MCV Awards ’08: The winners in full

The Japanese giant’s impact on the booming UK games industry over the past 12 months pushed it to victory across four award categories.

Nintendo won prizes for PR Team, Marketing Team and Games Publisher and then capped a very good night’s work by becoming the first ever company to win the prestigious Grand Prix two years on the trot.

Another multi-winner was Ubisoft. It wrestled the Sales Team award from THQ, which had won this competitive and much coveted category on the previous two occasions.

Ubi’s Assassin’s Creed also just pipped Sega’s Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games to win New Games Brand.

There were some familiar names amongst the winners, such as GAME winning Specialist Retailer for the second year running, Microsoft picking up Game Campaign with Halo 3 and Electronic Arts beating its rivals to Best Trade Marketing Team.

But there were also plenty of new names being handed awards by special guest comedian Simon Amstell.

Amongst these were Independent Retailer of the year Grainger Games, which has become a growing force on the High Street.

Zavvi, previously Virgin, won Star Store for the fine retail experience offered by its Oxford Street outlet.

Codemasters beat off stiff competition to win UK Development Team and 505 Games was a highly popular winner of the Sales Triumph award thanks to the stunning success of Cooking Mama.

A judging panel of 89 senior figures from all sectors of the industry chose the winners from a set of Finalists announced earlier in the year.

Photos and tales from last night, plus another full review of all the winners, will appear in MCV next week.

The winners in full:

RETAIL CATEGORY

Independent Retailer:
Grainger Games

Specialist Retailer:
GAME

Entertainment Retailer:

HMV

Online Retailer:

Play.com

Star Store:

Zavvi, Oxford Street

PR & MARKETING CATEGORY

PR Team:
Nintendo

Game Campaign:

Halo 3 (Microsoft)

New Games Brand:

Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)

Trade Marketing Team:

Electronic Arts

Marketing Team:

Nintendo

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY CATEGORY

UK Development Team:
Codemasters

Distribution Team:

Centresoft

Sales Triumph:

Cooking Mama (505 Games)

Sales Team:

Ubisoft

Games Publisher:

Nintendo

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Paul Donnelly (Gem)

GRAND PRIX

Nintendo

MCV Awards video online now

Ever wanted to see the industry’s finest singing along to Take That? Neither did we until last night.

But following our biggest ever awards bash, we’ve been flooded with requests to see the MCV Awards video once more…so as we’re so kind to you all, here it is.

Special thanks to Gamer TV and all that took the time out to participate – tell us what you think in the comments thread below, and brace yourselves for next year’s offering…

BikeBiz Awards Unveiled

The BikeBiz Awards 2008 will run alongside this year’s Cycle Show, in London, taking place on the evening of the trade specific day of Thursday October 9th. The venue of the event will be announced next month.

"A trade awards event for such a vibrant business as the cycle industry is long overdue and will offer an enjoyable and valuable evening for the entire cycle business community – from the smallest independent dealer to large suppliers," said BikeBiz publisher and Intent Media managing director Stuart Dinsey.

"The BikeBiz brand is respected both in print and online. We have a strong relationship with our readers and will work closely with the industry to create an event it can be proud of.

"Intent Media already runs high quality awards in other entertainment and leisure markets and we will be bringing our experience and production values to the BikeBiz Awards."

Categories will be announced next month. The awards will have a transparent voting procedure, with the BikeBiz team picking five Finalists per category after a free-of-charge lobbying period.

A wide Judging Panel, drawn from all sectors of the business, will then choose the winners.

"This is an event for everyone. It will be affordable and prestigious, with huge reach thanks to the influence of the BikeBiz magazine and website," added Dinsey.

For sponsorship or ticket enquiries, please contact Carly Bailey on 01992 535647 or email Carly.Bailey@intentmedia.co.uk.

Intent Media launches mobile websites

Having already established themselves as the most important online trade resources across many of the UK’s leading industries, Intent Media’s web portfolio has launched into the mobile web space.

"Just like BBC Sport, we now provide news wherever you are and whenever you like," said Intent Media publisher and Intent Media boss Stuart Dinsey.

"We have the most relevant trade websites, Blackberry-friendly email news services and now a number of bespoke sites for browsing via mobile.

"We continue to set the pace with our integrated approach to news and information in these markets. No one can match our circulation, our authority or our passion.
 
"This is about investing in order to provide the best news and advertising solutions, whilst delivering the widest reach. We are the only trade publisher that is genuinely committed to growing our combined readership."

To see our mobile websites, follow the links below:

MCV – mobile.mcvuk.com
Develop – mobile.developmag.com
PC Retail – mobile.pcretailmag.com
Mobile Entertainment – mobile.mobile-ent.biz
ToyNews – mobile.toynewsmag.com
Licensing – mobile.licensing.biz
BikeBiz – mobile.bikebiz.com
Audio Pro – mobile.audioprointernational.com

Gem, Enta and John Lewis win big at PC trade awards

Gem was the star of the show, picking up the prestigious Grand Prix prize in recognition of the distributor’s outstanding achievements and new initiatives over the past year.
 
Entatech also stood out  – taking home two awards for Sales Innovation and Sales Team: Business. Fellow distributors XMA and VIP were also acknowledged, winning the Marketing and PR Team and Sales Team: Home awards respectively.
 
Retail wise, YoYoTech won best High Street Independent, while after a hugely successful period John Lewis was presented with the High Street Multiple Award. Elsewhere, Overclockers.co.uk took the online retailer prize.
 
Successful vendors such as Antec, AMD and Symantec were also rewarded with prestigious titles.
 
“It was a tremendous night. Huge thanks must go to the trade for supporting this new tightly-targeted and affordable awards event. Every major computing and technology buyer was in the room and there was a real sense of community,” commented PC Retail publisher and Intent Media boss Stuart Dinsey.

“Well done to the winners. They have won because the trade voted for them, so they should be very, very proud of their achievements.”

PC Retail Award Winners

High Street Independent
YOYOTECH
 
High Street Multiple
JOHN LEWIS

Online retailer
OVERCLOCKERS.CO.UK
 
Value Added Reseller
STONE COMPUTERS
 
Best Technical Support
FORUM COMPUTERS
 
Sales Team: Home (Distribution)
VIP
 
Sales Team: Business (Distribution)
ENTATECH
 
Sales Innovation (Distribution)
ENTATECH
 
Marketing & PR Team (Distribution)
XMA
 
Specialist Distributor
TARGET COMPONENTS
 
Sales Team: Home (Vendor)
AVG
 
Sales Team: Business (Vendor)
LENOVO
 
Marketing & PR Team: Home (Vendor)
SYMANTEC
 
Marketing & PR Team: Business (Vendor)
AMD
 
Specialist Vendor
ANTEC
 
Grand Prix
GEM

Ingham in as MCVuk.com editor

Intent Media, publisher of games industry bibles MCVUK.com and MCV, has today announced two new appointments which bolster both trade publications’ editorial teams.

Tim Ingham, erstwhile deputy editor of print publication MCV, has been promoted to editor of the magazine’s online portal. Launched in May 2007, MCVUK.com rapidly established itself as the games industry’s one-stop destination – breaking a series of exclusive stories which have reverberated around the globe. Tim’s passion for the market and nose for news have seen him recognised as one of the business’s most respected journalists.

Tim will hand the magazine’s deputy editor position over to Jonathon Harker, who joins MCV from editing Gem’s Future In Store magazine. One of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable writers in the industry, Jonathon’s remit will be to ensure MCV remains the flag bearer for the games industry, combining industry news and analysis with a passion for the medium itself.

“MCV’s reputation for video games industry news is second-to-none, and I’m ecstatic to be tasked with continuing to translate that well-deserved distinction at www.mcvuk.com,” says Tim Ingham, new editor of MCVUK.com.

“My appointment in this dedicated role gives us the opportunity to really spread our wings when it comes to serving the international games community online – from the smallest independent retailer to the biggest publishing behemoth.

“We have grand plans for the site that we’re sure will create a real buzz, and I can’t wait to unveil them to our ever-growing web audience. Without giving too much away, readers can expect to see more interviews with video games’ leading lights, more of the most insightful industry comment the web has to offer and, above all, more of the breaking news the most powerful individuals in games have come to rely on, day-in-day out. ”

“This is as close to a dream team as Intent Media could hope for,” adds Lisa Foster, managing editor of MCV and MCVUK.com. “Both new appointments build on the superb foundations we’ve set in both print and online news reporting, and illustrate our commitment to both publications.

“We’re the only games trade publication in the world that offers both a magazine and an online portal – and we’ll be looking to enhance both over the coming months, as only we can. Figures and reaction from the last year have shown that MCV and MCVUK.com really are the first ports of call for the entire games business. The appointments of both Tim and Jonathon will really strengthen our proposition.”

Ad exec wanted for new online launch

Intent Media is looking for a bright and energetic sales exec to work on a new online-only games project.

The company behind MCV, Develop, Mobile Entertainment and other leading entertainment industry B2B brands is continuing its rapid development in the online arena – with traffic and advertising demand currently going through the roof.

Media sales experience is an advantage, as is an understanding of video games and the online environment. Salary is commensurate with experience.

"This next product will dovetail perfectly with our existing online and print portfolio. It will be our 10th title and our second online-only launch since we successfully rolled out Licensing.Biz in October," commented Intent Media boss Stuart Dinsey

"Intent is an integrated media group with online, print and networking solutions for all our customers. We are proud to be market leader in all the sectors we cover and the team here is tremendously excited about the new launch, which will be revealed in full shortly."

The sales position is based in our Hertford offices. Find out more about us at www.intentmedia.co.uk, www.mcvuk.com and www.developmag.com.

If you fancy the challenge of helping us to launch this exciting new online
project and build a fast-track career in media, please contact: Orlaith.Kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk.

MCV Award Finalists unveiled

 

Independent Retailer

This award is for the independent games retailer judged to offer the strongest customer service, product knowledge, range, plus window and in-store merchandising. A solus store can win, but the retailer must not have more than 50 outlets in total. Last year’s winner was ePlay, beating off competition from Chips, Ninja Games and Playtime. This year’s finalists are:-

Playtime Multimedia
Console Connection
Grainger Games
Powerplay
Ninja Games

Specialist Retailer

his award is for any specialist video games/home computing retailer active on the High Street or online judged to offer the strongest customer service, product knowledge, range, plus window and in-store merchandising. Last year’s finalists included, Gamestation, GameStop, CEX and Chips, but it was GAME which went home victorious. The finalists are:-

GAME
Gamestation
CHIPS
Gameseek
Gamestop

Entertainment Retailer

The strength of the interactive entertainment market – alongside the decline in music and DVD sales – has meant that all forward-thinking entertainment retailers have a significant games offering. Last year’s victor was HMV. But who has done the most in pushing their offering forwards this year? The finalists are:-

HMV
Zavvi
Woolworths
Blockbuster
Asda

Online Retailer

No-one would argue against the rising importance of online retail generally – and in the games space it is more pronounced than many other sectors. This award takes into consideration customer service and delivery, product knowledge and range, commitment to street dates, marketing and sales growth. Last year’s winner was Play.com, and this year’s finalists are:-

Play.com
Amazon
Gameseek
Shopto.com
Tgrav.com

Star Store

A well-deserved recognition of the team behind an independent’s success or the staff within a chain’s individual outlet, this award recognises the sales performance, but also the commitment and service to customers above and beyond the call of duty. The award was won last year by Gamestation’s Birmingham store on New Street and this years finalists are:-

Gamestation Hull
Playtime Multimedia, Doncaster
Gamestation, Birmingham
Zavvi, Oxford Street
HMV, Trocodero

Sales Team

Whether they’re having too cope with a rogue, unfair review score or they have a massively hyped new next-gen franchise, this award praises the team which has the hard task of selling . But it’s not all about sales, it’s about after-sales service, customer care as well as overall commercial performance. And the following finalists are testament to that mantra:-

Activision
Ubisoft
THQ
EA
Nintendo

UK Development Team

The UK continues to be a hub of creative talent and this accolade rewards the top UK studio, regardless of international ownership. Last year’s finalists included Real Time Worlds, Rare, Rockstar, Evolution and the eventual winner, Traveller’s Tales. The finalists this year have brought gamers some wonderful experiences, and they are:-

Bizarre Creations
Sports Interactive
Criterion
Codemasters
Rebelion

Distribution Team

By its very nature, distribution is not the most sexy of sectors. But in the past year it’s seen a flurry of activity, with publishers switching partners, new forces emerging, MBOs and, sadly, some closures. The award was won last year by Koch/Nindie.com, who beat of competition from EUK, Centresoft, Gem and Just Distribution. This year’s glamorous finalists are:-

Koch Media
Centresoft
Gem
Advantage
Trilogy

Sales Triumph

Any publisher – from the biggest corporation to the smallest start-up – has the chance to snap up this new award, which will highlight the product that has achieved better-than-expected sales at UK retail. Whether an original software title, niche sequel, or even a ‘quirky’ new game that attained surprise hit status, the award will celebrate the over-achiever that made headlines last year. The finalists are:-

High School Musical: Sing It! (Disney)
Cooking Mama (505 Games)
MArio & Sonic At The Olympic Games (Sega)
Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)

Games Publisher

A big one – and a tough one. The finalists are based on the top selling publishers by sales last year. But which one provided the best product quality, trade relations, customer service, innovation and marketing agility? Last year’s winner was Nintendo, who faced competition from EA, Sega, THQ and Ubisoft. This year’s finalists are:-

Ubisoft
Activision
EA
Microsoft
Nintendo

MCV Retail Advisory Board Special Recognition Award

This is a special award voted for by the MCV Retail Advisory Board, who represent the leading games retailers in the UK marketplace. Finalists are chosen based on their attitude, enthusiasm and performance, and was won last year by Margaret Pearson from Centresoft. Other finalists last year included James Dixon of THQ, Dave Gould of Vivendi Games, Penny Humphrey from EA and Paul Marcantonio at Ubisoft. This year’s finalists are as follows:-

Rob Gross (Midway)
Paul Donnelly (Gem)
Dave Gould (Vivendi Games)
Jonathan Grimes (Microsoft)
Penny Humphrey (EA)
Rosemary Buahin (Sony)

PR Team

There’s no doubting that the standard of PR in the UK games industry has stepped up a gear over the past couple of years, with the market’s key communications execs not only having to promote their latest products, but also dealing with often unfair swipes from the national press about hardware shortages, violence in games and even slaughtered goats. This year’s finalists are:-

Nintendo/Red
Microsoft/JCPR
EA/Shine
SCE/Shine
Vivendi/IndigoPearl

Game Campaign

It’s not all about big-bucks ad budgets. This award takes into consideration the effective communication of the product or brand, creativity and execution, influence on sales performance and the impact of the campaign versus the budgets available to the marketing teams. Last year’s eventual winner was Microsoft for its promotion of Gears of War, but who will do it this year? The finalists are:-

Halo 3 (Microsoft)
Touch! Generations Range (Nintendo)
FIFA ’08 (EA)
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games (Sega)
Call Of Duty 4 (Activision)

New Game Brand

The games industry is often criticised for a lack of innovation, of churning out sequel after sequel. And on a certain level, that criticism may be justified. But new IP continues to roll out to both critical acclaim and commercial success. This award celebrates innovation and creativity – with each of the finalists having the potential to grow into long-term franchises. They are:-

Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (SCE)
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games (Sega)
Bioshock (2K Games)
Mass Effect (Microsoft)

Marketing Team

Another fiercely competitive category, this award is designed to recognise the creativity of a marketing department, taking into account the budgets that are available. Nintendo grabbed the award last year. Battling it out to pick up the accolade this time are:-

Microsoft
Nintendo
Ubisoft
EA
SCEE

Trade Marketing Team

This category focuses on the commitment to retail provided by the publishers and format holders – whether that’s POS, trade advertising, merchandising or store promotions. The award was nabbed by Ubisoft last time. This year the companies who are hailed for customer service are:-

Sony
Activision
EA
THQ
Microsoft

Deadline nears for MCV Award nominations

The nominations process for the most prestigious video games industry awards ceremony in the world, the MCV Industry Excellence Awards 08, is drawing to a close – so this week is your last chance to make your voice heard.

To make sure your opinion counts, email us at mcvexcellence@intentmedia.co.uk before this Friday (February 15th 2008).

MCVUK.com has the complete run-down on all the categories and awards up for grabs:

To read about the RETAIL category, which includes awards for the Best Independent Retailer, Best Specialist Games Retailer, Best Entertainment Retailer, Star Store and Best Online Retailer, click here.

To see more information about the PR & MARKETING category, which includes awards for the Best PR Team, Best Game Campaign, Best New Game Brand, Best Marketing Team and Best Trade Marketing Team, click here.

For the run-down on the PEOPLE AND INDUSTRY CATEGORY and its associated awards, including Best Sales Team, Best UK Development Team, Best Distribution Team, Best Sales Triumph and Best Games Publisher, click here.

Also, don’t forget MCV’s two SPECIAL AWARDS – the MCV Advisory Board Special Recognition Award and the Grand Prix Award. Details about those can be found here.

The 2008 MCV Industry Excellence Awards will take place on Thursday April 10th. By popular demand, they will once again be held at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London – with 17 awards up for grabs.

For tickets or sponsorship details, contact jodie.holdway@bhpr.co.uk.

New comments features go live on Intent Media’s online portals

As well as letting you know how many comments have been posted on a story simply by looking at the front page, users are now able to click on the Most Viewed and Most Comments tabs above the news on the front page to see what topics have got the licensing community talking.

In addition, now when you click on any news story two handy boxouts to the right will point toward any related stories, and tell you the number of comments posted in them, and the stories that have commanded the most input from readers.

You don’t have to be a registered member of the site to leave a comment – we’re keen to hear from anyone. However, sign up to any of the Intent websites and as well as receiving our Daily or Weekly News Digests and breaking News Flashes, you’ll also be able to choose a username and avatar to personalise your feedback.

Intent Media’s online portfolio includes www.mcvuk.com, www.developmag.com, www.pcretailmag.com, www.mobile-ent.biz, www.toynewsmag.com, www.licensing.biz, www.audioprointernational.com, www.bikebiz.com and the soon to be relaunched www.mi-pro.co.uk.