan base is interesting because it’s growing. We’ve seen the growth of NXT as a segment of WWE globally, but especially in the UK where fans appreciate that style of wresting more-so. “NXT is coming to the UK for the first time as part of the first international tour, and ticket sales are doing extremely well.

“During the European tour we have tons of activity going on, whether it’s media or appearances by the superstars or our videos being played during the shows. “At live events you’re hitting fans that have chosen to go to a WWE show, so it’s always a great audience to expose the game to. “Wrestling always goes through its ebbs and flows in popularity, but the UK and the US are the two territories in the world where you always have a base line of consumers that are always there. There’s always a lot of wrestling fans, and when you go through your cycles you attract more of that broader fan base.”

WWE 2K16 features 120 characters – more than ever before

TAKING THE BELT Stone Cold and The Terminator may be the headline stars for WWE 2K16, but the game will also give players the chance to get their own name heard in the virtual wrestling world. “The core wrestling in WWE 2K16 is so much better, smoother and fun,” Yang says of the title’s gameplay. “Then there’s the MyCareer mode, which has got a lot of new content this year. In addition to being able to go through the journey of turning into a WWE star, you eventually get to become a WWE Hall of Famer if you hit a number of objectives throughout your career. “There’s also more personality, so things like building your own persona, being a heel [villain] or face [hero], doing post-match interviews, having rivalries and alliances with various other stars – it’s a much more complete package for MyCareer mode.” The ability for gamers to make their own characters and shows

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is one of the biggest areas of expansion for this year’s title. “In addition to things like Create a Superstar, Create a Diva, Arena and Championships are back in the game,” Yang continues. “Plus, custom-made shows are in there for the first time. “If you are one of our most inventive fans you can produce your own content and upload it online, then people can download it and you can see who the most popular makers in the community are. There’s a little something for everyone.”

Steve Austin is the biggest star ever in WWE, so we’re reaching a wider fan base. Bryce Yang, 2K Games

WWE WILL ROCK YOU Yang is confident WWE 2K16 will appeal to an audience beyond just wrestling enthusiasts – as well as the loyal fans that are putting the title at the very top of their Christmas games list. “It’s always a balancing act every year,” he says. “The target is to grow the franchise every single year; last year was a great growth year for us.

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“The goal is to make something that is fun to pick up and play, but also has a degree of challenge for guys who really want to master it. You get all of that in WWE 2K16.” With this Q4 packed with a mass of triple-A titles, WWE might be forgiven for fearing the upcoming competition. But perhaps it’s the opposition that should be afraid of WWE’s legacy, as the game defies its fellow annual big-hitters to prosper each year. “WWE has shipped in the last week of October for many, many years, and before that in the middle of October,” Yang retorts. “Every holiday period is murderers’ row. We face a lot of the same franchises year after year, so it is something we’re always very mindful of. “It’s nothing new, but the good thing for this series is that we have a very devoted fan base that runs to the store and pre-orders it to play as soon as they can.”

October 23rd 2015



AMANDA FARR, XBOX UK INTERVIEW

‘Halo 5 is the biggest Xbox launch to date’ Halo 5: Guardians launches next week and Microsoft has been running a huge campaign all-year to push the latest entry in the sci-fi franchise. Alex Calvin speaks to Xbox’s Amanda Farr to find out more

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ou know a company plans to go big with a game when it starts the marketing for it almost a year in advance. That’s precisely what Xbox has done with Halo 5: Guardians, the latest in the 65 million unit-selling sci-fi super franchise. “We have considerable expectations for Halo 5: Guardians and are confident the game will meet fans’ hopes,” Xbox UK content and services boss Amanda Farr says. “Halo 5 will be our biggest release on Xbox One to date.” In the UK, Xbox’s Halo 5 push started with a multiplayer beta in January in which 20m matches were played. Since then, the firm has been running an ad campaign featuring the title. And Farr says that over 80 per cent of UK gamers will have already seen the advertising. Recently, Xbox has ramped up its marketing push as we get closer to the game’s October 27th launch. And clearly the fans are paying attention – the firm’s most recent trailer has been watched by a huge 1.6m people on YouTube. “The aim of our marketing has been to ensure our campaign has been both engaging and accessible to the broadest audience possible – from the fans who have been playing Halo games since the start to newcomers who are starting their Halo story with Guardians,” Farr says. “We have reached players through as many touch points as possible and this campaign has been very much a two-way conversation with user-generated feedback being

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integral throughout – from the multiplayer beta, experiential at events such as EGX and the direct feedback that we receive from the community. The engagement that we have seen has been amongst our highest.” BEHIND THE SCENES One strand of the marketing push has been the ‘Hunt the Truth’ campaign, a series of audio logs which has seen a journalist from the world of Halo investigating series protagonist Master Chief. “Hunt the Truth has been very successful; it has been a great opportunity to engage gamers through many different touch points – both within and outside of the episodic series,” Farr explains. “The campaign has been visible across TV, cinema, online and social media. We have had positive feedback – in the last 10

This has been one of the most successful and exciting campaigns we have worked on to date. Amanda Farr, Xbox UK

Halo 5 stars Master Chief (above) and Spartan Locke (left)

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days alone, we’ve had over 10m UK viewers on our most recent trailer. This has been one of the most successful and exciting campaigns we have worked on to date, and there’s still lots more to come.” At Gamescom, Microsoft announced it was was making an even bigger push into the lucrative eSports market. The firm even promised a $1m prize pool for the first Halo World Championship. “This is the largest investment in multiplayer in the franchise’s history, with skill-based classic modes designed for eSports and competitive gamers,” Farr says. “Whilst eSports has always been an important element within the franchise, this is the first time that we are fully embracing it, with the biggest investment in Xbox eSports history, so we have high ambitions for the game within the competitive scene.” Of course, this Christmas, Halo 5 faces a different kind of competition – the shooter genre. Ubisoft is launching Rainbow Six and Activision has Call of Duty, while EA is releasing Star Wars Battlefront. That last title is arguably Halo’s biggest rival this Q4 in the sci-fi genre. “This Christmas has some fantastic releases for Xbox One and we are incredibly proud to have such an amazing variety of first and third-party titles for gamers to choose from,” Farr says. “Battlefront is a great example of why there has never been a better time to upgrade to Xbox One. “We are incredibly confident in the success both at launch and beyond for Halo 5: Guardians.”

October 23rd 2015


MARKETPLACE

SHELF LIFE Arthur Tolmie of Colchester’s peripheral specialists Xtreme Gaming tells MCV about the shop’s recent refit, its growing side-business organising events and the reason he doesn’t sell video games We’re kitting out the entire cinema to be like a Star Wars space port. That’s a major event. We did a similar one last year for Sega for Alien Isolation. Events are a huge part of what we do.

How has business been recently? It’s been really good. We’ve just gone through a refit. Next April we’ll have been trading for eight years. This year saw us go through a major refit, we stripped out the entire front of the shop, popped in a Mad Catz retail zone and an Alienware PC zone. We also created a VIP area and a Rock Band stage. It’s also been very busy with events. We’ve just done something with Bethesda, and it’s been good.

Are events becoming a bigger part of your business? Yes. High Street stuff is always tough. It’s a changed animal to what it was eight years ago. We hosted the Rock Band 4 stage at EGX and Insomnia. We’ve just done a Fallout community event in Manchester with Bethesda. And we’re literally about to announce another Fallout event today. On the flipside, locally we are doing a big event in December for Star Wars Battlefront at the Odeon.

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Why have you been getting involved in events? Yes. We’ve only just started to retail with Mad Catz peripherals. We don’t actually sell games, so we work closely with GAME. They are aware we sell peripherals and

We never felt the mark-up was enough for us to compete on games. For us to start buying those in would not be right. Arthur Tolmie, Xtreme Gaming

TOP 10 PRE-ORDERS 1. HALO 5: GUARDIANS XO, Microsoft

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UPLOADING The latest digital releases coming to market

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The rhythm game spin-off of the JRPG hit launches on Vita next month

The genre-hopping FPS is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

Funcom’s PC-exclusive horror game comes out at the end of October

OUT: NOVEMBER 6TH

October 23rd 2015

OUT: NOW

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OUT: OCTOBER 27TH

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MARKETPLACE

Xtreme Gaming 63 High St, Colchester, CO1 1DN

are very supportive of us. We link between the two – they help us and we help them. Why do you not sell games? We looked into doing it, but the mark-up for us wasn’t great. We looked at what we do – we are very heavily communitybased, so if we started to sell games, people would think we’d be trying to push them on them. We let people try games. We’re sponsored by Mad Catz

Phone: 01206 561535 Website: www.xtremegaminguk.co.uk

and Astro Gaming so we have different headsets gamers can try, and they make their own decision if they want to buy one. I wouldn’t want to be in the position where they try something and then we force a sale on them. The bottom line was we never really felt the mark-up was enough for us to compete. Especially when we’re sat between GAME, Tesco, Argos and CEX. For us to start buying in games wouldn’t be right.

INCOMING TITLE

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

It’s going to be a busy few weeks for retail as new entries in the Halo, Call of Duty, WWE and Just Dance franchises are set to come to stores FORMAT

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CentreSoft

October 23rd 2015


HALO 5: GUARDIANS

HALO 5: GUARDIANS Microsoft icon Master Chief is back in action in the first full-bodied Halo game on Xbox One. Matthew Jarvis checks in with the Chief’s best merchandise

HOW do you follow one of the biggest games of all time? That’s the question that Halo 5: Guardians aims to answer. The first full sequel in Microsoft’s shooter franchise to come to Xbox One, Halo 5 is the direct follow-up to 2012’s Halo 4, which grossed more than $220 million (£142m) in sales on its launch day. In the UK alone, the game shot to the top of the retail charts and racked up the 18th-biggest launch in history at the time.

Halo 4 grossed more than $220 million (£142m) in sales on its launch day.

Like Halo 4, Guardians is being developed by 343 Industries. The studio took over the mantle from series creator Bungie in 2011, producing nostalgic remasters Halo: Combat evolved anniversary for Xbox 360 and the recent Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. More than 65 million copies of the Halo titles have been sold worldwide, generating over $3.4 billion in revenue. The core entries have been supplemented by spinoffs such as Halo: Reach, Halo:

HALO SPRUKITS LEVEL 2 SPARTAN JAMESON LOCKE MODEL KIT Comprising of 110 moulded color pieces, this handy kit allows model builders to snap together a detailed recreation of Halo: Nightfall and Halo 5: Guardians protagonist Spartan Jameson Locke without the need for glue, paint or cutting equipment. The completed figure measures 1.4 by 2.6 by 5 inches high and is articulated. SRP: £17.99 Manufacturer: Sprukits Distributor: Bandai Contact: 01489 790 944

HALO 5: GUARDIANS STRATEGY GUIDE

ASTRO GAMING A40 + M80 XB1 HALO 5 EDITION

HALO 5 KEY ART CARDHOLDER

This comprehensive book includes a walkthrough for the entire single-player campaign of Halo 5, plus multiplayer tips.

This version of Astro’s A40 headset features a dark chrome colour scheme based on Halo 5: Guardians.

It’s always tough to keep track of your debit cards and bus pass when fighting alien hordes. This cardholder will help.

SRP: £14.99 Manufacturer: Prima Games Distributor: DK Contact: sales@uk.dk.com

SRP: £199.99 Manufacturer: Astro Gaming Distributor: Lime Distribution Contact: 01622 845 161

SRP: £3.99 Manufacturer: GB Eye Distributor: GB Eye Contact: uksales@gbeye.com

October 23rd 2015

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www.mcvuk.com


HALO 5: GUARDIANS

Sponsored by

O

gaming merchandise uk

ODST and real-time strategy game Halo Wars. A sequel to the latter title is being co-created by 343 Industries and Total War studio Creative Assembly, with a late 2016 release currently on the cards. Halo’s popularity has even been compared to that of another hit sci-fi brand, Star Wars, by writer Brian Bendis. Like that franchise, Halo boasts multitudinous merchandise options, including novels, films, models, apparel and licensed games accessories.

Beyond Halo 5’s release, the series’ universe will continue expanding. Building upon the liveaction feature Halo: Nightfall will be a Halo television series executiveproduced by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. Announced back in 2013, the show is yet to be dated – but has been confirmed as still in development. With Master Chief set to once again burst back into the games industry, it’s certainly not time to say goodbye to Halo yet.

HALO MASTER CHIEF HUD PREMIUM TEE Xbox One owners patiently awaiting the next big release in the Halo series can show off their passion for Master Chief’s interstellar antics with this shirt proudly displaying the armoured soldier’s iconic helmet.

SRP: £19.99 Manufacturer: Jinx Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

HALO MJOLNIR MARK V AND MARK VI DX TWO PACK ARTFX+ STATUE

HALO 5: GUARDIANS CONTROLLER STAND

HALO: NIGHTFALL

Showcasing two of Master Chief’s armoured suits, this double set also includes a pair of magnum pistols and plasma swords.

Emblazoned with the UNSC logo, this rest for the Xbox One pad comes with a Master Chief green colour scheme.

This live-action take on the Halo universe bridges the gap between Halo 4 and 5 and introduces pivotal character Spartan Locke.

SRP: £125.99 Manufacturer: Kotobukiya Distributor: Degica UK Contact: +33 1 55 17 16 56

SRP: £14.99 Manufacturer: Controller Gear Distributor: Lime Distribution Contact: 01622 845 161

SRP: £29.99 (Collector’s Blu-ray), £12.99 (DVD) Manufacturer: Anchor Bay Distributor: Manga Entertainment/Starz Contact: info@mangauk.com

www.mcvuk.com

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October 23rd 2015


HOT PRODUCTS

Sponsored by

HOT PRODUCTS MCV takes a look at the best accessories heading to UK retail. This week, Roccat’s releasing a smart gaming mouse for PC and Thrustmaster has a new official Xbox One headset

ROCCAT KOVA GAMING MOUSE PERIPHERALS specialist Roccat has created a new iteration of its popular Kova[+] gaming mouse. The Kova is ambidextrous, meaning both left- and righthanded players can use it comfortably. In addition, it’s designed with a reflexive button layout – meaning each button is placed to allow gamers to execute in-game actions as quickly as possible. Roccat has utilised its Smart Cast button layout for the Kova. This allows the mouse 1 and mouse 2 functions to be doubled up with extra actions, such as reloading in shooters or using magic in MOBAs. The Smart Cast buttons are placed alongside the tradition left- and right-click buttons, making them quick to use. Meanwhile, the Easy-Shift[+] technology doubles the Kova’s

button functions from 11 to 22, meaning users can customise each input as they see fit. Inside the mouse sits a doubledup version of the 3,500 dots per inch (dpi) Pro-Optic R6 sensor, providing an effective dpi of 7,000 for more accurate mouse tracking. Stability is boosted by the internal Turbo Core V2 32-bit ARM-based MCU processor. Outside, the Kova has RGB lighting, which can be fully customised by users. The scroll wheel and mouse rim illumination can be independently altered with any one of 16.8 million colours. The Kova partners with Roccat’s Swarm software for PC. The programme works with all of Roccat’s peripherals, helping players keep their settings consistent and see an overview of their devices.

[INFO] RRP: €59.99 (£44) Release Date: November 17th Distributor: Meroncourt Contact: 01462 680 060

THRUSTMASTER Y-300X GAMING HEADSET XBOX ONE users have the choice of a brand new officially licensed headset, courtesy of Thrustmaster. The Y-300X is equipped with 60mm drivers for improved audio quality, including amplified bass frequencies. The lower frequency tones are refined further by unique earpieces, which are touted as being optimised for electro-acoustic bass amplification. For those wishing to chat online, the headset includes a high quality microphone. The device is unidirectional, targeting the wearer’s voice specifically for clearer audio. The microphone can be adjusted for better input and improved comfort, or detached completely for those wishing to just listen to audio. As with the rest of Thrustmaster’s Y range of gaming headsets, the Y-300X features large earpieces.

October 23rd 2015

36

These are designed to provide passive noise isolation, shutting out external noise to provide clarity. Both the ear cups and headband are encased in memory foam for more comfortable usage during long playing sessions. The Y-300X gaming headset is 100 per cent plug and Play when connected to an Xbox One machine. It can also be hooked up to the newer form of Xbox One controllers via a 3.5mm audio jack, or by using an audio adapter on the older style of game pad. The Y-300X is also compatible with smartphones and tablet devices.

[INFO] RRP: €59.99 (£44) Release Date: October Distributor: Exertis Contact: 01279 822 822

www.mcvuk.com


Thursday, November 19th

Congress Centre, London

THE CHANGING FACE OF VIDEO GAMES MARKETING BUILDING ENGAGEMENT & REACH The London Games Conference is the perfect way to promote your company or products directly to leading executives within the European games industry. The London Games Conference is an all-day event and includes five hours of content conference within the Main Lecture Theatre plus networking sessions and exhibition opportunities throughout the day.

Schedule 2.15pm: registration + coffee 3pm: Start 4.30pm: Coffee break (30 min) 5pm: Resume 7pm: Conference ends 7–9pm: Networking buffet Sponsorship packages still available, please contact: Conor Tallon on 01992 535 646 or ctallon@nbmedia.com

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW Full-day conference Starts 2.00pm Tickets Still Available Discounts for UKIE, TIGA and Game Republic members

www.londongamesconference.com/buy-tickets or contact gblake@nbmedia.com or call 020 7354 6001


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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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COMPANY PROFILE / KENNEDY MONK KEY CONTACTS: Bruce Kennedy

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WAYFORWARD RECRUITMENT LIMITED Tel: 020 7734 4664 (London) 0117 966 6038 (Bristol) www.way-forward.com ........................................................................................................

KENNEDY MONK is an independent creative studio at the leading edge of games and entertainment marketing producing unforgettable artwork, creative campaigns, bespoke branding and killer trailers. With over a decade’s experience in the gaming sector, our hand-picked team of design ninjas combines a broad range of skills equipped to deliver exceptional creative across any media platform, at every stage of a campaign. From initial visual direction to full-spectrum global strategies, we bring our unique blend of energy, expertise and passion to every project. We work with a diverse range of international clients, from indie developers to the biggest global publishers, including EA, Bandai Namco, Square Enix, Wargaming.net, Mail.ru, Born Ready Games, Bossa Studios and Crystal Dynamics.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS COMPANY AND MANY MORE ONLINE NOW AT:


DIRECTORY

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October 23rd 2015

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40

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DIRECTORY

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

FINK

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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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41

Web: www.sonydadc.com

October 23rd 2015


DIRECTORY

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

Tel: +44 (0)1763 284181 October 23rd 2015

42

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

Web: www.venomuk.com www.mcvuk.com


INSIDER’S GUIDE

INSIDER’S GUIDE SOLD OUT

DIRECTORY

WHO? Specialism: Publishing Location: 36 Whitefriars Street, London, EC4Y 8BQ

Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 300,000 subscribers every month.

Garry Williams, licensing director at Sold Out, discusses the effect the digital transition has had on the publisher

FOR GREAT ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES, CONTACT CHARLOTTE NANGLE CNANGLE@NBMEDIA.COM

Tell us about your company. Sold Out began a decade ago. At that point our prime market was PC where we created very significant worldwide sales volumes. Naturally progressing into console gaming, our publishing expertise grew. Although physical distribution has been our main focus for the past years, our publishing expertise has also been applied to digital projects. Our most prominent press has been around our boxed deals, where we have been lucky enough to work with top-notch developers like Team 17 and Rebellion to help them deliver their boxed releases to market.

THIS MONTH’S DIRECTORY SPOTLIGHT: MHT TV GAME................................................................. gerry@mhtgame.com

What are you currently working on? Our current focus is upon the rather excellent title The Escapists - The Walking Dead. We will typically release around half a dozen boxed console titles for sale in Europe and the US over the course of a year. What are the biggest trends in the games industry affecting you right now? The most recent market trend seem to be the rush towards digital only releases – sometimes we feel with indecent haste. It is clear that, although many people are happy to stream their TV and download their music, the majority still prefer their games to come in a boxed format. To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and now every week in MCV) contact cnangle@nbmedia.com

The majority of consumers still prefer their games to come in a boxed format. What are you looking forwards to in games over the next year? Our success in the boxed sector has slightly slowed digital progress. However, our digital publishing plans are about to be publicised and I am looking forward to dealing more directly with developers again. How did you choose your company name? I was working for a Japanese publisher but was on the edge of leaving to create my own new business. Sold Out seemed most apt as time progressed whilst working with partners.

WANT TO FEATURE YOUR COMPANY IN INSIDER’S GUIDE? PLEASE CONTACT MJARVIS@NBMEDIA.COM OR CALL 01992 515 303

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

Contact: W: www.soldout.uk.com P: 0203 405 4583 E: garry.williams@soldout.uk.com

43

October 23rd 2015


FACTFILE SOUTH KOREA Sponsored by

INTERNATIONAL FACTFILE: SOUTH KOREA Population: 50,617,045 Capital City: Seoul Currency: Won GDP (Per Capita): $28,338 KEY RETAILERS Lotte, Sonokong, E-Mart, Homeplus TOP DISTRIBUTORS Nexon, Hanbitsoft, Daewon Game Company

LONG the home of online games, South Korea’s industry saw a shake-up in 2014. According to the Korea Internet and Digital Entertainment Association, online gaming comprises threefifths of South Korea’s exports revenue. This is of little surprise when you consider that the country is home to major firms in the space, such as Nexon, NCSoft and DeNA. However, South Korea’s passion for online and mobile games has often been problematic in the past, resulting in a 10pm curfew on online gameplay at internet cafes. This was extended in February last year by the local government, which restricted monthly spending on online games to $300 (£194) per person. As reported by Tech In Asia, the move had a detrimental effect on online games firms

TOP DEVELOPERS DeNA, NCSoft, Nexon, Gala Lab, Axis Entertainment, Gamevil, Grvaity, Blueside PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION Riot Games, EA, NCSoft, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Sony, Microsoft, Konami, Gameloft, Nexon, Sega

across the region. NHN saw revenues halve in particular game types, with CJNet similarly seeing annual revenue drop by almost a quarter (24 per cent). Korean publishers and developers of online games subsequently focused their efforts on nearby China, which allows players to spend freely. Despite this, the action doesn’t appear to have affected the popularity of Korea’s favourite title League of Legends. Riot Games’ MOBA alone comprises 40 per cent of the South Korea games market, flourishing on the back of the country’s longrunning interest in competitive titles such as StarCraft. This has encouraged a strong pro-gaming sector in South Korea, with the Federal Game Institute predicting that around 10 million South Korean gamers are interested in eSports.

In February, South Korea’s government restricted monthly spending on online games to $300.

October 23rd 2015

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www.mcvuk.com


SOUTH KOREA FACTFILE

MEANWHILE IN... NORTH AMERICA Ubisoft has apologised and offered free games to Might and Magic Heroes VII buyers after accusations of misleading marketing AMERICAN gamers who purchased the Collector’s Edition of Might and Magic Heroes VII are being compensated following Ubisoft’s admission of ‘confusing’ marketing. The physical SKU was originally advertised with a boxed copy of the game and soundtrack, with a Twitch stream by Ubisoft even showing a DVD case being pulled from the packaging (pictured). Players were subsequently disappointed to find that the final version of the title only included a digital download code. The marketing materials were eventually altered to promote the Collector’s Edition as including a

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download rather a disc, but Ubisoft admitted that the change may have mislead some players. It has since offered those affected refunds, as well as a choice of a free game, including Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Rogue,

Zombi, Toy Soldiers: War Chest and The Crew. The Collector’s Edition of Might and Magic Heroes VII in Europe, meanwhile, did include a physical version of the game.

October 23rd 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

CYPRUS

SWEDEN

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

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

IRAN

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

UAE

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

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

WORLDWIDE

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

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 October 23rd 2015

46

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OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD This week, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed marketing reaches new heights (literally), and we look back upon the celebration and jubilation – and morning after – of the Games Media Awards WORD ON A WING Ever wanted to soar like a bird? Well, give up: it’s impossible. But you can now get an idea of what it might be like thanks to Ubisoft. The publisher attached a 4K camera to a bald eagle and let it swoop over London to celebrate the launch of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Spotted in the real-life ‘eagle vision’ was the Walkie Talkie, Trafalgar Square, City Hall and the Globe Theatre. Not photographed: the avian fecal bombing run Ubisoft launched on EA’s UK HQ. (This may not be true.)

THREE (HUNDRED) IS A MAGIC NUMBER

MARIO MAKERS

Like the Spartans, 300 became a special number for IGN earlier this month as the website celebrated its 300th UK podcast. To mark the occasion, the team recorded a special live episode at the 100 Club in London. On hand was marketing guru Dan Kilby, who was put to the test as he was grilled on his Star Wars knowledge, having only watched the iconic films for the first time mere days before. Plus, the whole audience was presented with a picture of Kilby in Speedos. Let’s hope it’s at least another 300 episodes before we have to witness that again.

Our search for the finest Mario levels since Donut Ghost House continues, as the industry’s greatest level designers (or those just up for a laugh) take to Super Mario Maker to inflict joy and frustration on Wii U players around the globe. Have a crack at the latest set of levels using the codes below. John Pickford, indie developer: 2ADD-0000-0043-6F54 Dan Maher, Explosive Alan: CB0D-0000-007D-85A3 (pictured below)

Have you got a Super Mario Maker level that’s number one with a Bullet Bill? Send your level code to mjarvis@nbmedia.com

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October 23rd 2015


OFF THE RECORD

2015 THE G IS FOR ‘GREAT’ So comes to a close another Games Media Awards – and what an evening it was, full of worthy winners, inspiring speeches and one grown man knocking another unconscious with a fake wrestling belt. Oh, and In Cahoots (we all make mistakes). Take a look back at the night’s proceedings (and aftermath) over the next few pages.

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OFF THE RECORD SPONSORS GOLD SPONSOR

EDITORIAL TEAM ONLINE PARTNER

RISING STAR PARTNER

PLAYERS’ CHOICE PARTNER

EVENT PARTNERS

THE MORNING AFTER

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October 23rd 2015


OFF THE RECORD Dropsy the Clown, I’m full of love and want to hug everyone but I’m also strangely terrifying...

Solidus from Metal Gear Solid 2. It’d win Oscars for sure.

GrumBOOpig @GrumblepigTV Mass Effect’s Wrex or Grunt! It’d be quite awesome to live my life as a Krogan XD Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman should play me. Slightly older man with beard and glasses. Interested in Physics. Doesn’t say a lot!

WE WANT TO KNOW... WHICH GAMING CHARACTER WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE? #GMGASKS

VoLiTioN @volition_vx Monkey Island’s Guybrush Threepwood. He would really get all the absurdities of my life well represented to the viewing public.

katie stubbs @katieee120 Probably Fawkes from Fallout 3, haha.

Velmanatov @Velmanatov

Nahkapukki @Nahkapukki Portal’s Glados. Sarcastic, hyperintelligent, poor social skills and arrogant. Also, no-one wants to listen to me.

Scope Scout @sCop3SCouT

Any character from an escort mission because they do nothing interesting and whine a lot.

,¶G GH¿ QLWHO\ EH SOD\HG E\ Alfonso from Soulcalibur.

Neil Blackadder @Neoburst

Nzallidan @realnzall Anders from Dragon Age, because I can be melodramatic at times, then ignite into righteous fury.

James Bartholomeou @Iyagovos

Farmadillo @Farmadillo

CONTACTS Christopher Dring

Kelly Sambridge

Andrew Wooden

Editor cdring@nbmedia.com

Head of Design and Production ksambridge@nbmedia.com

Content Director awooden@nbmedia.com

Ben Parfitt

Elizabeth Newton

Conor Tallon

Associate Editor bparfitt@nbmedia.com

Production Executive enewton@nbmedia.com

Account Manager ctallon@nbmedia.com

Alex Calvin

Sam Richwood

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Staff Writer acalvin@nbmedia.com

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Matt Jarvis

Michael Canham

Lianne Davey

Staff Writer mjarvis@nbmedia.com

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Circulation ldavey@nbmedia.com

Erik Johnson

Stuart Moody

US Correspondent ejohnson@nbmedia.com

Head of Operations smoody@nbmedia.com

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© Newbay Media 2015 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of MCV are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems.

MCV is a member of the Periodical Publishers Association. For the 12 months ending December 2009, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,045. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.

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© 2005-2015 Take-Two Interactive Software and its subsidiaries. 2K, the 2K logo, and Take-Two Interactive Software are all trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. © 2015 WWE. All Rights Reserved. “2”, “PlayStation” and “Ô are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “Ø” is a trademark of the same company. All other marks are property of their respective owners. T1, THE TERMINATOR, T2, TERMINATOR2: JUDGMENT DAY, ENDOSKELETON, and any depiction of Endoskeleton are trademarks of Studiocanal S.A. All Rights Reserved. © 2015 Studiocanal S.A.®


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© 2005-2015 Take-Two Interactive Software and its subsidiaries. 2K, the 2K logo, and Take-Two Interactive Software are all trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. © 2015 WWE. All Rights Reserved. “2”, “PlayStation” and “Ô are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “Ø” is a trademark of the same company. All other marks are property of their respective owners. T1, THE TERMINATOR, T2, TERMINATOR2: JUDGMENT DAY, ENDOSKELETON, and any depiction of Endoskeleton are trademarks of Studiocanal S.A. All Rights Reserved. © 2015 Studiocanal S.A.®


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