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NEWS


New Halo toys march to retail


“It is a breakthrough for the game and toy industries and merges the two like never before.” Activision on the potential of Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventurep20


Microsoft plots ‘explosive’ Gears of War push Xbox 360 shooter will be ‘the biggest console exclusive of the year’, boasts platform holder


by Dominic Sacco


XBOX is kicking off its Gears of War 3campaign with a bang – literally.


by Dominic Sacco


MEGA BLOKS is celebrating ten years of Halowith a new line of figures. The toy firm will bring Series 3 Micro Action Figures to retailers as well as new brick-style vehicles and structures from the series by the end of September. The goodies – which range from £1.99 Hero Figure Packs to the £169.99 HaloUNSC Firebase – arrive ahead of the November 15th release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversaryon Xbox 360. Mega Bloks owner Mega Brands has also announced a line of Need for Speed models in time for the arrival of Need for Speed: The Runon November 18th. “There is an overlap of gamers and construction fans and these products help create a more impactful brand presence at retail,” Mega Brands UK marketing manager Peter Fuller told MCV. “Fans of each game are invested in the franchises so these toys make for good impulse purchases.” Mega Bloks: 01844 350033


The third instalment in the 13m selling shooter series – out Tuesday, September 20th – will receive a huge marketing campaign consisting of store takeovers, print activity, first-of-its-kind live TV ads and special graffiti art made by triggering explosions. “We’re incredibly excited about the launch of Gears of War 3,” said Xbox’s UK sales and marketing director Stephen McGill. “Yes, it’s the end of the trilogy, but it’s also the biggest console exclusive of the year. “This is undoubtedly the best in the series. We’ve got high commercial expectations for Gears of War 3, but feel really good about the quality of the product and the demand from our passionate Gearsfans.


Microsoft’s McGill promises marketing worthy of Gears’ blockbuster status, including ‘explosive graffiti art’ (inset)


“A blockbuster triple-A


title like Gears of War 3will of course have a suitably blockbuster campaign to back it up.”


TV ad ‘Dust to Dust’ premiered this week and will run throughout launch with 30-second and 60-second spots targeting males aged 16 to 34 years old. This will be followed by a live TV ad airing on September 21st. The spot will display in-game


“ by Christopher Dring


SCEE chief Jim Ryan says a sub-£90 PSP will grow the platform’s audience and draw in the younger consumer. A new-look PSP was unveiled at Gamescom last month. As well as a fresh design, it omits the wi-fi functionality and has a new budget price. “You will see the audience


skew younger,” said Ryan. “At €99/£89 it will make a great Christmas gift. It’s a device to play UMD games. It’s all for the audience. If we are going to take PSP very young – teens and much younger – they are happy to


6 September 2nd 2011 “


Getting under the €99 barrier will help us lift off.


Jim Ryan, SCEE


A blockbuster title like this will of course have a blockbuster campaign to back it up.


Stephen McGill, Microsoft


stats in real-time such as the amount of players online, urging viewers to buy the game and join them. Microsoft has also teamed up with a renowned explosive graffiti artist. Increased fan activity on Facebook and paid-for media will trigger detonations that make Gears characters appear on a stone wall. The promotional mural can then be viewed online. Microsoft: 0870 601 0100


Sony targets teens with new PSP


just play the game. If taking wi-fi out is the price to pay, we’re happy to. The €99 price tag is a real barrier that we’ve got under which will help us lift off.”


Sony has been surprised by PSP across Europe this year, with gamers responding well to the budget range of games and a lower price.


“We delivered very well on the Essentials software range,” he added. “Having a catalogue of high quality PSP games for £9.99 gave us a kick-start. It’s very successful across UK, Europe and emerging markets.” The new PSP will also prime a new generation of handheld gamers ahead of the similar-shaped high-end Vita, added Ryan.


“PSone fans upgraded to PS2, and the first adopters of PS3 were PS2 owners. So the form factor might speak to that, but it happens regardless. PlayStation has an army of followers.” Sony: 020 7859 5000


www.mcvuk.com


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