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4 MCV 13/08/10 [LEADER] READY FOR THE


REVOLUTION? The new digital chart presents a significant milestone for the industry. In fact I’d say it’s the first step in a


catalyst for huge change. It could vindicate all those who pronounce PC


as the real future for the industry. And once the trade acknowledges that there is money in the PC hills, investment will return. That means this lot happens next…


…the evolution of retail: Online isn’t cancelling out


physical retail. But that doesn’t mean the latter won’t change drastically. GAME and HMV are already testing ‘new experience’ stores. Best Buy has shown how big open areas and better retailing can set stores apart. All those experiments will redefine games retail as something people visit with purpose and fun in mind. …the destruction of pricing: We’ve already


heard countless stories of free apps and PC games that have ‘free days’ which actually drive purchase intent. I’m informed this will be a key part of the learning behind ELSPA’s initiative to define the chart in the first place. So while the physical retail sphere looks at lengthening a product’s value with those higher RRPs and luxury SKUs, expect more publishers and developers to go free, and quickly. …the rise of the geek:MCVhas written at length about the rise of the casual gamer. We’ve got a sister brand dedicated to this movement. There’s even a wanky buzzword for it; ‘casualisation’. But it’s not about reaching out to dumb drones, we are turning civilians into experts. They know how to download apps and update firmware. Treating consumers like your equals is what has worked for all those developers that engage with their audience. The ‘traditional’ games industry needs to learn that. …the console becomes gaming’s ‘cinema’: Which


is to say that the safer, big-budget experiences will continue to be what people go to GAME for – leaving the PC to become our TV, home of quicker, more hard- hitting experiences. Check out Channel 4’s The Curfewfor proof. It’s a UK-made game about civil liberties. Hardly the kind of thing Activision will greenlight, but emblematic of the online frontier. …the console becomes obsolete: The life


expectancy of consoles is shorter than we think. Gaikai and OnLive are just the start of what will be a significantly different way of getting to games content – Microsoft and Sony are surely looking at this; Nintendo admits as such (page 18). Individual devices from expert electronics firms won’t go away. But the Android vs iPhone philosophies, which plug a unique and mostly open OS and app eco-system into wider web services, are the indication of where we’re going, not DS vs PSP. …the oncoming era of openness This is the big one. ELSPA has knocked down a


huge barrier by getting publishers to share data. Now the format-holders must keep apace. Accessibility improves everything from development (just ask Apple) to the PR shield that plots an announcement, screen shot leaks, the hideous- sounding ‘asset dump’… ‘Release first, answer questions later’ is the ethos that will take over.


So. Are you ready? Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk


UK ONLINE-ONLY games publisher Zattikka has set out its plan to buy up rivals and raise more money.


In an exclusive and candid interview set to appear in MCV later this month, CEO Tim Chaney also admits that Kongregate had been a target ahead of its purchase by GameStop, whilst revealing that he thinks retailers must start buying online games businesses themselves or face extinction.


Zattikka secured $5.5m last month, but the firm is already looking at a far greater pace of growth.





Zattikka CEO Tim Chaney has drawn up a list of acquisition targets


The next phase for us is to post profit and to look for a further $50 to $100m as an acquisition roll-up fund.


Tim Chaney, Zattikka


“The next phase for us is to post revenue and profit, and to look for a further $50 to $100m as an acquisition roll-up fund,” Chaney told MCV.


had targeted both Mindjolt and Kongregate before both were acquired last month.


“That $5.5m which we had to work hard for is chump- change. Bobby Kotick would spend it on a holiday home.” Chaney admits that Zattikka





MOUNTING debts have pushed Discstribution to the brink of liquidation. A meeting of the firm’s creditors will be held on Monday, August 16th to analyse the trading history of the company and the reason why it cannot continue its business. The main purpose of this assembly will be to appoint a liquidator that will deal with closing the firm and settle its debts. A liquidation committee of between three and five creditors may be formed. The meeting is being held at the offices of business recovery


Disctribution is on the verge of collapse due to mounting debts


specialist Bond Partners LLP, which is already in contact with any companies


Discstribution is indebted to. The value of each creditor’s debt will dictate their number of votes when deciding the


Bedfordshire-based distributor’s fate.


Discstribution has been trading in the games industry since the early 1990s. It also handled DVDs, CDs, toys and gadgets, and more.


“The prices paid for Mindjolt and Kongregate were about right, although as roll-up buyers we would have paid a premium,” added Chaney. “We currently have a list of 14 A targets and 20 B targets. These will all be approached to see if they are up for taking a smaller role in a bigger play.”


Discstribution faces liquidation


Zattikka raising more cash and targeting acquisitions


by Stuart Dinsey Online firm wants $100m after missing out on Kongregate


NEWS


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