Most Recent: Xbox 360

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard shambles to the top of January 2017’s best-selling games report

It looks like there’s still some life left in the Resident Evil franchise. The latest game in the series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, topped the NPD Group’s report on the best-selling games in January 2017. The only other new release to crack the top ten was Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, which camein at #6.

“With only five days in the market, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was the best-selling game in January. The last time Capcom had the best-selling game of the month (in dollar sales) was in March 2009 with Resident Evil 5,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz.

Overall spending on game titles was up 14% last month over January 2016, thanks mostly to continued demand for 2016’s biggest releases including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (#2), Battlfield 1 (#4), and NBA 2K17 (#5). And Grand Theft Auto V (#3) continues to burn up the charts more than four years after it was first released.

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

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Indie Megabooth will host 12 games in their GDC 2017 Showcase

The Indie Megabooth will once again offer a small chunk of real estate at the Game Developers Conference to up-and-coming developers this year. Their GDC 2017 Showcase will feature 12 games that are sometimes goofy (Keyboard Sports), sometimes terrifying (Perception), and sometimes without explanation.

The full lineup includes:

Indie Megabooth’s GDC 2017 Showcase

  • _Transfer
  • A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher
  • Cosmic Express
  • I, Hope
  • Keyboard Sports
  • Lightfield
  • Monster Prom
  • Perception
  • Post Human WAR
  • Rogue Process
  • Snake Pass
  • Super Slime Arena

The Indie Megabooth will set up shop in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center on the third floor of West Hall, and more information about every game featured in the Showcase can be found on their official website.

The 2017 Game Developers Conference will begin on February 27.

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No new Skylanders game in 2017, but multiple “Adventure Packs” coming

As part of their quarterly financial report yesterday, Activision executives confirmed that a new game in the Skylanders franchise won’t be released in 2017. However, fans should still expect plenty of new content to appear this year.

First and foremost, Skylanders Imaginators will make its Nintendo Switch debut on March 3. The “toys-to-life” franchise has been one of the few third party bright spots on the Wii U, so it’s good to see Activision continuing the tradition on the Switch. And with Imaginators in the spotlight for another year, COO Thomas Tippl confirmed that Activision plans to launch “multiple Adventure Packs, new characters, and new in-game content” for it throughout the year.

Tippl revealed that Netflix’s Skylanders Academy has also been well-received by fans. A second season will premiere on the streaming service sometime this year, and a third is already in the works.

Finally, Activision is working on a new mobile game set in the Skylanders universe, but that’s all we know at this point.

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Rockstar has shipped more than 75 million copies of GTA5 (and sold most of them)

Even though its been available for more than three years, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V is still selling like… [insert your own joke about prostitutes here].

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick delivered the good news during the company’s quarterly financial report yesterday, where he shared that the publisher has shipped more than 75 million copies of the game. It’s unknown exactly how many copies have been sold through to consumers, but it seems likely that fans have scooped up most of them, especially since The NPD Group certified that Grand Theft Auto V was the sixth-best-selling game of 2016.

In other Grand Theft Auto V news, Zelnick confirmed that Rockstar will continue to support the game’s “Grand Theft Auto Online” mode with additional content in 2017.

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Tom Brady made Madden NFL 17’s Super Bowl LI prediction come true in spectacular fashion

After falling behind 21-3, things were looking grim for the New England Patriots last night in Super Bowl LI. However, you can’t count out quarterback Tom Brady, who rallied his team and tied the game 28-28 at the end of regulation. For the first time in history, the winner of the Super Bowl would be decided in sudden-death.

The annual Super Bowl prediction from EA Sports didn’t account for this unprecedented event, but when James White scored a touchdown for the Patriots early in overtime, the Madden NFL 17 simulation was proven correct once more. The final score wasn’t exactly the same (EA predicted a 27-24 win for New England) and Julian Edelman didn’t make a game-winning catch (though his receiving skills did help the Patriots send the game to overtime), but EA Sports correctly surmised that Brady would earn MVP honors for the fourth time.

With yet another correct prediction, Madden’s Super Bowl simulation has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner in ten out of the last 14 years.

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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #91: Madden NFL Football (Series)

Did you miss The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time’s Introduction? Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100.

A gambler will tell you that they believe Lady Luck will reward them for respecting a streak, and a professional football player will tell you that he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. The former is a wishful thinker, and the latter is a liar.

The sports world is filled with superstitions. As a Little Leaguer growing up, I could show you what a “rally cap” was and explain the importance of never touching the baselines. I understood completely why retired Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to change his underwear during a 12-game winning streak in 2011. I’ve even got strong opinions on what you say to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game. The answer is you don’t say anything, because talking to him at all is bad luck.

For decades, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx served as a well-known precursor to the Madden Curse. Those who believe in the Jinx are convinced that any player who appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated will experience some form of terrible luck, even though a handful of high-profile hits have obscured the long list of players who avoided the Jinx over the years. If the sheer number of cover subjects doesn’t dissuade you (more than 3,000 issues have been produced since the magazine’s launch in 1954), the illustrious career of Michael Jordan should. The basketball great has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record 50 times, and he’s had the kind of career that other athletes dream about… not counting his detour through Minor League Baseball and Space Jam.

But what of the Madden Curse? Although you’ll find a few executives at Electronic Arts who enjoy hyping up the current year’s game with talk of the Curse, most of them like to downplay it. In 2008, the then-President of EA Sports, Peter Moore, said, “I guess when you look back there’s a grain of truth to the Madden Curse.” At the time, he wasn’t wrong. Five of the last six offensive players on the cover succumbed to some horrible calamity. The publishing giant even considered producing a movie based on the Madden Curse in 2010, though that project seems to have fallen off the radar in the years since.

And that’s probably because the Madden Curse is as mythical as a wild turducken. (more…)

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Nominations now being accepted for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017

After inducting Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders into video gaming’s inner circle last year, the World Video Game Hall of Fame is ready to begin accepting nominations for its Class of 2017.

Any game is eligible to be enshrined in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and gamers of all stripes are encouraged to visit the Nominate A Game page to submit any title for nomination that fits the Selection Criteria:

  • Icon Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
  • Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
  • Geographical Reach: The game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
  • Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

All submissions for nominations must be made by March 6, and this year’s finalists will be announced on March 29.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be selected by an internal committee on the advice of an international team of “journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.” This year’s inductees will be announced as part of a special ceremony that’ll be held at The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY on May 4.

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SAG-AFTRA voice actor union holds another rally in Los Angeles as strike continues

With the continuing strike between the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and a cabal of 11 video game companies locked in a stalemate, the union held a rally in Los Angeles to help support the striking voice actors.

The strike, which has been active since October 21, is an ongoing dispute about working conditions and salary for motion capture and voice artists when working on video games. However, there has been little movement in negotiations on the matter, according to SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Contracts Officer, Ray Rodriguez, who said the purpose of the rally was “to get people refocused that the strike is happening.”

In addition to demanding better safety conditions for its members, SAG-AFTRA is seeking additional bonus payments for actors that work on a game that sells well. The union has suggested an extra payment for games selling two million copies, with additional bonuses up to eight million copies sold.

However, lawyers for the 11 companies, which include Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take Two Interactive, Insomniac Games, Warner Bros., and Disney, do not see room for compromise. Scott Witlin, their Chief Negotiator, released a statement saying, “We remain disappointed that SAG-AFTRA leadership remains focused on outmoded ideas about how compensation is structured rather than the real dollars and cents that the video game companies put on the table.”

The contingent of companies, who have seen their premises picketed over the last few months, have proposed an immediate 9% wage increase, instead of a 3% annual increase for the next three years, which is what SAG-AFTRA is asking for on top of the bonus. The video game companies are also offering additional payments, which could be as high as $950 per game, dependent on the length of time an actor works on a specific title.

SAG-AFTRA Interactive Negotiating Committee Chair Keythe Farley said, “I can’t believe we’re still fighting for this contract two years later. I thought we’d be done by lunch on day one. I figured we were all eager to update the substandard, 20-year-old contract that we’ve been operating under and start fresh with a modern, industry-standard agreement that protects, and fairly compensates, performers working on today’s video games. The one thing that keeps me going is our members’ dedication and commitment to a fair contract. It’s the same dedication they bring to their performances, so I guess it’s no surprise, really.”

The SAG-AFTRA rally, which began at SAG-AFTRA Plaza and stretched to the nearby La Brea Tar Pits, attracted 500 union members and was joined by the aptly named David Ryu, an LA City Councilman. He offered strong words of support for the crowd, saying video game companies “need to pay their fair share” and telling the SAG-AFTRA protesters “you should not give in.”

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