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BYE BYE 2016 ISSUE 904 FRIDAY DECEMBER 9TH 2016

WE ROUND UP THIS YEAR’S BIGGEST GAMES AND EVENTS

S K L A T L I A T E R UK 17% SAY RED DEAD REDEMPTION IS THEIR MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2017

21%

29%

VOTED POKÉMON SUN AND MOON THEIR GAME OF 2016

64%

WANT MORE NEW IP IN THE COMING YEAR

BELIEVE VR’S LAUNCH IN 2016 HAS BEEN A SUCCESS

30%

VOTED MICROSOFT AS MOST SUPPORTIVE PUBLISHER

57% SAY PS4 AND PS4 PRO WILL RULE THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS

PLUS XBOX’S 2016 COMEBACK n CAPCOM TALKS RESIDENT EVIL 7 01 MCV904 Cover_V4.indd 1

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NEWS

Capcom targets 4m Day One sales for Resident Evil 7 Publisher’s EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant says pre-orders are strong for the survival horror title by Alex Calvin PUBLISHER Capcom has said that Resident Evil 7 will be its biggest launch on the current generation of hardware. Speaking to MCV, EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant said that the firm’s ambition is to sell 4m units in its first day on shelves. The exec cites strong pre-orders for the horror title. Resident Evil 7 was announced at E3 2016, and is launching on PS4, Xbox One and PC. “Commercially, [Resident Evil 7] is probably the biggest Capcom game we are releasing on the new machines,” Molant told MCV. “Ideally, we’d love to sell 4m on Day One globally. That would be great. Looking at what we see in the pre-orders and trends these days, we’re pretty confident we are going to get there. All the

Molant said Resident Evil 7 is the biggest Capcom game to release on new machines

signs that we have seen across the market, whether it’s from the UK or from other territories, are very positive so far. We’re not sitting back and relaxing at all because we want to push that. The confidence is there.” When asked about Resident Evil 7’s pre-orders, Molant was very bullish. “To be very frank, they’re very good,” he said. “Keeping in mind the real pre-order campaign started a week ago with the Steelbook announcement and some of the Collectors’ Edition announcement... before doing that, they were quite above what we were expecting. We’ve got the previews coming out and some more launching in December. On that front, we’re very happy.” You can read more about Resident Evil 7 on page 30

‘We want to do for eSports what Sky did for football’ by Alex Calvin AD&D, a new partnership formed by UK agency Attention Seekers and US events giants Done & Dusted, has said it wants to do for competitive gaming what Sky did for football. The firm has said that it wants to revolutionise how eSports is presented and make them more accessible to a mainstream audience. “I’d like to see us doing for competitive gaming what Sky did for football when they came to the UK. I don’t mean pumping it full of money and ruining the game, I mean the presentation of football,”

December 9th 2016

02 03 MCV904 News_V6.indd 1

Attention Seekers director Jason Wiltshire (below right) said. “I’d really like to see us go in and revolutionise how competitive gaming is presented. You look at some very popular triple-A titles that have had competitive gaming built around them, and look at the fraction of people who watch or engage with the competition, the broadcasts - it’s minuscule compared to the actual people investing in this game. “The opportunity is massive. If it’s right, the fans of these games will tune in and watch this as religiously as people watch football. But it’s about revolutionising the way that

broadcasters screen to people. That for me would be a key goal.” Furthermore – the new partnership wants to make its mark on the games scene by starting a brand new event for the sector. “In an ideal world, I’d love it if we were working with some stakeholders to create a new event from the ground up,” Done & Dusted CEO Simon Pizey (above right) said. “We’re in a space in the evolution of gaming that there’s definitely opportunity to do that and we want to work with brands and games companies to create those events.”

02

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07/12/2016 15:28


NEWS

Xbox: It’s been a challenging year for UK games market by Alex Calvin PLATFORM holder Xbox has said that 2016 has been a mixed year for the games market. UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle said that the performance of this year’s releases has varied wildly. A number of titles, including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2, Watch Dogs 2 and Dishonored 2 underperformed commercially when compared to their predecessors, something that Eagle blames on a congested release window and consumers having a finite amount of cash. “From a console point of view, we are very happy with our performance this year,” Eagle said.

THE EDITOR

“When you look at games, it’s been a mixed year to date if you look at sales success. What you see is that some titles, like FIFA, Battlefield 1 and Forza Horizon 3, have performed really well and others have really struggled to fulfil their potential. “It’s been a very congested window in recent weeks. People only have so much money in their wallet and it’s really hard for people to go out there and buy everything at once in a short period of time. I do believe that quality games in the end will find their audience over time, and I think they will continue to sell. It has been a challenging year for games for those reasons.” You can read our full interview with Harvey Eagle on page 24

TOMMOROW’S WORLDS

D

ecember used to be a time when dedicated gamers would settle down and put some serious hours into their purchases, while retailers and publishers moved their attention to more casual consumers, buying hardware and franchise titles in time for Christmas. It was a safe period, where one could sit back and take stock, if not yet actually stock take. That’s all changed, with the start of the month now host to the initial exchanges in the next battle. 2016’s big releases have barely settled on shelves, Black Friday is still a raw wound, yet the next salvo is incoming. The double whammy of The Game Awards and PlayStation Experience at the beginning of the month brings a bevy of competing trailers, all vying for gamers’ attention. Many of the games featured won’t even trouble 2017, while I’d be amazed if some managed to land in stores by the end of 2018 - I’m looking at you Death Stranding. How are consumers supposed to take this all in? It’s good to make gamers aware of new brands and to tease much-awaited titles, such as The Last of Us Part II. But to be constantly pushing their attention so far into the future seems potentially counterproductive. How many gamers are spending their time watching such events and replaying games by the likes of Kojima and Naughty Dog? Rather than investing in new titles that have only just been released.

Xbox’s Eagle said the congested release schedule in recent weeks hasn’t helped the games market

SPONSORED BY

PRE-ORDER TOP 10

1

HORIZON ZERO DAWN (PS4)

2

Persona 5: Collectors (PS4)

3

South Park The Fractured But Whole - Inc Stick of Truth (PS4)

4

Nintendo Switch Console

5

Final Fantasy VII (PS4)

6

The Last Guardian: Collectors Edition (PS4)

7

Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4)

SONY

Deep Silver Ubisoft Nintendo Square Enix Sony EA

8

Hitman (PS4)

9

Ghost Recon Wildlands Inc The Peruvian Connection DLC (PS4)

Ubisoft

10

Ghost Recon Wildlands Inc The Peruvian Connection DLC (XO)

Ubisoft

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Square Enix

03

Constantly pushing gamers’ attention so far into the future seems potentially counterproductive. Still, the figures on YouTube seem to support the desire for new shiny things to coo at around this time of year, so it looks like both events are here to stay for the foreseeable future. NEW YEAR, NEW MCV This issue draws 2016 to a close for myself and the team. It’s been a short year from my point of view, just a handful of issues, but a huge thanks to Alex and Marie for their yearlong efforts. Speaking of the team, we’re now complete, with our news editor Katharine Byrne starting this week. We have big plans for 2017. The MCV brand is overdue an overhaul, which we’ll be starting on during our Christmas break, so you’ll see a new layout, new sections, new content and much more when we return in the New Year. We’ll be expanding our online content, launching a refreshed daily newsletter, reaching out more regularly via social media, and putting on our best events ever. If you have any feedback on MCV, on what you want from it, or don’t want, on what we should cover, and leave be – any axe you wish to grind, however you wish to grind it, please get in touch with me at sbarton@nbmedia.com.

December 9th 2016

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ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY

WHO DID WE SPEAK TO? This year, MCV spoke to more than 170 retailers for its survey. These included GAME, Amazon, The Hut Group, GamesNation, GameSeek, Sholing Video, Discover, The Game Collection, Games Centre, Eclipse Home Entertainment, Barkman Computers, Console Magic, Chips, Playtime Video Games, Shogun Games, Insane Games, Game On, Games’n’Gear, Planet

Games, Cool Spot Gaming, Console Connections, Bits and Pieces, Wayne’s Computer and Games, Stan’s Games Exchange, Game Save, Games Exchange, Console Yourself, Future Games Xchange, SeeDee Johns, Extreme Games, Joypad Games, PlayNation, Abbey Video Games, Level Up Games, Playaway, 720 Games, and Video Games 24-7.

Retail Survey 2016 MCV has spoken to over 170 indie and big-chain games retailers about the year's ups and downs

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SQUARE ENIX 1

NINTENDO 1

KOCH MEDIA 1

TAKE TWO 6

ACTIVISION 7

EA 8

BETHESDA 11

SONY 15

UBISOFT 20

FOR the third consecutive year, Microsoft has been cited as the most supportive publisher, by 30 per cent of the retailers MCV talked to. The platform holder’s performance is slightly down compared to last year - it then gathered 31 per cent of the vote. Ubisoft has stolen the second spot from Bethesda with 20 per cent of the vote (compared to 12 per cent in 2015), with retailers praising the publisher’s ‘good deals’ and the fact it looks after indie retail. Sony still sits at No.3, named by 15 per cent of retailers, while Bethesda has been pushed down to No.4 with 11 per cent of the vote, against 26 per cent in 2015.

MICROSOFT 30

WHICH GAMES PUBLISHER BEST SUPPORTED YOUR BUSINESS IN 2016?

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07/12/2016 17:41


ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY

WII U 1

XBOX 360 1

PS4 PRO 1

PS4 SLIM 2

XBOX ONE S 9

XBOX ONE 24

PLAYSTATION 4 was the bestselling console in 2016, and 62 per cent of the retailers MCV spoke to backed Sony's hardware too. Xbox One took second place with 24 per cent of the vote, while the Xbox One S has landed at No.3, cited by nine per cent of the voters. Many retailers told MCV that the Xbox One has been gaining ground this year though, especially since the S version of the machine launched. The latter boosted sales for Microsoft’s console and sold out pretty quickly, with some retailers wishing they had more stock. Meanwhile, retailers say PS4 Slim and Pro have not seen a lot of customers interest.

PS4 62

WHICH CONSOLE HAS PERFORMED BEST FOR YOU IN 2016?

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05

XBOX ONE S 1

NES 1

PC 1

PS4 PRO 2

SCORPIO 4

SWITCH 9

XBOX ONE 27

FOR the fourth year running, UK retailers predicted that PlayStation 4 will be the dominant console in the coming year. The machine took 57 per cent of the vote this year, including figures for the PlayStation 4 Pro, but overall it was down 13 per cent on last year’s 70 per cent. That’s partly due to a crop of new hardware launches on the horizon, with nine per cent of stores anticipating Nintendo Switch to take 2017, up from last year’s one per cent, while four per cent predict victory for Microsoft’s Scorpio. Xbox One’s dominance has remained steady at 27 per cent, with no change from 2015.

PS4 55

WHICH GAMES PLATFORM DO YOU FEEL WILL RULE 2017?

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ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY

DEPENDS ON CONTENT / BONUS 3%

NOT IMPORTANT 15%

VERY IMPORTANT 75%

THE importance of exclusive content and pre-order bonuses has slightly increased in 2016, with 75 per cent of retailers saying it’s ‘very important’, compared to 74 per cent last year. Retailers have told MCV that it’s a way for them to secure sales, as well as giving them a guarantee customers will come to them instead of supermarkets. But the amount of stores stating it’s not important has grown as well, from seven per cent in 2015 to 15 per cent this year. For seven per cent, exclusive content and bonuses don’t seem to have an impact on their sales, while three per cent think their importance varies, depending on the game.

NEITHER IMPORTANT OR UNIMPORTANT 7%

HOW IMPORTANT IS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND/OR PRE-ORDER BONUSES TO YOUR STORE?

HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS THE LAUNCH OF VIRTUAL REALITY IN 2016? WHEN asked about their expectations for VR last year, 55 per cent of retailers told MCV they were expecting it to fail. Now that it has actually launched, 64 per cent of them have said the new tech has got off to a good start. But even for stores that considered VR a success, the lack of stock has been a setback. It’s also the main reason behind the 36 per cent of retailers who

said VR's launch was a failure. Some stores said VR is not ready for the mainstream as it lacks triple-A software. Many retailers still see VR as a gimmick and said a better communication from manufacturers could have helped to boost sales. But the reaction to VR is positive overall with stores, with PSVR stealing all the attention while HTC Vive and Oculus Rift made little impact.

64% 36%

n SUCCESS n FAILURE

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06

HOLOLENS 1

HD REMAKES 1

MORE HANDHELD GAMES 1

MORE INDIE-EXCLUSIVE CONTENT/BONUS 1

LONGER LASTING CONTROLLERS 1

MORE RELEASES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR 1

4K 1

STREAMING DEVICES 1

HALF LIFE 3 1

BETTER DIGITAL DEALS IN STORE 1

MORE SPLIT SCREEN GAMES 1

POKEMON CARDS 1

XBOX ONE S STOCK 2

PC HARDWARE 2

HARDWARE 2

SWITCH 3

MORE FAMILY-ORIENTATED GAMES 4

MORE MERCHANDISE 5

MORE THIRD-PARTY ACCESSORIES 6

MORE RETRO HARDWARE 10

NEW IPS 21

THE lack of VR stock really appears to be the letdown of the year for retailers, as 33 per cent of them have said virtual reality games, accessories and hardware stock are what they would like to see more of in 2017. The overwhelming number of sequels in 2016 has apparently also left a bitter taste in retailers’ mouths as 21 per cent of them now wish there will be more new IPs next year. On a more positive note, the good performance of Nintendo’s NES Mini and the booming of the retro trend have led retailers to hope for more retro content next year, starting with Mini versions of the SNES and the N64 - as well as more stock of the very successful NES Mini.

MORE VR GAMES / STOCK / ACCESSORIES 33

WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCT – BE IT A GAME, ACCESSORY OR HARDWARE – WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF IN 2017?

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ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY

DO YOU SELL DIGITAL CONTENT?

n Yes n No

92% 8%

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85% 15%

n Yes n No

OTHERS 3

DEATH STRANDING 1

GOD OF WAR 1

CRACKDOWN 1

CUPHEAD 1

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE 2

CRASH BANDICOOT 2

DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN 2

PERSONA 5 2

FIFA 18 3

SOUTH PARK 3

GRAN TURISMO SPORT 3

DAYS GONE 3

IF YES, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE LEVEL OF DIGITAL CONTENT AVAILABLE TO YOU?

THE percentage of UK games retailers stocking digital content has shrunk in 2016, with 92 per cent of retailers asked responding in the affirmative. Last year, 96 per cent of retailers said they stocked digital content. Of that 92 per cent, 85 per cent were happy with the level of stock available to them, with many retailers singling out CentreSoft's digital content-focused DLCSoft brand as providing the best all-round service. Xbox continues to be the most under-represented platform holder this

www.mcvuk.com 

RESIDENT EVIL 7 4

FOR HONOR 4

SEA OF THIEVES 5

GHOST RECON WILDLANDS 6

ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD 9

MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA 13

HORIZON ZERO DAWN 14

NEARLY a fifth of games store managers are most looking forward to Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2017. Announced in October, a minute-long clip is all it took for 18 per cent retailers to name it their most anticipated title. In second place is Guerrilla's new IP, Horizon Zero Dawn, taking 14 per cent of the vote. The PS4 exclusive was originally set for a 2016 release, but is now coming to shelves on February 28th, 2017. Mass Effect Andromeda claimed third place with 13 per cent, while Nintendo's Zelda: Breath of the Wild, came in fourth with nine per cent. Both were set to launch this year, but were delayed until 2017.

RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 18

WHAT GAME ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017?

IF NO, WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED SELLING DIGITAL CONTENT?

n Yes n No

67% 33%

year, however, and retailers said they would like to see more codes and season passes for specific games available. 15 per cent weren't happy with the level of content open to them, with some retailers stating there needs to be a better way of displaying and merchandising the range of digital content available. Meanwhile, indie retailers said they would love to start selling digital content from Steam. This is something that CentreSoft is addressing with updates to DLCSoft.

07

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ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY

IF YES, DO YOU FEEL THE SALES EVENT IS A GOOD THING FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN BLACK FRIDAY THIS YEAR?

n Yes n No

93% 7%

IF NO, WOULD YOU TAKE PART IN BLACK FRIDAY NEXT YEAR?

BLACK FRIDAY turned into a bit of a monster this year, with many retailers stretching their deals out over the course of several weeks rather than the usual long-weekend stint at the end of November. Despite this, 93 per cent of UK games retail took part in the sales event this year, an increase of four per cent on last year's survey. Of that figure, 65 per cent said Black Friday was good for business and provided excellent stimulus for the Christmas spending season. The

26% 63% 93% 11% 7%

n Yes No n Yes n No choice n No n

65% 35%

n Yes n No

remaining 35 per cent, however, said the sales event ended up being a bit of a mixed bag, saying it devalues new game releases. Retailers also said some customers were expecting bigger savings than those on offer, which made it hard to stay competitive. The sheer length of Black Friday this year was an issue as well, with retailers saying it was difficult to get an accurate reading on sales figures on the day itself.

DISHONORED 2 1

NO MAN'S SKY 1

THE WITCHER III 1

FALLOUT 4 1

GTA V 1

MAFIA III 1

FORZA HORIZON 3 1

BIOSHOCK THE COLLECTION 1

POKEMON GO 1

DESTINY RISE OF IRON 1

THE DIVISION 2

FINAL FANTASY XV 3

CALL OF DUTY 3

OVERWATCH 3

SKYRIM 5

UNCHARTED 4 6

BATTLEFIELD 1 11

FIFA 17 27

IF 2016 was a football game, then FIFA was robbed in injury time by a veteran striker off the bench. It took a commanding lead since its launch in September, and has been scoring regularly at the tills for months. Making it a hit with 27 per cent of our respondents. Pokémon Sun and Moon then strolled onto the pitch and scored 29 per cent in a few scant weeks. This was likely driven by the Pokémon Go phenomena that gripped the nation this year. Below those two is Battlefield 1 on 11 per cent, comfortably ahead of Call of Duty this year.

POKEMON SUN AND MOON 29

IN TERMS OF SUCCESS, WHAT WAS YOUR GAME OF 2016?

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08

MAD CATZ 1

KONTROL FREEK 1

ROCCAT 1

HORI 1

NINTENDO 1

VENOM 1

HYPER X 1

POWER A 1

LOGITECH 1

A4T 1

GIOTECK 2

TRITTON 2

CORSAIR 4

ORB 5

ASTRO GAMING 6

RAZER 7

PDP 9

SONY 12

MICROSOFT 14

TURTLE BEACH remains retailers’ favourite peripherals manufacturer, for the third consecutive year. The firm’s popularity has grown by one per cent year-on-year, to reach 29 per cent of the vote this year. Microsoft and Sony have also kept their spots compared to last year, respectively at No.2 with 14 per cent of the vote and No.3 with 12 per cent. Corsair entered the rankings this year, being voted for by 4 per cent of the retailers. The manufacturer has been dubbed as consistent and reliable by the stores MCV talked to.

TURTLE BEACH 29

WHICH PERIPHERALS MANUFACTURER WOULD YOU CREDIT FOR BEST QUALITY THIS YEAR?

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ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY

LIME 2

KOCH 2

CREATIVE 2

LINK 2

COSMIC GROUP 2

KEYNE 2

ADVANTAGE 6

EXERTIS 9

ANOTHER year and another resounding victory for CentreSoft. It dropped a couple of points on last year's results but it's still far-andaway the distributor of choice for indie retailers, claiming 74 per cent of the vote. Between CentreSoft and its Advantage brand – which came in second – the firm claimed 80 per cent of votes. Once again CentreSoft was praised for its robust support of indie retail. That included comments on well-priced bundles, supply of point-of-sales materials and the ongoing success of its DLCSoft digital download system.

CENTRESOFT 74

WHICH DISTRIBUTOR BEST-SUPPORTED YOUR BUSINESS IN 2016? (INDIE-ONLY)

ARE YOUR PRE-ORDERS UP, DOWN OR ABOUT THE SAME IN 2016? (INDIE-ONLY) THE pre-order market continues to paint a bleak picture in 2016, with 43 per cent of indie retailers saying they had seen a dip in preorders this year. This is an improvement on last year, where 45 per cent of stores noted depressed pre-orders. However, the number of stores saying pre-orders have increased this year has shrunk, dipping to just 17 per cent compared to last year's 23 per cent. Meanwhile, 40 per cent of stores estimated that pre-orders had stayed about the same this year.

DOWN 43%

SAME 40%

UP 17%

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09

2 KEEPING UP WITH THE NEW HARDWARE

TITANFALL 2

CALL OF DUTY 2

MERCHANDISE ARRIVING AFTER RELEASES 2

PRICES AFTER BREXIT 2

2 HARDWARE DEALS FROM NINTENDO AND MICROSOFT

GETTING STOCK 5

GAMES DIDN'T LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS 5

POOR SELLING RELEASES 6

LOGISTICS/STOCK 8

FOOTFALL 9

COMPETING ON PRICE 10

BALANCING ONLINE AND INSTORE 14

QUIET SUMMER MONTHS 14

COMPETING with online retailers and bigger stores has remained the No.1 challenge for indie retail. This figure has actually decreased a lot: in 2015, it was the main concern for 41 per cent of the stores, against 16 per cent this year. Other challenges have risen, too. Quiet summer months have been an issue, with 14 per cent saying it was a challenge compared with only three per cent last year. Games not living up to expectations was also an issue retailers touched upon, with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Titanfall 2 being a letdown for two per cent of stores each.

COMPETITION 16

WHAT WAS YOUR STORE’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE THIS YEAR? (INDIE-ONLY)

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 17:41


CHEAT SHEET

UP & DOWN

Market Data

Following Black Friday, sales were inevitably down, with revenue dipping 28 per cent £60m £15m

£58m 1,936,636 units

£30m £30m

£24m 688,244 units

Week Ending November 19th

Week Ending November 26th

SALES FOR Pokémon Sun were down 77 per cent for its second week in the charts

£42m 1,418,382 units FALLOUT 4 landed at No.15 last week following a 69 per cent rise in sales

Week Ending December 3rd 26th

EVENT CALENDAR JANUARY 2017

MARCH 2017

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

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

POCKET GAMER CONNECTS 2017 The Brewery, London Monday, January 16th – Tuesday, January 17th ■ Steel Media’s annual conference is back next January at the Brewery. ■ Indie Survival, Monetisation & User Acquisition, Industry Trends, Global Publishing; Funding & Investment, Local Talent & Success Stories and Practical Development Advice will be amongst the subjects covered during this edition.

MCV AWARDS 2017 The Brewery, London Thursday, March 9th ■ The MCV Awards are returning for 2017 to recognise the best and brightest the UK games industry has to offer. ■ The 21 main categories are judged by a panel of members of the games industry while Store Manager, Unsung Hero and Person of the Year are selected by the MCV team. ■ Entries close on Friday, January 6th, while the event will take place on March 9th. ■ All entries and nominations are being handled online. Simply head to the event’s website – www.mcvawards.com – and go to the Enter section.

MGF LONDON 2017 QEII Centre, London Tuesday, January 17th – Wednesday, January 18th ■ This 14th edition of MGF London will gather all major players from the mobile games industry, to network and learn more about this booming market. ■ Executives from NetEase, King, Gree, Miniclip, Animoca and Bandai Namco will be among the speakers. ■ There will also be an innovation showcase, an expo floor and various networking events.

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10

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07/12/2016 15:28


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

SONY ANNOUNCES THE LAST OF US PART II

50

Last weekend, Sony held its third annual PlayStation Experience event. This saw some big announcements, including the news that a sequel for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is in the works. Simply entitled Part II, this follow-up is still in the early stages of development.

Controversial online retailer G2A says over 50 devs are on board with the revenue sharing scheme it launched in June

53

Oculus announced a line-up of 53 games that will be compatible with its new Touch controller

@_adamturnbull As excited as I am about The Last of Us 2 I’d rather see different characters. I’m still buying it obviously.

@McMeiks The Last Of Us is one of my fave games of all time. A title I gave 10/10. I don’t want a sequel. First game was perfectly self-contained.

5m

Adam Turnbull, Guerrilla Games Saturday, December 3rd

Dave Meikleham, freelance writer Saturday, December 3rd TELLTALE CONFIRMS GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

NEW DEATH STRANDING TRAILER UNVEILED

After the info leaked on November 15th, Telltale has finally confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy will be getting the firm’s episodic treatment, with the first episode due to release in 2017.

At The Game Awards, development legend Hideo Kojima unveiled another trailer for his new project, Death Stranding. The Metal Gear creator also walked away with the Industry Icon prize.

@IsabelDavies_ So Telltale Games is making Guardians of the Galaxy next? Man, this sounds great and all but where on earth is The Wolf Among Us season two? Isabel Davies, Purewal & Partners Friday, December 2nd

@nielsen_holly I refuse to be excited by Death Stranding until I know there’s someone working on it with Kojima who can tell him “no” and he’ll listen.

@xixBlueWolfxix Tried the Telltale Batman game and the engine seems less janky. Hopefully it’s good for when they release Guardians of the Galaxy in March. Chris Cook, Digital Diaries Friday, November 25th

@ObvItsAmy If Death Stranding has Guillermo [del Toro, film maker] involved, it’s going to be even darker and more twisted than I possibly could imagine. YAS. Amy Graves, Square Enix Friday, December 2nd

Holly Nielsen, freelance journalist Friday, December 2nd

Final Fantasy XV sold 5m copies worldwide on its first day, Square Enix announced

38%

Steam Spy revealed that 38 per cent of Steam’s total catalogue was released in 2016

13th

The press will get its first hands-on with Nintendo’s new Switch console at an event on January 13th LVL 5 Afterglow Headset – PDP Design and manufacture the LVL 5 Afterglow Headset for PlayStation 4

europesales@pdp.com

www.pdp.com

GAMESAID THIS WEEK GOLDEN JOYSTICKS’ GAMESAID TENNER COLLECTION ................

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

www.mcvuk.com

10 11 MCV904 Digest_V7.indd 2

Future Publishing’s Golden Joysticks ceremony, which took place on November 18th, raised £1,965 for GamesAid by hosting a GamesAid Tenner collection during the night.

BECOME A GAMESAID MEMBER ..................

If you work in the industry, you can become a GamesAid member. Simply register on the site (address left) and you’ll get the events newsletter and become part of the GamesAid democracy - helping the organisation choose the charities it supports each year. 11

GAMESAID RAISES £954,000 FOR CHARITY ..................

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. December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:29


MARKET MOVES

APPOINTMENTS

New comms lead for CCP’s VR titles Scammell departs VideoGamer ● InnoGames appoints media and market development director CCP GAMES | GEORGE KELION has joined Eve: Valkyrie developer CCP as senior communications lead for VR games. He will be working from the firm’s new studio in London. He was formerly nDreams’ communications manager for almost two years, and also worked for the likes of Feral Interactive, Rare, Warner Bros, Square Enix and 22cans. Kelion stated: “Joining CCP Games to represent such incredible and awe-inspiring VR games as Eve: Valkyrie, Gunjack 2 and Project Arena very much feels like the kind of thing that would make my 11-year-old self very proud indeed.

“I’m thrilled to join CCP Games and be based out of the new London studio, where you’ll no doubt find me evangelising the amazing merits and astonishing possibilities of VR given even a fraction of a chance.”

the right time for me to move on and face a fresh challenge in 2017. I’m still considering what’s next, but I’m keen to get back to the action and continue my career in the games industry. I wish the VG team the very best for 2017 and beyond.”

VIDEOGAMER | Deputy editor DAVID SCAMMELL has announced his departure from VideoGamer. He joined the site in 2012 as staff writer and worked as deputy news editor and news editor before becoming deputy editor in October. He said: “I’ve had a wonderful time at VideoGamer, but now is

INNOGAMES | Microsoft’s FUNDA YAKIN has been appointed as director of media and market development at online games publisher InnoGames. Reporting to CMO CHRISTIAN PERN, she will be in charge of the strategic development of TV marketing and the expansion of direct media partner cooperation.

Yakin joins from Microsoft, where she was digital lead for Windows for five months after spending over two years as head of consumer and digital marketing. She commented: “I am looking forward to joining the international team contributing to the ongoing success of InnoGames.” Pern added: “Thanks to her previous positions at Microsoft, Nokia and Freenet, Funda brings in over 15 years of experience in international marketing. Her expertise covers above-and-below-the-Line campaigns with a focus on high reach digital channels and TV. She is a perfect fit for our strong existing team at InnoGames.”

Distributed by IT World Services TEL: +44 (0)17538 21122 EMAIL: sales@itworldservices.co.uk

©2016 Mimoco, Inc. All rights reserved. December 9th 2016

12 MCV904 Appointments V5.indd 1

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07/12/2016 16:48


Great Games for Xmas.

www.Superindie.co.uk

Great Games. Great Prices. To place an order contact Superindie on 01183 345 736

or order online at Superindie.co.uk Presented by


WEEKLY SALES CHARTS

WEEKLY CHARTS EA managed to keep its No.1 spot with FIFA 17 despite sales for the title dipping 42 per cent and fierce competition further down the charts. Square Enix’s longawaited Final Fantasy XV debuted at No.2 and became the franchise’s second best launch behind 2010’s Final Fantasy XIII. As a consequence, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare fell one place to No.3, with sales decreasing 54 per cent. After re-entering the charts during Black Friday week, Uncharted 4 has managed to gain another spot last week and ranked at No.7 despite sales decreasing 43 per cent. Pokémon Sun and Moon, charted at No.9 and No.8 respectively. Were the duo’s sales combined they would have charted at fourth place in their second week on shelves. Sales for Moon were down 72 per cent, while Sun saw a 77 per cent dip in sales. There was another Nintendo title in the

charts last week, as Super Mario Maker was back at No.25 following the launch of the 3DS version. Sales for the game (including the Wii U edition) were up 2,230 per cent week-on-week. Meanwhile, Ubisoft’s new IP Steep debuted at No.24 only. GfK says it was the fourth biggest launch in the winter sports genre, coming in just ahead of 2001’s SSX Tricky. Retail promotions have helped 2K’s team shooter Battleborn reenter the charts at No.40 following a slight three per cent growth in sales. Meanwhile on Steam, Grand Theft Auto V has kept its No.1 spot while the PC version of Watch Dogs 2, which came out a little after the console versions, on November 29th, debuted at No.3. On mobile, Sega’s Football Manager Mobile 2017 has managed to take the first place from Minecraft: Pocket Edition for its second week in the charts, on both iPad and iPhone.

TOP 40 UK PHYSICAL RETAIL 02

01

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

03

04

05

Title Format Publisher FIFA 17 PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC EA Final Fantasy XV PS4, XO Square Enix Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare PS4, XO, PC Activision Battlefield 1 PS4, XO, PC EA Forza Horizon 3 XO Microsoft Watch Dogs 2 PS4, XO, PC Ubisoft Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End PS4 Sony Pokémon Moon 3DS Nintendo Pokémon Sun 3DS Nintendo Minecraft: Xbox Edition XO, 360 Microsoft The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition PS4, XO Bethesda Grand Theft Auto V PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Rockstar Gears of War 4 XO Microsoft Titanfall 2 PS4, XO, PC EA Fallout 4 PS4, XO, PC Bethesda LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens PS4, XO, PS3, 360, Wii U, 3DS, Vita Warner Bros Dishonored 2 PS4, XO, PC Bethesda Overwatch PS4, XO, PC Blizzard WWE 2K17 PS4, XO, PS3, 360 2K Games Rocket League PS4, XO 505 Games Mafia III PS4, XO, PC 2K Games Just Dance 2017 PS4, XO, PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii, PC Ubisoft Tom Clancy’s The Division PS4, XO, PC Ubisoft Steep PS4, XO Ubisoft Super Mario Maker Wii U, 3DS Nintendo Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration PS4, PC Square Enix Skylanders Imaginators PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Activision Doom PS4, XO, PC Bethesda LEGO Marvel’s Avengers PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita Warner Bros Driveclub PS4 Sony Minecraft: PlayStation Edition PS4, PS3, Vita Sony Minecraft: Story Mode - Complete Adventure PS4, XO, PS3, 360 Telltale Guitar Hero Live PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Activision LEGO Dimensions PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Warner Bros Rise of the Tomb Raider XO, 360 Square Enix Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection PS4, XO Ubisoft F1 2016 PS4, XO, PC Codemasters Ratchet & Clank PS4 Sony Star Wars Battlefront PS4, XO, PC EA Battleborn PS4, XO, PC 2K

Source: UKIE/GfK Entertainment, Period: Week ending December 3rd December 9th 2016

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WEEKLY SALES CHARTS GLOBAL STEAM CHARTS (UNITS)

01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 01 NEW 07 03 05 09 08 RE 04

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

Title Planet Coaster Watch Dogs 2 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition Fallout 4 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Dishonored 2 Doom

Publisher Frontier Developments Ubisoft Valve CD Projekt Red Bethesda Ubisoft 2K Games Bethesda Bethesda

Source: Steam, Period: November 28th – December 4th

UK IPAD PAID

01 TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 01 NEW 02 07 NEW RE 09 04 RE

UK IPHONE PAID

(UNITS)

01

FOOTBALL MANAGER MOBILE 2017 DEVELOPER: SEGA

Title Minecraft: Pocket Edition Hidden Expedition: The Fountain of Youth Football Manager Touch 2017 Tipping Point Secrets of the Dark: The Flower of Shadow Soccer Physics The Chase Rome: Total War Bloons TD 5 HD

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Developer Mojang Big Fish Sega Barnstorm Games Big Fish Otto-Ville Ojala Barnstorm Games Feral Interactive Ninja Kiwi

LW 01 09 05 06 08 02 07 10 RE

(UNITS)

FOOTBALL MANAGER MOBILE 2017 DEVELOPER: SEGA

Title Minecraft: Pocket Edition Bloons TD 5 Monopoly Game Plague Inc. Tipping Point Heads Up! The Chase Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Geometry Dash

UK IPAD GROSSING (REVENUE)

UK IPHONE GROSSING (REVENUE)

01

01

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 03 02 04 05 06 08 09 07 RE

CANDY CRUSH SAGA DEVELOPER: KING

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

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

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

LW 02 03 04 07 06 09 10 08 05

POKÉMON GO DEVELOPER: NIANTIC

Title Mobile Strike Candy Crush Saga Game of War - Fire Age Clash of Clans Clash Royale Candy Crush Soda Saga 8 Ball Pool Episode - Choose Your Story, feat. Mean Girls Football Manager Mobile 2017

UK IPAD FREE (UNITS)

UK IPHONE FREE (UNITS)

01

01

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW 09 01 05 RE NEW NEW 02 08 06

ARCHERY KING DEVELOPER: MINICLIP.COM

Title Developer Roll the Ball - slide puzzle BitMango BBC CBeebies Playtime Island BBC Media Applications Technologies Rolling Sky Cheetah Technology Harvest Land Evobucks.com Christmas Sweeper 3 SmileyGamer BVBA New York City Car Taxi and Bus Parking Simulator Play With Games Block! Hexa Puzzle BitMango Roblox Roblox Corporation Pineapple Pen Ketchapp

TW 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

LW NEW RE RE 05 09 08 RE 07 NEW

Developer Mojang Ninja Kiwi EA Ndemic Creations Barnstorm Games Warner Bros Barnstorm Games Rockstar Games RobTop Games AB

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

ROLL THE BALL - SLIDE PUZZLE DEVELOPER: BITMANGO

Title Archery King Ocean Overlord - Global War Mannequin Challenge Donald’s Empire Candy Party: Coin Carnival Dozer Rolling Sky 8 Ball Pool Block! Hexa Puzzle Despicable Bear

Developer Miniclip.com Cong Luo Squad Social Evobucks Mindstorm Studios Cheetah Technology Miniclip.com BitMango Playgendary

Source: UKIE/Refl ection, Period: November 21st – November 27th www.mcvuk.com

14 15 MCV904 Weekly Charts_V4.indd 2

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MONTHLY SALES CHARTS

NOVEMBER CHARTS TO no one’s surprise, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare debuted at the top spot in the November charts, making Activision Blizzard the No.1 publisher in both units and value for the month. Boxed unit sales were down 26 per cent compared to Black Ops III’s first month, though. Activision’s shooter was not the only one to be affected by a decline, as the market as a whole has seen a 6.3 per cent dip in unit sales year-on-year. In terms of revenue, over £140m was generated this November, compared to more than £163m in November 2015 – a dip of 14.4 per cent. Data was collected a little earlier in the month last year, from October 25th to November 21st 2015, and so didn’t include the crucial Black Friday weekend, which makes this year’s figures look weaker still. THE POKÉMON EFFECT Meanwhile, FIFA 17 was relegated to No.2 in the charts with sales dipping 14 per cent, while Battlefield 1 landed at No.3 following a 29 per cent decline in sales. Watch Dogs 2 entered the charts at No.4, with sales falling short compared to Watch Dogs. The latter debuted at No.1 back in 2014, but it should be mentioned that it then launched in May and was therefore not head-to-head with Call of Duty. Watch Dogs also had a boxed PC version, unlike its sequel. But that was enough to help Ubisoft

re-enter the publishers’ revenue ranks, at No.4. Meanwhile, Pokémon Sun and Moon have respectively debuted at No.5 and No.6. Combined sales for both titles would have given them the fourth spot, ahead of Watch Dogs 2. Unit sales for Sun and Moon are also up five per cent compared to Month One sales for the previous entries in the franchise, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. It should also be noted that Sun and Moon were only out for three days when GfK compiled the November data, whereas Ruby and Sapphire were out for a month when the data was gathered back in 2014. Pokémon’s stellar performance allowed the 3DS to increase its market share. Software for the handheld console represented 9.1 per cent of games revenue in November (an increase from two per cent in October) and 10.3 per cent in units (versus 3.1 per cent in October). Other new entries last month included Dishonored 2 (No.10), Football Manager 2017 (No.23), Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection (No.26), Just Dance 2017 (No.29) and Minecraft: Story Mode - Complete Adventure (No.34). A few titles have also re-entered the charts following Black Friday promotions, including Uncharted 4 (back at No.11), Rise of the Tomb Raider (No.24), Driveclub (No.35) and Ratchet & Clank (No.39).

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 01 02 NEW NEW NEW 04 08 10 NEW RE 09 05 06 14 03 17 16 15 22 12 28 NEW 07 21 NEW RE 38 NEW 26 13 35 31 NEW RE 11 40 20 RE 30

03

Title Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare FIFA 17 Battlefield 1 Watch Dogs 2 Pokémon Sun Pokémon Moon The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Forza Horizon 3 Grand Theft Auto V Dishonored 2 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Titanfall 2 Gears of War 4 WWE 2K17 Minecraft: Xbox Edition Mafia III Overwatch Star Wars Battlefront Skylanders Imaginators LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rocket League LEGO Dimensions Football Manager 2017 Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Fallout 4 Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection Rise of the Tomb Raider Tom Clancy’s The Division Just Dance 2017 Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Farming Simulator 17 LEGO Marvel Avengers Guitar Hero Live Minecraft: Story Mode - Complete Adventure DriveClub Batman: Return to Arkham Doom Destiny: The Collection Ratchet & Clank LEGO Jurassic World

04

05

Format Publisher PS4, XO, PC Activision PS4, XO, PS3, 360 EA PS4, XO, PC EA PS4, XO Ubisoft 3DS Nintendo 3DS Nintendo PS4, XO Bethesda XO, PC Microsoft PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC Rockstar PS4, XO, PC Bethesda PS4 Sony PS4, XO, PC EA XO Microsoft PS4, XO, PS3, PC 2K Games XO, 360 Microsoft PS4, XO, PC 2K Games PS4, XO, PC Blizzard PS4, XO, PC EA PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Activision PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, PC 505 Games PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Warner Bros PC Sega PS4, PC Square Enix PS4, XO, PC Bethesda PS4, XO Ubisoft XO, 360 Square Enix PS4, XO, PC Ubisoft PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, Wii Ubisoft PS4, PS3, Vita Sony PS4, XO, PC Focus Home Interactive PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita, PC Warner Bros PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360 Activision PS4, XO, PS3, 360 Telltale PS4 Sony PS4, XO Warner Bros PS4, XO, PC Bethesda PS4, XO Activision PS4 Sony PS4, XO, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita Warner Bros

Source: UKIE/GfK, Period: October 30th to November 26th December 9th 2016

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MONTHLY SALES CHARTS

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SHARE BY STUDIO (REVENUE)

01 TM LM 02 01 0 3 02 04 21 05 28 06 05 07 RE 08 07 09 09 10 10

INFINITY WARD

PARENT COMPANY: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

Developer Parent company EA Canada Electronic Arts DICE Electronic Arts Game Freak Independent Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft Bethesda Independent Arkane Studios Zenimax Playground Games Independent Respawn Entertainment Independent Traveller’s Tales Warner Bros

Source: UKIE/GfK, Period: October 30th to November 26th

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SHARE BY PUBLISHER (REVENUE)

01

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SALES BY FORMAT (REVENUE)

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

TM LM Title Manufacturer Market Share 01 01 PlayStation 4 Sony 45.9% TM LM Publisher 02 02 Xbox One Microsoft 39.2% 02 01 Electronic Arts 03 04 3DS Nintendo 9.1% Nintendo 03 06 04 03 Xbox 360 Microsoft 1.7% 0 4 RE Ubisoft 05 06 PC N/A 1.7% 05 04 Bethesda 06 07 Wii U Nintendo 1.1% 6 02 0 Take-Two 07 05 PlayStation 3 Sony 0.9% 07 03 Microsoft 08 09 Wii Nintendo 0.2% 08 09 Sony 09 08 PlayStation Vita Sony 0.1% 0 9 08 Warner Bros 10 10 Others N/A 0% 10 05 Square Enix

Source: UKIE/GfK, Period: October 30th to November 26th

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SHARE BY PUBLISHER (UNITS)

01

Source: UKIE/GfK, Period: October 30th to November 26th

PHYSICAL SOFTWARE SALES BY FORMAT (UNITS)

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

TM LM Title Manufacturer Market Share 01 01 PlayStation 4 Sony 44.3% TM LM Publisher 02 02 Xbox One Microsoft 37.1% 02 01 Electronic Arts 03 04 3DS Nintendo 10.3% 03 05 Nintendo 04 03 Xbox 360 Microsoft 2.7% 04 10 Ubisoft 05 07 PC N/A 1.9% 05 03 Microsoft 06 06 Wii U Nintendo 1.6% 06 04 Bethesda 07 05 PlayStation 3 Sony 1.4% 7 02 0 Take-Two 08 09 Wii Nintendo 0.4% 08 09 Sony 09 08 PlayStation Vita Sony 0.2% 0 9 06 Warner Bros 10 10 Others N/A 0.1% 10 08 Square Enix

Source: UKIE/GfK, Period: October 30th to November 26th www.mcvuk.com 

16 17 MCV904 Monthly Charts_V5.indd 2

Source: UKIE/GfK, Period: October 30th to November 26th 17

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 16:36


December 9th 2016

18 MCV904 Distributor Opening Hours_V4.indd 1

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0844 8933 933 www.limedistribution.co.uk

LIME DISTRIBUTION

01462 680 060 www.meroncourt.co.uk

MERONCOURT

01274 684 668 www.linkdistribution-uk.com

LINK DISTRIBUTION

01183 345 700 www.kochmedia.co.uk

KOCH MEDIA

01279 822 800 www.exertis.co.uk

EXERTIS

0333 101 1000 www.entatech.com

ENTATECH

0208 664 3456 www.creativedistribution.co.uk

9:00am – 5:30pm

8:30am – 5:30pm

8.45am - 5.30pm

8:45am – 5:30pm

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Closed

Closed

Closed

8:45am – 1:00pm

8:45am – 1:00pm

Closed

9:00am – 5:00pm

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9:00am – 5:00pm

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9:00am – 5:00pm

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9:00am - 5:00pm

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9:00am – 1:00pm

9:00am – 5:30pm

9:00am - 1:00pm

Closed

Closed

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DEC 26TH

DEC 23RD

9:00am – 6:00pm 9:00am – 6:00pm 9:00am – 6:00pm

9:00am – 5:30pm

8:30am – 5:30pm

8.45am - 5.30pm

8:45am – 5:30pm

8:45am – 5:30pm

DEC 22ND

Xxx

CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION

0203 137 3781 www.click-entertainment.com

CLICK ENTERTAINMENT

0121 625 3388 www.centresoft.co.uk

CENTRESOFT

0121 506 9585 www.advantagedistribution.co.uk

ADVANTAGE

DEC 21ST

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

DEC 27TH

Closed

8:30am – 5:30pm

Closed

8:45am – 5:00pm

8:45am – 5:00pm

DEC 29TH

Closed

8:30am – 5:30pm

Closed

8:45am – 1:00pm

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DEC 30TH

Closed

Closed.

Closed

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9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

Closed

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9:00am – 5:00pm

Closed

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JAN 2ND

Send your Christmas opening times to acalvin@nbmedia.com

IS YOUR COMPANY MISSING?

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm 9:00am – 4:00pm 9:00am – 4:00pm

Closed

Closed

9:00am – 6:00pm 9:00am – 6:00pm 9:00am – 6:00pm

Closed

8:30am – 5:30pm

Closed

8:45am – 5:00pm

8:45am – 5:00pm

DEC 28TH

Distributor Christmas Opening Hours

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:30pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 6:00pm

9:00am – 5:30pm

8:30am – 5:30pm

8.45am - 5.30pm

8:45am – 5:00pm

8:45am – 5:00pm

JAN 3RD

DISTRIBUTOR OPENING HOURS

www.mcvuk.com

07/12/2016 15:30


THE #1 RETRO GAMING LICENSES ON THE PLANET

AdTemplate.indd 1

07/12/2016 15:42


REVIEW OF THE YEAR

THE 14 BIG GAMING EVENTS OF 2016 Lots of new hardware drove gaming forwards, and backwards, this year

HERE’S our take on the big events in the games industry this year. It seems to have been a year dominated by hardware rather than software, with lots of new devices in the shape of VR headsets, updated consoles, new reveals and a smash hit retro revival. That’s not to say there weren’t some very big releases this year; though some weren’t quite as big as hoped for. As we’ve discussed that ad nauseam in recent weeks, we’ll have no more talk of that here. We’ve picked out a few big titles, not just for their commercial success but for breaking the mould. Bigger themes included the fallout of Brexit (or lack of). The rise of eSports as a commercial force to be reckoned with. The tarnishing of a few reputations on YouTube. The return of Pokémon in a really big way and much, much more. Hope you had a great 2016 and best of luck with the rest of Christmas shopping season and the sales. See you in 2017.

LOTS OF ‘NEW’ CONSOLES... IN a disruption of the traditional console cycle, both Sony and Microsoft announced mid-gen hardware. The PS4 Pro came out in November and boasted twice the graphics power of the standard PS4. It runs the same games but with prettier graphics, though Sony did struggle to explain exactly what the difference was without resorting to the phrase ‘Dynamic 4K’ and quite a lot of small print. Despite that, PS4 sales tripled when the hardware debuted, with a reported 42,000 Pro units sold in that week.

Meanwhile Microsoft announced its even-morepowerful Project Scorpio at E3, to be released late next year. Price estimates of around £600 may put it more in contention with gaming PCs than consoles. Meanwhile, updated consoles also hit shelves. The Xbox One S was arguably the standout device, massively improving on the original’s design and adding an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. While the PS4 Slim was a more modest update by comparison.

AFTER years of hype, and delays, all three major VR platforms hit the market in 2016. Oculus had promoted the format as a whole and its Rift headset went on sale in March. At £549 it’s an expensive item, even for serious PC gamers. This week it’s finally getting its Touch controllers, which cost another £189. In April, HTC launched its Vive headset, which is compatible with the Steam VR platform. This came with handheld controllers and a laser-based positional system to track motions, putting it technically ahead of its rival. Again, though, a price of £760 and the need for a powerful gaming PC mean it only appealed to the keenest. Skip on to October and the PlayStation VR launch had more consumer appeal. With a price of just £350, plus a PS4 console, the headset flew off shelves, with Sony apparently unable to satisfy immediate demand. The device does need a PlayStation camera, plus Move controllers, to fully exploit its capabilities, though. The big test will come next year, when we’ll see if there’s enough quality software to help shift a more generous allocation of units.

...AND THE DEATH OF LEGACY PLATFORMS MICROSOFT, in April, announced it was ending production of the Xbox 360. The console originally launched back in 2005, back when a measly 20GB hard disk and a wireless controller were still considered to be deluxe options. It went on to dominate its generation in the UK, selling 8m consoles by 2013 and 84m worldwide. With a whopping eight-year gap before its successor arrived and bolstered by the popular Kinect add-on, it was a gaming colossus. While the PlayStation 3 remains in production, it too showed its age this November, as numerous major franchises launched without support for legacy hardware, with FIFA 17, LEGO Dimensions and Skylanders being a notable set of exceptions.

December 9th 2016

20 21 22 23 MCV904 Review of the year_V7.indd 1

VIRTUAL REALITY ARRIVES

20

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07/12/2016 15:31


REVIEW OF THE YEAR ACTI-BLIZ-KING AND U-VI-SOFT THIS was the biggest acquisition of the year. Activision Blizzard got sweet on King in late 2015 before closing the deal for $5.9bn in February. As a result Activision Blizzard now operates the ‘world’s largest game network’ which reaches around 500m users in 196 countries. In other who-owns-whonews, Vivendi (once owner of Activision Blizzard) muscled its

way back into the games market by taking a controlling share in mobile developer Gameloft, owned by Michel Guillemot, in June. The company also increased the size of its stake in Yves Guillemot’s Ubisoft, a move that in September prompted the CEO to increase the size of his share as a defensive move against a possible hostile takeover.

POKÉMON’S BIG YEAR TIMED perfectly for its 20th anniversary, Pokémon had a massive year in 2016. There’s little that hasn’t been said about the Pokémon Go phenomenon. It launched in July, had over 100m downloads by August and was visible across the country come summer as players congregated in order to catch em’ all. It didn’t stop there, though, as the craze for Pokémon reignited. Retail reported great sales of the trading card game and Nintendo had its biggest game launch ever in the UK. November saw combined sales of Pokémon Sun and Moon hitting 7.5m global in its first two weeks on sale.

NINTENDO SWITCHES

BREXIT WITH its reliance on imported hardware and foreign talent, the UK games industry was arguably dealt a blow by the vote to leave the EU in June. Although the issue was so vehemently polarised that we’re sure someone will have found a silver lining somewhere. Increased prices of consumer goods could start hitting consumers early next year, once stock ordered earlier in the year runs dry. Even if the games industry isn’t affected directly, rising prices of other goods could squeeze consumer spending elsewhere. The industry might be further hurt due to immigration restrictions making it harder for UK firms to recruit top talent. It’s not been an instant disaster, though. The economy has been resilient to date and it’s all business as normal for now. We await a coherent plan from the government, which argues it can’t tell anyone anything as that would weaken its bargaining position.

www.mcvuk.com

20 21 22 23 MCV904 Review of the year_V7.indd 2

Brexit was one of the key discussion points at this year’s inaugural Future Games Summit

21

WITH the Wii U failing to replicate the Wii’s success, Nintendo took the consoletablet hybrid to the next logical step and unveiled a truly mobile device in October. As per rumours prior to thehe tablet-like console, with sloton controllers, should leverage Nintendo’s huge experience in portable gaming hardware. The new console will launch in 2017, with more details March 2017 and previews coming in January. The reveal teased brand new Super Mario and Mario Kart titles, but the launch lineup is yet to be confirmed. The trailer also teased third-party support from the likes of Bethesda and 2K Games – with Nintendo later announcing a large slate of third-parties on board with the machine which could be vital to the new hardware’s success. No prices have yet been revealed, with rumours putting it around $250, though the accuracy of that figure and fluctuations in exchange rates make it hard to predict. With mobile games in their ascendancy, and Xbox and PlayStation arguably courting the same core market segment, the success of the Switch could be a huge upswing for the industry as a whole in 2017.

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:31


REVIEW OF THE YEAR

YOUTUBER CONTROVERSY WITH the ever-growing importance of YouTube influencers as marketing tools, 2016 was the year when authenticity and profit collided. Numerous influencers were accused of not making paid-for content clear enough to viewers. Top dog PewDiePie was inevitably dragged into the furore via a video from 2014 for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was marked as sponsored content, but only in text and that was tucked away in the description tab. Warner Bros was charged by the FTC in the US in July, reaching a settlement that put strict regulations on its activity in this area.

EA reacted by announcing a strict policy and logos to be used onscreen for both ‘supported’ and ‘advertisement’ content. Others have also published rules in order to clarify their usage of influencers. Other issues sprang up around popular shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It emerged that influential YouTuber TmarTn was the owner of a CS:GO skins gambling site, which he had promoted on his channel without any declaration of interest. CS:GO skins gambling in general came in for criticism from the US authorities, with legal action taken against what some states saw as illegal gambling by proxy.

ESPORTS ON THE UP WHILE we seem to say this every year, eSports really has exploded into the mainstream in 2016. Gillette ran a tournament with Gfinity, Bud Light partnered with a number of players and even Domino’s got involved with the eSports Industry Awards. Sports clubs also invested millions, with West Ham, Manchester City and PSG all creating eSports divisions, while the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers went one step further and outright purchased two of the biggest eSports organisations in the world.

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Arguably the biggest factor in eSports’ mainstream explosion in 2016 was ELEAGUE. The CS:GO competition created was aired weekly on US TV network TBS and managed to bring in sponsors such as Snickers and Arbys. Of course, there were many other factors, from publishers such as Activision finally embracing eSports properly with the CoD World League to the ever growing prize pools and more traditional publications venturing into the world of eSports journalism.

FUTURE BUYS IMAGINE THE consumer games magazine market lost one of its remaining players, as the UK’s two largest video game magazine rivals became one. In June, Future agreed terms to acquire Imagine Publishing parent Miura for £14.2m. Imagine’s portfolio included GamesTM, Retro Gamer, Nowgamer.com, X-One and Play. The deal went through in October.

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REVIEW OF THE YEAR BIG GAME: OVERWATCH A SMASH ON CONSOLE

EVERYONE GOES RETRO RETRO-GAMING is hardly a new phenomenon but 2016 was a big year for a bit of nostalgia. At retail that manifested itself as the rush to buy up the new Nintendo Classic Mini: NES which launched in November and promptly sold out. It was in such demand that eBay even incentivised purchasers to resell their devices online with a guaranteed minimum price.

BLIZZARD doesn’t make commercial failures, but with Overwatch it again showed it could perform on console as well as PC, with 83 per cent of physical Week One sales coming on PS4 and Xbox One. May’s online shooter took the template created by Team Fortress 2, added design elements from popular MOBA titles such as Blizzard’s own Heroes of the Storm and then polished it off with the company’s bright graphical style. The result was a game that debuted at No.1 and hasn’t left the UK Top 20 since launch. With no paid DLC to divide the player base, Blizzard is only monetising the title through in-game cosmetic items and new retail sales. Overwatch is a huge new franchise and one that looks set to run for years and years.

The only question is when is the inevitable Mini SNES coming? Back in September retro video games hit our TV screens with Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit, a TV panel show on Dave in which the usual crowd of familiar panel faces play games against each other, helped out by the eponymous comedian and journalist Ellie Gibson. Here’s hoping it gets another season.

BIG GAME: NO MAN’S SKY BIG GAME: HITMAN GOES EPISODIC

GENERATING huge prerelease hype, while also managing player expectations, has always been a tricky balancing act for those marketing video games. Hello Games arguably got it wrong when it came to No Man’s Sky. The hugely ambitious-looking space exploration game was the work of a very small team of developers, but pre-release assets and the full-priced retail release pushed consumer expectations well above what was contained on the disc. By its release date in August the game was already on the back foot. A wide-ranging Day One patch for the game supported fears that it had been rushed to market. A lack of any tangible multiplayer element was chief amongst complaints. Hello has recently launched what is the first of many sizeable updates to the title. . However, No Man’s Sky will long be cited as an example of how pre-release expectations must be managed by the industry, not just stoked.

THE long-running franchise returned in March but with a twist. The game was initially launched as a digital-only title in an episodic format, a shift in tact for the series. The six episodes were launched on a monthly basis, with a midseason summer break, and could be bought piecemeal or via a Season Pass. The release schedule meant each new level was often played multiple times, with gamers exploring the different approaches to the task at hand, and so building a highly dedicated following for the title. A complete retail package is coming in January, too, showing that new business models need not exclude traditional methods. We watch with interest to see if others will find suitable content to release in this format in 2017.

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INTERVIEW XBOX

Return of the Xbox 2016 was a big year for Xbox. The firm returned to the top of the hardware charts thanks to its new Xbox One S console. And it has some pretty bit plans for the next twelve months. Alex Calvin catches up with UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle

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t’s been a difficult few years for Microsoft on the games side of things. Though Xbox One sales have certainly not been shabby, the console has failed to top the massively successful PlayStation 4. All of that changed this year. The firm claimed the hardware top spots in the UK for two key months. It has strong momentum going into the end of the year, and – as UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle says: “the brand has its mojo back”. “It’s been a really good year so far, both in terms of sales and the reception to our new products – both consoles and games,” Eagle says. “We’re really pleased... I think we’ll look back in 2016 as a tipping point for Xbox One.” He continues: “The reception to our games line-up has been great, and two of the recent big launches in Forza Horizon 3 and Gears 4 have both received really strong reviews, they performed really well in terms of sales. “When you look at some of the outstanding third-party titles like FIFA 17, Battlefield 1, coupled with some really original ID@Xbox titles, We Happy Few, Inside, I would call

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out, there’s a lot of great games to choose from.” S MARKS THE SPOT Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Xbox this year was its new, slimmer and – more importantly – cheaper Xbox One S console. Announced on-stage at E3 by Phil Spencer, the hardware hit shelves in September, topping the UK hardware charts for that month and October. “Well, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone so far,” Eagle says. “Since launch, Xbox One S has been Britain’s best-selling console in 2016. It’s a great product with great design, 4K capabilities have been resonating really strongly. We have a great selection of console bundles for those who have been buying for the first time. FIFA, Minecraft, Battlefield... whichever one you want with your console is a very strong option for consumers. We have some great exclusive games that are only playable on Xbox One. Lastly, the price point for Xbox One S is more attractive than ever families and gamers.” This success was not a surprise for Eagle and Xbox. As he puts it: “We knew we had a great product.

Since launch, Xbox One S has been Britain’s best-selling console in 2016. 4K capabilities have been resonating really strongly. Harvey Eagle, Xbox

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That was clear as soon as we saw it. Of course, you never know how something is going to land in the market until you put it out there. Certainly, we were thrilled that the product teams back in Redmond had really built a great product for us. We were clear how we wanted to position it in the market, and certainly talk to its 4K capabilities. That gave us confidence that it would land really well.” XBOX’S STING But that isn’t the only new hardware announcement made by Xbox this year. While the firm’s E3 conference opened with the reveal of Xbox One S, it closed with the announcement that the platform holder had another machine in the works. Dubbed ‘Project Scorpio’, this is a super-powered version of the Xbox One that boasts six teraflops of computing power, making it the most powerful games console ever made. The strategy of releasing a more powerful machine mid-way through a console cycle is not a unique one, as Sony has just released PS4 Pro. “Technology obviously advances at a very rapid rate, and there are

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XBOX INTERVIEW

Forza Horizon 3 was one of Microsoft’s biggest launches this year

new graphics capabilities coming on the market that can deliver enhanced gaming experiences – things like true 4K gaming, high-fidelty VR,” Eagle explains. “At Xbox, we want to give the very best that gaming can offer. At the same time, it’s important to reassure that no-one is going to be left behind and that games and accessories you buy now are going to work with Xbox hardware in the future. Our thinking behind these mid-gen upgrades is that we want to offer a breadth of choice on Xbox One console options, and then gamers can choose the right option for them whether that’s at the entry level with Xbox One S or at the premium level with tomorrow’s Project Scorpio?” It seems that marketing these new mid-gen upgrades is a challenge. You need to effectively communicate to consumers that this is a powerful machine, one that works with existing software and accessories. “Our job is just to make sure people clearly understand what is the best Xbox One console option for them,” Eagle says.

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“Therefore, our job is to clearly articulate the value proposition for each member of the Xbox One console family, help consumers make informed choices and that they know that all the games and accessories will work with any console in the family.“ Heading into 2017, Eagle is keen to maintain the momentum that Xbox has gained this year as it readies to launch Scorpio. “For us, it’s now important to build on the strong foundation we have established this year,” he says. “Momentum is very important in this industry, it gives confidence to retailers, to publishers, to consumers that they are making the right choice. That gives us a great platform for next year. We’re excited to see what 2017 will bring. We have Scorpio coming. There are more opportunities for gamers to play on both PC and console through our Xbox Play Anywhere feature, more great games coming out including Halo Wars 2, Scalebound and Sea of Thieves. There’s a lot for gamers to look forward to next year with Xbox.”

MIXED YEAR

Momentum is very important in this industry, it gives confidence to retailers, to publishers, to consumers that they are making the right choice. Harvey Eagle, Xbox

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2016 has been a difficult year for the games market. The physical sector in particular has struggled, with a number of games underperforming when they hit shelves. While Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle says that it is happy with his company’s performance, he does admit that things have been challenging in the market. “From a console point of view, we are very happy with our performance,” Eagle says. “When you look at games, it’s been a mixed year to date if you look at sales success. Some titles, like FIFA, Battlefield and Forza have performed really well, and others have really struggled to fulfil their potential. “It’s been a very congested window in recent weeks. People only have so much money in their wallet and it’s really hard for people to go out there and buy everything at once in a short period of time. I do believe that quality games will find their audience over time, and I think they will continue to sell.”

December 9th 2016

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INTERVIEW UKIE

What does Brexit mean for the UK video games market? 2016 has been an eventful year for both the games industry and the UK as a whole thanks to the EU Referendum vote that took place this June. Alex Calvin speaks to UKIE boss Dr Jo Twist OBE to take the pulse of the UK games market

How would you assess 2016 for the UK games industry? 2016 has been a very encouraging year for the games industry in the UK. The UK continues to remain ahead of the curve with new trends and technologies like VR, AR and eSports, and our hugely talented teams released really innovative and exciting content throughout 2016, from No Man’s Sky, to Beasts of Balance, to Batman VR. There were some great highlights, such as the first newlook, UKIE-backed London Games Festival, which saw over 38,000 people engage in events to promote games as culture and the UK as a top destination for games, the first eSports Industry Awards and a record breaking number of games businesses receiving video games tax relief. UKIE have been working hard, rolling out our Digital Schoolhouse Inspirational Computing initiative to 20 schools across the UK, thanks to support from PlayStation, launching our eSports whitepaper and the UK Games Map, and having a record number of companies join us across our international trade programme, including GDC and Gamescom. Perhaps the biggest event the UK games industry faced this year was Brexit. Before the vote, UKIE did a survey of its members, 80.6 per cent of which said they wanted to stay in the EU. How will leaving the EU affect the UK games industry? Access to diverse and skilled talent is definitely the number one concern raised by the games sector post-

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UKIE launched its eSports whitepaper last week at the Gfinity Arena

Referendum, as many people don’t realise that up to 30 per cent of games employees are EU citizens. Our talent pool relies on this freedom of movement so that we can continue to be a competitive international player. This is a key area that UKIE will be focusing on during the Brexit discussions. There are understandably concerns about how the referendum result will affect games makers in the UK, but there are also long-term opportunities that will arise, such as the opportunity to reform funding. As an industry, we need to ensure that we are acting with a single voice during the Brexit negotiations. UKIE is touring the UK in early 2017 with Brexit Roundtables to ensure that we can hear the concerns and expectations of as many members of the industry as possible – find your local roundtable at ukie.org.uk/ Brexit-tour.

What has the mood been like with UKIE’s members and board since the Leave vote? Whilst there are of course concerns from our members the UK remains in a strong position as a world leading destination for making and selling games. The UK is home to globally recognised talent creating diverse and innovative content, a fruitful business environment, and a supportive government; all of which work together to create a strong ecosystem to foster the creation of some of the best games in the world. By September, 167 games had received UK games tax relief for this year. What are your expectations for video games tax relief for the coming year? We’re continually seeing huge increases in the number of applications for VGTR year-on-year – this year was up an incredible 117 per cent on the previous period. Aside from the 167 games that received final certification this year, there were also 170 games which received interim certification, meaning their projects are yet to be completed. So we can only expect the number of applications to continue rising in the coming year. We’ve already had assurances of the security of the tax relief when Britain finally leaves the EU, so there seems to be no reason for this to slow down. If the Government triggers Article 50 and we leave the EU, will the UK have more freedom when it comes to tax relief for games? 

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UKIE INTERVIEW

This year’s London Games Festival gathered 38,000 people - for 2017, the aim is to attract 50,000

Potentially, although it remains unclear at this stage as the European Union State aid rules – rules that determine the parameters for video games tax relief – may still need to be applied as part of the broader negotiations around access to the single market. UKIE also launched its UK Games Map this year. What are your plans for this moving into 2017? Launching the UK Games Map with NESTA has been a huge success for UKIE – the Map is now tracking over 2,000 active games businesses in the UK following hundreds of companies adding their details to the dataset since launch. Over 50,000 people have visited gamesmap.uk since its launch, showing what a valuable asset the map is to the industry. Over the next twelve months, we need to ensure that more games businesses are adding their details

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the map platform and keeping their profiles updated so we can use the resource to promote an accurate picture of UK games to people across the games ecosystem, policy makers, investors, and more. Looking towards 2017, what are your hopes for both UKIE and the UK games industry at large? We will continue to champion the needs of the games sector to policy makers. This has never been more important following this year’s referendum. Securing the talent pipeline is always a top priority for UKIE, and so continued support for initiatives like the Digital Schoolhouse is key to ensure that primary age children are equipped with the creative computing skills that they need to thrive in a digital world. Government continues to inaccurately track our sector in official stats, using Standard

We will continue to champion the needs of the games sector to policy makers. This has never been more important following this year’s referendum. Jo Twist, UKIE

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Industrial Classification Codes, which fail to represent games businesses effectively. To challenge this, we will use the interactive UK Games Map dataset to give much more accurate figures about our size, scale and geography, to ensure that the UK is represented as the global player it is. The second London Games Festival is shaping up to be bigger and better than the inaugural event, with an aim to attract 50,000 to games events across the capital in April 2017. Make sure you’re watching out in January for the first round of announcements. Lastly, UKIE is going to continue to work with government, in collaboration with the APPG, Department for International Trade, DCMS and the new Department for Exiting the EU, to ensure that the games sector is fully represented and supported throughout the anticipated Brexit negotiations.

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:32


INTERVIEW THE LAST GUARDIAN

The (at) Last Guardian After ten years in development, PS4 exclusive The Last Guardian hits shelves today. Marie Dealessandri catches up with product manager Joe Palmer to ask what it’s like to market a game that’s been awaited for so long

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he Last Guardian is both the game everyone’s been waiting for and the game no one ever expected to arrive much like Half Life 3. The title began its development journey in 2007 and was announced by Sony at E3 2009 as the game which would demonstrate everything the PS3 was capable of. Developer Fumito Ueda and his Team Ico were aiming for a 2011 release date, but The Last Guardian missed its launch window and the decision was made in early 2012 to move the project to PS4. The Last Guardian then disappeared from radars until a new announcement was made at E3 in 2015. And now, almost ten years after the first draft of the project, it’s finally coming out on PS4, with the additional task to now demonstrate what the PS4 (and PS4 Pro) is capable of. But that didn’t happen without the game being delayed one last time, as The Last Guardian was initially expected to hit shelves on October 28th. “The final delay in The Last Guardian’s route to market was a very difficult decision made by Sony and Japan Studio, especially given the complicated development history of the game,” Sony’s product manager Joe Palmer tells MCV. “Unfortunately, the studio encountered more bugs than anticipated while in the final stages of development. The Last Guardian is an incredibly important game for fans and

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Sony alike, so the final delay was put into place to give the team the extra time to work on those issues, ensuring that the game delivers on the experience that the creators have envisioned.” The long wait isn’t the only pressure on The Last Guardian to deliver, as it must also match up to its iconic predecessors: 2002’s Ico and 2006’s Shadow of the Colossus. Needless to say, The Last Guardian has been eagerly awaited by fans, but also by curious gamers who just want to know if it was worth the wait. “When you’re working on a game that has such incredibly high levels of expectation, it’s impossible not to consider the pressure of meeting player expectations,” Palmer continues. “That said, The Last Guardian has a superb development team behind – with a clear vision. The teams do a great job of distancing themselves from the hype so as to not let it impact the final game. “From a marketing perspective we’ve tried to be respectful of the pressure on the studio and as tempting as it is, avoid fuelling the hype by playing on the fact that people have been waiting a long time for this. We want people to be excited because the game looks incredible, not because of its complicated development story.”

With such incredibly high levels of expectation, it’s impossible not to consider the pressure of meeting player expectations. Joe Palmer, SIE

A MISCHIEVOUS PUPPY With The Last Guardian, Sony doesn’t want to only appeal to core gamers and has tailored a massive marketing campaign to ensure the game reaches a far larger audience.

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In order to do so, the publisher is counting on the game’s easily recognisable griffin-like creature, Trico, to help push the title. “Although you won’t see Trico bursting out of X-factor TV spots or wrapping London buses across the country, there’s a sizeable marketing campaign for the launch of The Last Guardian,” Palmer explains. “The core audience is reached easiest through data-driven online means, so the campaign is heavily weighted towards digital. “Where we’ve invested in broader mediums, we’ve tried to be remain relevant by tailoring our creative and only picking the right environments. Look out for our unusual concept-art print ads in the likes of Edge, GamesMaster and OPM [see right], and also don’t miss our 60 second CG trailer in cinemas where we’ve attached The Last Guardian to all showings of the anime blockbuster, Your Name.” He continues: “One thing which has become clear over time is that Trico has resonated really well in the gaming community. Trico’s sheer size and likeness to a much-loved pet is endearing, and something we’ve tried to pick out throughout our campaign. “Our online AV creative plays on this by showing uninterrupted gameplay, focusing on a moment that perfectly captures the affection the boy and Trico share for each other. We’ve also played around with the perspective to give the illusion that Trico is so big that he breaks through the borders of the video. We’re already seeing that this bespoke creative

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THE LAST GUARDIAN INTERVIEW

Only on PlayStation®4

A game by

Fumito Ueda

Some legends have to be lived to be believed

the creator of and

Available 9th December Pre-Order now

Facing unknown dangers in a strange and mystical land, an ordinary young boy and his gigantic feathered friend must rely on each other to survive in this harrowing story of friendship and trust.

Amongst others, Sony has invested in conceptart print ads to promote The Last Guardian

“2”, “3” and “-” are registered trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. ©2016 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The Last Guardian is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. All rights reserved.

is a far more effective way to drive these themes further.” And although gamers play through The Last Guardian as The Boy (the only name the main character is known as so far), Trico appears to be the real hero here. His behaviour appears to be like some sort of giant silly dog and there’s nothing people love more than big, silly pets. “I love that Trico is so easily related to a real-life pet because it provokes a feeling which millions of people have in common – one of trust and absolute affection,” Palmer says. “At first Trico is a bit like a mischievous puppy, leaving a path of destruction in its wake and not always doing as it’s told, but you soon form a special connection and learn to rely on each other. To celebrate how well The Last Guardian evokes this sense of companionship, we’ve commissioned a real life

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mockumentary with the ‘real life owners of Trico’, so keep an eye out for that.” DEFINING THE ERA So far, Sony’s strategy for The Last Guardian seems to be fruitful, says Palmer. “I can’t comment with specific details, but I can say that preorders for The Last Guardian are exceeding expectations. We’ve seen a really positive response to the Collector’s Edition in particular, which despite its higher price point proves there’s a huge appetite for the game.” But the product manager has to admit that identifying who would be interested in The Last Guardian was a bit of a challenge. “The Last Guardian is unique. With the exception of Ueda-san’s previous games – Ico and Shadow of the Colossus – there really isn’t much like it, certainly on this

We’ve commissioned a mockumentary with the ‘real life owners of Trico’, so keep an eye out for that. Joe Palmer, SIE

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console generation. This makes defining the potential audiences very difficult and has urged us to consider untraditional ways of determining the audience. “We undertook a huge amount of research, driven through our PlayStation Network data to build the target audience, taking into account gameplay mechanics, key themes, art style and studio heritage.” The key words here are ”on this console generation”: The Last Guardian was initially designed for the previous gen, so will its relatively retro charms woo a modern audience? Fortunately, it largely has shelves to itself, as similar titles are digital-only. “Ueda-san’s Ico and Shadow of the Colossus helped define the PS2 era ... they are a vital part of PlayStation’s heritage, and a big part of why fans, are so excited for The Last Guardian’s release.”

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:32


INTERVIEW RESIDENT EVIL 7

A new kind of Evil After heading in a more action-orientated direction for over a decade, the Resident Evil series is returning to its horror roots with the latest entry in the franchise. Alex Calvin talks to Capcom EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant about the publisher’s expectations for Resident Evil 7

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t all started in VR, in a dirty kitchen. At E3 2015, Capcom started showing off a PlayStation VR demo called Kitchen, a virtual reality horror experience that was – if nothing else – incredibly unsettling. At the time I speculated with my colleagues that this was Capcom teasing a brand new horror IP. After all, Kitchen was dirty, gritty and had a more restrained tone than the publisher’s other horror titles. But at this year’s E3, Capcom revealed that Kitchen was in fact a teaser for a brand new Resident Evil game. The firm launched a demo called Beginning Hour on-stage at the show. This created something of an online phenonena, with gamers trying to unlock all of its mysteries, including that of a certain finger. Though certainly a shift from what consumers expect from Resident Evil, the change in tone was welcome news to gamers, as well as Capcom’s marketing team. “The first time we heard about the project was very shortly after they started developing it,” EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant says. “It was back in early 2014. It brought a broad smile to the entire crowd because it was a massive change in terms of the game’s perspective, obviously. Our first reaction internally was probably the same as the gamers’: ‘How is this a Resident Evil title? How is this going to connect to Resident Evil as a whole?’ “So we obviously spent a lot of time with the dev team talking about the game. You see that in the very recent previews

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Capcom first teased Resident Evil 7 with VR demo Kitchen at E3 2015

that came out, where people were saying: ‘Yes, the camera perspective has changed, but what makes the real core of the game is survival horror’. I was really pleased to see in the previews that a number of journalists were drawing parallels between the first game and 7 despite the massive gap between the two, things like the puzzles, inventory, item management, save rooms and so on. At its core, more than the characters or the lore, Resident Evil is about being scared to open a door because you don’t know what’s on the other side. That’s the kind of feeling you find in Resident Evil 7 as well.”

We’re very confident in terms of the quality. Commercially, it’s probably the biggest Capcom game we are releasing on the new machines.

HORROR EVOLVED After the more action-based gameplay of Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6, this new entry feels more refined, restrained and intimate. It feels like Capcom has been taking notes from the more scaled-back indie horror game scene that has emerged over the last few years.

Antoine Molant, Capcom

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“We took the direction – starting with 4 – to become more actionbased,” Molant says. “There’s a crowd for that as well and lots of people loved that. For a longlasting IP like Resident Evil, you need to re-invent yourself on a regular basis while keeping the core nature of why your game is good. I think the first three Resident Evil games, and the spin-offs, were part of a trilogy. But 4, 5 and 6 presented a departure, with different camera angles and so on. You could think that 7 and what comes next are also a new take on the Resident Evil franchise. “It’s an interesting exercise. It sometimes can be a bit scary for gamers, and for the dev team as well. I don’t think this game was focus tested before they started development, but these guys identified clearly what Resident Evil was, putting that in the present day, taking inspiration and influences from modern horror movies and games as well.” In the run-up to Resident Evil 6’s reveal, Capcom went all out to market the title. The push for the game had a very big, very Hollywood feel to it. While Molant says that Resident Evil 7 is going to get a similar investment, the tone of its marketing push is going to be very different. “The sheer size of it and the investment is either similar or probably higher [to Resident Evil 6],” he says. “It’s just the tone. Asny good marketing campaign will have its roots in the game. You can’t just do something that’s not related or connected to what your game is. It wouldn’t work. So the tone will

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RESIDENT EVIL 7 INTERVIEW EVIL REALITY AS well as being playable ‘traditionally’, Resident Evil 7 can also be played in its entirety in PlayStation VR. It’s perhaps one of the first triple-A titles to be playable from start to end in VR. Messaging something like this can be a challenge. “At the very beginning, we had to have a message that the game is PSVR compatible,” EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant says. “You don’t need PSVR to play it. It’s also the same game – you buy it once, you can play it in PSVR, that’s an option. That’s very important. But it’s a great window for us to promote the game and to show the game in its best light. Obviously having PSVR heightens all of the feeling and sensations you get. “Hopefully most people will like it, if they have PSVR. Some people might find it too much, I don’t know, we’ll see. But it’s definitely an extra bonus for gamers who just have to buy one game and can play both versions.”

be different, the imagery will be different. But in terms of where you actually put your investment and budget, or how big it is, it’s pretty similar. The tone will be more intimate, like the game is, and probably more survival horror, like the game is compared to 6.” QUIET BEFORE THE STORM Capcom has also opted to launch Resident Evil 7 in January. The start of the year has become a popular release slot for the publisher with Capcom launching titles such as DMC: Devil May Cry, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Street Fighter V and Resident Evil: Origins Collection during the first two months of the year. “January is becoming the little Capcom window,” Molant says. “Looking at the market, you see that January and end-of-January sales into February and March are actually quite good. Obviously there’s less competition there. It’s post-Christmas, you’d think

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Resident Evil 7 will be hitting shelves on January 24th

glad to fulfil and get the game released in January.” If anything is clear from this conversation, it’s that Molant and his team are incredibly confident when it comes to Resident Evil 7. “We’d love to have only nines or tens, but I’m sure we’ll see a few eights as well,” he says. “We’re very confident in terms of the quality. Commercially, it’s probably the biggest Capcom game we are releasing on the new machines. Ideally, we’d love to sell about 4m units Day One globally. That would be great. Looking at what we see in the pre-orders and the trends these days, we’re pretty confident we are going to get there. All the signs that we have seen across the market, whether it’s from the UK or from other territories, are very positive so far. “We’re not sitting back and relaxing at all because we want to push that. But the confidence is there.”

that people have a bit of money to spend, they’re back at work or school or wherever, and want to have fun. It’s early in the year. “The October, November and early December window... we’ve seen, this year, I’m sure some publishers will be gutted to see the sales of some of the franchises. There were a few winners as well and that’s great. Everything is more expensive in terms of advertising, communication, you don’t get as many voices and people talking about your game because they are focused on games they actually playing. “It’s the same at retail. The preorder campaigns are about preChristmas stuff, so January gives us a really nice window. You can see some publishers are already starting to push back their game into the Q1 window as opposed to Q4. “Also, part of it was simply the fact that the game wasn’t ready to ship before Christmas and wanted to work on it. We were more than

31

SHOWING THE HORROR AT this year’s E3, Capcom launched a demo for Resident Evil 7 called Beginning Hour. Since, this has been updated twice. “The thinking behind updating the demo is similar to how we approached the marketing campaign as a whole, starting with a bang, and then ramping up the teasing and reveals bit by bit,” EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant explains. “We thought that this would allow gamers to experience new content over a longer period of time. “Being able to go live with a demo at announcement means you usually cannot offer a slice of what your game truly is. But as the development of the main game progressed, we were able to add more elements to it, via the updates.”

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:33


INSIGHT GENERATION MEDIA

suggests a switch to the medium, but it definitely shows TV is no longer as relied upon to reach consumers of mobile games.

INSIGHT

2016: A new gaming advertising landscape Generation Media’s account executive JOE PHELAN explains how the advertising market for games has changed since 2015, both online and on TV, with regards to both mobile and console gaming

I

In 2016, five of the Top Ten were mobile games (3,881 Eq Ind TVRs in total) alongside five campaigns promoting console software. The most heavily supported mobile title in 2016 was Mobile Strike with 1,714 individual TVRs. When compared with the top title for 2015, its stablemate Game of War, it recorded 37 per cent less ratings than the medieval RTS app. This decrease in TV ad support for mobile games could suggest there is a petering interest in the genre. On the contrary, the highest placed console game entry, Overwatch, amassed 466 individual TVRs, four per cent higher than the highest entry in 2015. It would be ignoring the wider picture to assume the higher concentration of console games in the Top Ten

TVR explained A Television Rating Point measures the reach of a programme or advert by comparing the number of target audience viewers against the total available. One TVR is equivalent to 1% of a target audience. If an episode of EastEnders gets a Men 16-34 TVR of 5.0 that means that 5% of all Men 16-34 viewed the episode. Over a campaign with multiple ads TVRs do not account for duplicate viewings allowing a notional 100% to be exceeded.

3000 Total Gaming TVActivity by Month 3000

2500 Equivalent Individual TVRs

t’s the lead up to Christmas that sees the industry juggernauts pit their wits against each other with huge campaigns promoting their latest hardware, flagship titles and seasonal offerings in a congested ad space. Before we enter the festive promotional onslaught, it’s worth assessing the year that has preceded it and the changes in comms strategies that brands are embracing. To that end, Generation Media has investigated how 2016 compares to 2015 in regards to TV and online. TV advertising for the games market has seen a downturn compared to last year. Total equivalent individual (Eq Ind) TVRs (see right) recorded by this year’s campaigns are 32 per cent down at 15,199. Despite increased campaign support in 2015, the table (right) clearly highlights a similar pattern to the year when comparing monthly airtime deployment. For example, the months of May and October remain heavily weighted for both years as publishers push titles in key months before the summer and winter respectively. The anomaly in January 2015 was largely driven by Argos deals for consoles and increased support from mobile developers King and Supercell. Herein lies the reasoning into 2015’s higher individual TVR total. Of the top ten titles over the period in 2015, eight of which were mobile games produced by King, Supercell and Machine Zone (6,766 Eq Ind TVRs in total).

2000

1500

1000

500

Source: DDS/Kantar: Period-on-period 1st January – 23rd November 2015 vs 2016. 00

Jan

Feb

Mar Apr

May 2016

December 9th 2016

32 MCV904 Insight_V7.indd 1

32

Jun

Jul Aug Sep

Oct Nov

TO THE INTERNET While TV ad spend data and analysis is fairly mature, the dispersed nature of the digital online space means that measuring spend effectively is a lot more challenging. However we are able to piece together insight which can be supplemented with knowledge from media owners to decipher 2016 gaming ad spend. What we do know is that online ad spend across all sectors grew by 16.4 per cent year-on-year, the fastest rate since 2008 (IAB UK, 2016). In fact, digital has overtaken TV and now makes up 50 per cent of all ad spend (eMarketer, 2016) with growing sectors marketing to younger demographics, such as games, leading this charge. While Addynamix has improved measurement of online activity the tool fails to report activity, outside of standard display formats. Our strong relationship with media owners within the games market helps us to a fuller understanding. The largest spending online campaigns of 2016 to date have all been console games: Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Uncharted 4 which goes against the findings from a TV perspective. Although the growth of mobile games ad investment seems to be well documented on TV, this is not reflected across the measurable online space. While we do not have the full picture, the landscape does appear to have changed for mobile gaming. TV is now less paramount for the genre and the growth of programmatic buying means that measurement of digital ad spend continues to be challenging. The question is still, what percentage of budget should be allocated to each medium? And for that, Generation has a bespoke tool, The Media Aggregator, which assesses varying market factors and product specifications to advise the most efficient communications strategy.

2015 www.mcvuk.com

07/12/2016 15:33


*Performance result may vary on different configuration. Product features and specifications may vary by model.

Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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28/11/2016 16:16:56


MARKETPLACE

SHELF LIFE

Richard Bowie from Insane Games in Bridgewater tells MCV about the store’s challenging 2016, what his expectations are for 2017 and how much demand there have been for new hardware Scorpio and Switch How has business been lately? Not too bad, it was definitely quieter before Black Friday, and then quieter still after it. How has Black Friday been for you then? It wasn’t very good, to be honest with you. There were good sales but I think people were just going to other big stores and making the most of their really good prices on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

PRE-ORDER CHARTS

What games have you been selling particularly well? That’s been a mix, really. Pokémon has done really well, but that’s no surprise. Call of Duty did OK. There were so many releases really – Final Fantasy has been another big one.

but you could see there were fewer pre-orders and fewer sales on the day, but it still did quite well. What sort of challenges are you facing at the moment? I would say we struggle to get competitive prices. For supplies, you have to shop around so you can get better prices or exclusive content, which is really hard because we’ve got a GAME and a CeX, so it’s very competitive pricing here.

How did Call of Duty perform compared to the previous entry in the franchise? You could see the sales were down. Not a massive difference

PRICE CHECK: ALFRETON

TOP 10 PRE-ORDERS 1. THE LAST GUARDIAN EXCLUSIVE LAUNCH EDITION PS4, Sony 2. Horizon Zero Dawn Sony.........................................................................PS4

RATCHET & CLANK

3. Persona 5: Collectors Deep Silver...........................................................PS4

UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END

4. South Park The Fractured But Whole Inc Stick of Truth Ubisoft ....................................................................PS4

Sony, PS4

Sony, PS4

Sony, PS4

Microsoft, XO

£24.99

£39.99

£9.99 (used)

£46.99

£22.99

£15.99

£14.99

8. The Last Guardian: Collector’s Edition Sony.........................................................................PS4

£29.99

£24.99

£14.99 (used)

N/A

9. Hitman Square Enix..........................................................PS4

£29.49

£22.99

N/A

£18.22

10. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands inc. The Peruvian Connection DLC Ubisoft ................................................................. PS4

£27.36

£30.77

£38.86

£21.23

7. Mass Effect Andromeda EA .............................................................................PS4

UPLOADING The latest digital releases coming to market

STARDEW VALLEY

RED DEAD REDEMPTION

SUPER MARIO RUN

Eric Barone’s indie PC hit is finally coming to PS4 and Xbox One

Rockstar’s acclaimed title has landed on PS4 and PC via PlayStation Now

Mario’s first foray into mobile is launching on iPhone and iPad

OUT: DECEMBER 14TH

December 9th 2016

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ONLINE

£44.99

6. Final Fantasy VII Square Enix..........................................................PS4

OUT: NOW

34

IN STORE

5. Nintendo Switch console Nintendo.................................................................N/A

DRIVECLUB RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER

OUT: DECEMBER 15TH

www.mcvuk.com

07/12/2016 17:29


MARKETPLACE

Insane Games 5 - 7 East Quay Bridgwater TA6 5AY

Phone: 01278 433 554 Facebook: /InsaneBW

How would you assess 2016 for your store? Challenging. People are turning a lot to digital and you can see that all the big releases are getting fewer sales each year. It’s OK. What are your expectations for next year then? Hopefully pretty good. Nintendo Switch is launching and obviously VR is coming along. You’ve got Resident Evil at the beginning of the year which will

help a quiet January so I’d say it’s looking good. Has there been much demand for Switch and Scorpio? Yes, people are having positive stands on it but it’s been a lot about the Switch obviously. It will all kick off early next year. And Microsoft will also start pushing its consoles, so I would say it’s looking quite positive in that respect and I think it will all be very busy.

INCOMING TITLE

WANT TO FEATURE YOUR OUTLET IN MCV? Contact mdealessandri@nbmedia.com or call 02038 894900

It’s a surprisingly busy January, with a new Resident Evil game coming to shelves, as well as the physical versions of 2016’s Hitman and Abzu FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PS4

Action adventure

Sony

01216 253 388

CentreSoft

Wii U

Adventure

Telltale Games

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01902 861 527

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December 9th The Last Guardian December 16th Minecraft: Story Mode - Complete Adventure December 22nd Don Bradman Cricket 17 December 31st Airport Architect Forestry 2017 - The Simulation

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01902 861 527

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Realms of Arkania

PS4/XO

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January 20th Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemist of the Dusk Sea

Vita

JRPG

Koei Tecmo

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Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

3DS

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01256 385 200

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Gravity Rush 2

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Kingdom Of Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

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Square Enix

01256 385 200

Koch Media

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

PS4/XO/PC

Survival horror

Capcom

01216 253 388

CentreSoft

Yakuza 0

PS4

Action

Sega

01256 385 200

Koch Media

January 24th

January 27th Abzu

PS4

Adventure

505 Games

01215 069 590

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Tales of Berseria

PS4, PC

JRPG

Bandai Namco

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December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 17:29


GAMING MERCHANDISE UK

GAMING MERCHANDISE UK As Christmas approaches, MCV catches up with Gaming Merchandise UK’s Phil Rolls to see what’s new on the distributor’s shelves and what lies ahead for the firm

SINCE its inception, Gaming Merchandise UK has worked handin-hand with major IP-holders and manufacturers to deliver the best accessories and merch to retailers. And this Christmas season will be no exception. “We’re moving lots of jumpers and baubles as would be expected. They, once again, are proving extremely popular,” buying manager Phil Rolls tells MCV. “More generally, Overwatch and our framed prints are doing really

Overwatch has hit the sweet spot in terms of mainsream popularity and cult cool – what’s where a lot of merch sales are found. Phil Rolls, Gaming Merchandise UK

well. Much like Fallout 4, Overwatch seems to hit the sweet spot in respect of mainstream popularity and cult cool – that’s where a lot of merch sales can be found.” He continues: “Like many we’ve been surprised by quite how well Overwatch has performed since release – and rather than tailing off it seems to be snowballing.” But despite Overwatch’s success, 2016 was not a year that will be particularly remembered, Rolls believes.

STAR WARS X-WING VS TIE FIGHTER CHRISTMAS JUMPER We have to say that we’ve been more excited by the release of Rogue One than by Christmas this year. But here’s the perfect jumper to celebrate both. You’re welcome. SRP: £34.99 Manufacturer: Numskull Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

FALLOUT 4 RED ROCKET FRAMED PRINT

GEARS OF WAR 4 HOODIE

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM OVERSIZED MUG

This 30 x 75 cm collector print will make players fall in love with Fallout 4 all over again.

Fans can celebrate the release of free Gears of War 4 DLC this month by buying a new hoodie.

Since we’re all going to waste hours of our lives on Skyrim again, might has well have an oversized mug to keep the coffee to hand.

SRP: £24.99 Manufacturer: GB Eye Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

SRP: £39.99 Manufacturer: Games Alliance Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

SRP: £12.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

December 9th 2016

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07/12/2016 15:34


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GAMING MERCHANDISE UK

Sponsored by

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“Like everyone else, we’re swept along by the tide of releases and it’s fair to say, while there have been some excellent games released this year, 2016 hasn’t been a vintage year,” he says. “That said, we’re in the fortunate position to have our ‘evergreens’ that keep things ticking over while we wait for the next ‘Fallout’.” But while waiting for ‘the next Fallout’, GM UK hasn’t been idle and has already identified strong IPs for next year.

“We’re really excited about our 2017 ranges – Resident Evil and particularly Mass Effect: Andromeda are a merchandiser’s dream and we can’t wait to take the wraps off it,” Rolls enthuses. “Customers are becoming more discerning. They are prepared to pay a premium for quality and true creativity. It’s no longer enough to print the cover of your game on a t-shirt and expect to sell – our customers are smart, they expect something a little more subtle.”

TITANFALL CUSTOM HOODIE Level Up Wear is known for its high end and creative collections, including a brand new one dedicated to Titanfall 2. It includes hoodies, a wide range of T-shirts, a jacket and everyday pilots gear. SRP: £49.99 Manufacturer: Level Up Wear Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

ZELDA SKYWARD SWORD STATUE

OVERWATCH REAPER T-SHIRT

UNCHARTED 4 PIRATE COIN KEY RING

While Zelda fanatics wait patiently for Breath of the Wild they can go back to 2011’s Skyward Sword with this statue.

It’s never too late to get into Overwatch and then to ask for a Reaper T-shirt for Christmas.

Uncharted 4’s sales went through the roof during Black Friday, so new fans might want to treat themselves with some merch.

SRP: £49.99 Manufacturer: Together Plus Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

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

SRP: £7.99 Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

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December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:34


MARKETING, PR & CREATIVE AGENCIES

LEGAL

AUDIO IN

GERARD FOX LAW

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Tel: +44 (0)7780 600 728 www.deadgoodmedia.com ........................................................................................................

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Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.fl uidesign.co.uk ........................................................................................................

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Tel: 0207 636 9142 www.kennedymonk.com ........................................................................................................

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TRADE BODY UKIE

Tel: +44 (0) 207 534 0580 www.ukie.org.uk ........................................................................................................

PUBLISHING

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QA & LOCALISATION, PAYMENT & SOLUTION EXEQUO

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Tel: +44 (0) 208 664 3456 www.creativedistribution.co.uk/ ........................................................................................................

DC GAMES GROUP

Tel: +971-50-9287220 www.Doostan-Co.com ........................................................................................................

INCOMM

Tel: 01489 588 200 www.incomm.com ........................................................................................................

OK MEDIA LTD

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DEVELOPMENT SERVICES & RECRUITMENT AUDIOMOTION

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OPM RECRUITMENT

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REMOTE CONTROL PRODUCTS

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TO LIST YOUR COMPANY HERE AND ONLINE EVERY WEEK PLEASE CONTACT LMCDIARMID@NBMEDIA.COM OR CALL 020 7354 6000 MCV Directory 2016 DPS.indd 1

07/12/2016 17:17


THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT AGENCIES AND SERVICE COMPANIES

COMPANY PROFILE / FLUID

KEY CONTACTS: James Glover Creative Director

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james@fluidesign.co.uk

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A creative agency with a passion for visual impact and rich experiences. Fluid is an award winning creative agency launched in 1995 offering innovative and engaging creative for some of the largest Entertainment Brands in the World. Fluid is not only our name, but also our branding philosophy. We embrace the changing media landscape with a flexible, reactive approach enabled by a rich pool of outstanding talent from a wide range of artistic disciplines. At every stage of the creative process we guarantee flexible, comprehensive creative solutions that bear testament to the breadth of our experience and versatility of style. We live by our ethos ‘Never Not Creating’ to ensure that every project we undertake benefits from an ingrained passion and cultural knowledge, earning Fluid a renowned reputation for consistently evolving creativity.

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INDIE THICK OF IT

THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES

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70%

believe PS4 will rule next year (above top),

Twist think virtual reality is doomedUKIE’s SuperData’s van Dreunen

(above middle) and Reflection’s Leksell (above)

ack are bdig Charts ital time, they’re And this UKIE signs partnerships for by Christopher Dring

19%

ches charts section console data QMCV re-laun mobile and digital demand more titles in 2016

will digital data, these measures able to GfK Chart-Track’s physical bring us closer to being to MCV. our industry, listings will also return judge the successes of and clear MCV dropped its weekly and continue to grow using as part of market.” monthly charts sections information about our games which our Digital Counts initiative, SuperData CEO Joost van y full a “Getting campaigned for more transparenc Dreunen added: are selling includes around how well games picture of the market, that such as MMOs via download platforms categories like free-to-play iOS and be key to Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, and digital console, will and Google Play. the UK industry’s domestic highest it’s “Access to data is of the ternational success. Certainly,

MCV Directory 2016 DPS.indd 2 industry AT last! The UK games charts. has some digital download UKIE has signed agreements of mobile with leading providers and MCV will and digital sales data, be printing the results. will offer ection Refl rm fi Analytics which will UK mobile sales charts, ngside

41%

picked Uncharted 4 as their most anticipated game of 2016

Teaming digital gamers in the UK. to extend up with UKIE allows us and fulfil the depth of our coverage a clear the ambition of providing market.” picture of the digital games sector, mobile the of On the state Leksell said: Reflection boss Gustav in a “The market is quite immature type of data way. The fact that this attests to is not readily available back to goes only sector This that. it mature, 2007, but we are seeing p is developers

60%

hail Fallout 4 as 2015’s Game of the Year

15/02/2016 10:39


DIRECTORY

WHO?

INSIDER’S GUIDE SKILLSEARCH

Specialism: Recruitment Location: 15a Brighton Place Brighton BN1 1HJ

Contact: W: www.skillsearch.com P: 01273 287 007 E: mail@skillsearch.com

Skillsearch’s head of business development Guy DeRosa discusses the increasing demand for VR and AR Tell us about your company. Skillsearch is one of Europe’s largest recruitment agencies working within the games industry. We’re also known as the organisers of the annual charity bash Play@Develop, and have become best known as the go to agency for professionals in the interactive space - virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. What successes have you seen recently? We’ve just come off the back of

questions are based around computer games and all proceeds go to the amazing charity, Special Effect. There’s a lot going on in the background here as well. We’re the busiest we’ve ever been so our team is growing. This means there’s lots of training going on but we always have to balance this with ensuring that our performance as a whole keeps increasing. There should also be some exciting announcements around a bit of rebranding soon.

an exclusive gig crewing an entire team for a renowned studio’s first big virtual reality project. It’s truly world class and exciting, but as with anything juicy in this industry we’re sworn to secrecy. What are you working on? The next big event is our annual Games Brains of Brighton Quiz. Last year eight different game studios sent their best teams to battle it out for some Christmassy charity fundraising fun. Naturally the

DISC REPAIR

TOTAL DISC REPAIR

Tel: +44 (0) 1202 489500

December 9th 2016

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Web: www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

40

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07/12/2016 17:22


DIRECTORY

FINK

CREATIVE

DISTRIBUTION

CLICK ENTERTAINMENT

Artworking Mastertronic Brand Identity Ukie Localisation Rising StarIdentity Games Artworking Mastertronic Brand Advertising BBFC Website Design Deep Artworking Mastertronic Brand Ukie Localisation Rising StarIdentity Games Silver Exhibition Illustration Ukie Localisation Rising Design Star Games Advertising BBFC Bethesda Website Deep Appynation Digital Media Design IntentMedia Advertising BBFC Bethesda Website Deep Silver Exhibition Illustration Charity GamesAid Banners Takeovers Silver Exhibition Bethesda Appynation Digital Media &Illustration IntentMedia Just Flight Konami Packaging Design Appynation Digital Media IntentMedia Charity GamesAid Banners & Takeovers Charity GamesAid Takeovers Konami PackagingBanners Design&Just Flight Konami Packaging Design Just Flight Email: info@finkcreative.com CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION

Tel: +44 (0) 208 6643456 ENARXIS DYNAMIC MEDIA

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email: sales@click-entertainment.com

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December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 17:22


DIRECTORY

L3I

GAMING ACCESSORIES

Tel: 01923 881000

Web: www.logic3.com

LIME DISTRIBUTION

GAMING ACCESSORIES

Tel: 01622 845 161

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ADVERTISE WITH US

WANT TO ADVERTISE IN OUR DIRECTORY?

CALL CONOR TALLON ON 020 7354 6000 OR EMAIL HIM AT LMCDIARMID@NBMEDIA.COM

December 9th 2016

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Sponsored by

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

BELGIUM

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

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

IRAN

UAE 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

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

SWEDEN

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

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

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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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December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:35


INTERNATIONAL NEWS Sponsored by

INTERNATIONAL NEWS Pokémon Sun and Moon hit sales records across the world Combined sales for the latest entries in portable franchise have now reached over 7.5 million worldwide POKÉMON SUN AND MOON have been on shelves for just over two weeks but they’re already breaking records for Nintendo. In Europe, the latest titles in the series have sold 1.5m units during Week One, having launched on November 23rd. In the UK alone, Sun and Moon shifted 368,000 copies during their first week on shelves, Nintendo said, and are the platform holder’s biggest ever launch in the country. The exact timeframe during which this data was

December 9th 2016

44 45 MCV904 International News_V7.indd 1

Combined global sales for Sun and Moon have thus reached 7.5m copies in just over two weeks. The best selling 3DS Pokémon titles so far have been Pokémon X and Y, which shifted over 15m copies to date. A record Sun and Moon could break earlier than expected. Nintendo of America’s senior VP of sales and marketing Doug Bowser commented: “With these huge sales figures, Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have proved themselves as two of the hottest video games to buy this holiday season.”

collected was not specified though, nor do we know if digital sales were included in this figure. In the Americas, Pokémon Sun and Moon have simply become Nintendo’s fastest-selling titles, having sold 3.7m units across the regions since launch on November 18th. In Japan, the titles shifted 442k copies during their second week, following combined sales of 1.9m during launch. That gives a total of over 2.3m units sold since launch on November 18th.

With these huge sales figures Pokémon Sun and Moon have proved themselves as two of the hottest games this Christmas.

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07/12/2016 15:35


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Nintendo to open three theme parks worldwide UNIVERSAL has confirmed that it is opening three Nintendodedicated areas in its existing theme parks. They will be located at Universal Studios Japan (situated in Osaka), Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. The idea behind these parks is to make visitors feel like they’re “playing inside [their] favourite games – in real life,” Universal Orlando’s PR vice president Tom Schroder said in the announcement. The date of the first opening has yet to be revealed. “The first such announcement will come soon,” Schroder added. “Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway; they will open separately over the next several years,” he continued.

Global games market expects physical sales decline during Q4 Digital sales will allow the worldwide market to grow, but not as much as in 2015 and 2014 RESEARCH firm SuperData predicts a pretty slow Christmas season for games worldwide. As reported by The Wall Street Journal last week, global physical retail sales (including hardware, software and accessories) are expected to reach $13.1bn (£10.4bn) in revenue worldwide during Q4. That would represent a 2.2 per cent year-on-year decrease in sales compared to the same period last year. However, the fall was even more important in 2015 (down 4.7 per cent during Q4) and in 2014 (down 6.2 per cent). If you include digital sales (mobile apps, full-game downloads, paid DLC and so on) as well as VR hardware sales (that were not included in the above forecast), the future looks brighter, with sales expected to grow 6.3 per cent yearon-year during Q4 to reach $35.91bn (£28.75bn) in revenue. But putting these numbers in perspective with the previous

www.mcvuk.com 

44 45 MCV904 International News_V7.indd 2

years showed that the increase was more important in 2015 (10 per cent up) and 2014 (15 per cent up). Q4 accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of the annual revenue for console gaming, SuperData added. This forecast could thus mean that the overall market for 2016 will be down as well. The WSJ also pointed out that the Consumer Technology Association’s (the trade body for the consumer technology industry in the US) annual survey has seen consoles ranked at No.4 in the list of tech products U.S. adults intended to buy during Thanksgiving week. It was No.1 last year. SuperData figures follow GameStop’s own bleak forecast for the end of the year, as the retail giant has predicted a seven to 12 per cent decrease for Q4, and a 6.5 per cent to 9.5 per cent decline for the full year. GameStop has 6,900 shops across Europe, Australia and North America.

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“Imagine the fun of stepping into a larger-than-life Nintendo adventure. Gigantic Piranha Plants spring to life. Question blocks, power-ups and more surround you. And Mario and all his friends are there to pull you into a brand-new world. You’ll enter an entire realm filled with iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains.” Nintendo first announced its partnership with Universal Parks & Resorts in May 2015. The platform holder then stated: “Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways – only at Universal theme parks.”

December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:36


OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD This week, the industry gathered for its Christmas Party DRINK AND BE MERRY WE’RE nearly done with Q4 and Christmas is within our grasp, so MCV and our sister brands Develop and eSports Pro invited the industry to our second annual Christmas Party at Holborn’s Sway Bar. It was a good night where friends were reunited, drinks were drunk and shapes were thrown. We just hope the hangovers weren’t *too* bad this time around.

December 9th 2016

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07/12/2016 15:36


OFF THE RECORD

Green Man Gaming Asks...

Will a big patch/update convince you to give a previously boring or broken game a second chance? #GMGasks

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

I’d say the lack of communication and care for the gamers in between the two releases plays too much of a part for me.

If the studio kept its player base up to date then I am willing to give a game another go. Ubi has done this really well with The Division.

@generalElost

@mrdomrocks

I frankly don’t give a damn about the history of the game itself, if it becomes good, I’ll play it.

In the case of No Man’s Sky, it’s getting there. In general, a big patch/ update is to me always a reason to give it a chance.

@datara90

@Renefoetsie

Depends how broken the game was in the first place. You can polish a turd, but it’s still a turd ;)

Only if it’s actually decent afterwards, and No Man’s Sky still has a long way to go before that happens.

@Fireytoad

@JoeW_P

Tag your reply with #GMGasks to have your say!

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December 9th 2016

07/12/2016 15:36


CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE IN THE GAMES INDUSTRY Thursday 9th March 2017, The Brewery, London

ENTRIES NOW OPEN! Firmly established as the unrivalled badge of excellence for the games sector, the prestigious MCV Awards 2017 showcase top class performance and innovation. Enter today and be in with a chance of winning in 2017! Deadline for entries: 6th January 2017 Fantastic sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact us today to find out how you can get involved: chicks@nbmedia.com

www.mcvawards.com | @mcvonline | #mcvawards MCV Awards 2017_Entries v2.indd 1

07/12/2016 14:52

Profile for Future PLC

MCV904 December 9th  

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