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CoD: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1, The Division are the best-selling games of 2016

The video game industry should definitely be celebrating right now, as The NPD Group has announced that consumers spent $30.4 billion on hardware, software, peripherals, and in-game purchases in 2016. This is a slight increase over 2015 revenues, which totaled a measly $30.2 billion.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella attributed some of this growth to the emergence of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. He also cited the “cultural phenomenon” that was Pokemon Go and the subsequent release of Pokemon Sun and Moon on the 3DS.

“Growth in entertainment software consumer spend was seen across the mobile, PC, virtual reality, subscription, portable, and digital console segments,” Piscatella said. “Consumers have more options to purchase and enjoy entertainment software than ever before, while developers have more and easier ways of delivering that content. No matter the delivery platform, entertainment software has never been more engaging, diverse or accessible.”

However, none of those games managed to crack the top ten for 2016, which was once again dominated by Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. Even though it launched to less-than-stellar reviews and a negative fan reaction, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was still the best-selling game in 2016. Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III was also represented in the top ten, at #8.

Tom Clancy’s The Division (#3) and Overwatch (#7) proved that new franchises can still make some noise in the NPD’s annual ranking, but perennial best-sellers like NBA 2K17 (#4), Madden NFL 17 (#5), and FIFA 17 (#9) also sold well in 2016, as did strong sequels such as Battlefield 1 (#2) and Final Fantasy XV (#10).

You can find the NPD’s list of best-selling games throughout all of 2016 after the break. (more…)

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare repeats as the best-selling game of December 2016

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launched on November 4, and it easily took the crown as the best-selling game for the whole month. Today, The NPD Group revealed the best-selling games for December, and Infinite Warfare managed to repeat as the top title.

While Activision’s shooter series continued to be a favorite among gift givers at the end of the year, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV had an almost equally impressive retail peformance.

“Although a Call of Duty has now topped the December sales chart for the ninth consecutive year, Final Fantasy XV was the best-selling game for the PS4 during the month,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz. “Final Fantasy XV was the second best-selling title for December 2016… Final Fantasy XV experienced the best console launch month in the history of the franchise selling 19% more new physical units than Final Fantasy XIII in its launch month and 54% more in total dollar revenue including digital full game sales.”

The remainder of the top ten should look familiar as it contains several of 2016’s biggest games including Battlefield 1 (#3), Madden NFL 17 (#4), NBA 2K17 (#5), Watch Dogs 2 (#6), FIFA 17 (#8), and Pokemon Sun and Moon (#8 and #10, respectively). 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V also cracked the best-sellers list for December at #7.

You can find the complete top ten in list form after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo Download: Dragon Quest VIII, Punch Club, Star Fox 64, more

Nintendo has added an eclectic mix of titles to the Nintendo eShop as part of today’s update. Let’s have a look…

Nintendo and Square Enix have teamed up to bring Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King to the 3DS on Friday, January 20. The epic RPG has received a complete makeover including new dungeons, bosses, items, quests, scenes, and a new possible ending.

3DS owners looking to download something today can try Punch Club from Lazy Bear Games. The “boxing tycoon management game” features multiple storylines for players who want to indulge in their inner pugilist. But will you participate in fair fights or go the “shady” route?

Finally, Wii U owners will have the chance to download Star Fox 64 through the Virtual Console today. Originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997, Star Fox 64 popularized the use of the Rumble Pak and is considered by many to be the best entry in the space shooter franchise.

You can learn more about this trio of games (and the rest of today’s new releases) after the break. (more…)

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Latest trailer for Call of Cthulhu: The Game is full of Lovecraftian scares

If you’re allergic to dread and menace, I would suggest skipping the latest trailer for Cyanide’s game adaptation of Call of Cthulhu. But if not, dive right in, and experience a glimpse at some of the creepier themes from H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction.

A Private Detective, Edward Pierce is a mission to find the truth behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. Pierce is used to trusting his instincts, but with whale mutilations and disappearing bodies, this is only the beginning as reality becomes skewed. As your investigation leads you closer to the sphere of influence of the Great Dreamer, you will start to doubt everything you see. You will have to find balance between your own sanity, and your determination in finding out what lurks in the shadows – as they say that madness is the only way that can bring you to the truth.

Call of Cthulhu will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One sometime this year.

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TowerFall Ascension will be released for the Xbox One on January 25

Eurogamer is reporting that Matt Thorson’s TowerFall Ascension will be released for the Xbox One on January 25.

TowerFall, which was was originally released for the Ouya in 2013, is a 2D platformer where up to four players compete in an archery battle to be the last man standing. Thorson launched the expanded Ascension Edition for the PC and PS4 in 2014, with a Vita release following in 2015. The Dark World expansion added more levels and a four-player co-op campaign.

TowerFall Ascension and the Dark World expansion will both be available for the Xbox One on January 25.

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Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 will be released for PC and Xbox One on March 7; PS4/Xbox One disc release will be available on same day

Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 got a surprise launch on the PS4 last month, with Capcom promising the game would eventually make its way to the PC and Xbox One in March. Today, the publisher confirmed that Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 will indeed be available for the PC and Xbox One on March 7.

According to the Capcom-Unity blog, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 will also receive a retail release on the PS4 and Xbox One on the same day. The $29.99 package will include the game and an exclusive 10-page comic featuring art from Sean Chen and Gerardo Sandoval.

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 originally launched on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011. A fourth game in the franchise, Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite, will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One sometime later this year.

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Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment will be released in April

Yacht Club Games has confirmed (via the PlayStation Blog) that Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment will be available in April.

The Specter of Torment expansion will serve as a prequel to the entire Shovel Knight saga, and will actually turn the game into an acrobatic platformer reminiscent of Ninja Gaiden. Body Swap Mode, Two-Player Co-Op, and a Sound Test Mode will also be available as part of the free update.

Fans who want to give Specter of Torment a shot before its Spring debut should find a way to travel down to San Antonio next weekend, because the developer is going to demo the expansion at this year’s PAX South expo.

However, if you’ve never played Shovel Knight before, you’ll be able to dig into the series in a new way this April. New fans will be able to pick up Specter of Torment as a standalone game, and Yacht Club also plans to re-release the original campaign (rechristened Shovel of Hope) and the Plague of Shadows expansions separately as well. Current owners of Shovel Knight will be upgraded to the Treasure Trove bundle, which will also be available in April, and will include access to all future Shovel Knight content.

The Specter of Torment expansion will be available in April for all owners of Shovel Knight on the 3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, and Xbox One.

The standalone re-releases (Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment) will also be available in April for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

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A new “main series” Fire Emblem game will be released for the Switch in 2018

Nintendo’s final announcement from yesterday’s Fire Emblem Direct presentation may have been the shortest… but it was a doozy. The consolemaker has announced plans to release a new “main series” Fire Emblem game for the Nintendo Switch in 2018.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE was released for the Wii U last year, but it’s actually been a decade since a “main series” Fire Emblem game made its debut on one of Nintendo’s home consoles. That was the year Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was released for the original Wii.

Nintendo will likely have a lot more to say about Fire Emblem 2018 after the release of Fire Emblem Warriors this Fall. Until then, let’s all look forward to the Switch’s launch on March 3.

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