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.

PCR Awards tickets winners announced

The following retailers will each receive a pair of tickets to the lavish awards ceremony held at The Café Royal, London.

Caroline Johnson – YourTechOnline.com

Ketan Bhatt – Success International

Michael Hoffman – Drum Brae Solutions

Dominic Foulkes – Individual Computers

Vinh Quan – PC n Digital

CK – YoYoTech

Kate Baber – Computer Shop@Plymouth

Sushila Karia – KMGS

Simon Aronowitz – Support Lounge

Richard Dix – Positive Computing

John McCrea – Pentech Systems

Keith Irwin – Causeway Computer Services

Ashger Ali – Axia Computer Systems

Ben Stroud – ISE Computers

Tahir Shah – London Computer Centre

The PC Retail Awards will honour all sectors of the IT and computing business in the UK. Some 15 awards, covering the Frontline (Retail), Distribution and Vendor categories will be given out during the evening. Sponsors and event partners, meanwhile, include Gem, AMD, Widget UK, Enta Tech, Big Red Solutions, Toshiba, Realtime Distribution and VIP.

“We’re delighted with the response we’ve had to the PC Retail Awards,” said Intent Media managing director Stuart Dinsey. “The industry has given the event its full backing – as our line-up of sponsors and partners demonstrates."

For ticket and table sales contact Kathryn Humphrey at BHPR or email Kathryn.Humphrey@bhpr.co.uk.

Bike Biz gets a new look for ’08

It’s been two years since Hertfordshire B2B publishing house Intent Media acquired BikeBiz and in that time the magazine has gone from strength to strength, with executive editor Carlton Reid now being supported by BMX enthusiast staff writer Mark Sutton.

The new look BikeBiz, out now, has been redesigned to give the magazine a more modern feel, better suited to the dynamic world of the cycling business. The January issue boasts 80 pages and includes a guide to Core Bike, the trade-only exhibition being held later this month, an interview with Seventies Distribution, a look at the growing interest in cyclocross, plus all the BikeBiz regular columns and analysis of the month’s biggest news stories.

“BikeBiz has been a fantastic addition to the Intent Media stable of leisure and entertainment B2B titles since we acquired the magazine just over two years ago. But the past year has seen the publication really go from strength to strength,” said managing editor Lisa Foster.

“We wanted to kick off 2008 with a new look for the magazine, ensuring that the fast-moving world of the cycle trade has a publication it truly deserves. We’re confident that we’ve achieved just that – and we’re delighted that it’s also the biggest ever issue in the history of the magazine.”

Meanwhile, the BikeBiz.com website has been relaunched to reflect the new look of the magazine. All the features of the original site remain – including the popular forum – but there is now increased content, along with trade listings, events and statistics.

“The BikeBiz.com website remains a popular destination for the UK and international cycling industry, with traffic figures rising month on month,” added Foster. “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved with the site to date and look forward to further growing the online element of BikeBiz going forward.”

For all editorial enquiries on BikeBiz, contact Mark Sutton or Lisa Foster on 01992 535646 or email Mark.Sutton@intentmedia.co.uk or Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk

To discuss the promotional opportunities available on BikeBiz and BikeBiz.com, contact Carly Bailey on 01992 535646 or email Carly.Bailey@intentmedia.co.uk.

And for a free trial subscription to the magazine contact Hannah Short on 01992 535646 or email Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk.

MCV Jobs Board arrives

The new MCV Jobs Board offers a wide variety of positions, from sales and marketing to development and media. Single jobs can be posted directly for 28 days. They normally cost £150, but are offered at just £50 if booked directly through Chris.Buckley@intentmedia.co.uk any time this month.

Featuring prominently within the fast-growing www.mcvuk.com website, deals have already been struck with leading agencies such as OPM, Datascope, Aardvark and Special Move.

Plus, recruiters will be able to avoid agencies directly should they wish – by posting single or multiple jobs directly into the system. They don’t even have to speak to the MCV sales team.

Applicants will have their CVs automatically forwarded to the recruiting company, whilst registered job seekers will be notified every time a relevant job is posted.

MCV is also offering an integrated solution which gives additional benefits to high impact advertisers in its weekly print edition.

“Thanks to the huge pass-on readership of our print weekly and growing global army of online readers all over the world, MCV has the biggest readership across retail, sales, marketing, development, media, financial community and beyond,” commented MCV publisher and Intent Media managing director Stuart Dinsey.

“MCV is a brand trusted all over the world, driven by essential content carefully targeted for its readers. We are delighted to introduce this new online recruitment service, which provides not only a low-cost and flexible solution for recruiters but a valuable free service for job hunters.

“As most in the games industry already know, the MCV website is absolutely flying. The MCV Daily leads the market and so will our jobs board. Plus there is even more to come from us in the online area. Watch this space.”

To find out more about the MCV jobs board contact Chris.buckley@intentmedia.co.uk or go to www.mcvuk.com.

Intent launches Licensing.biz

The new site, called Licensing.biz, will cover all key sectors – such as toys and gifts, food and beverages, movies, sport, apparel, publishing, video games and design.

It will also boast a daily email news service, as well as recruitment services, opinion, key brand spotlights and event updates. ‘Web 2.0’ features such as real-time trade comments and forums will also be included.

Samantha Loveday, with over 10 years’ experience in the entertainment trade press, has been appointed editor.

“Apart from one quality global licensing title based in the US, there is very little in the trade area that is either modern in execution or of genuine value for today’s wider licensing community. We have responded to the demand for a window on the European business, which will be of huge value to licensees, licensors, retailers, media and investors,” said Intent Media managing director and Licensing.biz publisher Stuart Dinsey.

Licensing.biz launches just ahead of the Brand Licensing Europe event in London next month.
It has a targeted readership of over 8,000 licensing professionals, retailers and relevant executives from all key licence holders.

Launch sponsors include industry heavyweights such as Nickelodeon, Kilogram, Start Licensing, Entara, Hit Entertainment and Target.

“It is clear that in a global, fast-moving business like licensing, something new is required,” continued Dinsey.

“Traditional UK-based low-circulation print titles that appear infrequently are not the way forward. It’s not just about flogging ads around trade shows. The licensing sector deserves more than that.”

Intent Media is an independent media company specialising in trade magazines, B2B websites and events for entertainment and technology markets.

It already publishes eight market-leading publications, servicing markets such as toys, video games, home computing, mobile entertainment, cycling, musical instruments and professional audio.

For more information contact Stuart.dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk or go to www.licensing.biz

New ToyNews website launched

Already a success story, the original website had set the standard for the industry, with growing UK and international traffic driven by the recent launch of the ToyNews Daily email service.

The revised ToyNews site offers additional features such as direct industry comment and interaction around news stories, product spotlights, opinion, exclusive NPD data, newsfeeds from other leading toy sites such as the US-based Playthings, retail charts and High Street price checks.

ToyNews also offers an RSS feed and has relationships with search engines such as GoogleNews and NewsNow.

“We are a country mile ahead of any rival when it comes to online services for the European toy trade. This site provides even more essential information and takes us to a new level,” commented ToyNews publisher Stuart Dinsey.

“Like our print edition, ToyNews Online has become the standard bearer for news and information. We have a growing audience thanks to consistent quality editorial and huge investment in Search Engine Optimisation. Recruitment advertisers, particularly, have seen the difference compared to any other trade media. And we expect further significant growth going forward.”

Intent Media will also shortly unveil a new online service dedicated to all aspects of the international licensing business.

“Our licensing project will be announced very soon. It is clear that in a global, fast-moving business like licensing, something new is required. Traditional UK-based low-circulation print titles that appear infrequently are not the way forward. It’s not just about flogging ads around trade shows. The licensing sector deserves more than that,” added Dinsey.

Mobile content elite acclaimed at ME Awards

Among the 20 winners were Admob (pictured), Google, Nokia and EA. Meanwhile Ralph Simon, chair emeritus of MEF Americas, received a special award for his outstanding contribution to the mobile entertainment industry.

The ME Awards event, organised and hosted by Mobile Entertainment magazine, celebrates innovation and achievement in the mobile content space. It’s one of the highlights of the industry calendar and is attended by senior execs from all market sectors, all over the world. A wide range of categories covered all aspects of the mobile entertainment space, including content publishing, technical services and operator activities.

The ME Awards were sponsored by Nokia, Sega Mobile, Player X and Glu, with category winners chosen by a voting panel of over 400 industry execs. The event took place last night at The Brewery in London.

Tim Green, executive editor of Mobile Entertainment magazine, said: "Once again the best of the industry gathered in one room to collectively celebrate its innovation and success. Can’t wait to do it all again next year."

Mobile Entertainment is the world’s only trade publication for the mobile content sector, providing news, features and analysis to over 10,000 industry execs every month. It also hosts the market’s premier online destination at www.mobile-ent.biz.

Full list of ME Awards winners:

Best Imaging Company
Getty Images

Best Gambling Company
Spin3

Best Adult Services Company
WAAT

Best D2C Content Service
Buongiorno

Best Games Developer
Digital Chocolate

Best Games Publisher
EA

Best Music Label
Ministry of Sound

Best Video Producer
MTV

Best Video and TV Service Provider
Player X

Best Music Service Provider
Groove Mobile

Best Games Service Provider
Terraplay

Best Billing Provider
Bango

Best Managed Service Platform
Ericsson

Best Mobile Publishing Platform
Wapple

Best Mobile Marketing and Advertising Service Provider
Admob

Best Search Provider
Google

Best Community Service Provider
Jumbuck

Best Handset Company
Nokia

Best Operator
3UK

Outstanding contribution to mobile entertainment
Ralph Simon, MEF Americas

Intent launches Audio Pro International

A sister title to the existing Musical Instrument Professional (MI Pro), Audio Pro will become an essential information and community resource for the live sound, commercial broadcasting and recording market.

The print version will be published 10 times a year, supported by daily news and content at www.audiprointernational.com.

Launch circulation is 5,000, with over half of the B2B title’s circulation going overseas.
Well established audio journalist Andy Wood has been hired as editor.

Issue 1 hits desks on Friday September 7th, with an additional 5,000 copies distributed at the PLASA trade show taking place the following weekend at Earls Court.

“Our research shows that the sector is ready for this title, which will provide an integrated print and online solution for live, broadcast and recording specialists all over the world,” commented Intent Media managing director Stuart Dinsey.

“It is a perfect fit for us, given our current leadership position within the trade sector for musical instruments, plus our specialism in technology and entertainment sectors.”

Audio Pro International joins a roster of trade-only titles that already includes the weekly MCV: The Market for Home Computing & Video Games, plus MI Pro, PC Retail, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, BikeBiz and Develop.

Intent Media also hosts a growing series of awards events and conferences.