The road to XBOX ONE. Follow the journey

MCV is 600

Ben Parfitt
MCV is 600

What follows is 600 (yes, all the red numbers really add up to 600) games, consoles, companies and deals that have shaped the industry throughout the last 12 years…

HIGH-PROFILE BIRTHS, DEATHS & MARRIAGES

Over the last 12 years, the games industry’s leading businesses have danced around like a game of  musical chairs. Some falling to the ground – the rest wedged in each others’ laps. Here are the highlights…


23 KEY COMPANIES FORMED


505 Games – Born from the flames of Italian publisher 505 Gamestreet in 2007
Bigben – Lazarus-like firm crashed out in 2005 but reformed this year
Deep Silver – Koch Media created its own publishing label back in 2002 and it’s still going strong
Disney Interactive Studios – After renaming as Buena Vista Games in 2003, Disney’s games network went all united in 2007
Evolution – The maker of MotorStorm and WRC was created in 1999, bought by Sony in 2007
Foundation 9 – Star Wars developer formed from the merger of The Collective and Backbone in 2005
Gamecock Media Group – Founded in 2007 by games industry veterans. Snapped up, and shut, by SouthPeak in 2008
Imagine Publishing – 2005 saw Future’s rival in games founded in Bournemouth
Infinity Ward – The Call of Duty creator was set up back in 2002 thanks to investment from Activision
Jagex – Its browser-based MMO, Runescape, was released in 2001, and propelled its founders up The Sunday Times Rich List
Kuju – Created from the flames of former flight sim studio Simis, following an MBO escape from Eidos in 1998
Mastertronic – Sold Out and The Producers merged to form long-lasting value experts
MTV Games – The broadcaster has slowly built up a division that includes casual games and music games over the last ten years
PopCap – Casual games developer and portal was formed in 2000
Play.com – The successful Jersey-based online retailer formed in 1998
Realtime Worlds – Crackdown studio announced its arrival on the scene in 2002
Sumo Digital – The Sheffield studio, developer of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, opened in 2002 and is now owned by US firm Foundation 9
TIGA – Great defender of UK independent development community unleashed in 2001
Uncooked Media – 360 Gamer publisher was launched back in 2003
Virgin Gaming – Branson revived his games dream this year with a multiplayer service partnership
Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment – After its first stab at games in 2004, it returned in 2007
Xbox – Microsoft announced its intentions to enter games in 1998
Zynga
– Facebook games giant arrived in 2007

18 MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Activision Blizzard – Blushing bride Bobby Kotick united this goliath force, which incorporates Activision with the house that made World of Warcraft, in 2007
Angel Studios – Bought by Take-Two in 2002 and dubbed Rockstar San Diego
Bizarre Creations – Stalwart UK developer was acquired by Activision in 2007
Black Rock Studios – Disney snapped up Climax Racing in 2006 and allowed the team to rebrand itself
Gamestation – Acquired by Blockbuster in 2002, second marriage to GAME in 2007 far more fortuitous
Harmonix – The music game studio was bought by MTV Games in 2006 for a cool $175m
IGN – The games media site was declared husband and wife with Murdoch’s NewsCorp in 2005
IO Interactive – Hitman and Kane & Lynch creator was born back in 1998, and bought by Eidos in 2004
Lionhead – Peter Molyneux’s studio was sold off to Microsoft in 2007
Media Molecule – The LittleBigPlanet studio was formed in 2006 and bought by Sony earlier this year
Playdom – The social game developer was bought by Disney just weeks ago for $763m…
Playfish – …but EA was the first to the big-money Facebook game spends, nabbing this British firm for $400m in 2009
Red Octane – The publisher of the first  Guitar Hero eventually became a division of Activision in 2006
Rockstar Games – Controversial GTA kings blazed into action in 1998, following Take-Two’s acquisition of
DMA Design
Rocksteady – Warner Bros bought a majority stake in the London-based Arkham Asylum developer earlier this year
Sports Interactive – The Champ Man studio divorced Eidos in 2003, signed with Sega and was bought by the firm in 2006
THQ Digital Warrington – Formed in 2003 as Juice, bought by THQ in 2006, then transformed into an online game team in 2010
Trilogy – In late 2009 the distributor was rescued from administration by rival firm Gem

37 DEAD BUSINESSES

3dfx – Bankruptcy in 2000
3DO Company – Trip Hawkins’ hardware firm died in 2003
Acclaim Entertainment – Hit bankruptcy in 2004
Argonaut Games – Called in the receivers in October 2004
Brash Entertainment – Megabucks US publisher opened in 2007… and had spent itself to death within 18 months
Brøderbund – Sold off in 1998
CHIPSWORLD – Indie chain has closed but franchises remain
ChoicesUK – Chain shut in 2007
Core Design – Sold to Rebellion in ‘06
Delphine Software – Sold in 2003
DMA Design – Renamed Rockstar North in 2002
Elixir Studios – UK studio closed in ‘06
Empire Interactive – UK publisher eventually closed in 2009
ePlay – UK indie chain went into administration in 2007
EUK – Distribution giant collapsed in 2008
Free Radical – UK studio closed in ‘08
GRIN – Duff games for Warner and Capcom led to closure
GT Interactive – Assets sold to Infogrames
Headfirst Productions – Closed in 2006
Ion Storm – Deus Ex dev shut in ‘05
Just Distribution – Shut down in 2008
Kaboom Studios – Liquidated in 2003
Live Publishing – Mag publisher shut in ‘05
Mucky Foot – Studio closed in 2003
Pandemic – Opened in 1998, bought by EA for $800m in 2007, shut down in 2009
Pinnacle – Distributor closed in ‘08
Psygnosis – Brand retired in 1999
Rage Software – Went bankrupt in 2003
Runecraft – British developer ceased trading in 2002
SEGA Racing Studio – Shut down in 2008
Shiny Media – Blog network, which included UK Resistance, collapsed in 2009
Software Creations – Bought by Acclaim in 2002, shut by 2004
Tiger Telematics – Gizmondo firm went bankrupt in 2006
Virgin Interactive – British publisher was essentially split up and sold off out of existence
Woolworths – Beloved chain hurt by the credit crunch, gone by the end of 2008
Zavvi – Built after 2007 Virgin Megastore MBO – dead by the end of 2008
Zushi Games – Formed in 2009, in administration by 2010



19 STEPS THAT GREW GAME INTO A GLOBAL GIANT

1998:
86-strong GAME chain acquired by Electronics Boutique for £99m
1998: First move to Europe with a store opened in Stockholm
2000: Lisa Morgan steps up from buying team to commercial director
2001: BarrysWorld acquired, as are rival French and Spanish chains
2002: 400th store opens in Maidstone, Kent
2002: EB rebrands stores to GAME, corporate name is Game Group
2003: Active expansion plan to grow French chain, now called ScoreGAME
2004: Group HQ relocated to Basingstoke, UK. High-tech distribution centre (trust us - we’ve been there) opened
2004: Five millionth British Reward Card member recruited in-store 2004: Online store Gameplay.co.uk acquired
2005: French retailer Addon acquired
2006: Morgan becomes CEO
2006: Expansion into Australia via acquisition of chain Gamewizards
2007: New website launched at game.co.uk
2007: Firm buys out rival UK chain Gamestation
2007: Debenhams concessions joined by stores in Bentalls and Selfridges
2008: Acquired JRC in Czech Republic, adding 19 stores
2010: Morgan departs, replaced by former Vodafone man Ian Shepherd
2010: Stronger move towards digital begins with iPhone App, plans to offer mobile games downloads and beta launch of Gamesnation

148 THE TOTAL NUMBER OF MCV AWARDS HANDED OUT SINCE 2003

46 THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT COMPANIES TO WIN AN MCV AWARD

And they are (number of awards won in brackets):
505 Games (1), Activision (7 incl. one for Roy Stackhouse), Amazon (2), Argos (1), Asda (1), Bethesda (1), Bizarre Creations  (1), Blizzard (1), Centresoft (7 incl. one for Margaret Pearson), Codemasters (1), Disney (1), EA (9), Edge (1), Eidos/Sports Interactive (1), ELSPA (1), ePlay (3), EUK (1), GAME (8), Gameplay (1), Gamestation (6), GamesTM (2), Gem (3 incl. one for Paul Donnelly), Grainger Games (2), Grand Theft Auto (1), Hip Interactive (1), HMV (7), Koch (1), Konami (1), Mad Catz (1), Nintendo (24 incl. one for Andy Yates), Nokia (1), Official PS2 Magazine (1), Play.com (5), Rockstar North (3), Rocksteady (1), SCi (1), Sega (3), Sony (10), Tesco (1), The Software Store (1), THQ (3), Traveller’s Tales (1), Ubisoft (6), Woolworths (2), Xbox/Microsoft (10), Zavvi (1)

HARDWARE & SOFTWARE

Sure, the beard-strokers say the industry’s future includes floating off on cloud services, but the games market over the last 12 years thrived on new consoles, great (and dreadful) handhelds and key software releases…


20 NEW GAMES PLATFORMS INTRODUCED TO THE MARKET

Game Boy Color – 1998
Neo-Geo Pocket Colour – 1999
Dreamcast – 1999
Wonderswan – 2000 (Japan only)
PlayStation 2 – 2000
Game Boy Advance – 2001
GamePark 32 – 2001
GameCube – 2002
Xbox – 2002
N-Gage – 2003
Tapwave Zodiac – 2004
Gizmondo – 2005
PSP – 2005
Nintendo DS – 2005
Xbox 360 – 2005
Nintendo Wii – 2006
PS3 – 2007
iPhone – 2007
Zune HD – 2009 (US only)
iPad – 2010

45 DIFFERENT GAME BOY ADVANCE VARIANTS

Yep, almost ridiculously Nintendo saw fit to release almost 50 different variants of the GBA in its seven-year lifespan. What, you want us to prove it? Oh, okay.
Game Boy Advance: Arctic, Black, Fuchsia, Glacier, Indigo, Hello Kitty, Red, Orange, Platinum, White, rare US-only Gold.
Game Boy Advance SP: Cobalt Blue, Flame Red, Famicom 20th Anniversary Edition, Gold with Zelda Triforce, Graphite, Green Venusaur, Kingdom Hearts Silver, Spice & Lime, Mario, UK-only NES Black, Onyx Black, Pearl Blue, Pearl Green, Pearl Pink, Pikachu Yellow, Platinum, Red Groudon, Snow White, SpongeBob, Torchic Orange, Tribal, Australian White Rip Curl, Black “Who Are You?”, New Zealand All Blacks, and UK Surf Blue.
Game Boy Micro: Black, Silver, Green, Blue, Pink, Famicom 20th Anniversary Edition, Final Fantasy IV, Lite Blue, and Mother 3.



15 HARDWARE REDESIGNS

PSone – 2000
GBA SP – 2003
PSX – 2003 (Japan only)
GP32 – 2003
N-Gage QD – 2004
PS2 Slim – 2004
GBA Micro – 2005
DS Lite – 2006
PSP-2000 – 2007
PSP Slim & Lite – 2008
DSi – 2009
DSi XL – 2010
PS3 Slim – 2009
PSPgo – 2009
Xbox 360 S – 2010

25 HERO MUSIC GAMES RELEASED GLOBALLY

Guitar Hero – 2005
Guitar Hero II – 2006
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ‘80s – 2007
Guitar Hero III – 2007
Guitar Hero Electronic Game – 2007
Guitar Hero III Mobile – 2007
Guitar Hero III Backstage Pass Mobile – 2008
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith – 2008
Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile – 2008
Guitar Hero World Tour – 2008
Guitar Hero: On Tour – 2008
Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades – 2008
Guitar Hero Arcade – 2009
Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits – 2009
Guitar Hero Smash Hits – 2009
Guitar Hero: Van Halen – 2009
Band Hero – 2009
DJ Hero – 2009
Guitar Hero 5 Mobile – 2009
Guitar Hero 5 – 2009
Guitar Hero iPhone/iPad – 2010

30 SINGSTAR SKUs RELEASED GLOBALLY
(They are: SingStar, SingStar Party, SingStar Pop, SingStar ‘80s, SingStar Rocks!, SingStar Anthems, SingStar Legends, SingStar Pop Hits, SingStar ‘90s, SingStar Amped, SingStar Rock Ballads, SingStar R&B, SingStar Summer Party, SingStar Party Hits, SingStar Pop Vol. 2, SingStar Hottest Hits, SingStar BoyBands vs GirlBands, SingStar Country, SingStar Singalong with Disney, SingStar Wiggles, SingStar PS3, SingStar PS3 Vol. 2, SingStar PS3 Vol. 3, SingStar Pop Edition, SingStar ABBA, SingStar Queen, SingStar Motown, SingStar Take That, SingStar Latino, SingStar Chart Hits)

20 BEST GAMES RELEASED DURING THE LAST 12 YEARS (according to Metacritic)

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – 99
2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – 98
3. Soul Calibur – 98
4. Grand Theft Auto IV – 98
5. Grand Theft Auto IV – 98
6. Perfect Dark – 97
7. NFL 2K1 – 97
8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 – 97
9. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – 97
10. Halo – 97
11. Metroid Prime – 97
12. Grand Theft Auto III – 97
13. Super Mario Galaxy – 97
14. Super Mario Galaxy 2 – 97
15. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – 96
16. Half-Life 2 – 96
17. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – 96
18. Resident Evil 4 – 96
19. Half-Life – 96
20. Grand Theft Auto Double Pack – 96

Advertisement

Tags: This article has no tags

Follow us on

  • RSS