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Nintendo smashed sales records in March 2017… but Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the top-selling game

Nintendo told us all about their record-setting sales month last week, but the NPD Group made it official today when they revealed their retail report on the video game industry for March 2017.

NPD analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz: “March 2017 will go down in history books as the month Nintendo broke records.The Nintendo Switch had the biggest hardware launch for a Nintendo platform and the second biggest launch for any video game platform since 1995, the time NPD began tracking this category.”

However, even though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild managed to sell more than 900,000 copies, it wasn’t able to secure the #1 spot. Instead, Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the best-selling game last month, likely due to Nintendo’s unwillingness to share their digital sales figures with the NPD Group. Other strong sellers on the Switch included 1-2 Switch (#13) and Super Bomberman R (#17).

Big debuts weren’t limited to Nintendo’s Switch, and it was a banner month for several new releases last month, as Mass Effect: Andromeda (#3), Horizon: Zero Dawn (#4), and Nier: Automata (#9) also smashed expectations. Combined with impressive Switch hardware sales, these games helped the industry record more than $1.36 billion in total sales for the month, a 24% year-on-year increase over March 2016.

The complete list of best-selling games from March 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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NBA 2K17 predicts a Cavs-Warriors rematch (and a Warriors win) in 2017 NBA Finals

The 2017 NBA Playoffs kicked off late last week, and 2K’s NBA 2K17 was there to provide a simulation of this year’s bracket.

If you’ll recall, last year, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They eventually lost the series in Game 7, and LeBron James was able to hoist his third NBA Championship.

But if NBA 2K17’s simulation comes to pass, this year’s NBA Finals will end in a rematch that once again goes the distance… and this time the Warriors will emerge victorious in Game 7.

So how do we get from here to there? According to the simulation, the Warriors will easily roll over their opponents in the first three rounds with wins over the Portland Trail Blazers (4-0), Los Angeles Clippers (4-1), and Houston Rockets (4-1). The Cavaliers will have a tougher time to reach the Finals, ultimately pushing past the Indiana Pacers in five games, the Toronto Raptors in six games, and the Washington Wizards in seven games. Cleveland’s more brutal schedule might be the reason behind their eventual defeat in the Finals.

In the real world, the Warriors and the Cavaliers are both doing their part to accurately reflect the action in NBA 2K17s crystal ball, as each team won their first playoff game this weekend. But we’ll have to wait until June 1st, and the start of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, to see if the game’s full simulation is on the mark.

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Activision is working on at least three movies in a connected Call of Duty Cinematic Universe

Activision first began discussing the possibility of a “Call of Duty Cinematic Universe” shortly after opening their film division, Activision Blizzard Studios, a few years ago. Earlier this week, a new profile in The Guardian has revealed that the studio is already working on three separate films:

“We have plotted out many years,” [Co-President Stacey] Sher tells the Guardian. “We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”

According to The Guardian, Activision would like to start filming the first entry in the “Call of Duty Cinematic Universe” sometime next year, with a theatrical premiere planned for “a couple of years after” that.

Sher and her Co-President, Nick Van Dyk, also have ambitions beyond traditional motion pictures. The pair has already partnered with Netflix to produce Skylanders Academy, and they’re also envisioning a Call of Duty-branded series that focuses on historical conflicts such as World War II and the Vietnam War.

Sher also wants fans to know that, above all else, Activision Blizzard Studios wants to make good movies: “If you just chase the empty blockbuster, and have nothing to say in the genre, forget about it.”

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Cars 3: Driven To Win will be released for every available console on June 13

WB Games and Avalanche Software have announced that the Cars 3 video game, Cars 3: Driven To Win, will be released for the PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on June 13.

Taking place after the events of Disney/Pixar’s upcoming film, Cars 3: Driven To Win will ask players to master advanced racing abilities such as “Drifting, Turbo, Two-Wheel Driving, Driving Backwards and Side-Bash” as they rise through the ranks of the Piston Cup. Naturally, the game will also feature splitscreen multiplayer for competitive and cooperative modes:

Picking up after the final big race in the film, Cars 3: Driven to Win extends the storyline of Cars 3 with all-new action packed adventures and takes players through a high-speed competition that is filled with both familiar and new faces. Players will be able to join Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez as they prepare to take on rival racer Jackson Storm. The game features more than 20 customizable playable characters including popular heroes from the Cars franchise and next generation racers. Players can also select their favorite race environments from a series of iconic settings from the film, such as Radiator Springs and Florida International Speedway, with over 20 unique tracks to choose from across 13 different locations.

We also got a glance at the first trailer for Cars 3: Driven To Win, and its been embedded above.

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Persona 5, Drawn to Death, PaRappa the Rapper Remastered, more added to PS Store

After nearly a decade of waiting, Atlus has delivered Persona 5 to fans. The RPG is now available to download for the PS4 and PS3, and it gives players the chance to live a double life… first as a regular high school student by day, and then as a member of the heroic Phantom Thieves at night.

Speaking of long-awaited returns, developer David Jaffe is back with his latest game on the PS4 this week. Featuring an art style culled from the notebooks of weirdo teens everywhere, Drawn to Death is a multiplayer shooter that also mixes in “the nuance of a fighting game.” Best of all, it’s a free download for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Finally this week, the PlayStation Store is now home to a trio of PS4 re-releases that’ll bring old favorites to a new group of gamers. First up is PaRappa the Rapper Remastered, Sony’s attempt to rebuild one of the world’s first rhythm games. It’s joined by People Can Fly’s weird and wild first person shooter, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, and Lego City Undercover, a family-friendly open-world action game from WB Games.

You can learn more about all of these games (and the rest of this week’s additions to the PlayStation Store) after the break. (more…)

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It looks like Udon will publish a Shovel Knight: Official Design Works artbook in August

We’re still waiting patiently for the release of those children’s books based on Shovel Knight (they’re currently scheduled to arrive in stores on April 18), but it looks like you’ll be able to purchase yet another tome featuring the titular knight later this Summer.

According to a new listing on Amazon, Udon Entertainment will publish Shovel Knight: Official Design Works on August 29. The artbook will include 184 pages of images from the game, as well as new information about Shovel Knight from the development team at Yacht Club Games:

Shovel Knight: Official Design Works collects the fun and original artwork behind this landmark title. Inside you’ll find key art, character concepts, enemy designs, sprite sheets, unused ideas, and an all-new Shovel Knight tribute art gallery! This epic tome is also packed with creator commentary, as well as exclusive interview with the Yacht Club Games team.

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, the newest expansion to Shovel Knight’s side-scrolling adventure, will be available to download for the PC beginning tomorrow. If missed its Nintendo Switch launch last month, you might not know that it’s an AMAZING addition to the franchise.

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New Retail Releases: Persona 5, Lego City Undercover, Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition, More

Persona 4 became one of the last major launches for the PS2 when it was released in 2008 by Atlus. It’s long-in-the-works sequel, Persona 5, will do the same when it launches this week for the PS3. Thankfully, the RPG will also be released for the PS4, so all PlayStation players will get the chance to save the world as a member of the Phantom Thieves.

A pair of re-releases will also make their way to store shelves this week, giving players a second chance to try out two unsung titles from the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii U era. First up, the family-friendly open-world action game Lego City Undercover will make its debut on the PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Also this week, Gearbox and People Can Fly will bring Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition to the PS4 and Xbox One with an extra does of Duke Nukem.

Finally this week, an aerial combat sim (Air Conflicts: Secret Wars) and a deckbuilding RPG (ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny) will be released for the PS4.

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back later this week with an expanded look at the latest additions to the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, and Nintendo eShop.

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4/1: AMC and the creators of Breaking Bad are NOT working on a Grand Theft Auto TV show

It’s April 1st, which means you shouldn’t believe everything anything you read on the Internet today. For example… AMC did not hire the creators of Breaking Bad to develop a television adaptation of Grand Theft Auto V.

The trailer making the rounds today was actually created by IGN, but the narration from Steven Ogg (he played Trevor Phillips in GTA5) gives it that extra jolt of authenticity and might help fool a few people.

While this trailer is just an April Fool’s Day prank, Take-Two Interactive might actually be working on a film adaptation of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Earlier this year, CEO Strauss Zelnick told MCV that his company has “licensed a couple of titles for motion picture production.” The executive didn’t name Grand Theft Auto as one of the titles, but prolific film director Roger Corman has repeatedly claimed that a settlement he signed with Take-Two more than a decade ago prevents the publisher from adapting Grand Theft Auto for the silver screen.

Corman produced Ron Howard’s directorial debut, 1977’s Grand Theft Auto, and he’s been trying to remake it for years. But instead of a gangland drama like The Godfather or Scarface, Howard’s film is a road comedy more closely related to something like The Blues Brothers. But if Corman is holding up the creation of a Grand Theft Auto film, it’s never been publicly acknowledged by Take-Two.

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