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.
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