Thursday 13th December/…MCV, the leading trade publication for the videogames industry, has today published the results of its annual independent retailer survey – with the release of Halo 3 being lauded as the best single moment in 2007.Microsoft claimed a triple-whammy, as the publisher was voted the best in terms of overall quality and attitude throughout the year. In addition, Xbox 360 is considered the format to win the next generation battle, with 49 per cent of the vote. PlayStation 3 came second – with 35 per cent – and Wii third with 16 per cent of the vote. It’s probably no coincidence that the Nintendo format’s notoriously tight supply issues was voted the biggest disappointment of the year.

The independents’ biggest concern is the supermarkets – their increased market share was specified by 62 per cent as the biggest problem facing games retailers at the moment. Discounting on new releases – often driven by the same supermarkets – came second in the list of greatest concerns, with 28 per cent of the vote.

Despite this, 85 per cent of stores reported being confident about their business in 2008 – a huge endorsement on the games industry, which continues to generate more and more revenues year by year.

“It’s software, not hardware, which provides a continual revenue stream for UK retail, so it’s no surprise that one of the year’s most celebrated games proved to be the independents’ highpoint,” says Neil Long, editor, MCV. “Of greater concern are the more general supply issues which not only impact takings, but disappoint customers. But despite this, the outlook looks incredibly positive.”

What title will be the All Formats Christmas Number 1?

1. Need For Speed: Pro Street 42%
2. Call of Duty 4 16%
3. Assassin’s Creed 10%
4. Mario Galaxy 6%
5. WWE Smackdown 5%
6. Guitar Hero III 4%
7. FIFA 4%
8. Pro Evo 2008 4%

Honourable mentions: The Simpsons; Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games; High School Musical; Halo 3; Kane & Lynch

What has been the highlight of your year?

1. Release of Halo 3 31%
2. Success of Wii 30%
3. Continued success of DS 17%
4. Launch of PS3 15%
5. Launch of Xbox Elite 2%
6. 360 price drop 1%

Honourable mentions: The Xbox 360 price drop; the success of the Xbox 360; Jade Raymond; the release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008; the release of Project Gotham Racing 4

What has been the disappointment of your year?

1. Lack of Wii stock 57%
2. PS3 launch 22%
3. Discounting by supermarkets 11%
4. Performance of PSP 4%

Honourable mentions: Breaking of street dates; no E3; Mario and Sonic being in a game together; the delay of GTA 4; Halo 3; lack of Xbox 360 Elite stock

Do you feel confident about your business in 2008?

1. Yes 85%
2. Not sure 11%
3. No 4%

What is the biggest problem facing games retailers at the moment?

1. Supermarkets increasing market share 62%
2. Discounting on new releases 28%

Honourable mentions: Broken street dates; piracy; the import market; lack of Wii stock; the tax breaks that other countries get; the cost of stock

Which format will win the next generation battle?

1. Xbox 360 49%
2. PS3 35%
3. Wii 16%

Which games publisher would you consider to have been the best for overall quality and attitude to retail this year?

1. Microsoft 38%
2. Ubisoft 14%
3. Nintendo 12%
4. Sony 10%
5. EA 7%
6. Activision 6%
7. Sega 4%

Honourable mentions: Konami; Vivendi Games; THQ; Capcom; 505 Games

Do you see your Xmas takings to be…?

1. Greater than last year 73%
2. Same as last year 10%
3. Don’t know 10%
4. Lower than last year 7%

Which third party peripherals company or brand has provided you with the best sales and profit opportunities this year?

1. Joytech/Mad Catz 42%
2. Logitech 29%
3. Spectravideo 12%
4. Venom 11%

Honourable mentions: Datel; Big Bang; Gamesexpert; Nyko; Speed Link

Who would you consider to be the best overall company of the year?

1. Microsoft 29%
2. Nintendo 23%
3. Centresoft 19%
4. Sony 6%
5. Gem 6%

Honourable mentions: Ubisoft; Bungie; Discz; Playtime; Asda; Gamespod; Activision; Grainger Games; Creative Distribution; EA; GAME

Which distributor would you commend for its high levels of service this year?

1. Centresoft 53%
2. Gem 33%
3. Advantage 5%
4. Koch 2%
5. Trilogy 2%
6. Creative 2%

Honourable mentions: Just; Keyne

If you could have anyone else’s job in the industry, whose would it be?

1. Bill Gates 33%
2. Head of Nintendo 8%
3. Shigeru Miyamoto 4%
4. Shingo ‘Seabass’ Takatsuka 4%
5. “Whoever makes the most money” 4%
6. Head of Sony 3%
7. Hideo Kojima 3%
8. Tesco/supermarket games buyer 3%
9. Will Wright 2%
10. Grainger Games MD 2%
11. Matthew Kelsey, Channel Games 2%

Honourable mentions: Mike Lowe; “I’m happy with my job”; Wii warehouse manager; Cliffy B; Peter Moore, EA; “anyone who gets to work with Jade Raymond”; head of Centresoft; Davie Antons, Nintendo UK; a PR exec; MGS 4 tester; Square Enix developer; lead developer at Bioware; Mario; GAME buyer; Kratos; head of new projects at EA; Mark Rein