OPINION: Battle of the bullets might just fire up games retail

Our shooty Man showdown cover answers a question we posed back in May when The Avengers was rocking the Box Office.

‘Where are games’ heroes?’, MCV asked, at a time when cinema was showing you can part customers with their money on the promise of high-octane antics usually reserved for triple-A games.

I’ll be honest, that ‘Holding out for a hero’ cover was one of our classic tricks: during the summer lull, with nothing to talk about in the retail market, you talk about the void itself.

But the answer, it turns out was ‘In November’. While the success of Skyfall shows cinema will always be spectacular, our traditional tranche of Christmas hits proves games can regain momentum in a year when sales are otherwise 30 per cent down.

Retail has been a constant source of disappointment in 2012. This is why November is an important one – more so than usual. We are the midst of three mid-week blockbuster releases. Assassin’s Creed III broke records last week, and at the time of going to press expectations were high for Halo 4. Call of Duty is just days away. Then there’s Hitman, Far Cry and a new Nintendo console before month’s end.

It arguably points towards a kick up the arse for retail, a pre-Christmas boom followed by a rammed Q1 capped off with the highly-anticipated return of GTA in the spring.

It’s hard to be optimistic in a year that’s been as difficult as this one. But you have to hope that’s a silver lining we can see.


Speaking of renewal… we also have all the details on next year’s MCV Awards.

Although some of the finer details have stayed the same – we’re once again at the Lancaster London, and the brilliant Greg Davies is back as host – we have refreshed and tweaked the categories.

There are eight new prizes this year, including Retail Concept and Digital Retailer, plus ones for UK Games Studio, Media Team, Audience Engagement, Export Sales Team and two for the growing peripherals and hardware market.

As we always say, an evolving market drives these changes. But this has remained constant: these awards are about your team, your games and your successes.

Lobbying is open now – earlier than usual, to give you some extra time – so make sure your hard-won 2012 achievements don’t go unnoticed.

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