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THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES ISSUE 859 FRIDAY DECEMBER 4TH 2015

INDIE THICK OF IT PLAYSTATION’S DEV CHAMPION SHAHID AHMAD ON 10 YEARS AT SONY P16

UKIE’s Twist (above top), SuperData’s van Dreunen (above middle) and Reflection’s Leksell (above)

Charts are back And this time, they’re digital

UKIE signs partnerships for mobile and digital console data QMCV re-launches charts section by Christopher Dring AT last! The UK games industry has some digital download charts. UKIE has signed agreements with leading providers of mobile and digital sales data, and MCV will be printing the results. Analytics firm Reflection will offer UK mobile sales charts, which will be distributed by UKIE alongside the boxed charts every Monday. Meanwhile, New York-based SuperData will provide digital console sales information every month, including a dedicated UK report.

GfK Chart-Track’s physical listings will also return to MCV. MCV dropped its weekly and monthly charts sections as part of our Digital Counts initiative, which campaigned for more transparency around how well games are selling via download platforms such as Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, iOS and Google Play. “Access to data is of the highest importance to the sector, as well as to UKIE as a trade body, so that we can act appropriately on behalf of the industry that we represent,” said UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist. “Whilst it is notoriously difficult to track

digital data, these measures will bring us closer to being able to judge the successes of our industry, and continue to grow using clear information about our games market.” SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen added: “Getting a full picture of the market, that includes categories like free-to-play MMOs and digital console, will be key to the UK industry’s domestic and international success. Certainly, it’s a big effort providing transparency to such a fragmented market and I’m proud to say we’ve done a good job over the past years by tracking the monthly spending of 383,528

digital gamers in the UK. Teaming up with UKIE allows us to extend the depth of our coverage and fulfil the ambition of providing a clear picture of the digital games market.” On the state of the mobile sector, Reflection boss Gustav Leksell said: “The market is quite immature in a way. The fact that this type of data is not readily available attests to that. This sector only goes back to 2007, but we are seeing it mature, and the next step is developers finding out how to sell their apps.” For our new-look charts section, plus more about Reflection and SuperData, check out pages 4 to 10.

PLUS THE REAL RUSSIAN GAMES INDUSTRY „ CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE


NEWS

Console prices slashed by £80 in Black Friday bloodbath Hardware headlines weekend of sales, but was it all worth it? O Online retailers report increase in trade by Christopher Dring

OFFERS INCLUDED:

PS4, Xbox One and Wii U prices were cut to below £230 in a weekend of heavy discounting. The likes of Sony and Microsoft expected more than 300,000 console sales over the weekend, providing a much-needed boost to a struggling retail games sector. However, at the time of going to press, GfK Chart-Track had yet to reveal just how successful Black Friday had been for games. Anecdotal evidence suggested that footfall on Friday was lowerthan-anticipated on the High Street, although Saturday was significantly busier. Online retailers reported an increase in trade, with very brief outages reported from GAME, ShopTo, HotUKDeals and PSN.

Q Xbox One with Ori and the Blind Forest and Rare Replay for £219.99 (Curry’s) Q FIFA 16 for £30 (Amazon), Q Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 for £17.99 (GAME) Q A reconditioned PS4 for £199.99 (Amazon) Q GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One for £29.99 (GAME) Q Call of Duty: Black Ops III for PS4 and Xbox One for £36.99 (SimplyGames.com) Q Mario Kart 8/Splatoon Wii U bundle for £219.99 (GAME) Q Fallout 4 for £29.86 (ShopTo) Q The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PS4 for £23.50 (Argos) Q Nintendo 3DS XL Red/Black with Pokémon Y for £99.99 (Various)

Anecdotal evidence said that footfall was lowerthan-anticipated on the Friday - though Saturday was much busier

Capcom reports high pre-orders for new HD Resident Evil updates PRE-ORDERS for Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil Origins Collection are well ahead of the publisher’s predictions. The Xbox One, PS4 and PC compilation brings together the updated edition of Resident Evil HD – which launched digitally in January 2015 – with the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 0. It’s due on January 22nd, 2016. Capcom says that the title’s early success points to the diversity in the current games market. “We are very happy regarding the Resident Evil Origins Collection pre-order numbers – they are performing above our expectations,” said marketing director Antoine Molant. “While most of the pre-order efforts on the publisher side are usually focused around

December 4th 2015

If you have a title gamers want to play, they will create the demand.

Ginx TV debuts charts show TV channel Ginx will count down the biggest retail games of the week via a new TV show. The Official UK Top 40 Video Games has already had a soft launch last month – with the final episode airing this week. The firm says it is an IP it is looking to develop further, and the show will return properly in early 2016. The TV show uses the GfK Chart-Track Top 40 that is supplied by UKIE.

Antoine Molant, Capcom

new, triple-A releases, this confirms to us that ultimately it is mostly driven by players. If you have a game they want to play, regardless of the price point, whether it is a brand new game or a remaster, the players will create the demand. That illustrates again the current market diversity, and shows there is ground for success with all sorts of different offers, as long as you listen to your fan base.”

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The firm also has access to data stretching back to 1999, and also has charts from other countries (such as Japan). “Charts are fascinating, and the UK All Formats Top 40 is one of the most dramatic and entertaining,” producer Chris Bond said. “By putting it on TV, we really want to bring that excitement to a wider audience and celebrate successes in the UK games industry.”

www.mcvuk.com


NEWS

THE EDITOR

2K opens gaming bar by Alex Calvin PUBLISHER 2K has opened a dedicated games bar in Windsor. The space will feature two presentation and multiplayer spaces, a ten-person gaming area complete with consoles, high-end PCs and headsets, in addition to a studio space. The studio boasts broadcast cameras and a green screen. The bar opened its doors last month. “We wanted to build a space which works solidly - and smartly - across marketing,

PR and community,” said 2K’s UK social and community executive, Aaron Cooper. “Here we have the freedom to easily host our own events at the drop of a hat. “From a community pointof-view, we wanted new media content creators and fans to be able to come in for their own personal events with their communities. They can come play in a fun environment and have the freedom and set up to easily create content without equipment worries for capture or streaming.”

A VICTORY, BUT DIGITAL DATA BATTLE IS FAR FROM WON

T

he charts are back in MCV. Over the page you’ll see the latest, industry-sanctioned listings for physical retail sales (GfK Chart-Track), mobile sales (Reflection) and monthly console digital revenue (SuperData). It is a positive step forward for an industry that has shown reluctance to share its data. It isn’t perfect, of course, and we’re not going to pretend otherwise, nor are we going to put away our lovely DIGITAL COUNTS stamp. Not just yet. We still lack PC download data. That is the real big one, hampered by the sheer number of PC developers and the reluctance of Steam to help. The fact that Football Manager 2016 on PC should have been in the Top Three when it launched, but wasn’t because over 80 per cent of its sales weren’t tracked, is a real shame. We also really want a combined chart. We want those console download figures mixed with the physical boxed data, to paint a truly accurate picture of what UK consumers are spending their money on. SuperData and GfK’s numbers are not compatible at the moment. So we are not parading the big victory banner just yet. But let’s not underestimate these deals, either. The games industry has agreed to work on making information available - that closed door has started to open. Hopefully, when the business discovers the positive advantages of this data, it will become less shy about sharing its successes.

2K’s Windsorbased games space opened its doors last month

SPONSORED BY

PRE-ORDER TOP 10

1

FINAL FANTASY VII (PS4)

2

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U )

3

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4)

Sony

4

Ratchet and Clank (PS4)

Sony

5

Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

6

Gears of War 4 (XO)

7

The Last Guardian (PS4)

8

Hitman (PS4)

9

Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4)

10

Amiibo Shovel Knight (Wii U)

www.mcvuk.com

SQUARE ENIX

Nintendo

Sony Microsofts Sony Square Enix EA Nintendo

03

The digital charts aren’t perfect, nor are we going to pretend otherwise. MASTERTRONIC WILL LIVE ON MCV received one of those calls we hate on Friday. The news that a well-loved games business was closing its doors. Whenever something like this happens, it’s tempting to point fingers, blame people in charge, or wider industry conditions. We won’t fall into that trap. Failure (a word I hate) is part of this business. If you’re not failing, then you’re doing something wrong. You’re not taking enough risks or you’re not innovating enough. So often you see ‘failure’ vilified, when what we should be doing is picking up our fallen colleagues and saying: ‘What did you learn? Let’s start again.’ The current Mastertronic has been around for over a decade - practically a lifetime in games industry terms. It did some brilliant things and worked on some great games. Those that have worked for it should be proud. And its legacy will endure, via companies - like Sold Out and Just Flight – that have spun off from it. It’s a sad time for anyone associated with the business. And it won’t be the last UK name to close. But rather than criticise its mistakes, I want to applaud what the team had tried to do. cdring@nbmedia.com

December 4th 2015


MONTHLY SALES CHARTS

NOVEMBER CHARTS NOVEMBER proved to be a major month for the UK games industry, driven by a trio of major launches - Call of Duty, Fallout and Star Wars Battlefront. Activision’s military shooter sold over 1m units in just over a week. The game is part of the Black Ops line of titles, which is the most popular of the Call of Duty sub-brands. If you look at the SuperData October console digital charts, which includes revenue generated from DLC, microtransactions and full game downloads, you’ll see Black Ops II is still in the Top Ten - almost three years since its launch in November 2012. (Note: SuperData’s charts run from the start of October until October 31st, whereas Chart-Track’s data ran from October 25th to November 21st.) There were eight new games in the Top Ten. Bethesda’s Fallout 4 shifted half a million units in its first week - although sales have slowed since. Star Wars Battlefront from EA was only on sale for three days when this data was collected, but still managed third place.

There are a number of Microsoft-backed Xbox One games in the charts. Halo 5: Guardians debuted at No.5, while Rise of the Tomb Raider (which was released on Xbox 360 as well) managed No.10. Fallout 4 also had marketing support from Microsoft. The result was that Xbox One had a much stronger month in terms of software market share, although it wasn’t enough to knock PS4 off its perch. A lack of Nintendo titles meant that the platform holder lost software market share this month. However, improvement in hardware sales saw the likes of Splatoon, Mario Kart 8 and (remarkably) Mario Kart 7 return to the Top 40 - these games were bundled with Wii U and 3DS consoles. Although we have introduced digital console revenue to our analysis for the first time, we still lack PC figures. This means that Football Manager 2016 only reached No.18 in the boxed charts. Sega says that 82 per cent of the game’s sales were digital, so the title may have made the Top Ten. We’ll never know for sure.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III sold over 1m units in just over a week

TOP 40 UK PHYSICAL RETAIL 02

01

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

LM NEW NEW NEW 01 NEW 02 NEW NEW NEW NEW 04 08 11 03 15 14 21 NEW 29 12 06 05 17 18 45 22 09 19 RE 10 39 NEW RE 25 RE 30 16 07 46 37

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Title Call of Duty: Black Ops III Fallout 4 Star Wars Battlefront FIFA 16 Halo 5: Guardians Assassin’s Creed Syndicate WWE 2K16 Minecraft: Story Mode Need for Speed Rise of the Tomb Raider LEGO Dimensions Grand Theft Auto V LEGO Jurassic World Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Guitar Hero Live Minecraft: Xbox Edition Call of Duty: Ghosts Football Manager 2016 Watch Dogs Skylanders Superchargers Forza Motorsport 6 Destiny: The Taken King Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Disney Infinity 3.0 Mario Kart 8 Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Super Mario Maker The Elder Scrolls Online Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer Batman: Arkham Knight Just Dance 2016 Mario Kart 7 LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Splatoon Terraria Rugby World Cup 2015 NBA 2K16 DriveClub LittleBigPlanet 3

04

05

Format Publisher PS4, PS3, XO, 360, PC Activision PS4, XO, PC Bethesda PS4, XO, PC Electronic Arts PS4, PS3, XO, 360, PC Electronic Arts XO Microsoft PS4, XO, PC Ubisoft PS4, PS3, XO, 360 2K Games PS4, PS3, XO, 360 Telltale Games PS4, XO Electronic Arts XO, 360 Microsoft/Square Enix XO, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U Warner Bros XO, 360, PS4, PS3, PC Rockstar XO, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Vita Warner Bros PS4 Sony PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Wii U Activision XO, 360 Microsoft PS4, PS3, XO, 360, PC Activision PC Sega PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Wii U, PC Ubisoft PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, Tablet Activision XO Microsoft PS4, PS3, XO, 360 Activision PS4, PS3, Vita Sony PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Wii U Disney Wii U Nintendo XO Microsoft PS4, PS3, XO, 360, PC Konami Wii U Nintendo PS4, XO, PC Bethesda 3DS Nintendo PS4, XO Warner Bros PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Wii, Wii U Ubisoft 3DS Nintendo PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros Wii U Nintendo PS4, PS3, XO, 360, Vita, PC 505 Games/Merge PS4, PS4, XO, 360, Vita, PC Big Ben/Ubisoft PS4, PS3, XO, 360 2K Games PS4 Sony PS4 Sony

Source: UKIE/Gfk Chart-Track, Period: October 25th to November 21st December 4th 2015

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www.mcvuk.com


MONTHLY SALES CHARTS

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SHARE BY STUDIO (REVENUE)

TOP 10 UK CONSOLE DIGITAL SALES BY REVENUE (OCTOBER)

01 TM 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LM RE 69 01 45 02 03 67 RE RE

TREYARCH PARENT COMPANY: ACTIVISION

Developer Bethesda Games Studios EA DICE EA Canada 343 Industries Ubisoft Quebec Traveller’s Tales Yukes/Visual Concepts Beenox Ghost Games

Parent company Zenimax Media Electronic Arts Electronic Arts Microsoft Ubisoft Warner Bros Take-Two Activision Electronic Arts

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Title FIFA 16 Destiny FIFA 15 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Grand Theft Auto V Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Minecraft The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Source: UKIE/Gfk Chart-Track, Period: October 25th to November 21st

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SHARE BY PUBLISHER (REVENUE)

01 TM 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LM 01 12 08 07 02 03 06 15 05

LM 01 12 08 02 07 03 06 05 20

Revenue £6,163,277 £2,314,439 £2,247,909 £1,681,449 £1,420,964 £992,162 £512,161 £339,942 £302,426 £294,172

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SALES BY FORMAT (REVENUE)

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Publisher Electronic Arts Bethesda Microsoft Take-Two Ubisoft Warner Bros Nintendo Square Enix Sony

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY (UNITS)

TM 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Publisher Electronic Arts Activision Electronic Arts Activision Rockstar Ubisoft Microsoft CD Projekt Red Konami Activision

Source: SuperData, Period: October 1st to October 31st

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LM 01 02 03 04 07 06 05 08 09 10

Title PS4 Xbox One Xbox 360 PS3 PC Wii U 3DS Wii Vita DS

Source: UKIE/Gfk Chart-Track, Period: October 25th to November 21st

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Format PS4, PS3, XO, 360 PS4, PS3, XO, 360 PS4, PS3, XO, 360 PS4, PS3, XO, 360 PS4, PS3, XO, 360 PS4. XO PS4, PS3, Vita, XO, 360 PS4, XO PS4, PS3, XO, 360 PS3, 360, Wii U

Manufacturer Sony Microsoft Microsoft Sony N/A Nintendo Nintendo Nintendo Sony Nintendo

Market Share 42% 42% 6.5% 3.1% 2.3% 1.8% 1.7% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1%

Source: UKIE/Gfk Chart-Track, Period: October 25th to November 21st

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SALES BY FORMAT (UNITS)

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Publisher Electronic Arts Bethesda Microsoft Ubisoft Take-Two Warner Bros Nintendo Sony TellTale Games

TM 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LM 01 02 03 04 05 07 06 08 10 09

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

Source: UKIE/Gfk Chart-Track, Period: October 25th to November 21st www.mcvuk.com

Manufacturer Sony Microsoft Microsoft Sony Nintendo N/A Nintendo Nintendo Sony Nintendo

Market Share 39.2% 38.5% 8.8% 4.4% 2.9% 2.7% 2.2% 0.5% 0.4% 0.2%

Source: UKIE/Gfk Chart-Track, Period: October 25th to November 21st 05

December 4th 2015


MONTHLY SALES CHARTS

WEEKLY MOBILE CHARTS MINECRAFT dominates the iPad and iPhone paid charts. The Pocket Edition of MOJANG’s hit is No.1 on both platforms, while Telltale’s new episodic Story Mode takes second place in the iPad ranks and No.5 on iPhone. These titles are absent from the Grossing Top Tens which are ruled by mobile giants KING and SUPERCELL. Candy Crush generated the most revenue on iPad for the week, while Clash of Clans did the same on iPhone. And King is surely looking to recreate Candy Crush’s success with new game Blossom Blast, which topped the free iPad chart last week.

IPAD PAID

01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 02 NEW 01 05 NEW NEW 13 04 07

IPHONE PAID

(DOWNLOADS)

MINECRAFT: POCKET EDITION DEVELOPER: MOJANG

Title Minecraft: Story Mode Football Manager Mobile 2016 The Room Three Octodad: Dadliest Catch Dark Romance: Heart of the Beast Off the Record: The Art of Deception Geometry Dash LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Terraria

Developer Telltale Sega Fireproof Games Young Horses Big Fish Games Big Fish Games RobTop Games Warner Bros 505 Games

Source: UKIE/Reflection, Period: November 16th to November 22nd

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 02 NEW 04 03 06 07 NEW 10 08

MINECRAFT: POCKET EDITION DEVELOPER: MOJANG

Title Heads Up Football Manager Mobile 2016 Storage Hunters UK: The Game Minecraft: Story Mode Monopoly Game Plague Inc Hatchi – A Retro Virtual Pet Aerofly 2 Flight Simulator Geometry Dash

IPHONE GROSSING (REVENUE)

01

01

LW 02 03 04 06 05 09 07 NEW 10

CANDY CRUSH SAGA DEVELOPER: KING.COM

Title Clash of Clans Candy Crush Soda Saga Game of War – Fire Age Hay Day Boom Beach Gummy Drop Farm Heroes Saga Football Manager Mobile 2016 The Sims FreePlay

Developer Supercell King.com Machine Zone Supercell Supercell Big Fish Games King.com Sega Electronic Arts

Source: UKIE/Reflection, Period: November 16th to November 22nd

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 02 03 04 NEW 05 08 06 17 NEW

CLASH OF CLANS DEVELOPER: SUPERCELL

Title Developer Candy Crush Saga King.com Game of War – Fire Age Machine Zone Candy Crush Soda Saga King.com Football Manager Mobile 2016 Sega Boom Beach Supercell Marvel Contest of Champions Kabam 8 Ball Pool Miniclip.com Summoners War Com2uS Corp Episode – Choose Your Story, feat. Mean Girls: Senior Year

Source: UKIE/Reflection, Period: November 16th to November 22nd

IPAD FREE (DOWNLOADS)

IPHONE FREE (DOWNLOADS)

01

01

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW NEW NEW 01 NEW 10 NEW 04 NEW NEW

BLOSSOM BLAST SAGA DEVELOPER: KING.COM

Title Developer Twist Ketchapp Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade Pixel Toys Smashy Road: Wanted Remco Kortenoever Mobile Strike Epic War Kick the Buddyman: Origins Inventain Mobile Real Boxing 2 Creed Vivid Games WordBrain MAG Interactive RV & Boat Towing Parking Simulator Play With Games Skylanders SuperChargers Activision

Source: UKIE/Reflection, Period: November 16th to November 22nd 07

Developer Warner Bros Sega UKTV Interactive Telltale Electronic Arts Ndemic Creations Portable Pixels IPACS RobTop Games

Source: UKIE/Reflection, Period: November 16th to November 22nd

IPAD GROSSING (REVENUE)

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

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(DOWNLOADS)

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 01 13 02 09 NEW NEW 20 03 16

TWIST DEVELOPER: KETCHAPP

Title Developer Smashy Road: Wanted Remco Kortenoever Mobile Strike Epic War Blossom Blast Saga King.com WordBrain MAG Interactive Kill Shot Bravo Hothead Games Real Boxing 2 Creed Vivid Games Trial Xtreme 4 Deemedya MS Pop the Lock Simple Machine Piano Tiles 2 (Don’t Tap The White Tile 2)Cheetah Technology

Source: UKIE/Reflection, Period: November 16th to November 22nd December 4th 2015


XXX XXX INTERVIEW REFLECTION

Time to Reflect Reflection is offering in-depth mobile data to games developers for free. What’s the catch? Christopher Dring asks founder and CEO Gustaf Leksell Tell us about your company. Reflection provides free and accurate revenue and download intelligence to the development community. At my previous job as an app developer, we couldn’t afford intelligence, so I thought: ‘Why don’t I do it myself?’ Two years later, we have just started our beta with a couple of really successful partners, such as Miniclip, Sega and Bossa. We have developed this really lovely system that shows revenue and download information to developers.

drives insight into the data we provide.

because the App Store and Google Play are not really the answer.

How do you expect this to evolve? The first aim is to do iPad and iPhone really well, across all countries and categories. We are starting in Europe, and then expanding. After that we will add other platforms, like Google Play and Apple TV. But it will always be based on the need of developers. You give us your data and you will get intelligence back. That way we can open up everywhere.

So what’s the methodology? We collect two different data sets. The first data set is public, we are partners with Apple, so we get all the rank information, the ratings, the icons, everything you see online, we collect on a daily basis. Then, for developers to get access to our systems and get free intelligence, they have to link their accounts. So all of our partners have linked their store accounts with us. And we take specific transactional data, store it securely, and use that for our statistical forecasting. So in short, if we know what No.1 is making in the ranking, and No.100 and No.200, we can then fill in the gaps.

Why is this data so important? It is becoming very crowded on the App Store, so to understand the market you are in is really a no-brainer. If you want to release a paid-game in the UK, and then you know you only need to make £500 to be at the top... then that might impact your decision on whether it’s worth releasing it. It’s important to know what number of downloads are required to be in the Top Ten. In the UK, to be in that list, that is a significant number of downloads. What markets should you release in first? If you have a strategy game, is it better to release that in the UK or Russia?

How hard is it for smaller studios now? It seems like it’s all King and Supercell. Those are the money makers right now. But that shifts over time. In the market today, you can still be a little guy and succeed. And that isn’t one in a million either. If you look at the paid-list in the UK today, you need less than a 1,000 installs to be in the Top Ten. So if you have 200 friends to install it, then you are already up there. You see new games getting up the charts quite regularly, but the trick is to stay there. And that all relates to quality. If you want to stay in the top grossing list, you need to make a lot of money and that is all big company stuff. But if you want to stay up in other lists, if you’re good, like Fireproof Games’ The Room, then you can be No.1.

How are you making any money from this? Data should be free for developers, and then we have a premium feature – about $150 per licence – and that

December 4th 2015

What’s you view on the current state of the mobile market? The market is quite immature in a way. That this type of data is not readily available attests to that. But we are seeing it mature, and the next step is developers finding out where to market their apps,

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The mobile market is immature. The fact that chart data is not readily available attests to that. Gustaf Leksell, Reflection


SUPERDATA INTERVIEW

Super man SuperData is the new official supplier of console download data for the UK games market. But how accurate is it? And can we expect it more frequently than just monthly? Christopher Dring asks CEO Joost van Dreunen Tell us a bit about SuperData. We’re a New York-based games research start-up that specialises in digital games and playable media that started about six years ago. In working for clients, we kept running into this vacuum of information whenever we tried to analyse the free-to-play or mobile markets. The first few years were a slog, as it took a while to build the data set. Eventually, we managed to convince enough firms to get the ball rolling towards establishing a larger partner network. Today, we collect monthly spending data on 48m digital gamers. Our team is 15 people strong, with research associates on the West Coast in the US and in Asia. What is your methodology? All of our data is at the transactionlevel and includes value, average selling price, payment method and genre-specific information. It is modelled on what companies like GfK and NPD use for the retailbased market. The difference is that digital data is richer, but more complex and very fragmented. So rather than going through a few retail chains for everything, we’ve had to build it up through dozens of partnerships, one at a time. Consequently, we cannot yet report on a weekly basis and use a monthly release schedule instead. What do you need from the UK games industry to help make this chart even more robust? Research starts with definitions. We are looking for an open discussion with the UK games industry to help us set a research agenda specific to their needs. When benchmarking, for instance, we must have the same

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It is up to every game maker individually to embrace what is clearly the inevitable future. Joost van Dreunen, SuperData

of circulating charts is only the beginning of that. We also have plans to organize an annual town hall-style meeting with UKIE members to share experiences and information.

definitions and taxonomy, or risk making crooked comparisons. Because of our existing data set, we can play the role of objective arbiter and are not subject to the whims of any single publisher.

Why do you feel publishers are reluctant to share their figures? One key problem for the major publishers is that they tend to be wildly disorganised when it comes to internal information. That’s not surprising since in the physical market it was the retailers that handled all the logistics of making a sale, offering discounts and keeping track of inventory. Game companies, especially large ones, are currently facing a steep learning curve. Moreover, it is generally the major publishers that dominate the conversation, which is deeply influenced by the need to appease shareholders. In our conversations, they make it obvious that they have a defensive strategy. But this goes against the current innovative

Why team up with UKIE? Where we really connected with UKIE was on their commitment to understand the digital games market. The shift towards digital distribution is perhaps the most important thing that has happened to the games industry in the past 20 years. It offers an incredible source of content innovation, but also operates very differently on the level of company organisation, business model and sustainability. For us, UKIE was the best fit in bringing transparency to the UK games market. What are your long-term ambitions for the chart? We’re trying to facilitate an industrywide discussion. The publicly

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momentum and forces the role onto someone else. It’s up to every game maker individually, of course, to embrace what is clearly the inevitable future for game design, development and distribution, or to take on an increasingly defensive position as the world around them changes. Of the data you’ve seen so far, what has surprised you the most? The spending. Across the board, regardless of platform, demographic, game genre, or market, the numbers are always higher than you’d expect. This is not to make any promises of golden mountains, but rather that there exists massive demand out there that will allow even obscure niche games to be sustainable. That’s ultimately the affordance of digital distribution: to connect game makers with a large enough audience to be financially viable, allowing people to share and play with others in a way that wasn’t possible before.

December 4th 2015


XXX XXX WHY DIGITAL DATA MATTERS

‘Digital data is key to the future success of the UK games business’ UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist reveals more details about how the trade body’s new digital data deals became a reality, and why this really matters

D

ata is the lifeblood of any digital industry. We are surrounded day to day by proclamations from all sectors that ‘data is the new oil’, and terms such as ‘Big Data’ are thrown around regularly and we all nod sagely, signalling that we agree – even if we don’t know what it all actually means. But where does the games industry stand in relation to data and our access to it? Considering we rely on analytics to make our games better every day, if we are not the most data-rich sector, why not? UKIE has been providing its members with access to very accurate data for boxed software, via our partnership with GfK, for many years. We set up the pipeline of point-of-sales, real sales data, with GfK and created Chart-Track. This has been a great asset over the years in helping us all understand the market, but the development of better broadband has enabled digital retail platforms such as Steam, Origin, Playstation Store and Xbox Live to grow their market share. In parallel, the evolution of mobile devices and the app store economy has opened new opportunities for games companies to reach the whole world: we can now play on-the-go, and reach new customers with more titles and different kinds of gameplay experiences. DAWN OF THE DIGITAL AGE This shift to digital was clearly illustrated in 2014, when our industry valuation showed that digital PC and console sales had overtaken physical sales for the first time in the UK’s history. This was not counting mobile sales, which is one of the

December 4th 2015

track and report digital and mobile sales data. We have made these agreements, however, to enable access to new insights on the fastest-growing segments of our market. They will certainly help us as a trade body with overall estimates that we can share with government and overseas investors looking in, and help us to gain valuable insight into the industry that we are proud to represent. Cities: Skylines would’ve been No.1 in the UK charts back in March had digital data been counted

fastest growing segments worldwide – especially because of China. Off the back of this, we decided to investigate potential additional sources of information for these key segments. Consulting with our member sub-group for Insight and Market Data, we established that two companies, SuperData and Reflection, could provide new information at rebated and accessible prices for UKIE members. We understand that getting the complete picture of digital sales is a difficult task, and we cannot claim that the new sources are as accurate – yet – as our GfK data, which is based on items actually scanned at a physical till. I say ‘yet’, because our members and interested games companies can contribute to make the data better by sharing their figures with our partners: it not only helps with the overall estimates and accuracy but also means additional rebates for the companies who do so. These new data offerings are totally optional: there are other companies and sources that also

Having better estimates of the whole market helps us to be recognised as one of the key creative industries of the UK. Dr Jo Twist, UKIE

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A FUTURE BUILT ON DATA Access to data is vital for us as a representative of games companies, to approach political decision makers. When we commissioned the Blueprint for Growth report, by Olsberg SPI, access to industry data was key in making our recommendations for how MPs can act to grow our industry. Having better estimates of the whole market, including its digital component, and seeing how interventions move the dial or not, helps us to be recognised as one of the key creative industries of the UK. Playing games is now mainstream, and encompasses a wide range of different interests and demographics, but is not yet fully recognised as a key entertainment sector that could benefit from the same support other sectors receive, or the attention from investors that it deserves – much of this is grown from lack of knowledge. Creative sectors will and are playing an important role in the digital economy of the present and future. Together we can ensure that the UK games sector continues to shine as one of the best worldwide: access to data is our key to telling that story.

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CHEAT SHEET

EVENT CALENDAR DECEMBER 2015

MARCH 2016

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INSOMNIA 56 The NEC, Birmingham, UK Friday, December 11th - Monday, December 14th Q Pro-gaming event moves to Birmingham’s NEC for the first time Q Features LAN gaming areas, Q&A sessions, eSports tournaments and an exhibition hall

MCV AWARDS 2016 Hilton Bankside, London Thursday, March 3rd 2016 Q Two categories make a return – Mainstream Retail and Events Team Q New venue at the Hilton Bankside Q Lobbying open, closes on December 16th

JANUARY 2016

APRIL 2016

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POCKET GAMER CONNECTS 2015 The Brewery, London Wednesday, January 13th – Thursday, January 14th Q Pocket Gamer’s two day conference includes over 120 speakers

EGX REZZED 2016 Tobacco Dock, London Thursday April 7th – Saturday April 9th Q Gamer Network’s indie-focused event returns to London’s Tobacco Dock

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK: XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X

[INFO] FORMATS: Wii U RELEASED: December 4th PUBLISHER: Nintendo DISTRIBUTOR: Open CONTACT: 01753 483 700

December 4th 2015

NINTENDO is going hard in targeting both fans of the Xenoblade series as well as RPG enthusiasts and Wii U owners The platform holder has been running highly-targeted advertising on YouTube, focusing on fans with videos that explain Xenoblade Chronicles X’s core mechanics. On Twitch, Nintendo is using pre-roll videos to reach the broader RPG market. That’s on top of events and videos across its social channels. “It’s the only new JRPG title being released on a home consoles before Christmas, so there should be a strong appetite in the market for a game within this genre, especially one with the quality and heritage of Xenoblade Chronicles X,” product manager Gemma Hall explains. “We’ve seen with the other big RPG releases this year, such as The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4, that the market for the genre is ever

Nintendo is targeting RPG fans with its marketing for Xenoblade Chronicles X

expanding. Xenoblade Chronicles X really stands out in terms of what makes a truly great and engaging RPG game that will appeal to this growing audience.” She continues: “It’s the ultimate gamers’ game from Nintendo this Christmas. It will massively appeal to Wii U owners that love these big, epic titles, which they can really sink their teeth into, as we

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saw with the likes of Bayonetta 2 last year. But there’s also huge potential to reach beyond our traditional Wii U gamer audience, as this is a must-have for all true JRPG fans. As there’s nothing else like it on the market, we feel it can really help expand the Wii U audience to those who don’t want to miss out on experiencing this future genre classic.”

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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

MASTERTRONIC GOES INTO ADMINISTRATION

$1.9m

UK games publisher Mastertronic has announced it has entered administration. The firm says there is a deal in place to buy its assets and retain the existing team, though MD Andy Payne is no longer involved with the company.

Blizzard has said that its total prize pool for competitive Hearthstone will be to the tune of $1.9m (£1.26m)

£230 @djbteamsters Andy Payne and the team at Mastertronic, it’s been a privilege to have some of my games under your umbrella. Andy, shout if we can help at all. Deborah Bestwick, Team 17 Friday, November 27th

@GeorgeOsborn Man, gutted for the people at Mastertronic. Here’s hoping other companies can help them out at this time of year.

George Osborn, freelance writer Friday, November 27th

PLAYSTATION 4 SALES PASS 30.2M GLOBALLY

SOCIABLE SOCCER KICKSTARTER AX£D

Sony has revealed that its PS4 console has reached a new sales record. As of November 22nd, it has sold 30.2 million units since its launch in November 2013.

Just one week after development vet Jon Hare launched a Kickstarter for Sensible Soccer spiritual successor Sociable Soccer, he cancelled the crowdfunding effort following a lack of donations.

@notaxation PS4 has sold 30.2 million units in two years. Sega Genesis is the next console PS4 will pass in sales – it sold 30.75 million units in eight years. Colin Moriarty, Kinda Funny Wednesday, November 25th

@brettclaxton I still can’t get over the level of press that Sociable Soccer Kickstarter got and still bombed. It proves nostalgia doesn’t always equal money. Brett Claxton, PushStartMedia Saturday November 28th

@mediamolecule Congratulations @PlayStation. Over 30 million PS4s sold since launch, hooray. Time for a papery party to celebrate.

@FreakyZoid That Sociable Soccer KS got so much press. If that’s not converting to backers, then that’s a huge warning sign.

Media Molecule, Wednesday, Novemer 25th

Tony Gowland, indie developer Thursday, November 26th

During Black Friday, the price of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U were all cut to below £230

8m EA has revealed that Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare has been played by eight million people

£0 Konami has announced a freeto-play version of PES 2016, coming to PS3 and PS4 on December 8th

7 According to Superdata, digital sales in the US were up seven per cent year-on-year for the month of October Wii U Mario Fight Pad - PDP Design and manufacture the Officially Licenced Nintendo GameCube Styled Classic Pro Controller for Wii U europesales@pdp.com

www.pdp.com

GAMESAID THIS WEEK SKRONCO CHRISTMAS LIVESTREAM ..................

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

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From Sunday, December 6th, YouTube community Skronco will be hosting daily gameplay streams in support of GamesAid. If you are interested in donating, visit www.justgiving.com/ SkroncoXmas15GamesAid.

GLOWBEAR’S 8BIT HIKE

GAMES ON SONG 2015

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Claire Sh, also known as Glowbear, is walking and climbing Mt Muckish in Ireland this December. It’s Claire’s second ‘8bit Hike’, although this one will be a bit chillier due to its Winter timing. Vist www.justgiving. com/glowbear to donate.

Hark, the herald angels sing: Games on Song is back. The games industry Christmas choir will perform at St Stephen’s Church in London on December 16th. Stay up-to-date and get involved at www.facebook .com/GamesOnSong

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December 4th 2015


MARKET MOVES

APPOINTMENTS

Capcom Hunts down brand manager Koh joins EMEA team OPlayStation’s Gara goes to Amazon OSCEE names new Euro PR chief CAPCOM | MARINA KOH has joined the publisher as an EMEA brand manager to work on Monster Hunter and Ace Attorney. Prior to her new role, Koh worked as category manager for Xbox in New Zealand. There she handled first-party marketing campaigns for titles in the Forza and Halo series. She also helped third party partner projects such as Assassin’s Creed and Evolve. “It’s a real pleasure to welcome Marina, fresh out of New Zealand, to the Capcom marketing team,” marketing director ANTOINE MOLANT said. “I’m looking forward to seeing her grow the Monster

December 4th 2015

games businesses. He also led Asda Direct. In 2011 he joined PlayStation as its VP and MD for the UK and Ireland. When he joined, the PS3 was the third-best performing console in the region; as he leaves the PS4 is the market leader. He was also a UKIE Board member between 2012 and 2015.

Hunter and Ace Attorney brands across the EMEA territories in the coming year. Of course, it’s also nice having a Kiwi in the team after the World Cup win last month.” AMAZON | PlayStation UK and Ireland MD FERGAL GARA has joined the online retail giant as its director of PC. He joins Amazon after four years at the platform holder. Prior to the games industry, Gara held roles in a number of companies, including the BBC and record label EMI. In 2004 he joined Asda, and went onto manage the retailer’s music, video and

PLAYSTATION | Company veteran DAVID WILSON has been promoted to European director of communications. Wilson joined PlayStation in 2000 as its head of UK PR and during that time has helped

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launch the PS2, PSP, PS3, Vita and, mostly recently, the PS4. Before he joined PlayStation, he was EA’s head of European PR. His first role in the games industry was as a journalist. He worked on Dennis Publishing’s Zero magazine as its editor, and Your Sinclair as its deputy editor. “Working on PlayStation in the UK has been an incredible experience, from launching PS2 to PS4, and everything in between,” Wilson said. “I am very grateful for being given this opportunity to take charge of communications as we continue to build upon the success of PlayStation 4, launch a stellar line-up of games for 2016, and move into a new era with PlayStation VR.”

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UPCOMING FEATURES JANUARY 2016

MARCH 2016

January 15th Q 50 things to look forward to in 2016 Q The Year of PC Q Territory Report: Asia Q International Factfile: Brazil Q MCV Awards Finalists Announced

March 4th Q MCV Award Winners 2016 Announced Q Indie Publishing Sector Guide: Who should release your game? Q International Factfile: France Q Territory Report: Eastern Europe

January 29th Q Recruitment: New Year, New Job Q How to be a pro gamer: eSports tech that every gamer will want (Accessories feature) Q International Factfile: Spain

March 11th Q Toys and Merchandising guide Q MCV Awards Winners Review Q International Factfile: Portugal

FEBRUARY 2016

Q

February 5th Q eSports Guide to 2016 Q International Factfile: Mexico February 12th Games Market Value 2016 Q Top 20 Independent Games Retailers Q International Factfile: Japan Q

February 19th Virtual Reality is here: The battle for VR supremacy Q International Factfile: Iceland Q Territory Report: Latin America Q

February 26th The Games Media Special Q Understanding eSports: eSports Pro round-up 3 Q International Factfile: Belgium Q

March 18th Guide to Games Retail Q International Factfile: Holland March 25th Creative Agencies: Retail solutions, special edition and more Q International Factfile: Sweden Q


INTERVIEW SHAHID AHMAD

Fighting for independents After ten years at PlayStation, Sony’s indie developer champion Shahid Ahmad is making a return to games development. Alex Calvin catches up with him to look back at his time at the platform holder and the enormous impact his work has had on the console space

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or the past four years, PlayStation’s Shahid Ahmad has had one of the coolest jobs in the games industry. As head of the firm’s Strategic Content division, it’s been his responsibility to bring the best indie games to the platform. He signed the likes of Mike Bithell’s Thomas Was Alone, FuturLab’s Velocity 2X, Roll7’s OlliOlli, Devolver Digital’s Hotline Miami (pictured right) as well Hello Games’ upcoming sci-fi title, No Man’s Sky (pictured far right). But after ten years at PlayStation, Ahmad is departing to make a return to his first love, games development. “It’s been a deeply fulfilling decade, but particularly the last four years,” Ahmad tells MCV. “Picking out my proudest moments is so very hard, because there are so many of them Gamescom 2013, where I announced a number of titles by independent developers on stage for both Vita and PlayStation 4 while my team were packing the show floor with tons of great PS Vita games; the launch of

December 4th 2015

In 2012, Ahmad helped bring Devolver’s Hotline Miami to PS3 and Vita

PlayStation 4 and my team’s role in support of that; the first reveal of No Man’s Sky at E3 2014; every developer we got on board from Vlambeer to Ninja Theory, from Mike Bithell to Jeff Minter, from Claire Rogers to Crytek. “I’m also really proud to have helped change the industry culture from one of ‘business as usual’ to one of developer advocacy. It was genuinely pleasing to see other players adopt our ideas and put them into practice. It’s good for developers, it’s good for players, it’s good for the industry. “But if I had to pick one moment, it would be the Develop Award for

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Publishing Hero my team received in 2014, simply because the people who voted for us were from the developer community, and my aim has always been to advocate for and support developers.“ FIGHTING FOR THE LITTLE GUYS Ahmad has signed a huge number of critically acclaimed indie titles for PlayStation platforms. It’s a move that took the company back to its roots. When Sony launched the first PlayStation in 1994/1995, the firm made a real effort to charm developers in order to bring them to the console. “Courting developers was a mission and I was filled with evangelical zeal, I guess everything I had learned had prepared me for this,” Ahmad explains. “We wanted to make PlayStation a cool partner for devs again and we were prepared

www.mcvuk.com


SHAHID AHMAD INTERVIEW

to go the extra mile or ten to support that mission. “I had lunch with one of our partners recently and reminisced about how outlandish my claims seemed at the time; that I wanted the Vita to become a natural home for independent developers. People from across the board thought I was nuts, but I had complete confidence that if we gave it everything as a team and as a company, we could get the indie community on board. It seemed like a natural fit. More and more developers agreed with us. “All of that activity served as a natural springboard for developers to move to PS4. We hadn’t done that before for other platform launches since PS1 days, but it made sense that what had worked to rejuvenate the Vita would help add some sparkle and interest to the PS4 launch. So courting those developers became easier as time went on, so long as we kept delivering on our promises. I think we’ve looked after that community as well as it was possible to do. It remains central to everything we do from hereon in.” In the beginning, Ahmad was invested in wooing these developers – but he had no idea how big a part they would play in PlayStation’s future.

all have a rewarding time in this beautiful business.”

“I had some wild dreams, but what we ended up achieving together with developers was beyond all of those dreams,” he says. “I still find it hard to believe, but there were a lot of people who worked incredibly hard to make it possible.” But how would Ahmad assess the state of the indie market he helped to popularise? “For a couple of years now, I haven’t really used the term ‘indie’,” he explains. “This is a complex games market, and independent developers are part of that picture. We have all learned so much, and those who are willing to learn, adapt, implement, relearn and persist are going to be successful, no matter what their size or classification. Indie just meant freedom anyway. “What we’ve done at PlayStation is demonstrate to developers that even with a partner like us, who might a few years ago have seemed impenetrable, you can make games with us and you can be successful, however you want to define that success. I’m proud of how we continue to work with people like Rami and JW at Vlambeer and with Jeff Minter, as well as teams like Hello Games, Turbulenz and Rebellion. They can all enjoy success with us. We can

I had some dreams about how important indie games would become, and what we ended up achieving exceeded them. Shahid Ahmad

THE INDIE APOCALYPSE Recently there have been rumblings in the games sector about the ‘indie apocalypse’, the notion that it’s never been harder for developers in the sector. “It’s never been easier to make games, but the marketplace can be a difficult environment at the best of times,” Ahmad insists. “Now that the tools and tech are so good, we need to be more creative to stand out and appeal to players.” Now Ahmad has played his part in making it easier for indie developers, he’s looking to make games himself. “I started as a developer in 1982,” he says. “I left that in 1997 to learn about the rest of the business – publishing, acquisition, financing and platform advocacy. I took a decade longer than I expected, but then so did the industry in general. I needed reinvigoration. PlayStation reinvigorated and revitalised me. “I’ve accomplished more than I ever imagined. That’s totally down to my team, my former boss Tony Clark and the support of our executive management team, particularly Jim Ryan and Nainan Shah.” He concludes: “Now I want to go back to my first love, and I’ve never been so excited.”

High anticipated sci-fi title No Man’s Sky was signed by Ahmad www.mcvuk.com

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December 4th 2015


INDIE INTERVIEW STORM IN A TEACUP

The Italian job In 2013, industry vet Carlo Bianchi, abandoned triple-A games and demolished a building to launch his own indie project, Storm in a Teacup. He tells Alex Calvin about the stresses of going alone and the challenges of the Italian games market

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arlo Bianchi is a veteran of the Italian games industry. His CV includes stints at Ubisoft and Square Enix, and his name is in the credits of major titles including Driver San Francisco, Hitman Absolution, Crysis 3 and Batman: Arkham Origins. Then in 2013, he abandoned the world of triple-A development to launch his own indie studio, Storm in a Teacup, based in Rome in Italy – a move that came with some significant challenges. “Choosing the engines and tech at the beginning was a struggle. We had to choose the core team based on the technology because we wanted to start as soon as possible developing (puzzle game) NERO and the atmosphere was very exciting,” Bianchi says. “We also built our own offices by demolishing the building that was on site before. It was expensive as the construction workers had a tight deadline and we had to wire the entire place before we could start using the offices. “The recruitment stage was excruciating, too. We literally dug through hundreds of CVs and chose only the best of the best from all around Europe. “We had to make sure we had really clear ideas about the art direction of the first title, this way we knew exactly what kind of skills we required from the very beginning. We had to provide housing for the foreign members of the crew and make sure they had everything they needed to live a fabulous life in Italy.” THE HORROR Storm in a Teacup’s first release was puzzle game NERO on Steam.

December 4th 2015

Storm in a Teacup’s second eff ort is survival horror game Enki

Now the studio is hard at work on its second title in an altogether different genre – survival horror game Enki. “Horror always sells. It’s the feeling of anxiety and the adrenaline rush that drives players to a genre like this,” Bianchi explains. “Most people live a really regular life, they need a cold rush in their blood when they get home in the evening, and they have a wide variety of genres to choose from. Horror is one of those genres that rarely disappoints you. “Surviving the unknown always scares people, horror makes it even scarier. I see a bright future for this genre, and I hope that the tide will not just turn to splatter experiences.” So far, Storm In A Teacup is only bringing its games to Xbox One and PC after Microsoft offered to help promote the studio’s titles. “Microsoft gave us a big boost in these two years, our games were

Horror always sells. It’s the feeling of anxiety and adrenaline rush that drives players to that genre. Carlo Ivo Alimo Bianchi, Storm in a Teacup

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showcased by them at E3 2014 and E3 2015,” Bianchi says. “We have a very close relationship with them and they are always eager to see more from us, so Xbox One became a very reliable choice. PC is a good option because of Steam.” With Xbox on its side, Storm in a Teacup has a leg-up over other indies. But being based in Italy has brought about disadvantages compared with its European rivals. “If there was less bureaucracy and lower taxes, that would be a good thing,” he admits. “If we invested the same amount of money in another country – say, Germany or the UK – then we’d get a bigger return. But I am pretty sure that in the near future something will change and we will be able to breathe some fresh air. “This is not patriotism, but we are Italians and we decided to start the journey of Storm in a Teacup in Italy.”

www.mcvuk.com


OPINION

INSIGHT

IP law clamps down on pirates utilises protection measures which are necessary and proportionate to prevent widespread piracy of its IP” and that “the preponderant purpose of the circumvention devices marketed by PC Box is to enable piracy of legitimate games”. Accordingly, it “is confident that the application of the guidance set out by the CJEU relating to proportionality will enable the Milan Tribunal to determine that the sale of these devices is unlawful”. The successful outcome means that Nintendo has benefited from a landmark ruling restricting the use of illegal software. The “first instance criminal decision” against the defendant, PC Box, puts an international spotlight on what is the legitimate use of devices such as mod chips, which can have non-infringing uses as well as infringing ones. It’s likely that similar cases in Europe will follow suit as antipiracy campaigns continue to grow. It means that courts in all EU countries have a framework to assess whether security measures are protected – a huge success for the industry. The high profile nature of the case has EU-wide implications on independent developers, as well as gamers.

SHIREEN SMITH, founder of Azrights Solicitors, explains how the games industry is undergoing an intellectual property revolution and how companies are successfully cracking down on piracy

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he digital revolution has impacted business globally and brought IP law to the fore for every modern business. So, we’re experiencing an intellectual property revolution. Digital industries such as games now need to take an even more serious overview of IP rights. This includes trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs and other ancillary rights. FORWARD-THINKING Video games is a forward-thinking industry and has suffered from piracy as much as music and fashion, with even the biggest firms threatened by IP issues. In an ongoing legal battle, Nintendo has made a breakthrough against circumvention devices, with the case reaching Europe’s highest court in January 2014. As MCV reported in November 2015, Nintendo won its case against an importer and seller of “piracy-enabling goods”. The piracy in question involved the use of mod chip software. These are small devices which allow users to use illegal copies of the software by disabling manufacturers’ restrictions embedded in the games. The tribunal in Milan referred queries of Nintendo’s use of security to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which concluded that the security measures are “fully proportionate under Italian copyright law”. Prior to this outcome Nintendo had asserted that it “only ever

www.mcvuk.com

Nintendo’s success means that all EU countries have a framework to assess whether security measures are protected. Shireen Smith, Azrights

IP law saw Scrabulous taken offline, paving the way for Words with Friends

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Across industries there is a global trend towards the clamping down of IP piracy. For example, the Kering Group (which owns Gucci) recently challenged Alibaba on piracy issues. And there are the ongoing problems faced by the music and film industries. A while ago a popular app in its prime was shut down by Hasbro, owner of the Scrabble trademark, due to the similarity in name to the Scrabble game. With the power of trademark law, Scrabulous was pulled from Facebook – a hugely damaging event as it lost its first mover advantage. This paved the way for Zynga to enter the market with the massive Words with Friends. IP SUCCESS FOR ALL With games being a relatively new industry, 95 per cent of UK games companies in 2014 were microbusinesses or SMEs, according to UKIE. Unlike games giants, entrepreneurial businesses may have some misconceptions regarding the approach to IP law. The key advice for smaller businesses in employing an IP expert is the earlier the better. The games market is flooded with innovative concepts and smaller firms could be at risk of losing out in both the short and long run as they often don’t have the time or resources to overcome a legal setback. Having said this, there are a number of legal firms out there that can provide SMEs with legal guidance at a fixed cost. If a technology company can claim sole rights to its software or systems, it can go on to compete with the larger firms. And if successful, the intangible assets created can be worth more than the product itself.

December 4th 2015


THE REAL RUSSIAN GAMES INDUSTRY

The real Russian games industry

Russia is often stereotyped as a hotbed of piracy, PC shooters and World of Tanks. But that is far from the modern reality. Local execs from Ubisoft, Nintendo, Comic Con Russia, SoftClub and Wargaming reveal the true state of the market to Matthew Jarvis

Wargaming’s Chuvalov (top) and Igromir/Comic Con Russia’s Maslov (above)

December 4th 2015

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console. The PC audience is huge, but it’s stale.”

ou’re wrong about Russia. We might be jumping to conclusions, but you probably think of Russia as a games market ruled by PC, with Counter-Strike and World of Tanks the most popular titles and piracy flowing as freely as vodka. That may have been accurate once, but Russia has since moved on to pastures new, with console and mobile gathering momentum and free-to-play business models beating back piracy. Although, PC remains as popular as ever. “Consoles are just entering the market,” says Max Chuvalov, product marketing manager for World of Tanks at Wargaming. “Mobile is quite okay, but the core – 80 to 85 per cent – is PC.” Yasha Haddaji, GM of Nintendo Russia, agrees: “Home consoles are niche and handhelds are the niche of the niche. “Mobile gaming here is huge. It’s the seventh-biggest mobile market globally. Consumers start learning to play games on smartphones.” Maxim Maslov, GM for hybrid event Igromir/Comic Con Russia, believes an influx of new gamers has transformed the market. “What’s the biggest change in terms of how people play games?” he asks. “It’s not people switching from PC – it is the industry gaining a lot of people who have never played games before. These people choose either mobile or

LEARNING TO PAY Russia’s games business is often viewed as notorious due to its affliction with black market games. “The PS1 market was nearly 100 per cent pirated,” recalls Sergey Amirdjanov, marketing director at local distributor SoftClub. “Consoles and games were sold on flea markets, not at retail.” While the illegal provision of titles remains a problem, Wargaming’s Chuvalov says that Russian consumers are becoming more receptive.

The Russian industry is like the global market five to seven years ago. Max Chuvalov, Wargaming

“The mentality of people is changing,” he says. “They have learned how to pay for games because of platforms like Steam.” Comic Con’s Maslov agrees that the black market is shrinking. “Piracy isn’t a big issue like it was five years ago,” he observes. “You cannot pirate on a console and you cannot pirate on PC because of either free-to-play or Steam.” Chuvalov posits that the increasing number of titles translated into Russian has encouraged players to spend, rather than steal.

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“In the past, we didn’t have comfortable paying methods or platforms,” he recounts. “We didn’t have the retail distribution network like in North America or Europe, so it was hard to find official copies of games. We didn’t have localisation, so everything was in English, Chinese or Japanese. People didn’t feel that they needed to pay for it. “Right now, most of the games come localised, with good distribution models. It’s very easy to pay, and you get the satisfaction of a localised game. That changes the mindset little by little.” Olga Lazareva, MD of Ubisoft Russia, echoes the argument. “We localise all our games into Russian and that is the key influence of success for us,” she says. “When we talk the Russian language with our gamers, then we are perceived differently.” While the accessibility of digital platforms like Steam has played a major role in countering the black market, demand for physical products has also helped, as SoftClub’s Amirdjanov details. “Russian gamers love peripherals,” he enthuses. “We saw big success with EyeToy at the time. It helped in combatting piracy, because it is a physical thing that you cannot pirate. For a number of years EyeToy was the top-selling game in Russia.” RUSSIAN RETAIL However, Russia is a predominantly digital market.

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THE REAL RUSSIAN GAMES INDUSTRY

Russia isn’t just about PC – console games are blossoming

“There are not many retail chains,” explains Chuvalov. “We usually buy online, because it’s easier. Previously, when online retail wasn’t so widespread, it was very hard for us. The level of piracy was high.” Make no mistake: physical retail is remaining steady in the face of Russia’s turbulent economy. And they’re taking valuable lessons from the West, says Amirdjanov. “Russian stores are at a European level of development,” he reveals. “We flew retailers over to London to show them Virgin Megastore, GAME and HMV. At that time, the UK games market was incredible. “The UK games market has deteriorated from that time. I can honestly say that some Russian stores might be better than UK ones. Not all of them, obviously, but some are very, very good.” Indie retail is flourishing, too. “Russia is too big for even the biggest retailer to cover,” Amirdjanov explains. “Indies will always have a big place for a very long time; we will not see a situation where a single retailer occupies 40 or 50 per cent of the market.” INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS From home-grown beasts like World of Tanks to Western success stories such as Counter-Strike, the shooter remains Russia’s favoured pastime. “The most popular genres are the ones that were the most popular in the 1990s,” says Chuvalov. “So real-time strategies, turn-based

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“Amiibo is overperforming,” observes Haddaji. “One of our media posted on Instagram that the Samus Amiibo gets you into the subway, which is a weird thing that we tested and, yes, it’s true. It went viral all over the world and the day after we were out of every single Amiibo. This was just ahead of Christmas and we were like: ‘Thank God.’”

games and, for core gamers, shooters. It’s just in our DNA.” But these are not the only genres to have struck a chord in the country. “Fighting games are quite big,” reveals Amirdjanov. “The biggest one of them all is Mortal Kombat, which has seen incredible success.” Lazareva comments upon Ubisoft’s own experience bringing Western hits to the territory. “It’s surprising that the same franchises are popular as everywhere else,” she says. “Assassin’s Creed is our number one brand, but Far Cry is also hugely popular. Watch Dogs was super successful as a new IP. “You might be surprised that the Rayman franchise is big in Russia. Russian markets are often perceived as hardcore, but when we see our sales results Rayman is always at number four or five in our back catalogue.” Nintendo’s Haddaji was also faced with the challenge of introducing franchises outside of Russia’s traditional hardcore interests to the region. “When you start from scratch, you can really see which brands are still strong,” he recalls. “The Pokémon TV series only aired in Russia in 2000 or 2001, before being cancelled. There was nothing Pokémon for 12 years. Then we opened a local office and Pokémon’s best-selling titles, X and Y, together were even higher than Zelda. Pokémon is our number one brand in Russia.” Like in the UK, the launch of Amiibo has similarly inspired sellout success at Russian retail.

Ubisoft’s Lazareva (above top), SoftClub’s Amirdjanov (above middle) and Nintendo’s Haddaji (above)

21

RUSSIAN FORWARD Russia’s games industry has come a long way in the last five years, but there’s further evolution ahead. “The digital scene is definitely going to evolve and improve,” predicts Amirdjanov. “But physical will stay, especially on consoles.” Chuvalov also sees console as a focal point for expansion. “Over the next five or ten years, there will be big growth in console,” he forecasts. “PC is not going anywhere. It will still be the more favourable platform here for at least five years. “Mobile is growing very rapidly, but the biggest potential is in console because mobile is already at critical mass.” Chuvalov closes by encouraging a growing number of Western firms to move into the region as it continues to mature: “The Russian industry is like the global market, but maybe five to seven years ago. “It’s on the radar of all the global developers, because there are 150 million people here and they have learned how to pay – so why not be here?”

December 4th 2015


MARKETPLACE Sponsored by

SHELF LIFE Chris Muckell of Dover’s Xpress Games tells MCV why he has stopped doing midnight launches, whether 360 backwards compatibility has boosted Xbox One sales and his thoughts on virtual reality How has business been lately? We’ve been doing reasonably well. It’s not as busy as most years on the games side of things. Why is that? Downloads. Fallout was the big example – it sold loads but 25 per cent of everyone downloaded it onto their console ready at midnight. What has been selling particularly well? Fallout did brilliantly. FIFA performed

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Have you seen increased interest in the Xbox One since the announcement and launch of backwards compatibility? There’s been a lot of talk about it and we have seen a bit of an upturn on pre-owned games, but there’s been nothing major yet. It certainly has some hype behind it but we’re yet to see it materialise.

well as always. Call of Duty wasn’t as good as recent years. Did you do any events for the big games when they arrived? Not recently. We used to always do events for the big guys – Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty – but in recent years it has been dying down. There’s just not enough demand for it in the local area. And loads of people prefer to download the game rather than wait in the cold.

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December 4th 2015

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OUT: NOW

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MARKETPLACE

Xpress Games 9 Priory Street, Dover, CT17 9AA

Call of Duty, and headsets. We have some offers on our tabletop and card game products, too. What portion of your sales are video games these days? In this store, games are about five per cent. But over our entire company, I’d say games were still about 60 per cent. And what are you most looking forward to next year? To be honest, just seeing where

Phone: 01304 449020 Website: www.xpg.co.uk/ Facebook: /xpressgamesdover

the industry is going in general, especially on the digital download side of things. I’m not looking forward to anything in particular on the retail front as we don’t know if it’s going to be physical or digital. Do you have any plans for the upcoming VR headsets? We’ll wait until the costs and details come out. We’re not looking to jump into it straight away. If the market is right for indies to get involved, we absolutely will.

INCOMING

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

January is going to be a busy period for LEGO fans as a number of additions to LEGO Dimensions, as well as LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, hit stores

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December 4th 2015


CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE This year’s release schedule has left games retail’s stockings stuffed to the brim. Matthew Jarvis takes a look at the merchandise picks set for the nice list

ALTHOUGH Black Friday may have seemed like Christmas come early for much of games retail, the big day itself is just around the corner. Bookies have placed their bets on this year’s festive charttopper – with Call of Duty and FIFA unsurprisingly the front-runners – consumers are scribbling down their wishlists and retailers are breaking out tinsel and fairy lights. While consoles and games might be the headline gifts under the tree, this year’s healthy offering

There’s a real appetite for nostalgia at the moment. Laura Hamblyn, Argos

of new and returning franchises has provided retail with a wealth of merchandise opportunities. Bethesda has invested heavily in Fallout 4 products and Battlefront is backed by the expansive range of Star Wars goods on offer, Meanwhile, Amiibo continue to fly off shelves and Minecraft’s diverse merchandise line-up remains a sure-fire hit among younger gamers. The Christmas cheer isn’t reserved solely for the biggest hits of this generation, either.

SEGA MEGA DRIVE WITH 80 GAMES This modern recreation of Sega’s iconic ‘90s console comes with 80 built-in games, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, and Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master. Those with a healthy collection of original Mega Drive cartridges can slot them into the top port to relive the old days again. Original Mega Drive controllers can also be connected, but two wireless pads are included. SRP: £49.99 Manufacturer: AtGames Distributor: Blaze Europe/Advantage Contact: blazesales@advantagedistribution.co.uk

MONOPOLY - CHRISTMAS EDITION

MINECRAFT IRON FOAM PICKAXE

Nothing quite recreates the Christmas feeling of suddenly being out of pocket like Monopoly. This is a festive take on the tabletop classic.

This foam pickaxe is a lot safer for kids to swing around than the real thing. (It’s rubbish for mining, though.)

When life gets gamers down, they can take a leaf from Mario’s book and hop on the head of this five-inch soft Goomba.

SRP: £29.99 Manufacturer: Winning Moves UK Distributor: Winning Moves UK Contact: 0207 262 9696

SRP: £12.99 Manufacturer: ThinkGeek Distributor: ThinkGeek Contact: thinkgeek.com/volume

SRP: £7.99 Manufacturer: Sanei Distributor: Nintendo Contact: 01753 483 700

December 4th 2015

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OFFICIAL NINTENDO GOOMBA SUPER MARIO PLUSH

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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Sponsored by

O

gaming merchandise uk

Manufacturer AtGames reported in November that sales of its revived Sega Mega Drive console had exploded by 400 per cent at Argos, as the retro revolution is fuelled with shoppers’ memories of Christmasses past. “There’s a real appetite for nostalgia at the moment, whether it is firing up old consoles or dusting down old vinyl records,” Argos buyer Laura Hamblyn told the Daily Mail.

“It is fantastic to see parents buying this console to relive their childhood and introduce their own kids to some old-school gaming.” As well as quirky apparel and branded items, accessories such as headsets and customisable controllers continue to be strong sellers at retail, making them must-stock products throughout December. With gamers old and new set for a very merry Christmas, there’s plenty out there for one and all.

DARTH VADER CHRISTMAS JUMPER Nowhere is Christmas whiter than Hoth. Star Wars fans can celebrate the festive release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens (and Christmas, too, we guess) with this Darth Vader-themed jumper. An official Star Wars product, the top is knitted with a unisex design so Dark Lords and Ladies alike can get in on the action. It features a twist on one of Vader’s iconic phrases, set to strike fear into the icy hearts of Grinches across the galaxy. SRP: £34.99 Manufacturer: Numskull Distributor: Rubber Road Contact: 01707 800 881

DOTA 2 BOTTLE

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Based on the Dota 2 item, this glass bottle includes two packs of a refreshing blue drink, plus an in-game code.

If players find themselves lost in the wasteland, this guide will help them out. It also includes seven lithographs and a map.

Amiibo fanatics who wish to show off their collections amassed over Christmas can store up to 12 figurines in this vivid case.

SRP: £16 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

SRP: £24.99 Manufacturer: Prima Games Distributor: DK Contact: sales@uk.dk.com

SRP: £10 Manufacturer: PowerA Distributor: ILT Distribution Contact: 0845 519 7053

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December 4th 2015


HOT PRODUCTS

Sponsored by

HOT PRODUCTS MCV takes a look at the best accessories heading to UK retail. This week, Microsoft talks up its new Xbox One chatpad and The Force Awakens hits Disney Infinity 3.0

XBOX ONE CHATPAD FOR Xbox One players who prefer to let text do the talking, Microsoft’s new Xbox Chatpad allows them to send mesages, enter codes and search. The Chatpad plugs into the Xbox One wireless pad, but can also be used with Windows 10. It boasts backlit keys and headset audio controls, as well as a 3.5mm jack for direct connection to a headset or audio headphones. Two programmable keys provide easy access to favourite apps.

[INFO] RRP: £29.99 Release Date: Out Now Distributor: Exertis Contact: 01279 822 822

DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 THE FORCE AWAKENS PLAY SET THE new cinematic Star Wars instalment has come to Disney Infinity in the form of The Force Awakens Play Set. The Force Awakens is the third Star Wars Play Set, following Twilight of the Republic and Rise of the Empire. It features a number of missions, which Disney says will see players “travel to a galaxy far, far away alongside new heroes and old friends in search for a muchneeded ally”. Models of movie protagonists Finn and Rey are both included in the pack. Gamers can also play as any of the Star Wars Infinity characters they have already unlocked in the game, including those from TV show Star Wars Rebels. It launches alongside the film on December 18th.

December 4th 2015

[INFO] RRP: £29.99 Release Date: December 18th Distributor: CentreSoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

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STUDIO DIVA

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TO LIST YOUR COMPANY HERE AND ONLINE EVERY WEEK PLEASE CONTACT CTALLON@NBMEDIA.COM OR CALL 01992 535647


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December 4th 2015

Web: www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

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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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December 4th 2015


DIRECTORY

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32

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INSIDER’S GUIDE

INSIDER’S GUIDE BROWN BETTY PR

DIRECTORY

WHO? Specialism: PR Location: 27 Mortimer Street, London, W1T 3BL

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

Brown Betty account director Ben Lawrence talks about transforming commuters into treasure hunters

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

Tell us about your company. We’re Brown Betty PR, the tech, gaming, mobile and gadgets agency. We were founded 18 months ago by Lynn Daniel and Meg Jinno. Our gaming clients include Warner Bros, 2K Games, Square Enix and nDreams.

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

What recent successes have you seen? Turning commuters into treasure hunters for Lara Croft GO was fun. We placed clues in the Metro newspaper and sent real life Laras onto the tube. Whoever spotted a Lara and said the secret password instantly won an iPad. We made the front page of PR Week, which felt great. What are you working on? We’ve just wrapped the launch of LEGO Dimensions. The love for that product is insane. We drove the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, Batmobile, and Back to the Future’s Delorean to media houses and emptied their offices. People were blocking the streets to take pictures. What industry trends are affecting you? VR is opening up a whole new frontier in games at the moment. It feels like it is about to explode into the wider consciousness in a way not seen since the humble polygon popped into existence. I think the industry is on the brink of a whole new era in how we entertain ourselves. To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and now every week in MCV) contact cnangle@nbmedia.com

We drove Ecto-1, the Batmobile and the Delorean to various media houses. Ben Lawrence, Brown Betty

What are you looking forward to over the next 12 months? App intelligence agency Reflection is doing some incredible work on how best to develop mobile titles, so I think the mobile market is going to change drastically. How did you choose your company name? We looked through a book of great British designs and one of those was the Brown Betty teapot. The name felt friendly and tea is synonymous with the British way of life; we’re friendly and British, so why not?

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.brown-betty.com E: hello@brown-betty.co.uk T: @brownbettypr L: linkedin.com/company/brown-betty-limited

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December 4th 2015


FACTFILE VIETNAM Sponsored by

INTERNATIONAL FACTFILE: VIETNAM Population: 90,630,000 Capital City: Hanoi Currency: Dong GDP (Per Capita): $2,233 KEY RETAILERS Halo, Xgame, Tan Hung, Nintendo Vietnam Shop TOP DISTRIBUTORS Playbox, Like.vn/GlassEgg, VNG

DESPITE being home of one of the West’s biggest mobile hits, Vietnam’s games industry has struggled in the face of poor public perception and piracy. According to broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Vietnam has over 13 million gamers. Online games made approximately $200 million (£132m) in 2012 – a third higher than the previous year and almost twice the $120 million (£79) total of 2009. The region’s first triple-A effort was released in 2012. 7554 was developed by start-up firm Emboi and launched on PC. 7554 was not released digitally, despite Vietnam’s lack of physical games retail. Brick-and-mortar retail has encouraged the growth of the black market, with many stores offering pirated goods. The region’s best-known release to date is arguably Flappy Bird, the free mobile game that saw viral success in the West, developed by Dong Nguyen and published in 2013. Reported to have generated over $50,000 a day at its peak, the game was pulled from the

December 4th 2015

TOP DEVELOPERS Emboi, Glass Egg, gloops Vietnam (Nexon), Pine Entertainment PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION .GEARS Studios, VNG, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA

Vietnam’s first triple-A game, 7554, was released solely via physical retail in 2012. iOS App Store and Android Play marketplace in early 2014 after Nguyen expressed fears over its ‘addictive’ nature. Government policies have made development tough. In September 2013, Decree 72 regarding ‘Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Information Content Online’ was passed, requiring games creators to apply for a licence for online titles. Nudity and extreme violence were banned, with first-person shooters outlawed completely. Online games are often referred to as a ‘social evil’ by the state-run media, with violent crimes often blamed on their influence.

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VIETNAM FACTFILE

MEANWHILE IN... GERMANY Blizzard remains in the midst of a legal battle with German company Bossland over disputes concerning the latter firm’s cheating software A fresh blow has been struck in the years-long battle between Blizzard and bot software company Bossland. Blizzard recently filed a lawsuit against the German firm with regards to its Buddy software, which allows gamers to cheat in games including World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III. Bossland has since alleged that Blizzard illegally purchased a copy of Buddy’s source code from a freelance programmer working on the project. The bot company expressed its intention to take Blizzard back to court – the latest move in a

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series of legal battles over the last four years. Blizzard remains steadfast in its belief that it will emerge triumphant. “The use of bots negatively impacts our global player community,” it told

Kotaku. “We’re confident the court system will continue to validate our claims and ultimately stop the distribution of these cheating bots.”

December 4th 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 December 4th 2015

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OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD This week, The Force Awakens in EA for Star Wars Battlefront, the first London Gaming Market kicks off, Hastings finds itself in a bit of a Jam and it’s Christmas in Japan (in the UK) WHAT JAKKU LOOKIN’ AT? Star Wars fans were treated to a teaser of The Force Awakens thanks to EA title Battlefront. The shooter’s Battle of Jakku DLC takes place on the titular planet 29 years before this year’s film – and immediately after 1983’s Return of the Jedi. EA debuted the first footage of the two new maps at an event in South London, streaming gameplay live on Twitch. But we’re sure no-one was watching, because it’s not like anyone is excited for a new Star Wars movie. Right?

MAKE YOUR MARKET The first-ever London Gaming Market came to the capital late last month, attracting more than 40 indie retailers and 2,200 gamers – with half of those flooding through the doors in the first hour. With a range of retro treasures, merchandise, tabletop classics and rarities on offer, the event is already set to return to the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square on April 3rd, 2016.

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Devember 4th 2015


OFF THE RECORD

SIX DEGREES OF HUGO BUSTILLOS

BRIGHTON SPARKS The University of Brighton held its first free Game Jam in Hastings from November 13th to 15th last month, inviting developers of all skill levels to have a go at making their very own game – and winning the fabled Golden Gamepad award for best title. Run in association with the Education Futures Trust, the event was backed by the university’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, the Journalism and Digital Media Hub, Brighton’s Student Union, O’Reilly Media, Studio Gobo, and GOG.com. Keep an eye out – these faces could soon be sticking the next big triple-A hit on shelves. Or they’ll just make Minecraft in their bedroom and retire by the age of 30.

THE PLAYSTATION PR MANAGER IS LINKED TO NINTENDO, ACTIVISION, JEDWARD AND, OF COURSE, KEVIN BACON. MCV FINDS OUT HOW…

KEVIN BACON referenced his position as ‘centre of universe’ in an advert for EE, and even linked himself to...

...better-forgotten pop stars JEDWARD, who starred in a number of Nintendo UK ads in 2010, bringing them into contact with...

...former junior PR manager EMILY WOOLLISCROFT, who moved to Activision this year. During her Nintendo tenure, she worked under...

...head of comms JO BARTLETT. Bartlett has experience with a number of agencies, including John Doe, where she helped...

...DAVID WILSON, newlyappointed head of European comms at PlayStation. Wilson was formerly head of UK PR...

MERĪ KURISUMASU Hyper Japan once again brought its love of all things cosplay, anime, manga and gaming to London’s Tobacco Dock – but, this time, it was a festive-flavoured affair, in the form of the event’s Christmas Market. Much bigger than last year’s Christmas Market, the event included a decked-out retro games section with Sonic arcade machines, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart and a DanceDanceRevolution stage. Partying like it’s Christmas 1999.

Devember 4th 2015

...where he led UK PR manager HUGO BUSTILLOS.

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OFF THE RECORD

Duke Nukem, he’s got the name and the moves!

HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old 5HSXEOLF+H¶G¿WULJKWLQ

Alastair Robertson @Judgebredd Rico from Just Cause, of course. Just imagine having that awesome grappling hook, too.

VoLiTioN @volition_vx I’d take Bayonetta. On her end it’d be the world’s longest escort quest but I don’t care.

It has to be Snake from Metal Gear Solid.

WHICH GAMING CHARACTER WOULD YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR COMPANION IN THE FALLOUT WASTELAND? #GMGASKS

Rocket Eri @ausj3w3l I would choose a nonsexualised-for-the-malegaze Lara Croft.

VGJunky @TheVGJunky Bionic Commando. His tech should make things a bit safer.

JonnyHowson @Howson23 Ms CMDR didlix @didlix

I’d be pretty happy if I could have D-Dog from Metal Gear Solid V and Dogmeat from Fallout with me at the same time. The canine crusaders.

Dante from Devil May Cry would be a nice companion.

GhostPants @JustGamingYeah

Iain Metcalf @IainGrimm Bugsy from the hit classic Bubsy series.

Tory Bradford @Tory_Bradford

Pizza Pete @PizzaPete16

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

Lianne Davey

Staff Writer acalvin@nbmedia.com

Designer srichwood@nbmedia.com

Circulation ldavey@nbmedia.com

Matt Jarvis

Michael Canham

Staff Writer mjarvis@nbmedia.com

Finance Manager mcanham@nbmedia.com

Erik Johnson

Stuart Moody

US Correspondent ejohnson@nbmedia.com

Head of Operations smoody@nbmedia.com

Please address all enquiries to: Newbay Media, MCV, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford, SG14 1JA. Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YA

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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.

Newbay Media specialises in tradededicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Newbay publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Music Week, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two onlineonly brands: Mobile Entertainment, dedicated to the growing mass market smartphone sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2015

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THE RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD Charlotte Knight GAME

Steve Moore Simply Games

Jennifer Johnson Don McCabe CHIPS Shop Direct

Jon Hayes Tesco

Sarah Jasper The Hut

Gurdeep Hunjan Simon Urquhart Sainsbury’s Microsoft

Dermot Stapleton Niall Lawlor GameStop Get Games

Phil Moore Grainger Games

Igor Cipolletta ShopTo

Phil Browes HMV

Robert Lindsay Games Centre

Stephen Staley Robert Hennessy Paul Sulyok James Cooke Gameseek John Lewis Green Man Gaming Argos

Craig Watson Dixons Retail

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Devember 4th 2015


Profile for Future PLC

MCV859 December 4th  

MCV859 December 4th  

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