Two new consoles, the return of Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider, plus a string of top looking new IP. 2012 is already shaping up to be a blockbuster year for games. MCV – with the help of industry execs – offer 50 reasons why this new year will be a defining one for the UK games industry.
Fergal Gara - VP and MD, SCE?UK and Ireland
Vita. It has a massive potential audience in all those who appreciate a high-end gaming experience, and whilst we face many challenges, we’re excited to bring it to market. I am also looking forward to making changes at SCE UK. Having joined just a few weeks ago, I see enormous potential for us to perform better as a team, in order to entertain a much larger group of consumers. I’m looking forward to working closely with all my Sony colleagues, third parties and retail partners.
Dawn Paine - Assistant General Manager and Marketing Director, Nintendo UK
I am looking forward to getting stuck into some of the broader industry issues as a UKIE board member. It will be great to be part of moving the UK games industry’s agenda forward, having had a challenging time of it during 2011.
Chris Lewis - Vice President, Xbox Europe
Just over a year ago, we surprised people with Kinect and the magic it brought, and continues to bring, to their living rooms. In 2012, we’ll surprise people with a revolutionary TV experience as we see entertainment partners join Xbox Live and transform the way they control, search and enjoy TV, movies and music. Aside from that, I can’t help but be excited about the return of Master Chief – it’s what I’m looking forward to, my son is looking forward to, and what our fans are looking forward to.
Ian Livingstone - Life President, Eidos
I’m looking forward to the Education Secretary Michael Gove officially announcing that computer science will be included in the National Curriculum almost as much as I’m looking forward to the release of Tomb Raider.
Mike Hayes - President and CEO, Sega West
The Olympics. It’s a proud moment for our country. It should mean continuing great sales of Mario & Sonic and success with our official game on 360, PS3 and PC out in the summer. And it’s a proud moment for me as the sailing is being held in my home town of Weymouth.
Rob Salter - Entertainment Director, Tesco
Some sustained growth in games. Conditions will remain challenging and it is up to retailers and manufacturers to deliver compelling propositions. The Olympics should provide a boost to the economy and the nation’s mood, but we’ll need to earn our share of the TV.
Kunio Neo - President,Konami Europe
I predict 2012 will be the year we will witness the transformation of the way games will be experienced. New technology and platforms have positively impacted traditional console manufactures as well as publishers by expanding the overall ecosystem.
Robert Nashak - EVP, BBC Worldwide
The Vita launch. We’re bringing Doctor Who to Vita at launch and the feature set for Vita will blow your mind. I also look forward to next-gen console announcements from Sony and Microsoft. Also, Bioshock Infinite, The Last Guardian and Syndicate.
Martin Defries - MD, Rising Star Games
Continued sales for 3DS – we have a line-up of great game titles to launch in the year. Also, if dreams could come true, a complete and boundary-less rise of the UK High Street retailers selling games profitably.
Ian Shepherd - CEO, GAME Group
Innovation. The industry is at its best when it’s creative – 2012 will bring new hardware, new games, new digital business models and more. At GAME, we want to be in the middle of that and we will continue to invest in our stores, our websites and our digital services.
Jon Rooke - Marketing Director, THQ
Seeing what new alcoholic shot the industry adds to generic energy drink X.I’ve tried Jagerbombs, Skittlebombs, Absinthebombs, Buccabombs and the 2011 winner, Glitterbombs, at various industry dos. It’s time for something new. Baileybombs for the win.
Andy Payne - MD, Mastertronic
First, AppyNation to become a leading publisher. Second, persuading the Government that the Patent Box principle that exists in pharmaceuticals can be replicated in games. And finally, to see if we could unite two trade bodies into one.
Heiko Hubertz - CEO, Bigpoint
I look forward to seeing what will happen with Google+. Facebook and Zynga were extremely beneficial to the entire industry. They helped gaming to become a mainstream culture. Let’s see if Google+ can take us another step forward.
Chris Ratcliff - Editor,Game Guide
The launch of our retail software for Vauxhall car dealers. We are looking at a shrinking market in games and while we’ll continue producing the Game Guide data for games retailers and updating their EPOS systems, we have to look at other markets.
Ed Vaizey - Minister for the Creative Industries
I am looking forward to a real step change in how kids are taught computer science in school.
Robert Hennessy - Games Buyer, John Lewis
The London Olympics. I visited Vancouver in 2010 for the Winter Olympics and the city went crazy. London 2012 will be an amazing spectacle and I can’t wait.
Kim Bayley - Director General, ERA
The consumer’s appetite for innovation has been outpacing the games industry’s ability to deliver it. That’s why Wii U is so important. It’s a reminder that in a world hooked on novelty, if we cannot deliver something new, consumers will move elsewhere.
Andrew Thompson - Head of Games, Asda
It will be intriguing to see if GTA V can break the sales records that the Call of Duty games have set. And Wii U. We need some growth in games, and nothing rejuvenates our industry more than a new home platform.
Paul Sulyok - Managing Director, Green Man Gaming
I’m looking forward to Guild Wars 2, Bioshock Infinite and – dare I say it – Half-Life 3. It would be even nicer if we could sell the latter.
Darryl Still - International Publishing Director, 1C
Retail accepting digital is the leading method of getting games to consumers, and treating their suppliers as partners in helping them change their business model, rather than commodities to be exploited.
Keith Sharpe - Games Buyer, Play.com
The obvious one is Vita, I absolutely love it and think it’s a great piece of kit that opens up a whole new world to gamers. Apart from that a bit of new IP would be nice.