Develop Awards: Sony wins top prize

Over 500 games development executives packed into the Metropole Hotel in Brighton last night to see their contemporaries honoured in the fifth annual Develop Industry Excellence Awards.

Sony was a key winner, picking up the Grand Prix award, but it was just one of 17 different winners – proving that next-gen has spurred a truly diverse industry of creative talent.

Games like Evolution’s MotorStorm (PS3) and Zoe Mode’s Crush (PSP) took home prizes for best new IP, with Rare awarded a Visual Arts prize for its game Viva Piñata and technology firm Havok named as best tools provider.

Stalwarts and newcomers alike were awarded double-whammies; Traveller’s Tales won the best independent developer award for the third year running and scored best use of a licence for Lego Star Wars II – Realtime Worlds meanwhile was awarded best new studio and the innovation prize for debut game Crackdown.

Other big winners were Sega – named as the development sector’s publishing hero – and Ubisoft’s network of studios in France, named as best in-house developer.

Rockstar Leeds scored the best handheld studio prize for the second year running.

Ian Hetherington, co-founder of the ‘80s publishing powerhouse Psygnosis, was crowned Development Legend. He is currently chairman of Evolution Studios and Real Time Worlds – two of the evening’s winners – and is ex-managing director of Grand Prix-winner Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

All of which illustrates the contribution he has made – and continues to make – to the industry, and the overall wide range of prize winners at the fifth-annual Develop Awards.

“The fact that no one company dominated the awards this year shows what a diverse range of talent this industry boasts,” said Michael French, editor, Develop Magazine.

“It’s been a brilliant year for games, with new hardware allowing developers to really stretch their imagination – so competition for these prestigious awards has been fiercer than ever. Whilst the winners and the finalists will undoubtedly grab the headlines, everyone involved in games development should be applauded for continuing to broaden the market and those playing our games.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

New Console/PC IP
MotorStorm (Evolution/SCEE External Development)

New Handheld IP
Crush (Zoe Mode)

Best Use of a Licence
Lego Star Wars II (Traveller’s Tales)

Visual Arts
Rare (Viva Pinata)

Audio Accomplishment
FreeStyle (B-Boy)

Publishing Hero
Sega

Innovation
Real Time Worlds (Crackdown)

Tools Provider
Havok

Best Use of Online
Eden Studios (Test Drive Unlimited)

Services & Outsourcing
Babel Media

Recruitment Company
Datascope

New UK Studio
Realtime Worlds

Best Handheld Studio
Rockstar Leeds

Business Development
Blitz

Independent Developer
Traveller’s Tales

In-House Developer
Ubisoft France

Development Legend
Ian Hetherington

Grand Prix
Sony Computer Entertainment

Sourcebook 2007 goes live

The online version of the games industry’s definitive guide to agencies and service companies has gone live today.

Sourcebook 07 is an all-year reference tool, featuring over 70 companies across eight different categories.

The print version is distributed in MCV and sister title Develop Magazine, plus there is a dedicated microsite promoted through all relevant publications within the Intent Media portfolio – which also includes PC Retail, ToyNews and Mobile Entertainment.

Sourcebook is a one-stop shop for anyone looking to outsource development, PR, media buying, translation work, recruitment, distribution, logistics, packaging or legal,” commented MCV managing editor Lisa Foster.

“If you want people to come in and pitch for new business, Sourcebook is your starting point. It’s rammed full of information and ideas.”

If you would like to order a print copy of Sourcebook, contact Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk

Develop Awards: Finalists Revealed

Friday 8th June/… The finalists for this year’s Develop Industry Excellence Awards have been revealed – with newcomers Realtime Worlds leading the pack with a staggering seven nominations, the most ever for one developer in the event’s five-year history.

Held on Wednesday July 25th 2007 at the Hilton Metropole, Brighton, the Develop Industry Excellence Awards will honour those at the forefront of the development community – the creative geniuses behind the very best games our industry have to offer. Bringing together over 50 of the greatest development teams, it is the only event which honours the achievements of Europe’s finest game creators.

Realtime Worlds’ debut title Crackdown has been nominated in the New Console/PC IP category, with the studio itself picking up a further six nominations in the Visual Arts, Audio Accomplishment, Best Use of Online, Innovation, New UK/European Studio and Independent Developer categories.

Evolution Studios (MotorStorm), Rare (Viva Pinata), SCEE Studio Liverpool (Formula One Championship Edition) and Introversion (Defcon) boast three nominations each.

“The last 12 months have seen European developers literally raise their games,” says Stuart Dinsey, managing director of Intent Media, publisher of Develop. “In a period which has seen the launch of two home consoles, the continued improvement of Xbox 360 and PC software, and the mobile games market emerge as a genuine creative and commercial alternative to the more traditional games platforms, only the most excellent titles have any chance of standing out from the crowd. To be nominated for an award during this exceptional period is a real honour – and we congratulate all those teams involved.”

The Develop Industry Excellence Awards are voted for by a panel of almost 100 industry experts.

In addition to the 16 awards voted by the industry cognoscenti, two additional awards will be presented on the night – one to a Development Legend, and an overall Grand Prix, both decided by the magazine’s editorial team.

The Develop Industry Excellence Awards 2007 are kindly sponsored by Codemasters, NCsoft and Nvidia.

The event has sold out in since its launch in 2003 – please contact Kathryn Humphrey at BHPR on (01462 456780/Kathryn.humphrey@bhpr.co.uk) to book tables.

DEVELOP AWARDS: The finalists in full

CATEGORY: Creativity

New console/PC IP
Just Cause (Avalanche)
Crackdown (Realtime Worlds)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (GSC Game World)
Viva Pinata (Rare)
MotorStorm (Evolution, SCEE External Development)
Red Steel (Ubisoft France)

New handheld/mobile IP
Crush (Zoe Mode)
Zendoku (Zoonami)
B-Boy (FreeStyleGames, SCEE External Development)
Galaxy on Fire (Fishlabs)
Thrillville (Frontier)

Best Use of a Licence
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Traveller’s Tales)
Burger King games (Blitz games)
The Fast and the Furious (Eutechnyx)
Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Climax)
Pirates of the Caribbean (Eurocom)

Visual Arts
Rare (Viva Pinata)
Realtime Worlds (Crackdown)
Evolution (MotorStorm)
SCEE Studio Liverpool (F1 Championship Edition)
Ubisoft France (Montpelier) (Rayman Raving Rabbids)

Audio Accomplishment
Eidos Hungary (Battlestations Midway)
Creative Assembly (Medieval II Total War)
Freestyle Games (B-Boy)
Introversion (Defcon)
Realtime Worlds (Crackdown)
Deadline Games (Chili Con Carnage)

Publishing hero
Codemasters
Microsoft
Sony
Eidos
Sega

CATEGORY: Technology and Services

Best Use of Online
Introversion (Defcon)
Realtime Worlds (Crackdown)
Eden Studios (Test Drive Unlimited)
SCEE Studio Liverpool (F1 Championship Edition)
Opera (Wii/DS web browser Nintendo)

Innovation
SCEE Technology Group (SCE MultiStream audio engine)
Sumo Digital/Sheffield Hallam University (Super Rub-a-Dub water simulation)
Realtime Worlds (Crackdown)
Ideaworks3D (Airplay middleware)

Tools provider
Kynogon
Havok
Autodesk
Epic Games
Perforce
NaturalMotion

Services & outsourcing
Babel
Side UK
Audiomotion
Air Studios
Escape Studios
Image Metrics

Recruitment company
Day One
Amiqus
OPM
Prospero
Datascope
Specialmove

CATEGORY: Studios

New UK/European Studio
FreeStyle Games
Avalanche
Shadow Light Games
Realtime Worlds
Zoonami
Cohort Studios

Handheld/mobile games studio
Exient
Rebellion
Distinctive Developments
Rockstar Leeds
Rockpool Games
Full Fat

Business development
Blitz
Relentless
Instinct
Kuju
Rebellion
EA UK

In-house developer
Rockstar Leeds
SCEE Studio Liverpool
Ubisoft France
Rare
EA DICE

Independent Developer
Relentless
Traveller’s Tales
Evolution
Introversion
Sumo Digital
Realtime Worlds

SPECIAL INDUSTRY RECOGNITION AWARDS

Development Legend

Grand Prix

Winners for these awards to be announced on the night.

Develop unveils new web portal

Tuesday 17th July/…Develop Magazine, the only European monthly print publication aimed exclusively at the development community, has today unveiled its brand new website.

Located at www.developmag.com, the online portal will quickly become the only online destination for anyone involved in the creation, commissioning and management of video games.

Backed by the industry-leading print publication, developmag.com boasts the broadest range of editorial content for the games development industry, with original news and features appearing every day, alongside content from the magazine itself. The site will also host instructive tutorials covering all aspects of game production.

The site has been built with the development community in mind, profiling studios and key creative leaders while allowing readers to track the news which is attracting the most interest worldwide and offering further ways to interact with content.

Users can easily sign up in order to take advantage of the site’s members-only service, which will be developed and expanded over the coming weeks. In addition, the entire print issue of Develop can be downloaded as a PDF, free of charge every month. So there’s no excuse ever to miss an issue – no matter where in the world you are.

“The new Develop site is the ultimate resource for the games development industry and anyone interested in the creation of video games,” says Michael French, editor, Develop. “We’ve a host of new features coming soon which will put even more distance between ourselves and any other website out there. This is the most exciting industry in the world, and www.developmag.com now offers everything anyone involved in games development could need.”

Other features soon to be launched remain top secret – but a comprehensive recruitment area will be online shortly. Users will be able to browse jobs or perform detailed searches. More news will be announced soon.

For more information, please contact Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

MCV launches new games trade website

Friday 8th June/… Today marks the advent of a new type of trade website, as Intent Media unveils the brand new games industry portal at www.mcvuk.com

Designed to fully incorporate Web 2.0 philosophy, mcvuk.com is a one-stop destination for anyone interested in the business of games, providing news, opinion, analysis, press releases and information all in one place.

Backed by the industry-leading print publication, mcvuk.com boasts the broadest range of editorial content, with original news and features appearing every day, alongside content from the magazine itself, plus the main headlines from other games sites around the world. In addition, the site tracks games release dates, compares prices, rounds-up events, publishes charts, details job openings, reports share prices, and offers indispensable advice to retailers looking to ensure they stock their shelves appropriately.

The site also details the news the industry is reading – highlighting the real issues of the day – as well as offering a place for the business to congregate and comment on the headlines.

Best of all, the site has been designed to offer an integrated search facility – allowing anyone interested in the games industry to fully cross reference MCV and mcvuk.com content at the touch of a button. For the first time, it is possible to monitor games, companies and individuals in one place – whether in press releases, news stories, features or opinion. It’s an essential reference tool for the business.

The site is staffed by both online and offline news teams, giving it an unrivalled breadth, depth and quality of editorial. Backed by the MCV print publication, it also boasts the largest pool of content of any trade resource, making it essential reading for anyone in the business of games.

Users can easily sign up free of charge in order to take advantage of the site’s members-only service, which will be developed and expanded over the coming weeks.

In addition, the entire print issue of MCV can be downloaded as a PDF, free of charge every week. So there’s no excuse ever to miss an issue – no matter where you are.

“Our vision for mcvuk.com has never changed,” says Stuart Dinsey, managing director, Intent Media, publisher of MCV and mcvuk.com. “But it’s only now that the technology exists to allow us to fully develop the site as we’ve always intended. We’ve invested a significant amount of money in making it the essential online news service and resource for the entire games industry, in a way which allows us to complement the content of the weekly print publication.

“The battle between print and online has been raging for some time, but we’re in the unique position of having the content and bandwidth to service both very different propositions. MCV and mcvuk.com complement each other so uniquely, we’re confident it’ll prove the de facto destination for everyone in the games industry.

“The investment doesn’t end here. This is just stage one of the site. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be launching a whole host of new services, designed to keep MCVuk.com at heard of the games business.”

The new website is online now at www.mcvuk.com

For more information, please contact:

Stuart Dinsey
Email: Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1992 535688

Nintendo dominates biggest ever MCV Awards

Over 600 representatives from the UK games industry saw Nintendo become the first ever company to win the prestigious Grand Prix for a second time. It also won three other premium awards – namely Games Publisher, PR Team and Marketing Team – to take its overall haul on the night to four.

Other big winners included THQ, which won Sales Team after its fine revenue and market share growth over the past 12 months.

GAME took the Specialist Games Retailer crown, whilst the hugely impressive Birmingham New Street branch won Star Store on behalf of Gamestation. HMV shrugged off its head office troubles to score an impressive victory in the games market by being named best Entertainment Retailer, whilst ePlay won Independent Retailer and Play.com won Online Retailer.

The powerful and innovative sales, marketing and PR effort being Christmas blockbuster Gears of War helped Microsoft to dominate the Game Campaign award. Ubisoft won Trade Marketing Team for its overall strength and high level of support. Activision’s Guitar Hero, an innovative introduction on PS2 last year and currently riding high in the 360 chart, won New Games Brand.

Meanwhile, Lego Star Wars studio Traveller’s Tales won UK Development Team, Blizzard just edged out Capcom for the Unsung Hero award thanks to the phenomenon that is World of Warcraft and Koch/Nindie broke the traditional Gem and Centresoft duopoly to win Distribution Team.

Awards were voted by a 90-strong judging panel from all sectors of the industry, with the revelry taking place at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London.

“The commercial success of the DS and Wii clearly contributed to Nintendo’s domination of these awards. But the trade is also unified in its appreciation of the UK team’s energy, enthusiasm and  attitude,” commented MCV publisher Stuart Dinsey.

“Every company should be hugely proud of its achievement, whether winner or Finalist at the MCV Awards. The £2 billion UK games market is testament to the people that work within it. We are the envy of the world for our vitality and fraternity, as demonstrated last night.”

The winners were chosen by a 90-strong industry Judging Panel (see MCV print edition 13/4/07 for full list).

Each category had five Finalists, who had been chosen on their trade performance during the 12 months to March 2nd 2007. Voting took place between Friday March 16th and Friday March 23rd.
 
THE WINNERS

RETAIL 
Independent Retailer: ePlay
Entertainment Retailer: HMV
Online Retailer: Play.com
Specialist Games Retailer: GAME
Star Store: Gamestation, Birmingham New Street

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY
UK Development Team: Traveller’s Tales
Distribution Team: Koch/Nindie.com
Unsung Hero: Blizzard Entertainment
Sales Team: THQ
Games Publisher: Nintendo

PR & MARKETING
PR Team: Nintendo/Cake
New Games Brand: Guitar Hero
Trade Marketing Manager: Ubisoft
Marketing Team: Nintendo
Game Campaign: Gears of War (Microsoft)

MCV Retail Advisory Board: Special Recognition: Margaret Pearson

Grand Prix Award: Nintendo

Games Media Awards to debut in October

The new event will put industry opinion formers all under one roof for the night whilst they battle it out for a dozen much coveted prizes.

It is the perfect curtain-raiser for Q4, with media attending a high profile event just as PR initiatives reach their climax.

Importantly, all media will be invited free to the event, as guests of a limited number of key sponsors.

Over 250 people will attend during the evening, with categories set to include everything from specialist and non-specialist websites to print publications, online and broadcast TV shows, podcasts, national newspapers, consumer press, design, reviews and promotions.

“Diversity of coverage is key to the games industry’s connection with consumers, but many within the wider media do not feel appreciated. Some have told us they don’t think they have a genuine enough relationship with the companies and products that they are writing about,” commented Intent Media boss Stuart Dinsey.

“The Games Media Awards will look to change that.  They will build stronger ties between the games industry and media at all levels.”

The GMAs will be voted by the industry itself, with more information coming soon in MCV print and online.

Click here to sign up for the MCV Daily and get the games market’s leading news digest.

Major new event to recognise the contribution the media makes to the games market.

Intent Media is to launch The Games Media Awards 2007, which will take place at the Soho Revue Bar, Brewer Street, London on Thursday October 11th. It will put the opinion formers all under one roof for the night whilst they battle it out for a dozen much coveted prizes.

It is the perfect curtain-raiser for Q4, with media attending a high profile event just as PR initiatives reach their climax.

Importantly, all media will be invited free to the event, as guests of a limited number of key sponsors.

Over 250 people will attend during the evening, with categories set to include everything from specialist and non-specialist websites to print publications, online and broadcast TV shows, podcasts, national newspapers, consumer press, design, reviews and promotions.

“Diversity of coverage is key to the games industry’s connection with consumers, but many within the wider media do not feel appreciated. Some have told us they don’t think they have a genuine enough relationship with the companies and products that they are writing about,” commented Intent Media boss Stuart Dinsey.

“The Games Media Awards will look to change that.  They will build stronger ties between the games industry and media at all levels.”

The GMAs will be voted by the industry itself, with more information coming soon in MCV print and online.

Click here to sign up for the MCV Daily and get the games market’s leading news digest.

New Develop 100 site goes live

The 2007 edition of the Develop 100 reveals the fluctuating fortunes of the world’s software developers, ranking games studios based on the revenues their games have made at UK retail in the previous calendar year.

EA Canada is the number one studio, while the list also shows a rise in the monies made y UK teams and a narrowing gap between them at their US rivals – plus the impact new formats such as the Wii and 360 are having on developers’ revenues.

The Develop 100 is distributed with every copy of the April issue of Develop and relevant copies of this week’s MCV. Extra copies of the book are available from publisher Intent Media – contact Katie Rawlings or call 01992 535646

MCV ties Japanese deal

The highly respected firm will continue to provide MCV with authoritative marketing data, as well as industry leading analysis and news.

In return, MCV will supply Famitsu with the latest trends, data and stories from the European market.

“We are very pleased to extend our partnership,” said manager at Famitsu’s global marketing and strategic planning department Ricky Tanimoto (pictured). “We are honoured to be able to use MCV’s content in our publications and online product.

“Our knowledge of games marketing in Europe has been enriched in the last two years, as the attention towards the emerging European game market – especially the UK – has continued to increase in Japan.”

Lisa Foster, managing editor of MCV added: “Our relationship with Famitsu is a key factor in ensuring that MCV is regarded as the leading provider of industry knowledge in Europe.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to continue this mutually beneficial association. There is no doubt that the editorial output of both publications is enhanced by this hugely significant partnership.”

New home for Intent Media

The company is now located at Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England SG14 1JA, though all other contact details remain the same.

Intent Media publishes seven leading trade titles within entertainment, leisure and technology markets, namely MCV: The Market for Home Computing & Video Games, Develop, Mobile Entertainment, PC Retail, ToyNews, Musical Instrument Professional and BikeBiz.

It also runs a series of major industry events such as the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, Develop Industry Excellence Awards, Mobile Entertainment Awards, Games Industry Pub Quiz, MCV Marketing Partners Summit, Mobile Entertainment Meet-Up and MCV Gamesfives.