How does it feel to win an MCV Award? Our 2018 winners tell us about their award-worthy year

Community Management of the Year (sponsored by ESL): Jagex

"We’re over the moon to win an award. We’ve been really really lucky to have an amazing player base that allow us to fulfil our company values of being player-obsessed. One of our big achievements is that the way we develop our game is decided by our players and that’s something that means a lot to us as Jagex. We are trying to create the home of living games and I think that kind of shines through from the fact that we’ve won this award so we’re over the moon really.

"I think we do community management really differently at Jagex. The thing that stood out to the judges is hopefully that we put the players in the producer’s chair. We try and democratise game development as much as possible. And it’s really important to us that our players feel that they have control over their game. We’re just kind of custodians of that. We try and develop it for them and I think that’s why players have been joining us for 17 years and that’s why I think we’ve won this award"

Thomas Sweeney, head of community management

Media Planning Team of the Year: MediaCom PlayStation Team

"We’re happy, obviously we take a lot pride in what we do so it’s nice to be acknowledged for that. It feels great to win the award because of fact that we worked so collaboratively with PlayStation and we’ve had a couple of really great campaigns, notably the Horizon Zero Dawn one which we were able to talk a lot about in our entry."

Chloe Parker, media manager

Media Sales Team of the Year: Gamer Network

"It’s our first award from a media sales team perspective, a lot of our editorial teams have won awards or GMAs so it’s kind of nice to, not level the playing fields, but to win again from my side of things.

"The revenue that we’ve managed to bring in over the last 12 months is pretty exponential over previous years. On top of that some of the creative campaigns that we’ve done I would argue are the best within the market, certainly the best that we’ve done, and we pushed the envelope a little bit in terms of what we do."

Dan Robinson, sales director

Marketing Team of the Year (sponsored by OPM): PlayStation UK

“2017 was an exciting and busy year for PlayStation with the release of two of our biggest IPs (GT Sport and Uncharted Lost Legacy) and the opportunity to introduce a new one in the form of Horizon Zero Dawn. Balancing the needs of a console in its fourth year, PlayStation VR, a digital business, some huge software releases and a much-loved brand is often a challenge, so it’s great to be recognised and we hugely appreciate the support of all our partners to get us there. 

"We’re also thankful to the business and senior management who support our balance of commercial ROI-led activity and projects like our sponsorship of Pride in London, for all the players.”

– Lauren Bradley, group marketing manager for software

Creative Agency of the Year: Attention Seekers

"It’s fantastic, it’s the third year in a row so we didn’t think we’d win this year. So thanks very much to everyone who’s voted for us.

"We really enjoy what we do. We love games, we’re all gamers so it’s actually hard getting people off the consoles at lunchtime to go and actually do work afterwards. We actually like what we do and I think that comes through with the people we work with – I hope that comes through to the people we work with."

Jason Wiltshire, director

Sales Team of the Year: Ubisoft UK

"It feels really good for us to win this award it’s it’s been about six years since we won it last and it’s really gratifying that our peers and our customers are voting for us for this.

"I think the judges would have appreciated the way we deal with our customers. We endeavour to make sure that things are as easy as possible for them and we try and deal with as many different accounts as we possibly can."

Michael Rotchell, UK sales manager

New Games IP of the Year (sponsored by Green Man Gaming): Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerrilla Games

"We were incredibly pleased for Horizon Zero Dawn to win New Games IP of the Year. Guerrilla Games succeeded in creating not only a strong new IP and an engaging new female protagonist but one of the best games of the year."

Jon Edwards, product manager, Horizon Zero Dawn

Gaming Campaign of the Year (under £500k budget): Xbox UK for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

"I think the entire team are really really happy about it. We worked so hard on a game like this. We’re so blessed to work on a title like this. We’re absolutely over the moon about it, it’s brilliant. 

"I think what we did really is we worked with influencers in a creative way in a new format that wasn’t really done before and when we sort of matched all of those things together so I think it really stood out as something that people aren’t doing."

Sam Bateman, creative lead 

Gaming Campaign of the Year (over £500k budget): Nintendo UK for Nintendo Switch

"I think it’s just fantastic that Nintendo’s come back with such a fantastic console. You know we are really grateful to the geniuses in Japan who have given us such a fantastic console to work with and I think it’s a console that everyone feels just naturally fits into their lifestyle. So. I think that’s why it’s recognised because it just it fits into what everyone does every day. Anytime, anywhere, everyone. That’s you know that’s the motto and that’s truly how it fits into people’s lives so I think that’s why it’s been recognised by everyone.

"We’ve been truly honoured to have so many fantastic games launched on Nintendo’s Switch basically every five to six weeks went something amazing to push because of that we haven’t left the office. So it’s really nice to come to the MCV Awards and actually meet up with our colleagues people in the industry and just celebrate the fantastic industry that we work in."

Chandra Nair, marketing manager, Nintendo Switch 

PR Agency of the Year: Indigo Pearl

"It feels really amazing and we were really nervous and it’s just really nice cause like all your peers are voting for you, so people who kind of really know – so it is really fantastic , we’re chuffed.

"We’ve got quite a good breadth of clients. We have Fortnite, EGX, Blizzard so you know we’re kind of standing on the shoulders of our fantastic clients a lot as well. So yeah I think there’s a lot of those campaigns in people’s minds."

Caroline Miller, founder 

In-house PR Team of the Year: Ubisoft UK

"It feels fantastic just to be recognised by the people that we work with all year round, the journalists. It’s a great achievement. 

"Myself and David Burroughs worked on the Assassin’s Creed Origins campaign throughout the year. It’s a campaign that we’re very proud of and hopefully that’s something that stood out. You know, the individual activations that we put together for the campaign and just the overall entry itself."

Tom Goldberger, senior PR manager

Games Event of the Year: AD+D for WWE x IGN eSports Showdown

"I think the event was really really different. We wish we had some great partners. We had IGN and WWE and they came to us and said ‘What does WWE esports look like?’ and Phil Tucker, Simon Pizey and myself and the team, we just sort of laid it all out and they let us go for it which is the best thing ever. 

"You know when you’re working with partners that let you do that and I think what we created was fun. You know your job’s good when you’ve actually enjoyed working on it and being there on the night and you got a buzz from it and that was what it was."

Jason Wiltshire, executive vice president

Distributor of the Year: Koch Media

"I’ve won it before but it feels actually doubly good because this is the second time so it’s really good. I think we put a lot of effort into the service that we provide so I think that came across in what we wrote for our entry."

Craig McNicol, managing director Northern Europe

Indie Retailer of the Year: Games Centre

"We are delighted to win this award for the seventh year in a row, and a big thank you to everyone involved in our success"

Robert Lindsay, managing director

Major Retailer of the Year: GAME Digital

"I think it’s not about me it’s more about the teams back in stores and our teams at the head office in Basingstoke so this is quite a humbling recognition from the industry. We never take it for granted. It means a massive amount to the guys in the stores that are selling games – games are our livelihood, that’s all we do. We don’t sell anything else. So it means a massive amount.

"I would say the big thing that stands out for GAME, outside of the brand, is the passionate people that work in our business. You know the people that we employ they’re passionate about games, they’re gamers themselves and I think that’s the thing that resonates with all the publishers is when you go into a GAME, you speak to a gamer who’s passionate about the product. Whereas with an online transaction there’s no personality, no interaction." 

Dave Howard, retail and property director

Indie Games Publisher of the Year (sponsored by Belong): Curve Digital

"It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been in the games industry for 36 years and I’ve now finally won an award. So that’s brilliant.

We’ve had a fantastic year this year we’ve helped many indie developers bring their games to market and we’ve had some amazing successes, Bomber Crew, Humans fall flat."

Jason Perkins, managing director

Major Games Publisher of the Year: Nintendo UK

"It feels absolutely amazing to be honest. I’ve been working 20 years at Nintendo but most of my career in Spain so this, the UK, the biggest, is really amazing.

"I think this year, Nintendo and the products that we had were absolutely amazing and they influenced really a lot. But I personally am very happy about the team that I lead.

"This is my first MCV Awards and I think this is an amazing awards, to have all the industry in one room at the same time is just amazing. So it’s something I hope will continue for many years."

Nicolas Wegnez, general manager

Industry Hero of the Year: Simon Byron, Curve Digital

"I am really surprised and sort of embarrassed! I feel very lucky to work in the games industry and do what I love and to be recognised as an industry hero.., I’m overwhelmed.

"I’ve been working in video games since 1992 in various capacities, in journalism, in PR, marketing, funding and publishing and at every stage tried to get closer to those who make games because I’ve not been clever enough to do that myself. So I’m just overwhelmed to be recognised as an industry hero. I’m not sure what that means, no one has given me a cape or anything yet! But it’s brilliant!

"It’s always good fun to catch up with those that you only see once a year and some have got beards now. Now everyone’s looking very good though. So we will never lose that as an industry. But yeah it’s been great to catch up with everybody and it’s been a really good night. We’ve won best indie publisher at Curve so we will remember this night for a long time to come."

MCV Person of the Year: John Clark, Sega Europe

"It’s great. It’s always really really good to get recognised by the industry. It’s great to be here for the evening and it’s great to be able to contribute to the industry positively.

"Wow the highlight of the year… There have been so many it’s difficult to pick out one but I think you know the award is given for the contribution that we’ve made to the year and, as as an entity, Sega have had their most profitable year in about eight years but we’ve also signed some new games as well as working with a lot of established developers and that’s been really exciting bringing some new content to market.

"The highlight for the evening so far I guess has to be you know all the award winners are great and I can’t really pick between them but to see Turps dived on the stage after parachuting in from who knows where, PUBG style, great. What a great job to stand there on stage and really make the evening special."

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s former senior staff writer. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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