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ISSUE 894 FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH 2016

JOIN US OR BECOME THEM O U T

N O W


XCOM ON THE RUN: Take command of the Avenger, an alien supply craft converted to XCOM’s mobile headquarters. TACTICAL GUERRILLA COMBAT: New gameplay systems offer more tactical flexibility in combat. A NEW BREED OF ENEMY: A diverse cast of enemies from powerful new alien species to the ADVENT. ENDLESS REPLAYABILITY: Virtually infinite combinations of maps, missions and goals. HEAD-TO-HEAD MULTIPLAYER: Mix-and-match squads of humans and aliens and battle head-to-head.

ENGAGE IN TACTICAL GUERRILLA COMBAT

RESEARCH, DEVELOP AND UPGRADE TECHNOLOGIES

JOIN US OR BECOME THEM X C O M . C O M

BATTLE A NEW BREED OF ENEMY


PLAYSTATION VR SPECIAL ISSUE 894 FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH 2016

SEVEN PAGES DEDICATED TO THE HARDWARE AND THE DEVELOPERS

Slim release sees Xbox One hardware sales rocket 1,000% Microsoft’s console claims a 71 per cent share of weekly UK hardware sales By Alex Calvin

X

box has stormed the UK console market following the launch of its new 500GB and 1TB Xbox One S models, with sales of the console rising 989 per cent week-on-week. The Xbox One had a 71 per cent share of the hardware market for the week ending September 24th, according to GfK data obtained by MCV. That’s an increase of 76 per cent year-on-year. A new slimmed-down PS4 arrived earlier this month, but sales have so far been slow. PlayStation 4 had a market share of just 19 per cent last week, with unit sales declining 66 per cent year-onyear, although sales were up 22 per cent week-on-week. When the launch weeks for PS4 Slim and the 500GB/1TB Xbox One S are compared, Microsoft’s were stronger to the tune of 361 per cent. Sony will be hoping that buyers are holding out for the launch of the high-spec £349 PS4 Pro in November. The Xbox One S was announced on-stage at E3, and the 1TB and 500GB SKUs launched last week. Both were bundled with FIFA 17, which is officially released today (September 29th), meaning fans could play EA’s football title a week early, courtesy of the included EA Access trial membership.

The new S model offers a number of upgrades, such as 4K Blu-ray support. A 2TB ‘pre-order edition’ of the Xbox One S was released on August 2nd, but the limited stock quickly vanished from shelves. Currently there do not seem to be any plans to restock the SKU. “It’s great to see how popular both the Xbox One S and the FIFA 17 Xbox One S consoles are with fans, not just over the last week but since the Xbox One S was released in August. 4K video streaming and 4K UHD Blu-ray have been extremely well received and we believe there is no better value right now for those looking to upgrade their console,” Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle told MCV. “It’s a fantastic time for gamers with the range of upcoming titles appealing to all audiences, from Gears of War 4 to Skyrim Special Edition and the release this week of the acclaimed Forza Horizon 3. There’s never been a better time to own an Xbox One.”

Microsoft’s Harvey Eagle says there is no better value for those looking to buy a new console than Xbox One S

PLUS EA ON ITS BIGGEST FIFA YET „ XCOM 2 COMES TO CONSOLES


NEWS

PlayStation will lead premium VR market, say developers Low price point and the 40m+ existing PS4 userbase will give PSVR a tremendous advantage over its competitors By Alex Calvin GAME makers have said that Sony’s PlayStation VR could become the sector’s market leader. Speaking to MCV, studios said that due to its comparatively low price point of £349, and the requirement of a £259 PS4, the hardware could quickly outsell its premium rivals – Oculus’ £549 Rift and HTC Vive, which sets consumers back £816. Both of these require expensive PCs to run. “We’re very bullish about PSVR,” nDreams CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh said. “Sony has created a supremely comfortable headset and is launching it at a great price. The 40m+ PS4 owners don’t require any additional hardware – just plug in the headset and camera and it just works. PSVR will sell extremely well.” Flavio Parenti, CEO of Loading Human makers Untold Games,

goes as far as to say that if it’s successful, PSVR could become the standard VR titles are developed for. “We expect PlayStation VR to be a market leader,” he said. “We don’t know how big the market is or how big PSVR will be, but the sweet deal that Sony is giving to the players is amazing. For just half the price of the others you get everything. Developers will aim for PSVR standards, and then adapt games to PC if PSVR is the market leader.” Supermassive producer Simon Harris added: “Sony is delivering a very competitively-priced product to an audience of some 40m+ users who have a PS4. There’s this huge audience to whom Sony is saying: ‘here’s this new experience, this is the price point, we’d love you to come on board’.” You can read more about PSVR in our seven-page guide from page 12

Pictured, from left to right: Untold Games’ Flavio Parenti, nDreams’ Patrick O’Luanaigh and Supermassive Games’ Simon Harris

Amazon: ‘It’s hugely important to expand PS4 and Xbox One user bases’ Retail giant says we need more games with sub-16 age ratings O Nintendo NX could appeal to family market By Alex Calvin THE UK games boss for online retailer Amazon Russell Jones has said that the industry needs to work hard to upgrade PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers to Sony and Microsoft’s new machines. And the new slim PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S - with their lower price points - could help resolve that issue. “It’s been a challenging year for games from a product point of view,” Jones said. “We’re really feeling the drop-off in the old generation. Little has come out on old-gen this year so far. FIFA is launching for it, and the LEGO games, but that’s about it. We just haven’t seen the

September 30th 2016

Part of Overwatch’s success was its PEGI 12 rating, Amazon’s Jones said

that user base to keep the category growing.” Jones added that we need more games that appeal to family and kids in order to drive hardware sales. “We could do with some real blockbuster games that

shift up to the next generation of consoles in terms of that volume and user base. Clearly what’s going on with Xbox One S and PS4 slim is the creation of that opportunity. For this quarter ahead of us, it’s hugely important that we expand

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don’t have 16-plus age ratings,” Jones say. “Overwatch was a phenomenal game and part of its success was its PEGI 12 rating. It’s been a big driver for console sales.” Jones also said that Nintendo’s new NX machine could be the answer to the industry’s prayers. “Nintendo’s strong-hold is the family audience,” he said. “We’re missing a console platform that’s really designed to drive families. Hopefully, it’s a product that families can engage with. The missing part of the market is a big install base of families and lots of games that are PEGI 12 or below. Nintendo can be a great enabler of that. It has a fantastic track record in that area.”

www.mcvuk.com


NEWS

UKIE prompts industry to register on its UK Games Map by Marie Dealessandri DATA firm Nesta and trade body UKIE have partnered to create a UK industry interactive map, and are now encouraging games firms to contribute to its development. The UK Games Map launched last Thursday and lists companies working in games across the country, based on the 2014 Nesta-Ukie report A Map of the UK Games Industry. This means some companies might be missing or have inaccurate info and are thus invited to register to either add or check their data. “The company dataset can be

THE EDITOR

further enriched and expanded by games businesses when they register, self-managing their data or submitting their business to be marked on the map,” UKIE research analyst Luke Hebblethwaite explained. The UK Games Map aims at keeping track of the country’s ever-growing industry, UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist further said. “The games industry is a leading powerhouse, but because we are so young and fast-evolving, official stats have trouble classifying and tracking our size, scale and geography. The map is designed to fix this.”

IT’S HARD PONDERING HARDWARE

T

he established logic is thus: PS4 has ‘won’ the next-gen hardware battle. Or, to put it another way, Xbox One has ‘lost’ it. That’s not true, of course. For starters, we’re less than three years into the race. Hell, how do we even define the race, now? This generation started as a marathon but, thanks to the surprise switch to incremental upgrades, has become a kind of staggered, infinite relay. As such, it’s also very unlikely that anyone will stay in front forever. Some of us remember when the very idea of Sony entering the hardware race, with Phil Harrison strutting around the ECTS halls to a chorus of quiet sniggers (we’ve all dined on that massive slice of humble pie, right?), seemed like a joke. The same could be said of Microsoft, but Xbox 360 stands proud as one of the best consoles ever released. In truth, both machines are outselling their predecessors, and in a world where the rise of mobile had led to widespread expectations that consoles were an endangered species, it’s only fair to say they are both winners. But that’s a bit dull, isn’t it? We can’t expect Neogaf and Twitter to survive off such balanced scraps. So what, should we make of the fact that the Xbox One S is off to a far, far stronger start than the slim PS4? That all depends on your allegiance and perspective, quite probably. Here’s a list of handy

SPONSORED BY

PRE-ORDER TOP 10

1

FIFA 17 (PS4)

EA

2

FIFA 17 (XO)

EA

3

Battlefield 1 (PS4)

4

Sony PlayStation VR (PS4)

5

Mafia III + Family Kick-back Pre-order Bonus (PS4)

6

Gears of War 4 (XO)

7

Final Fantasy XV Day 1 Edition (PS4)

8

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Legacy Edition Inc Zombies in Space (PS4)

9

PS4 Pro 1TB console

10

Battlefield 1 (XO)

www.mcvuk.com

EA Sony 2K Games Microsoft Square Enix Activision Sony EA

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This generation started as a marathon but has become a staggered relay. sound bites. Feel free to pick the one that suits: O “No-one’s buying a PS4 Slim because they’re all waiting for the PSVR next month and the PS4 Pro in November.” O “PS4 sales have proven that gamers value technical horsepower over anything else. People are now buying into the Xbox ecosystem with a view to upgrading to Xbox Scorpio next year.” O “These new consoles are selling pretty much exclusively to existing owners. Why would any PS4 owner buy a slim with the Pro just around the corner? The Xbox One S, meanwhile, is a meaningful upgrade. It even runs current games a bit better!” O “The Xbox One S is the only upgrade Xbox owners are getting for a long time. 4K Blu-ray for £250! Of course it’s sold better.” O “The Xbox One S is Microsoft’s only play this Christmas. We still have the PS4 Pro and PSVR to come. The party ain’t even started!” O “God, if the NX doesn’t sell better than the Wii U, Nintendo are going ‘full Sega’, aren’t they? Except with more mobile success and fewer questionable 3D platformers.” bparfitt@nbmedia.com

September 30th 2016


CHEAT SHEET

UP & DOWN

Market Data The lack of new releases last week led to software revenue decreasing by 22 per cent

NHL 17 fell from No.15 to No.40 with sales dipping 62 per cent

£10m

£30m £5m

£3.9m 145,953 units

Week Ending September 10th

£6.6m 213,457 units

Week Ending September 17th

£5.2m 184,970 units

Week Ending September 24th

HALO 5: GUARDIANS saw 288 per cent growth and re-entered the charts at No.23

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK: XCOM 2

[INFO] FORMATS: PS4, XO RELEASED: September 30th PUBLISHER: 2K Games DISTRIBUTOR: Exertis CONTACT: 01279 822 800

September 30th 2016

THE console version of XCOM 2 is hitting shelves today and 2K will leave nothing to chance as far as promotion is concerned. Announced at the beginning of June, the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the PC hit are highly awaited. “Following the incredibly successful launch of XCOM 2 on PC in February of this year, fans made it clear to us they wanted to see the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One,” says 2K’s UK product manager Sean Phillips. “We’ve been working tirelessly on bringing the console version to market with our partners at Firaxis.” He continues: “In order to promote these versions, we will target strategy console gamers through a TV and specialist online campaign. We will let all fans of the genre know that the XCOM mission continues. Our specialist online campaign will be one to remember, with a focus on the resistance – expect subversive disruption in the form

XCOM 2 is one of the top launch performers on Steam this year

of interactive takeovers and pre-roll.” But XCOM 2’s campaign will not only target fans of the title and will try to attract new players as well, Phillips adds. “The TV campaign will focus on fans of sci-fi, and the bleak – well,

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the player can change this, maybe – dystopian world XCOM inhabits. And if all that feels a bit heavy, things lighten up with the welcome return of Fred Dinenage, who will also be joined by a special guest as he instructs you on how best to take down the alien scum.”

www.mcvuk.com


CHEAT SHEET

PRESENTS

5 SECOND FACTS

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

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

OCULUS TOUCH CONTROLLERS PRICED AT £190 According to a display spotted in a GAME store by Engadget, Oculus Rift’s controllers, the Oculus Touch, willl cost £190 in the UK. The Oculus Rift itself has a £549 price point, bringing the total cost of the virtual reality experience to a whopping £739. And that’s without mentioning the price of a powerful-enough PC.

14.9% Ubisoft is 2016’s best-selling publisher so far, with 14.9 per cent market share in Europe

75,000

@vr_sam Not surprised by the Oculus Touch controllers price in UK - reasonable for what you get & cheaper than Vive overall if include Rift + Sam Watts, Make Real Tuesday, September 20th

EGX had a record-breaking 2016 edition with 75,000 visitors and over 200 playable games

@apacherose3 The #OculusTouch controllers cost HOW MUCH? #engagetherage

$90,000

Sam Loveridge, Digital Spy Wednesday, September 21st

POKEMON GAMES CONFIRMED ON THE NX

BLIZZARD DITCHES THE BATTLE.NET NAME

The Pokemon Company last Thursday confirmed both the NX hybrid design and the fact that Pokémon titles will be coming to Nintendo’s new console at launch.

After 20 years of use, Blizzard is dropping the Battle.net name and rebranding its online gaming network as Blizzard Tech, in an effort to harmonise its different services.

@serkantoto The actual news in my eyes is that it was confirmed that Niantic is looking at bringing Pokémon Go to China and Korea. THAT would be big. Dr. Serkan Toto, Kantan Games Tuesday, September 20th

@nathaniastv Tfw you understand the need for unified branding but “Blizzard Tech” sounds less cool than battlenet #FeelsNecessaryMan

@KyleOrl I’m skeptical of this ‘Pokémon coming to NX’ news. Next you’ll tell me Mario and Zelda will be on the system too. Yeah, right!

@ZhugeEX`Makes sense with their ongoing promotion of the ‘Blizzard’ brand and name.

Nathan Fabrikant, eSports shoutcaster Wednesday, September 21st

Kyle Orland, Ars Technica Tuesday, September 20th

Crowdfunding added over $90,000 to the Capcom Cup prize pool

£1.55m Sky and ITV have both invested £1.55m in Ginx, the firm behind 24-hour channel Ginx eSports TV

£224 Amazon has reduced the price of both Sony’s PS4 Slim and Microsoft’s 500GB Xbox One S to £224

Daniel Ahmad, Niko Partners Wednesday, September 21st

Titanfall 2 Controller - PDP Design and manufacture the Officially Licenced Titanfall 2 Controller for Xbox ONE europesales@pdp.com

www.pdp.com

GAMESAID THIS WEEK GAMESAID GOLF DAY RAISES £30,OOO

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

www.mcvuk.com

GAMESCOM TO BRIGHTON CYCLE RIDE

GAMESAID RAISES £954,000 FOR CHARITY

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The annual GamesAid Golf and Spa Day returned for the ninth time on Thursday, July 14th. The event raised a whopping £30,000. This year it was once again held at The Grove in Watford.

A number of GamesAid members cycled 352 miles from Cologne to Brighton for charity, raising £3,430 in the process. You can still donate here www. justgiving.com/teams/ gamescomtobrighton2016

UK games industry charity GamesAid raised a massive £954,000 in the last year. This was shared between ten different organisations, who each walked away with £95,400. Over nine years, GamesAid has raised £2.7m.

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September 30th 2016


MARKET MOVES

APPOINTMENTS

Comic Con organisers hire new COO VideoGamer lands junior content editor OCrossley joins Creative England OKonami’s Edwards moves to Sony MCM | Board member GITAL TETE has been appointed as COO of MCM Central, the firm behind London’s Comic Con, amongst other pop culture events. She will take from the role on January 1st, 2017. Previously, Tete was CEO at Rektorsakademien Utveckling, a Swedish company focusing on digital learning in the education sector. Before that, she worked as business development manager at exhibition organiser Artexis Easyfairs, and as head of events at Artexis Nordic, where she co-founded Sweden’s first ever gaming exhibition, GAMEX,

September 30th 2016

and introduced Comic Con to the region. She commented: “I did not have to think long before I accepted this challenge. MCM Central is courageous, competent and has an unusually clear drive to create something new. I am looking forward to developing and expanding MCM’s modern pop culture portfolio, as well as some other really interesting opportunities.”

Editorial director TOM ORRY stated: “I’m incredibly excited that Sam is now part of the VideoGamer team. We were looking for someone who would continue VideoGamer’s mission to entertain readers and viewers, and Sam is a perfect fit. I’m looking forward to everyone seeing what he is capable of.” CREATIVE ENGLAND | Former Develop online editor ROB CROSSLEY has been hired as head of games at Creative England. He joins following a stint at GameSpot, where he was UK editor. Prior to that he held the

VIDEOGAMER | SAM RILEY has joined VideoGamer as junior content editor. He has been a games writer for over four years, working for the likes of GamesRadar and Games Rant.

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role of associate editor at CVG for over two years. SONY | Konami’s JON EDWARDS has joined PlayStation as UK product manager. Edwards spent over three years at Konami, where he started as marketing executive in 2013 before being promoted to senior brand and communications executive in 2014, and then became brand and communications manager at the beginning of 2016. At Sony, he will be working on Gran Turismo Sport, Horizon Zero Dawn and the PlayStation FC activity.

www.mcvuk.com


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WEEKLY SALES CHARTS

WEEKLY CHARTS THIS week’s Top Three is the same as last week as is most of the chart. 2K’s BioShock: The Collection takes the No.1 spot again, with sales decreasing 50 per cent. Meanwhile, PES 2017 (No.2) and NBA 2K17 (No.3) have seen their respective sales decline by 48 per cent and 51 per cent. Activision’s Destiny: The Collection debuts at No.4 and is the only new entry of the week. Amongst the good performances of the week, Bethesda’s Fallout 4 is back in the Top Ten, thanks to a 102 per cent rise in sales, and Microsoft’s Halo 5: Guardians re-enters the listings at No.23 with a 288 per cent growth in sales.

The biggest loser this week is EA’s NHL 17, which falls from No.15 to No.40 with sales decreasing 62 per cent. There’s much more happening on Steam, with no less than five new entries in the charts. Stunlock’s Battlerite, which is currently on sale, debuts at No.2, while Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin 2 enters the charts at No.4, GSC Game World’s Cossacks 3 at No.5 and NBA 2K17 at No.6. Meanwhile, pre-orders for 2K’s Civilization VI debuts at No.8. Usual suspects Grand Theft Auto V and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive complete the list, at No.1 and No.3 respectively.

GLOBAL STEAM CHARTS (UNITS)

01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08

LW NEW 01 NEW NEW NEW RE NEW

GRAND THEFT AUTO V DEVELOPER: ROCKSTAR NORTH PUBLISHER: ROCKSTAR GAMES

TITLE Battlerite Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Divinity: Original Sin 2 Cossacks 3 NBA 2K17 ARK: Scorched Earth Expansion Pack Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (PO)

PUBLISHER Stunlock Studios Valve Larian Studios GSC Game World 2K Studio Wildcard 2K

TOP 40 UK PHYSICAL RETAIL 02

01

TW 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

LW 01 02 03 NEW 04 06 18 08 11 07 17 09 05 19 14 13

Title BioShock: The Collection Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 NBA 2K17 Destiny: The Collection Overwatch Rocket League Fallout 4 Grand Theft Auto V LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Minecraft: Xbox Edition No Man’s Sky ReCore Batman: The Telltale Series Call of Duty: Black Ops III F1 2016

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

10 16 25 23 21 33 RE 24 22 30 26 31 34 28 27 32 39 20 RE 35 12 RE RE 15

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Doom Star Wars Battlefront Minecraft: Story Mode Homefront: The Revolution Tom Clancy’s The Division Halo 5: Guardians Disney Infinity 3.0 Madden NFL 17 Minecraft: PlayStation Edition LEGO Marvel’s Avengers New Super Mario Bros 2 Ratchet & Clank LEGO Jurassic World The Witcher III: Wild Hunt GOTY Edition Pokémon Omega Ruby Tomodachi Life FIFA 16 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege Dragon Quest VII: The Forgotten Past Batman: Arkham Knight LEGO Dimensions NHL 17

Source: Steam, Period: September 19th to September 25th September 30th 2016

03

04

05

Format PS4, XO PS4, XO, PS3, 360 PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC PS4, XO PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC PS4, XO, PS3, 360 PS4 XO, 360 PS4 XO PS4, XO, PS3, 360 PC PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC

Publisher 2K Games Konami 2K Games Activision Blizzard 505 Games Bethesda Rockstar Warner Bros Sony Microsoft Sony Microsoft Telltale Games Activision

PS4, XO, PC PS4, X0, PC PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, PC XO PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 PS4, XO, PS3, 360 PS4, PS3, Vita PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 3DS PS4 PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 PS4, XO, PC 3DS 3DS PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC PS4, Wii U, PS3, 360, Vita, 3DS, PC PS4, XO 3DS PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 PS4, XO

Codemasters Square Enix Bethesda EA Telltale Games Deep Silver Ubisoft Microsoft Disney EA Sony Warner Bros Nintendo Sony Warner Bros Bandai Namco Nintendo Nintendo EA Warner Bros Ubisoft Square Enix Warner Bros Warner Bros EA

Source: UKIE/GfK Entertainment, Period: Week ending September 24th 10

www.mcvuk.com


WEEKLY SALES CHARTS

UK IPAD PAID

01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 04 RE RE NEW RE 02 09 RE RE

UK IPHONE PAID

(UNITS)

01

MINECRAFT: POCKET EDITION DEVELOPER: MOJANG

Title Bus Simulator Pro 2017 Witches’ Legacy: Slumbering Darkness HD Minecraft: Story Mode Off the Record: The Final Interview Terraria Octodad: Dadliest Catch Goat Simulator Bloons TD 5 HD The Sims 3

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Developer Mageeks Apps & Game Big Fish Telltale Big Fish 505 Games Young Horses Coffee Stain Studios Ninja Kiwi EA

LW 02 03 04 06 RE NEW 10 RE 05

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: September 12th – September 18th

(UNITS)

MINECRAFT: POCKET EDITION DEVELOPER: MOJANG

Title Bus Simulator Pro 2017 Heads Up! Plague Inc. Monopoly Game Bloons TD 5 NZ vs Loons Hitman: Sniper Head of State Reigns

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: September 12th – September 18th

UK IPAD GROSSING (REVENUE)

UK IPHONE GROSSING (REVENUE)

01

01

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 04 02 03 05 06 07 RE 09 08

CANDY CRUSH SAGA DEVELOPER: KING

Title Game of War - Fire Age Mobile Strike Candy Crush Soda Saga Clash of Clans Gardenscapes - New Acres The Sims FreePlay Gummy Drop! Hay Day Roblox

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Developer Machine Zone Epic War King Supercell Playrix EA Big Fish Supercel Roblox Corporation

LW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 10 RE

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: September 12th – September 18th

POKÉMON GO DEVELOPER: NIANTIC

Title Mobile Strike Candy Crush Saga Game of War - Fire Age Clash of Clans Candy Crush Soda Saga Clash Royale Episode - Choose Your Story, feat. Mean Girls: Senior Year Marvel Contest of Champions 8 Ball Pool

UK IPHONE FREE (UNITS)

01

01

LW RE 02 03 NEW RE 06 NEW 05 04

SIX! DEVELOPER: GRAM GAMES

Title Bottle Flip 2k16 Flip Diving Pokémon Go NCIS: Hidden Crimes Ketchapp Tennis Rolling Sky Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards Roblox Gardenscapes - New Acres

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Developer Aidan Sabourin Miniclip.com Niantic Ubisoft Ketchapp Cheetah Technology Kongregate Roblox Corporation Playrix

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: September 12th – September 18th www.mcvuk.com

Developer Epic War King Machine Zone Supercell King Supercell Episode Interactive Kabam Miniclip.com

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: September 12th – September 18th

UK IPAD FREE (UNITS)

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Developer Mageeks Apps & Games Warner Bros Ndemic Creations EA Ninja Kiwi Stuart Cowie Square Enix Edward Biden Devolver Digital

LW RE 03 RE 04 02 07 09 06 RE

SIX! DEVELOPER: GRAM GAMES

Title Bottle Flip 2k16 Flip Diving Ketchapp Tennis Pokémon Go Water Bottle Flip Challenge Rolling Sky Bingo Pop Fit The Fat 2 Weed Firm 2: Back To College

Developer Aidan Sabourin Miniclip.com Ketchapp Niantic Southwest Social Influence Cheetah Uken Games Five Bits B! Canada

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: September 12th – September 18th 11

September 30th 2016


PLAYSTATION VR THE HARDWARE

Everything you need to know about PlayStation VR PlayStation’s Virtual Reality headset comes to market alongside a swathe of new accessories and consoles. MCV looks at what’s needed and what’s not ahead of the new hardware’s High Street launch

PS4 – £259, OUT NOW | PS4 PRO – £349, NOVEMBER 10TH BOTH the normal PS4 and the PS4 Pro will play all PlayStation VR games. Sony is keen to stress that PSVR was created with the original PS4 in mind, and not the superpowered version that is due in November. However, the PS4 Pro will offer improvements to the VR experience. Sony’s Mark Cerny told audiences at this month’s

September 30th 2016

PlayStation Meeting that “with PS4 Pro, the developers can choose to increase the crispness of VR scenes, make special effects richer, or to offer higher frame rates, making your VR experiences even more immersive.” The company used Farpoint to demonstrate how the game looks better using the PS4 Pro. However,

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PlayStation’s sales and marketing boss Jim Ryan says that the Pro is definitely not a requirement for VR. “We absolutely maintain the primary platform for PlayStation VR is the standard PS4,” he told MCV. “All 40m of them are capable of a great VR experience. It’s very important that people are clear about that.”

www.mcvuk.com


THE HARDWARE PLAYSTATION VR

Some games will mix PlayStation VR with ‘traditional’ controller gameplay

PLAYSTATION CAMERA – £54, OUT NOW (UPDATED VERSION OCTOBER 13TH) THE PlayStation Camera is a requirement for the PSVR headset, and is not included in the box with the product – primarily because it has actually been available since the launch of the PS4. There is a new version of the camera arriving alongside the VR headset, which is technically identical to the model that’s been available for a few years now, but it boasts a smaller cylindrical form, plus a stand that makes it easier to attach the camera to various locations (including the top of a TV).

www.mcvuk.com

PLAYSTATION VR – £349, OCTOBER 13TH the most affordable headset on the market. As well as over 200 games in the works for the headset, Sony is working on a number of non-game options, including a cinematic mode and the chance to experience 360 degrees video and photos. The box contains a headset, a HDMI cable, USB cable, an AC adaptor and power cord, headset connection adaptor, studio earbuds and a processor unit.

THE actual PlayStation VR headset is a sleek-looking product, which sits on-top of the head (unlike other virtual reality devices), and even features a button to extend the size of the device (perfect for those glasses wearers). It’s actually feels very comfortable compared with its competitors. However, the quality of the screen and experience is below that of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The pay off is with the price - PlayStation VR is

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PLAYSTATION MOVE, (SINGLE PACK) – OUT NOW (TWIN PACK) – £69.99 OCTOBER 13TH THE PlayStation Move controllers are not a requirement for use with PSVR, but they are utilised in a series of VR games including Job Simulator, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, VR Worlds and Tumble. The Move controllers act as a more realistic control mechanism for the VR experience, as opposed to the traditional DualShock controller. For those that do not own a Move or two, a special twin-pack is being launched alongside the PlayStation VR on October 13th.

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INTERVIEW PLAYSTATION

Taking VR to the masses – The launch of PSVR PlayStation’s UK group marketing manager Tom Whitaker discusses the company’s plans for the launch of the VR headset, and its potential once it is in consumers’ hands

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PLAYSTATION INTERVIEW ,we see as must haves for certain audiences. There’s never been a more exciting time for PlayStation hardware buyers, whether they’re picking up our best value ever PS4, enjoying the benefits PS4 Pro brings to owners of HD and 4K TVs alike, or taking on a new way to play with PlayStation VR. Our guiding principle with the launch of any PlayStation product has always been one that it’s for the players, and it’s our most dedicated fans that we expect to pick up PlayStation VR this year. Once our mainstream audience starts to hear first-hand how much fun PlayStation VR is and once they perceive it as a proven piece of technology, then that’s when we expect it to really gain traction.

Who do you see buying PlayStation VR? Is it primarily core gamers, or could it go mainstream? There’s definitely interest in PlayStation VR outside of our core fan base but, as with any new platform launch, we expect that the majority of VR headsets will be picked up by those who bought their PlayStation 4 early on in the lifecycle – at least at launch. We do think though, especially given the price, range of games at launch, the ease of use and the number of PS4 owners out there, that PlayStation VR will cross over into the mainstream. What’s the launch strategy for the hardware? The main thing we’ve learned as we’ve planned for PSVR is that getting the headset into the hands of players is fundamental, as this is the only way to really understand the power of PlayStation VR and what it adds to the players’ gaming experience. Our Future of Play Tour kicks off this month, and we very much see this as being a series of regional launch events taking place across the country. You have a sizeable launch line-up. What games or game do you expect will be the most popular to begin with? PlayStation VR Worlds is a brilliant introduction to the power of PlayStation VR and it’s thrilling to be able to get that to people – it contains a number of the experiences we’ve been using to showcase PSVR and was developed here in London. Battlezone and RIGS are also fantastic showcases of how full games have a natural home on PlayStation VR. We’re also thrilled to have such strong third party support and we expect the likes of Batman: Arkham VR to do really well – who wouldn’t want to be the Dark Knight? Given the number of titles available before the end of the year, though, there really is going to be something to satisfy a broad range of tastes. Going back to the marketing campaign, what else can we expect?

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PlayStation’s Whitaker expects the majority of VR headsets to be bought by PS4 early adopters

Trial is really our focus. You can only do so much by telling people how good the experience is, so we’ll be getting as many people as we can playing PlayStation VR in September and October. Of course, we need to make sure that we can amplify these trial experiences to those who can’t make it to the Future of Play Tour, so that will be another significant focus of the digital activity, as well as using our own channels like PlayStation Access to demonstrate what it’s like to play a range of titles. We’ll also be showcasing a range of the well-known and new IP available on PS VR in a launch asset worthy of the new tech.

PlayStation VR has been tipped as the device that will bring VR the to masses, and we are in a strong position to turn this prediction into a reality.

How will you be positioning VR this Christmas? Will it be the major PlayStation product, the must have Christmas item? Or is it going to be 2017 when you expect the momentum to really begin? Our campaign this year will focus on The Future of Play, which represents a number of PlayStation products, all of which

Tom Whitaker, PlayStation

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What are you expecting to see once consumers get hands on with the headsets and its software? This has already started, in terms of how players have reacted whenever we’ve demoed the hardware. The response, across a range of software, has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’d expect this to continue as the range of software grows post-launch, with the likes of Farpoint and Resident Evil 7. When people take off the headset for the first time, there really is a genuine sense of amazement about what they’ve experienced, which is great to see and shows how immersive the PlayStation VR experience is. It will also be interesting to see how PlayStation VR titles go down on Twitch. Watching a 2D stream won’t replicate the experience of VR but we’re sure people will try and explain the experience as best they can. How do you think PlayStation VR fits within the wider VR industry? PlayStation VR has been tipped by a number of experts as the device that will bring VR to the masses and given the strength of the offering – the number of titles out this year, the price, the install base and the ease of the use – we think that we are in a strong position to turn this prediction into a reality.

September 30th 2016


PLAYSTATION VR THE DEVELOPERS

Is PlayStation going to dominate VR? With PlayStation VR launching in a matter of weeks, Alex Calvin speaks to some of the studios making games for the new hardware to see what developing for the tech is like and how they think it will perform at launch

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fter years of hype and promise, VR finally became a reality for consumers in 2016. The year kicked off with the PC-based and expensive Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets rolling out. And in just a few weeks virtual reality is coming to the console space in the form of PlayStation VR. Many developers have told MCV that making games for this hardware isn’t overly different to the other virtual reality tech on the market – but there are some advantages to Sony’s hardware. “When you develop for a console, you know that the output is going to be the same for everyone,” Flavio Parenti, CEO of Loading Human developer Untold Games. “You don’t have to worry about people having different graphic cards, which can lead to problems on PC. People are going to play exactly what you have built for them. This is another thing that for an experience such as VR, that has so many limitations to do with hardware, frame rates, all that stuff, it’s a big deal to be in control of the output.” REALITY CHECK With VR being a new medium and a new technology, it has posed a number of challenges for developers making games. Many tropes of ’traditional’ game design simply do not work with the immersion granted by VR. “This is an entirely new paradigm in game design especially. I liken it the progression from Wolfenstein

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to Doom to Quake,” Simon Harris, the producer of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Tumble VR studio Supermassive. “We went through everything being completely 2D to suddenly introducing the concept of depth to the point where we bring in proper 3D worlds. As we went through learnings and hardware transitions we had to think about game design in a completely different way. “Now VR is bringing what we thought we knew as 3D into a whole new way of doing things. Everything from the input mechanisms to understanding the biomechanics of how the body works and how you can make experiences more comfortable to really designing in 3D. Previously we built 3D worlds, but we knew you were either focused on a character in the screen or have a very specific view cone in a firstperson game. You orientated your game and world to help the player with that. Now suddenly you are in a position where you’re really putting the player in the world where they can look around and they pick things up and interact with them. There are some subtle changes that have tripped us up and we have to think about how we present these experiences in a way that people intuitively expect and make everything tactile even though all they are doing is holding a controller.” Crytek’s Elijah Freeman, executive producer on Robinson: The Journey,

We’re very bullish about PlayStation VR. It will be the leading ‘high-end’ VR headset for the near future. Patrick O’Luanaigh, nDreams

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adds: “VR is a new medium. Although we can use best practices from our previous games, we need to test all of our assumptions again, and we have new and unique challenges to solve. This is an exciting time in game development. The technical requirements to deliver a great VR experience are obviously challenging. For Robinson we need to hit a consistent 60 frames per second or 120fps reprojected on both screens.” TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES The technical side of development has become a real focus for virtual reality developers. With a regular 2D game, a constant frame rate is ideal, but not essential. But with VR, a frame rate needs to be high and constant – a single drop can trigger motion sickness in users. “We really pay attention to getting the technical details right because if you have latency or lag in VR game, it has an effect beyond annoyance,” Eve Valykrie brand manager at CCP Ryan Geddes says. “In a 2D game, if you have latency or lag, you notice a visual impairment that hampers your ability to enjoy the game to its fullest potential. If you have latency or lag in VR, if it’s bad enough it can make you want to leave the experience altogether. We try to avoid that at all costs. We’ve been doing VR for a while. There are always going to be bugs, there are always going to be issues that arises.” nDreams is the company behind The Assembly. Its CEO Patrick

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THE DEVELOPERS PLAYSTATION VR

(Above left to right): Crytek’s Jackson, Untold’s Parenti, nDreams’ O’Luanaigh, CCP’s Geddes and Supermassive’s Harris

O’Luanaigh says that VR games need to be optimised from the start of development. Normally this process takes place very close to the end of development, but due to the importance of a steady frame rate, this is a much more important consideration with VR. “We’ve come up with internal tools and a QA process to rapidly identify any areas in our games where the frame rate is dropping and address these issues instantly,” he says. “We run automatic tests overnight and utilise some pretty ingenious solutions. Sony’s certification process is there to make sure that all VR games that launch are high-quality, so won’t drop frames and make anyone feel ill – that has to be a superb thing for consumer confidence.” GREATNESS AWAITS With a price tag of £349 – and

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REALITY SCARES

requiring only a £259 PS4 instead of a £1,000 PC – PSVR potentially stands the best chance of success when it hits shelves next month. “We’re very bullish about PSVR,” O’Luanaigh says. “Sony have created a supremely comfortable headset and are launching it at a great price. For the 40m+ PS4 owners, you don’t require any additional hardware – just plug in the headset and camera it just works. Plus, you don’t need lots of space. Furthermore, the quality of the games is incredibly high – we particularly love Sony’s Playroom VR social games. For these reasons, we think PSVR will sell extremely well. What’s more, with multiple pre-orders having sold out already, that seems more than likely to us.” He continues: “It will be the leading ‘high-end’ VR headset for the near future given the fact that

ONE of the launch titles for PlayStation VR is a spin-off to Supermassive Games’ PlayStation 4 horror title Until Dawn called Rush of Blood. It sees players trapped on a terrifying rollercoaster that has them confront fears such as spiders. With the extra immersion provided by virtual reality, experiences have the potential to be much scarier – but producer Simon Harris says he’s seen no evidence of this during Rush of Blood’s development. “It’s something we have been asked about a few times,” he says. “One of the things we built when we made Until Dawn was a test that we used to understand whether we were doing a good enough job

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of building up tension and horror. We had a setup that uses galvanic skin response monitors and we could analyse people and understand what made them tense and how they reacted when they were surprised. We don’t have any data from Until Dawn that suggests that that experience of being scared is any worse in VR. However, what VR gives us is some really cool tools and things that you don’t have with a traditional game, such as immersion, to set up those things. Everyone is so individual and different things trigger different reactions in different people. So you get some people that can watch a film and will jump at everything. There are others who will be caught out by nothing.”

September 30th 2016


PLAYSTATION VR THE DEVELOPERS

THE LAUNCH LINE-UP Guerrilla Cambridge’s multiplayer title RIGS is a PSVR launch title

it’s a big launch with lots of units, plus Sony has such a compelling entertainment proposition at a great price without the need for a more expensive PC. However, it’s possible that once VR spreads into other areas – education, training, business and so on – we’ll see PC-based headsets overtake PSVR. Plus, mobile VR headsets are getting better all the time, so I’m not going to chance making any predictions beyond 2017.” Supermassive’s Harris adds: “There is a wonderful opportunity here for companies to take the leadership in the virtual reality space. Sony is delivering a very competitivelypriced product to the massive PS4 audience. “There’s this huge audience to whom Sony is saying: ‘Here’s this new experience, this is the price point, we’d love you to come on board’. Then it becomes the responsibility for studios like us to provide really amazing things for people to come and play, which is at the end of the day is a very significant aspect to whether consumer makes the decision to go spend that money on the hardware. “Everyone who tries VR is blown away by it. It’s so completely

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Sony announced at E3 2016 that over 50 titles are coming to PlayStation VR before the end of the year, but what’s available on Day One? MCV rounds up the hardware’s launch line-up different to what a lot of people are expecting – they may have thought it’s the next fad but it really is different.”

BATMAN: ARKHAM VR Warner Bros Gamers can put on the cape and cowl of the Caped Crusader with this VR experience from Batman Arkham studio Rocksteady.

TOP DOG Untold’s Parenti goes as far as to say that PlayStation VR could be the benchmark that virtual reality developers will aim for. “We expect PlayStation VR to be a market leader,” he says. “We don’t know how big the market is or how big PSVR will be, what the attach rate between PlayStation 4 consoles and PSVR will be and so on. But the sweet deal that Sony is giving to the players – £349 and you get a full VR experience – is amazing. For just half the price of the others you get everything. You don’t have to edit your files or stuff or make it work by installing new driver. The PC – as usual – is not very straight forward. It’s getting easier and easier because Oculus and Vive offer easy to use software, it’s a process that requires some technical abilities. “That’s where Sony is the big player: it will deliver something that doesn’t require any technical knowledge to have a VR experience which works flawlessly.”

BATTLEZONE Rebellion The UK studio has revived this classic Atari tank combat game for PlayStation VR

UNTIL DAWN: RUSH OF BLOOD Sony Following last year’s horror title Until Dawn, developer Supermassive has made a VR experience spin-off that sees players trapped on a terrifying rollercoaster.

HUSTLE KINGS VR Sony Players can become the champion of the pool hall in this sports simulation.

LOADING HUMAN Maximum Games Untold Games is launching the first part of its episodic sci-fi adventure game.

PLAYSTATION VR WORLDS Sony This release packages together five PlayStation VR experiences – gamers can rob a bank in The London Heist or dive under the sea with Ocean Descent.

EVE VALYKRIE Sony Set in the Eve Online universe, Valykrie has players taking part in intense sci-fi dogfights.

RIGS Sony Guerrilla Cambridge has been hard at work on RIGS, a multiplayer team deathmatch release that sees consumers controlling armoured robots. TUMBLE VR Sony From Until Dawn developer

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Supermassive, Tumble VR is a physics-based puzzle title that has players completing a gauntlet of tests.

REZ INFINITE Sony The classic and trippy PS2 and Dreamcast cult classic title has made the leap to PlayStation VR. Super Stardust Ultra VR Sony Fans of Housemarque’s colourful shoot-em-up series will soon be able to play it in virtual reality.

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INTERVIEW NICK CHANNON, EA

The next beautiful game As FIFA 17 hits stores, Alex Calvin catches up with the game’s senior producer Nick Channon to chat about the wealth of changes EA has made, as well as the football blockbuster’s place in Xbox’s European plans

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here’s a lot to talk about with this year’s entry in the FIFA series. The developers added in a single player story mode – The Journey – that tells the tail of an up-and-coming footballer and features Mass Effect-style dialogue choices. Then there’s the small matter of the studio opting to move from the Ignite engine to DICE’s Frostbite. “This is the biggest FIFA we have ever made, we have a new engine, which is two/two-anda-half years in the making, and that’s allowed us to do a new mode,” senior producer Nick Channon says. “The reaction has been universally positive.” CHANGING GEARS The decision to switch engine was not one that EA took lightly. After all, just three years ago the publisher was pushing Ignite as

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its next-gen sports engine. But the move to Frostbite has allowed the developers to try new things. It’s let them collaborate with other EA studios using the tech. “Any time you go to a new engine it’s never easy. With new technology, be it a new console or a new engine, it’s always a challenge,” Channon explains. “A lot of it is learning the new tech. The great thing about Frostbite is the fact that as a company we have lots of people using it. We had a lot of help from DICE, mainly that studio’s Frostbite engine team. “I won’t lie and say it’s easy. We have been working on it for two years, but what was great was a lot of different areas of the company came together to help us make FIFA 17. Ultimately the reason we did it was it’s a great game engine but it also means we can collaborate more.

Within the company we always talk to the different teams, we have great relationships when it comes to sharing ideas but now we’re on the same tech, those ideas can now be much more useful; we can talk about how to do various aspects of the engine. “We actually asked the team at DICE for help on techniques involving lighting, what elements it uses and so on. We’ve added a lot more atmospherics to the game and much of that comes from the techniques DICE uses. “Clearly, DICE dominates an entirely different genre [firstperson shooters] so you’d think there’s not much that we can share, but just the philosophy of Nick Channon, EA how they do things has given us a lot of food for thought about what we can do, both this year and beyond.” Story Mode and the change in engine were announced during

All we can do is make a great game and that’s always our foucs. But it’s hugely gratifying to be such a big part of Xbox’s European strategy.

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NICK CHANNON, EA INTERVIEW

This year’s FIFA adds a singleplayer story mode

E3 this year. At Gamescom, the publisher unveiled the next big change for FIFA 17 – additions to the series’ Ultimate Team mode. “We wanted to do a few things,” Channon says. “Squad Building Challenge is an interesting addition – you don’t need to use the main game; you can use the companion app for it. That was something different: people wanted to have an experience that didn’t just involve playing the main game. “It has core mechanics where you can really use the players that you wouldn’t normally use within your club to fulfil a challenge and be rewarded for it. It’s a very different take. “We then wanted to create a mode that enhanced the depth and engagement of playing and give our core players something beyond Seasons – they’ve been asking for that for a while now. They talked about doing an extra level or five divisions for elite players. We looked at that and really thought about creating a mode that everyone could play and enjoy but also rewarded those elite players. There are daily tournaments where you can go in and play five days of the week and there’s criteria to win that carries you do to the weekend. “Once you qualify everyone comes to play as many games www.mcvuk.com

as you can and go up onto a leaderboard. Those are aggregated into a monthly and we are starting to add a lot more depth into more competitive aspects. There will be some live events as well.”

ROCKET POWERED

This is the biggest FIFA game we have ever done.

TAKING EUROPE In addition to this year’s FIFA boasting a wealth of additions, Microsoft announced at Gamescom that the title was going to be bundled with its new Xbox One S console. Speaking to MCV, marketing chief Aaron Greenberg said that FIFA was core to the firm’s push in Europe. “As a development team, we don’t really get involved in bundles and things like that. But it’s cool any time your game is thought of in that way,” Channon says. “If you see someone wanting to bundle your game with their machine, that’s pretty cool. For us to be seen in that light and for our game as to be seen as something cool, that gives us a lot of pride.” He continues: “All we can do is make a great game and that’s what we’ll always focus on. But it’s hugely gratifying for us and we take it as a compliment. But it’s also something we don’t take for granted. “We have to keep innovating and developing and make it the best FIFA we can.”

Nick Channon, EA

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ONE of biggest football releases of 2015 – in terms of headlines at least – was Psyonix’s Rocket League, a title that took the beautiful game, made it five-a-side where the players were cars. The title was a big seller, making more than $110m so far, and showed there was an audience for more arcadey non-simulation football titles. EA has in fact released titles like this in the past, such as its FIFA Street . “FIFA will always be the sim game,” senior producer Nick Channon says. “We don’t want to be everything to everybody. FIFA is an authentic 11 vs. 11 football sim. As for arcade mode or FIFA Street, that’s a franchise that is important to us. We have released it a number of times in the past. Right now it’s not something we’re talking about, so we have nothing to announce or say, but it’s certainly a franchise we like and has done well in the past. But beyond that, there isn’t much to say. All I can say, if we were going to go down the arcade route, it wouldn’t be within FIFA.”

September 30th 2016


OPINION

OPINION

How are advertisers making the most of the mobile gaming revolution? is; whether it be to build awareness or create engagement.

Generation Media digital media executive Sam Clutterbuck discusses how ad strategies have evolved alongside the boom in mobile gaming

INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES In 2014, the Internet Advertising Bureau highlighted that standard display ads come out on top when trying to create brand awareness. What tends to require a more significant investment, but can provide realism within the game itself, is in-game branded content or advertising. This can lead to positive association of the advertiser. Whether it be in-game billboards or product placements, this method can be mutually beneficial to publishers and advertisers alike. It can help to make gameplay more realistic, provide real-world context and even help with the game navigation. Relevancy is key to making this strategy a success. This works perfectly with sports franchises such as FIFA. With the latest edition being released this week, brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma can benefit from

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he growth of mobile gaming in the past few years is hardly uncharted territory, but even to the most mobile savvy among us, the numbers are staggering. In 2013, eight per cent of the population had downloaded a gaming app on their mobile or tablet, whereas this year this figure has increased to 18 per cent - a 120 per cent increase. With the gaming landscape evolving, it is our responsibility as a company to understand the rapid mobile adoption and use insight to predict future trends. In turn, our ad placements for the brands we represent should engage the user with content that will be of interest, elevate the gaming experience and not disrupt users whilst impacting their purchasing decisions. This, in principle, is a fine balancing act which requires data, insight and strategic planning. When assessing mobile games, it is important to see it as a separate category to core gaming. With 40 per cent of releases being played on a mobile device, and with user acceptance that free mobile titles will have adverts (eight in 10 prefer a free mobile game with ads rather than paying for an ad free version) opportunities to engage users with brands are ample. It all depends on what the objective of the campaign

Relevancy of the brand is key to ensuring that the ads elevate the gameplay. Sam Clutterbuck, Generation Media

Eight in 10 players prefer a free mobile game with ads rather than paying for an ad free version

their association with the sport by advertising in FIFA’s mobile rendition. What we are seeing more and more of is investment into rewarded content from brands, allowing users to gain points, unlock new features or accumulate virtual currency in exchange for user’s interaction with video ads. These tend to be opt-in but are seeing unprecedented awareness, ad recall and message association. The combination of the immersive focused nature of gaming, the positive connotation with the brand due to the reward means that we are looking at an ad format that engages the user, elevates the gameplay, is not disruptive and influences purchase decision. A recent study by Tapjoy and ComScore reviewed the best practise for mobile gaming ad strategy by analysing 14 brand campaigns over a two year period. The study showed that by integrating rewarded ad experiences into mobile games, brands saw uplift in ‘brand favourability’, ‘likelihood to recommend’ and ‘purchase/ consideration intent’ rise two or threefold. With mobile being the fastest growing element of digital online ad spend it is imperative to invest in both proven and innovative strategy in the mobile gaming space. While in-game can create positive brand association and engagement, it is also important to include formats such as display due to cost efficiencies and reach factors. What is definitive is that relevancy of the brand is key to ensuring that the ads elevate the gameplay in conjunction with gamers building positive relationships with these brands.

Sources: Gameloft - GLADs Audience Infographic (May 2016) Facebook IQ – ‘The Game Plan: 5 Global Trends‘ (July (2016) IAB - Gaming Revolution (2014) Tapjoy & ComScore - Mobile ad campaigns analysed conducted from 2014 – 2015 (July 2016) September 30th 2016

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GARTH DEANGELIS, FIRAXIS INTERVIEW

XCOM’s console invasion This year’s brilliant PC game XCOM 2 is now making its way to consoles. Why has it taken so long? MCV asks lead producer Garth DeAngelis

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K Games is in the midst of what might be one of its busiest ever periods. The team is currently in the throws of launching seven games in six weeks, which began earlier in the month with the chart-topping BioShock: The Collection and will conclude at the end of October with Carnival Games VR. This week’s launch, however, might be the easiest release of them all. XCOM 2 is coming to consoles after already dominating the charts back in February on PC and winning plenty of critical plaudits in the process (it remains one of the highest rated PC titles of the year, with a Metacritic of 88). “We couldn’t be happier with how XCOM 2 turned out,” leader producer Garth DeAngelis says. “It’s a true sequel that expands on the original and delivers new features we had been wanting to add since XCOM: Enemy Unknown. We still see fans posting their soldier line-ups and talking about missions that went wrong for them. I’m honoured I got to help create this experience that encourages people to tell their stories.”

simple to control. The turn-based nature helps in this regard. “With each turn, the player has so many decisions to make, but all the time in the world to select their next action. This also means we can communicate more through the user interface since the player has the time to go through each option. If XCOM were an RTS, all the options and decisions at one given moment could be crippling.” He continues: “The biggest change to the console version is the controller input. It took a long time to get a control scheme that felt right. We played around with a load of ideas before we finalised the setup. What we landed on should feel comfortable and familiar to fans who played XCOM: Enemy Unknown with a controller.” Considering XCOM’s history with consoles – including the successful PS3 and Xbox 360 launch of XCOM: Enemy Unknown in 2012 – how come it took so long to bring XCOM 2 to the platforms?

XCOM 2 would not be the same game it is now had we developed PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions at the same time. Garth DeAngelis, Firaxis

A CONSOLE STRATEGY XCOM is a strategy game, which is a genre that has historically struggled on console, partly due to the control scheme (mouse and keyboard is typically more suited to the genre than a gamepad). YetXCOM has always enjoyed success on consoles, dating right back to 1995’s PlayStation port of the very first game in the series. “XCOM has deep gameplay that takes dozens of hours to master, but it’s also an experience that’s

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“After finishing up XCOM: Enemy Unknown, there were substantial improvements to the game we wanted to make,” DeAngelis says. “We wanted to bring back procedural gameplay. This was something X-Com: UFO Defence had, but XCOM: Enemy Unknown didn’t. Getting that tech back was going to take time. Developing the game exclusively for PC first also meant we didn’t lose mindshare trying to develop for three systems all at once. XCOM 2 would not be the same game it is now had we developed PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions at the same time.” Going forwards the team at Firaxis is going to be implementing what it has learnt during the making of the console ports of XCOM 2 into the PC version. “We’re working on improving XCOM 2 as a whole and we’re learning new things every day. There are definitely fixes made for the console version that we’re interested in bringing to the PC edition.”

Developer Firaxis has placed an emphasis on getting the controls right for the console versions of XCOM 2

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September 30th 2016


INTERVIEW WRC 6

Rallying cry As WRC 6 is about to hit shelves, Kylotonn’s game director Alain Jarniou tells Marie Dealessandri about what the studio learnt from the ill-received WRC 5 and how they used this criticism to improve its successor

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fter five titles under the British banner of Evolution Studios, and five more instalments under the Italian wing of Milestone, the WRC franchise is now being developed by French studio Kylotonn for the second time. 2015’s WRC 5 was Kylotonn’s first foray into rally games and the critical reception was mixed. But Kylotonn’s game director Alain Jarniou has accepted this criticism and promises it was taken into account when the team moved on developing WRC 6. “One of the biggest challenge was to propose a massively renewed gaming experience and not just an update with new liveries and sponsors. As WRC 5 was the first rally game made by the team, we learnt a lot and collected a lot of feedback once the game was out. Then, the challenge was to transform all these feedbacks into improvements for WRC 6.” He continues: “For example, WRC 5 was considered as too permissive with large and short stages, without traps like in the real life. Here with WRC 6, all the stages have been reworked in order to deliver something closer to the reality with bumpy sections, rocks alongside the roads, much longer stages... The danger is everywhere in WRC 6.” THE FRENCH CONNECTION Published by Bigben, and distributed by PQube in the UK, WRC 6 is coming out on October 7th on PS4, Xbox One and PC – that’s almost exactly one year after WRC 5. “WRC games are the virtual depiction of the each WRC season so we could definitely create a game every season but the first objective is to propose a new

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WRC 6 will include longer stages, new features and improved graphics

experience each time and not just a yearly update of the assets,” Jarniou answers when asked if WRC could become an annual franchise. “As long as we are able to offer something new with major improvements, then, we can consider doing a new game.“ And Kylotonn worked hard to deliver improvements with this new instalment, he explains. “We added new features - splitscreen multiplayer, enhanced career mode -, new content - 11 Super Special Stages, a brand new rally - and used new tools to improve the graphics and the physics more bumpy roads, much more vegetation alongside the road... “I think we achieved our main goal and I’m pretty sure that the players will feel the difference with other WRC titles.” As a consequence, Kylotonn expects WRC 6 to perform at least as well as its predecessor. “With WRC 5, we sold 700.000 copies worldwide. Of course, the idea with WRC 6 is to do at least the same numbers,” Jarniou says.

We learnt a lot from WRC 5 and the challenge was to transform the feedback into improvements for WRC 6. Alain Jarniou, Kylotonn

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”The release of WRC 5 also helped us to gather all the feedbacks and perfectly understand what our players are asking for. So, in terms of critics, the experience we deliver meets our players’ requests.” In order to meet these requests, Kylotonn also signed a development partnership with accessories company Thrusmaster in order to achieve entire compatibility between the wheels and pedals made by the firm and WRC 6. “This is part of the French connection,” Jarniou laughs. “Beyond the geographical synergies, it was quite natural to partner with one of the most important racing peripherals manufacturer, which also has an interest in eSports.” And eSports appears to be the new focus for the WRC franchise. “There is definitely an eSports potential for WRC games, and being the first to propose a virtual tournament alongside to the real championship was really exciting,” Jarniou confirms, hinting at the WRC eSports tournament that ran alongside the 2016 rally season. “The feedback we received from the players during the first season were really positive and prompt us into moving forward with eSports.” Between the new content, the accessories deal and the eSports focus, Kylotonn seems to be hooked on rally games now, and the studio is eager to prove its new expertise with WRC 6. “Rallying is a spirit, it’s not just racing,” Jarniou concludes. “It’s not like a track game where you can learn by heart every single curve after five or ten laps. The diversity and the danger, which make the WRC so spectacular, are one of the strengths.”

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INTERVIEW RIK ALEXANDER, SUPER PUNK

INDIE INTERVIEW Punk ain’t dead AppCrowd was set up in 2011 as a work-for-hire studio, handling the Steam edition of Flight Simulator. But in 2015, boss Rik Alexander started a sub brand, Super Punk, which just released its first title. Alex Calvin reports

R

ik Alexander is not a new addition to the games industry. In fact, he’s been in games for 19 years. Starting off at Hasbro working on the likes of Rollercoaster Tycoon, Risk, Scrabble and My Little Pony. He then had stints at Climax and Acclaim before launching his own company, Monumental, which was going well until the markets it specialised in – MMOs and racing games – diminished in size. Undeterred, he set up AppCrowd, in 2011, and had been doing work for-hire-projects for years. But at the start of 2015, AppCrowd spawned another developer called Super Punk, which released its first independent project, The Last Leviathan, on Steam earlier this year. “The big difference between work-for-hire and making your own game is with the former you only have to go convince five or ten people that you are doing the right thing,” Alexander says. “If you can do that, you can carry on and hope they are doing their job and talking to the customers. If they have done their job and we have done ours, then the game is a success and everything is great. Doing your own game, you have to talk to the customer. So we have done about 17,000 units. And there’s a big difference between talking to ten people and 17,000 people and convincing them you are doing the right thing. It was that relationship we really wanted, which was fundamentally scary but also very empowering.” IN THE SPOTLIGHT To launch The Last Leviathan, Super Punk took to Steam Greenlight in an attempt to see if there was genuine in interest in its project. “When we are making our own game and know we have customers who are going to decide whether it’s a hit or not, you have to do some sort of litmus test to see if your idea is any good,” Alexander says.

September 30th 2016

Super Punk’s The Last Leviathan went through Steam Greenlight and launched on Early Access earlier this year

What worries me when I’m making a game is whether anyone else will like it. Processes like Greenlight are very good because you can test consumer reaction. Rik Alexander, Super Punk

“The minimal viable product for a game has to be a demo of some sort, you can’t just put an idea out there and go: ‘Do you like that? Great, I’ll make it and guarantee a sale’ because there’s lots of things that go into it like the user experience, how it plays and how much fun it is. You’re in a certain bubble when you are developing the first bit anyway. “It’s quite difficult to read some of the opinions because you get a vocal minority. That does influence you and have you to take into consideration that this is a small number

26

of people comparatively and you have to realise that not everyone will think that. These 20 people who say they hate this one bit – is that a real indicator? You have to understand the data coming back to you.” Fortunately for Super Punk, the reception to The Last Leviathan was positive and it is now being sold via Steam’s Early Access scheme. “We had a great response, we got through Greenlight really quickly and had a five star review which put us in the top two per cent of all Greenlight projects,” Alexander says. “One of the reasons we started the game on PC and Steam specifically was Steam Spy due to its really valuable sales data, however accurate it was, that showed how successful things could be. When we looked into that, I found for the first time in ages a direct correlation between quality and sales. That doesn’t exist in many places. If you look on mobile games, you can have the best game in the world and no-one will know about it unless you have a marketing push. “Generally it’s not so much about the quality of the game that gets you up into the charts, but on Steam there’s a direct correlation as far as I can tell from the data I’ve looked at.”

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MARKETPLACE

SHELF LIFE Ben Schofield from Playtime Nottingham tells MCV about his expectations for Sony’s PlayStation VR and PlayStation 4 Pro and about the performance of the Xbox One S sor far How has business been lately? It’s been okay. A bit quieter than I would like it, but some of the new releases have done quite well, students are back, retro stuff is selling well, so that’s not bad at all. What games in particular have you been selling well recently? Battleship has been doing rather well and No Man’s Sky did very well. Is there any challenge you are facing at the moment?

PRE-ORDER CHARTS

PlayStation 4 Pro and most people also want to pick up the Slim. So there seems to be some nice interest, especially on the PS4 - the Xbox One has had some interest because it has a Blu-ray player but there’s always been more interest in the PS4.

Obviously there’s the challenge from the online stuff that we’re trying to compete with. Amazon seems to have dropped prices on new release’s pre-orders, which is not good news for anybody I think. I think it’s competition from all sides really, from CeX with their trades or GAME with their offers.

The Xbox One S just came out is that performing well so far? So far, yes. But, again, I think it didn’t help that Amazon ditched the price two days ago. But there has been

What are your expectations for the mid-generation upgrades of the Xbox One and PS4? I have quite a good interest on the

PS VR is not expensive for what it is. In fact it’s very reasonable if you compare it to any other VR headsets. Ben Schofield, Playtime Nottingham

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UPLOADING The latest digital releases coming to market

VIRGINIA

ALONG THE EDGE

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Twin Peaks-inspired narrative title just hit PS4, Xbox One and Steam

The handmade interactive graphic novel arrives on Steam soon

This colorful twin-stick shooter will land on Steam mid-October

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September 30th 2016

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some interest with the Xbox One S that came out in August - the few we had did very well and it seemed to be a big interest. It’s quite positive. What games are you looking forward to? PlayStation VR, very much. I also think Watch Dogs 2 and Mafia III will do well. Pokémon should do fine. I could also say FIFA and Call of Duty, as we obviously expect them to do well. But I’m very much looking forward to PlayStation VR.

Phone: 0115 950 4712 Website: www.playtime.co.uk

Do you think it will sell well? I hope so. Looking at the interest that we’ve got, I think the main point is the people - it’s obviously a new technology and it’s not expensive for what it is, in fact it’s very reasonable if you compare it to any other VR headsets, but it’s still quite an expensive amount to pay out. But the people that actually had a go on one like it a lot, so it requires a bit more hands on really. If people have a chance to give it a go I think they will like it a lot.

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

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September 30th 2016


MARIO

MARIO 2016 is another busy year for the world’s most famous plumber, so Marie Dealessandri decided it was time to take a look at the newest merchandise in Mario’s universe

FOLLOWING Pokémon’s footsteps, Mario is finally making the leap to mobile. In what might be the most unexpected appearance of the year, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto announced it himself during Apple’s iPhone 7 conference at the beginning of the month. Scheduled for release in December, Super Mario Run will arrive just in time for Christmas – meaning retailers should probably

One of the reasons we focused on iPhone first was the stability of the platform. Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo

start filling their shelves with even more Mario merchandise and accessories than usual, to meet a possible rise in demand as a new category of gamers could (re)discover Nintendo’s hero. The title will be an iOS exclusive for a while but will launch on Android at a later date, which has not been revealed yet. “One of the reasons we focused on iPhone first was the stability of the platform,” Miyamoto told Yahoo. “And that’s not to say that Android

PAPER MARIO: COLOR SPLASH PACK Paper Mario: Color Splash has already met various controversies, including one on an alleged Gamergate reference (that Nintendo denied) and another one disapproving of its gameplay, leading to a petition demanding nothing less than its cancellation. But this series has always been popular in the end and Nintendo already has the perfect product to support its players’ addiction to collectibles: this bundle includes the game, a sticker sheet and a mushroom key ring. SRP: £39.99 Manufacturer: Nintendo Distributor: Open Contact: 01753 483700

UNO SUPER MARIO

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Here’s a variation of the classic card game, which includes characters from the Mario universe.

Released for Mario’s 30th anniversary and the launch of Mario Maker, this Amiibo will hopefully be compatible with the upcoming 3DS version.

Nintendo unveiled this collector figurine last July. Inspired by Super Mario 3D World, it’s nearly 40 cm tall.

SRP: $5.99 (£4.50) Manufacturer: Mattel Distributor: Mattel Contact: 01628 500 303

SRP: £10.99 Manufacturer: Nintendo Distributor: Open Contact: 01753 483700

SRP: £149.99 Manufacturer: Nintendo Distributor: Open Contact: 01753 483700

September 30th 2016

30

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MARIO Sponsored by

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devices don’t have the same level of responsiveness. But because there are so many Android devices, trying to engineer the game to work across them all requires quite a lot of time.” But Super Mario Run will not be the only appearance of everyone’s favourite plumber this year. Mario Party Star Rush and Paper Mario: Color Splash both hit shelves on October 7th. The first one will be the 15th iteration in the Mario Party franchise and, like its

predecessor Mario Party: Island Tour, it’s launching on 3DS only. Meanwhile, Paper Mario: Color Splash will launch on Wii U and is the fifth instalment in the Paper Mario series. In addition, during a Nintendo Direct at the beginning of the month, the platform holder also announced that Super Mario Maker will be making the jump from Wii U to 3DS on December 2nd – but, surprisingly, it won’t support 3D, or online level sharing.

VANS NINTENDO AUTHENTIC SHOES This Summer, Nintendo partnered with Vans to create an exclusive collection inspired by the platform holder’s most beloved characters. Of course, Mario is part of the collection, for example with this pair of shoes. But Vans also created backpacks, hoodies, hats, T-shirts, and even socks and flip-flops for Mario fans to purchase.

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This cushion is part of the latest merchandise range Nintendo released, which also includes Mario Tanooki, Cat and Squirrel soft toys.

Paper Mario and Paper Luigi make the jump to real life with these stickers – Star Spirits and powers-ups not included.

Yoshi, Luigi, Peach and, of course, Mario are ready to invade the players’ kitchen cupboards.

SRP: £18.99 Manufacturer: Nintendo Distributor: Open Contact: 01753 483700

SRP: £5.50 Manufacturer: Pick it and Stick it Distributor: Etsy Contact: wholesalepartnerships@etsy.com

SRP: €8 (£6.80) Manufacturer: Abysse Corp Distributor: Abysse Corp Contact: contact@abyssecorp.com

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September 30th 2016


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GAMING MERCHANDISE UK sources and distributes the finest in officially-licensed gaming merchandise from all over the globe. We work closely with publishing and manufacturing partners worldwide to ensure we can bring to the industry what we feel is the best in sector range of merchandise available in the UK marketplace. Established in 2013 but with many years of experience in the industry, we’ve been working with dozens of retailers, from the smallest independents to major multinationals, supplying them with a carefully curated yet comprehensive range of merch including t-shirts, hoodies, caps, beanies and much more. We support all of the greatest video game franchises from throughout video game history. We’re a one-stop shop for all gaming merch retailers.

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Marketing manager Lily Molina talks about the growth of BioWorld Europe’s sales and license portfolio Tell us about your company. BioWorld Europe is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of licensed apparel and accessories. Our core beliefs are putting innovative design first, creating deep and meaningful partner relationships, making sure our products are faithful extensions to our partner’s brands and always being on the forefront in the creation of relevant retail solutions. What successes have you seen recently? We have seen strong, consistent

What are you currently working on? Right now, we are extending Nintendo, Pokémon, PlayStation and Zelda’s existing collections with jewellery, winter accessories, and ladies apparel. We are also developing an extensive collection for Watch Dogs 2 and Resident Evil VII.

growth in our sales numbers, thanks to the creation of smart business alliances and the broadening of our license portfolio. Brands like Pokémon and Nintendo, have driven part of that growth, and we have made sure to reap the success of that franchise in the most efficient way. Through firm collaborations with retail partners, we have been able to create fresh and inventive products categories, such as jewellery, homeware and female apparel. These new formats have been applied to brands like Nintendo, Star Wars and Marvel.

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DISC REPAIR

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September 30th 2016

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34

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DIRECTORY

ENQUIRIES CONOR TALLON Tel: 02073 546000 ctallon@nbmedia.com

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September 30th 2016


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Sponsored by

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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 www.mcvuk.com

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September 30th 2016


FACTFILE TAIWAN Sponsored by

INTERNATIONAL FACTFILE: TAIWAN Population: 23,398,000 Capital City: Taipei Currency: New Taiwan dollar (NT$) GDP (Per Capita): $39,600 KEY RETAILERS Guanghua Digital Plaza, Wan Nien Building, K-Mall, KT, Street Game Mall, Syntrend, Toys’R’Us, Nova, Taipei City Mall: Electronic Information Quarter, Fayaque, Rainbow 3C, Tek Source, PCHome, San Jing

TOP DEVELOPERS Blizzard Taiwan, Seed Studio, Softstar, Userjoy, Winking, XPEC PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION Activision Blizzard, Sony, Microsoft, Koei Tecmo, Sega

TOP DISTRIBUTORS LGE, Garena , Shanda Games, GameMart

ALTHOUGH it’s officially part of China, Taiwan is de facto a sovereign state with administrative and political independence, and consequently has its own distinct video games market. It’s actually the 15th biggest market worldwide, according to data firm Newzoo, with $987m (£754m) generated in global game revenues as of June 2016. It’s the fourth biggest games market in Asia after China, Japan and South Korea. The Taiwanese games market is very healthy and had a 17.7 per cent per cent growth year-onyear in 2015, reaching $695m (£531m) in revenues that year. The country has an online population of 20m people, as well as 12.8m gamers, Newzoo further reports. 47 per cent of them spend an average of $116.60 (£89) annually on games, which is “slightly above the average for Asia Pacific,” the data company says. Sony is leader of the

September 30th 2016

Taiwan is the 15th biggest games market in the world, with revenues of $987m. Taiwanese market, Euromonitor adds, with a retail value share of 54 per cent in 2015. The company also “registered the strongest increase in value sales within video games hardware of 16 per cent in 2015.” Euromonitor adds that the PlayStation 4’s 18 per cent price cut, which occurred in October 2015, also helped the platform holder to achieve such a performance. “Video games in Taiwan is anticipated to record a value compound annual growth rate of eight per cent to reach NT$43.7 billion (£1,1bn) by 2020,” the report concludes.

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TAIWAN FACTFILE

MEANWHILE IN... ICELAND Electronic Arts and the Icelandic national football association failed to agree on a licencing fee to feature the national team in FIFA 17 THE Iceland football team will not be featured in FIFA 17, due to a cash row with EA. The BBC revealed last week that the publisher offered $15,000 (about £11,640) to Iceland’s football association, the KSI, to acquire the rights to the licence - an offer that the KSI considered too low. KSI president Geir Thorsteinsson explained: “They are the ones buying these rights and they almost want it for free. The performance at the Euros show that we are quite a good team and many would like to play with our team. It’s sad for the players but the criticism

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should be towards EA Sports.” He added: “I really feel if we are giving away rights, or offering rights, it has to be proper negotiations and fair fees. I didn’t feel that this was

done in a fair and open manner.” Thorsteinsson also said the KSI made a counter offer, which was rejected by EA.

September 30th 2016


OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD This week the entire games industry descended upon Birmingham for 2016’s EGX THE MAIN EVENT AT games events, you tend to get two kinds of people. There are those who show up to play the latest releases and then there’s the die-hard fans dressed as their favourite characters. The quality of said costumes at this year’s EGX was, as always... variable. But all of them were better than MCV’s timeless portrayal of ‘sweaty games journalist at an expo’.

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD FOLLOWING a tough day’s work at the show on the Thursday, Gamer Network held an after party for the industry where everyone drank and was merry. You may have been there. Yes, you. Here are some pics to help jog your alcohol-addled memory.

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September 30th 2016


OFF THE RECORD

Green Man Gaming Asks...

The creator of Dark Souls, From Software, is making three new games, what existing franchise would you like to see the company tackle? #GMGasks

Each week Green Man Gaming asks the Twitter community what they think about the biggest gaming topics trending today.

A sequel to Metal Wolf Chaos, preferably about Michael Wilson running for re-election.

A Telltale style game

@Kherubim2k

@mupchu777

Berserk

Tenchu

@8Hyperspace

@OllyOllyBennett

A third person Star Wars game like Jedi Outcast

Hmm... Valkyrie Profile

@mcwik

@blackmagemasher

Tag your reply with #GMGasks to have your say!

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BOLSTER YOUR RANKS WITH THREE THEMED DLC PACKS AVAILABLE TOGETHER FOR AN AMAZING DISCOUNTED PRICE EACH THEMED CONTENT PACK WILL ADD UNIQUE NEW TWISTS TO THE CORE GAME EXPERIENCE:

ALIEN HUNTERS Introduces new soldier customizations and gameplay themed around XCOM as an elite alien hunting unit. Face off against “Ruler” aliens with new, more powerful weapons and armor. Experience a new dramatic mission & confrontation.

ANARCHY’S CHILDREN This rebellion-themed content pack introduces more than 100 new exotic customizations for the entire arsenal of armors available to your XCOM soldiers. These options are purely cosmetic and do not alter the stats of a soldier.

SHEN’S LAST GIFT Investigate ADVENT’s “Lost Towers” facility where Chief Engineer Lily Shen accompanies your squad in search of her late father’s secretive final project. Discover a unique new soldier class complete with powerful new combat abilities, strategy mechanics, and customization options.

Requires XCOM 2. Game sold separately.


#XCOM2

©1994–2016 Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2K, Firaxis Games, XCOM, XCOM 2, and their respective logos are trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Unreal® Engine, Copyright 1998-2015, Epic Games, Inc. All other marks and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. “2”, “PlayStation” and “Ø” are registered trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

MCV894 September 30th  
MCV894 September 30th