THE OFFICIAL BOOK OPENS FOR BETTING ON VIDEO GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE

Friday 12th December/... ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) today announced the list of videogames vying for the number one spot this Christmas. And leading bookmaker Ladbrokes makes Call of Duty: World at War its 1/3 favourite for the festive accolade.

The list of candidates includes a variety of gaming genres catering for all age groups. There are some widely creative titles that represent the industry's cutting edge development and innovation. Some of the titles have been gracing the charts for the majority of the year and offer gamers a real interactive family experience. Together with some of the year's highly anticipated hardcore titles they are battling it out for the top spot, proving a wide range of titles are popular with gamers.

There are a few family orientated titles and social titles in the mix, including: Guitar Hero World Tour, Wii Music and Wii Fit.

The Christmas number one spot has, for many years, been passionately contested. The position has - in years past - been taken by an underdog, and in other years the hot favourite has stormed top spot.

According to the bookies, Call of Duty will fight it out with FIFA Soccer 09, available at 6/1 and 7/1 chance Mario Kart Wii has closed in ominously from a previous price of 40/1. Confirming really, that all of the games Ladbrokes have listed have a great chance of claiming the top position and are testament to a thriving industry.

So will this year see the favourite slip into the lead or will one of the other great titles swoop in last minute?

Ladbrokes' Xmas number one contenders:
Title Publisher S/P PEGI Rating
Call of Duty: World at War Activision 1/3 16+
FIFA Soccer 09 EA Sports 6/1 3+
Mario Kart Wii Nintendo 7/1 3+
Fallout 3 Bethesda 10/1 18+
Need for Speed Undercover EA Games 12/1 12+
Wii Fit Nintendo 16/1 3+
Tomb Raider: Underworld Eidos 16/1 16+
Gears of War 2 Microsoft 20/1 18+
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 THQ 20/1 16+
Guitar Hero World Tour Activision 25/1 12+
Fable II Microsoft 25/1 16+
Resistance 2 Sony Europe 25/1 18+
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 Konami 33/1 3+
Far Cry 2 Ubisoft 40/1 16+
Wii PlayNintendo 50/1 16+
Quantum of Solace Activision 50/1 16+
Little Big Planet Sony Europe 66/1 7+
Mirror's Edge EA Games 66/1 16+
Wii Music Nintendo 66/1 3+
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Lucas Arts 100/1 16+

Michael Rawlinson, Managing Director, ELSPA, commented:“Christmas 2008 will be yet another great year for video games and we are all dying to know which of the amazing front runners this Christmas will make it to No1.  We are currently experiencing a boom time for inventiveness and creativity within the industry and the variety of games for different age groups, families and hardcore gamers is vast. There are more and more games hitting the top spots in the charts that are family orientated, proving once again that the most popular games are often the games families can play together.

There are, as always, a remarkable array of competitors for the number one slot and it is impossible to tell if the favourite will make it or be pipped to the post.”

Ladbrokes spokesman, Nick Weinberg, said:“The battle for Christmas supremacy gets bigger and better each year. It's now a staple part of our festive betting diet. Call of Duty is the field's stand out favourite. It's going to take a monumental effort to wrest the gong from the market leader's hands.”

Ladbrokes Rules apply:

Prices correct at time of writing and subject to change. Combined multi-format sales will dictate the winner in the week ending 21st December. Ladbrokes will take the final result from ELSPA/Chart-Track and this result is final.

Editors Notes

About ELSPA:

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association Ltd was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the interactive leisure software industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.As a gateway to Europe, ELSPA works to protect, promote and provide for the interests of all its members, as well as addressing issues that affect the industry as a whole.

http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry.  Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

For further information, please contact:

GARY BURNS

BARRINGTON HARVEY

Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email gary.burns@bhpr.co.uk

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper's Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW


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