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Call of Duty: Black Ops III marches to the top of January 2016’s list of best-selling games

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The NPD Group recently delivered their monthly report on the state of retail video game sales, and the market research firm once again crowned Call of Duty: Black Ops III as the best-selling game of the month. The military shooter’s January 2016 victory is its third straight, but the industry as a whole is in a bit of a slump due to last month’s lack of new releases.

According to GamesIndustry.biz, retail sales for new games totaled $212.7 million last month, down from $235.6 million in 2015. The NPD Group speculated that the lack of a highly-anticipated new title like Techland’s Dying Light might be the cause for the dip, which makes sense when you realize that only one new release, Lego Avengers, was able to crack the top ten. Across the entire industry, US consumers spent $605.2 million on games, consoles, and accessories in January 2016, which was slightly down from January 2015’s total of $627.6 million.

Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, Minecraft, and a few others continue to tally impressive sales. And you can find them all in the full top ten list of January 2016’s best-selling games, which is available after the break. (more…)

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Activision confirms Skylanders 6, new Call of Duty from Infinity Ward, Destiny expansion in 2016; Destiny 2 coming in 2017

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Activision revealed a first look at their 2016 release slate during today’s quarterly financial report… and you’ll never believe what they announced. Nah, I’m just kidding, even an amateur prognosticator could figure out what Activision has in store for this year.

First up, the publisher confirmed that Infinity Ward will develop the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise, which will be released this Fall. The developer’s most recent game was 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, and right now it’s unknown if they’ll continue with that story or move in a different direction. But we do the currently untitled Call of Duty 2016 will be Infinity Ward’s first in Activision’s new three-developer cycle for the series.

Activision is also aiming to launch the sixth entry in the Skylanders series in Fall 2016. Skylanders 6 is in development at Toys For Bob and will be released alongside Skylanders Academy, a new television series based on the franchise.

Bungie’s Destiny will receive more content in 2016, but don’t expect a full-fledged sequel just yet. Another “large” expansion to the original game will be released this year, and the famed developer announced they’ll launch Destiny 2 in 2017.

Finally, Blizzard got a chance to discuss their plans for 2016, but the developer just reiterated a release schedule that we’ve known for a while. Overwatch, their upcoming hero shooter, is on track for a Spring 2016 release on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. And World of Warcraft: Legion, the sixth expansion to the world’s favorite MMO, will be released this Summer, just after the June premiere of the Warcraft movie.

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Ubisoft will release Watch Dogs 2, For Honor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole before March 31, 2017

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Ubisoft may have put the kibosh on a new Assassin’s Creed game for 2016, but they have big plans for the rest of their portfolio in the near-term, including an official announcement for Watch Dogs 2. Ubisoft has been teasing a sequel to their techno-thriller for quite some time, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that it’s taking over the release window for Assassin’s Creed (at least temporarily).

However, the further adventures of Aiden Pearce won’t be the only game that Ubisoft will release throughout their 2016-2017 fiscal year. The company also plans to launch For Honor, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and a new “high-potential AAA brand” between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

Ubisoft plans to reveal more information about their upcoming slate of games sometime in the next two weeks.

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Ubisoft won’t release a new Assassin’s Creed game in Fall 2016

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Rumors began swirling a few months ago that Ubisoft was planning to give the Assassin’s Creed franchise a rest in 2016, and now it looks like those whispers were right on the money. In a new post on the UbiBlog, the publisher confirmed that we won’t be returning to the battle between the Assassins and the Templars this Fall:

This year, we also are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise. As a result, we’ve decided that there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016. Since the release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, we’ve learned a lot based on your feedback. We’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise. We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.

But don’t worry, Ubisoft still has several Assassin’s Creed spinoffs in the pipeline for 2016, including the side-scrolling Assassin’s Creed Chronicles collection that was released last week. The publisher’s Motion Pictures arm will also release the long-awaited Assassin’s Creed feature film, which stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, on December 21.

Ubisoft promised to share more information about the future of the Asssassin’s Creed franchise soon.

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A Day-By-Day Guide to All of 2016’s New Video Games (April – September)

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The Spring and Summer months are currently less dense with new releases than the first three months of the year, but that should change fairly soon, especially since publishers have staked a claim to every week from the beginning of April to the end of June with at least one big new release dropping every seven days.

Are you ready? Because here… we… go… (more…)

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Telltale will release first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne on February 23

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Telltale Games has announced that The Walking Dead: Michonne will kick off on February 23 with the release of the first episode, “In Too Deep.” The three-part miniseries will be available for $14.99 and subsequent episodes will launch in March (“Give No Shelter“) and April (“What We Deserve“).

In this premiere episode, “In Too Deep,” Michonne joins Pete and his crew on the sailing ship The Companion as they cruise the coast for survivors and supplies. When a desperate signal for help draws them to a scene of horrific massacre, Michonne and the crew are lead further to the floating survivors’ colony of Monroe, which may just be harboring the person responsible for the carnage.

The Walking Dead: Michonne will be available for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and mobile devices, but you won’t have to wait until the 23rd to get a look at the game in action. Telltale Games will host an extended preview event on their YouTube page this Sunday, February 14, at 8:30 PM (Eastern Time).

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Unravel, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia, Firewatch, and a lot more added to PS Store

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EA’s adorable Yarny will make his video game debut on the PlayStation Store this week with the PS4 release of Unravel. The puzzle platformer has captivated the gaming public since its unveiling during last year’s E3 Expo, and it’ll be interesting to see what the megapublisher does with a lower-key superstar like Yarny.

A number of other titles are also now available to download this week including Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia, Ubisoft’s third (and final) side-scrolling spinoff in the Assassin’s Creed series; Firewatch, a first-person adventure about a fire lookout and the woman on the other end of his radio; and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Bandai Namco’s newest game based on the popular anime.

Finally this week, a pair of re-releases will give gamers another shot at a game they may have missed before. Techland will relaunch Dying Light as Dying Light: The Following — Enhanced Edition, which includes the original game and every downloadable expansion released in the past year. Vertex Pop’s We Are Doomed will also get a re-release this week on the PS Vita after launching on the PS4 last year. And it’s Cross-Buy compatible, so if you bought the PS4 version last year, you can grab the portable version for free.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. And, as always, a complete rundown of this week’s new game add-ons and discounts can be found at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)

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Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Far Cry: Primal’s world in this trailer

Far Cry: Primal is just a few weeks away, but Ubisoft wants to adequately prepare players for the harsh environments and savage enemies they’ll face with this new introductory trailer.

You are Takkar, a seasoned warrior of the Winja tribe known as “The Beast Master.” To survive, you must embark on a savage adventure filled with brutal weapons, warring tribes, and mystical journeys. Takkar and his people are at the very bottom of the food chain, threatened by man and beast alike. To overcome his many foes, Takkar has powerful weaponry at his disposal.

The five-minute trailer puts a lot of emphasis on the weapons Takkar will be able to wield in the game including a “Bee Bomb” and an an owl companion who is always by his side. Takkar can also “tame and command wild beasts” including badgers, tigers, and elephants (oh my)! But the trailer also expands outward to focus on rival tribes and the many horrors of day-to-day life in the Stone Age.

If you’re up to the challenge, Far Cry: Primal will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on February 23. The PC edition will launch a week later on March 1.

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