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Weekly Warp-Up: Happy Thanksgiving 2015
Recent Articles: Batman: Arkham Knight
It’s been four long months, but PC players will finally get the chance to purchase (or patch) Batman: Arkham Knight very soon. In a statement on the game’s Steam Community page, WB Games has confirmed that Arkham Knight will officially be available for sale on October 28 at 10:00 AM (Pacific Time). A patch that will fix the game’s many problems will also be available at the same time.
The publisher also confirmed that all currently-available Season Pass content (including Photo Mode, Big Head Mode, three Crime Fighter Challenge Packs, six Batmobile Race Tracks, and four Story Packs) will also be ready to download on Wednesday.
In closing, WB Games offered thanks to players for who provided feedback to developer Rocksteady Studios during the patching process: “We want to give particular thanks to the members of the PC community who took the time to give us clear, detailed feedback and bug reporting.”
Whatever your opinion of Tom Brady and Deflategate (for the record, I agree with Tony Kornheiser, the suspension was “completely unjust”), it looks like nobody can take the air out of EA’s Madden NFL franchise. And don’t just take my word for it. The latest entry in the series, Madden NFL 16, topped the NPD Group’s newest monthly report and was declared the best-selling game of August 2015.
Madden NFL 16’s ascendance to the top of the list was a foregone conclusion, but August was an unusually quiet month for new releases. Just look at the three remakes/re-releases that broke into the top ten. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition chainsawed its way into the #3 spot, while the 30 games in the Rare Replay compilation collectively landed at #6. Finally, a Combo Pack containing Call of Duty: Black Ops + Call of Duty: Black Ops II claimed the #8 position (two spots ahead of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare at #10, I might add). The only other new release to crack the top ten was Sony’s Until Dawn at #7.
But the real story of the month might be that Minecraft continues to sell. Even though its been available on the PS4 and Xbox One since last year (and another year on the PS3 and Xbox 360), the game continues to sell month after month. Only Madden NFL 16 was able to outpace Mojang’s creation in August as Minecraft is sitting at #2 on the best-sellers list.
A complete look at August 2015’s top ten is available after the break. (more…)
As promised, WB Games has finally released an “interim” patch for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. Additional work still needs to be done to get the game up to snuff, but the patch provides major fixes and improvements to the game:
- Reduced frame rate hitches
- Optimizations for system memory and VRAM usage
- Improved performance on all GPUs (requires the latest drivers)
- More Comprehensive In-Game Settings
- Fixed low resolution texture bugs
- Fixed hitches when running on mechanical hard drives (HDD)
More patches for Batman: Arkham Knight are still in the works at developer Rocksteady. The team posted their current to-do list for the next patch, which hopefully should be available soon:
- Adding support for SLI and Crossfire
- Adding support for the latest DLC and Season Pass content
- Adding support for additional updates such as Photo Mode
- Continued improvements and bug fixing for a Windows 7-specific memory issue that occurs on configurations with 8GB of system RAM and some Nvidia GPUs during extended game play
- Continued improvements for Windows 10-specific issues on systems with some AMD GPUs
WB Games suspended sales of Arkham Knight’s PC edition just a few days after the game’s June 23 launch. As of today, the game still isn’t available for purchase through Steam or other digital storefronts. Hopefully, this latest patch works the way its supposed to and that changes in the very near future.
[Source: WB Games Community Forums]
July is not typically a very strong month for new game releases, and only a single new title was able to crack the NPD Group’s recounting of the ten best-selling games of the month. But it was Lego Jurassic World, a June release, that sits at the top of the sales food chain this month.
Debuting at #3 in the NPD’s June report, Lego Jurassic World likely got a boost from the tremendous box office support for the film. After nearly nine weeks in theaters, the film has earned more than $636 million. Only Titanic ($658 million) and Avatar ($760 million) have made more money at the domestic box office.
While it’s unlikely that Lego Jurassic World will reach those heights, the game is another hit for WB Games, which had yet another big month in July. Batman: Arkham Knight (#2) and Mortal Kombat X (#8) once again both landed in the top ten.
The only new release to break into the top ten last month was EA’s Rory McIlroy PGA Tour. Before McIlroy, Tiger Woods had been PGA Tour’s pitchman for more than 15 years. As great as Tiger used to be, it looks like EA doesn’t need him to sell their golf game.
Finally this month, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that overall sales of all game-related items (hardware, software, and accessories) is roughly even with July 2014. Both July 2014 and July 2015 produced around $184 million in total sales.
The complete top ten for July 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
WB Games announced yesterday (through their Steam Community page) that an “interim” patch is coming for the much-maligned PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight.
In the statement, Warner Bros. said the patch will “address many of the issues” they include in their last update on June 27. Internal documents obtained by Kotaku Australia claim that a full patch won’t happen until September at the earliest, so it looks like this update will be little more than a band-aid.
Still, the next update looks like it will cover a wide range of bugs. The patch will allow the game to run higher than 30 FPS, will improve texture issues, and “improve overall performance,” though what specifically that means remains a mystery. Don’t expect this to be the deus ex machina that fixes all your problems, but it should make the game run a little better if you’ve already had the misfortune of buying it on PC. The full list of planned fixes can be found at Arkham Knight’s Steam Community page.
Sales of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight were suspended just days after its launch. Pulling a game from online storefronts is almost unprecedented, and can likely be attributed to Valve’s new refund policy on Steam.
WB GAmes has yet to announce when Batman: Arkham Knight will be once again available for purchase on the PC.
Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy went out with a bang last month, and it looks like a lot of fans went along for the ride, as The NPD Group has confirmed Batman: Arkham Knight was the best-selling game for June 2015.
Aside from the problems with the PC version, WB Games had a pretty good month as four of the publisher’s titles placed in the top ten. Newcomer Lego Jurassic World joined Arkham Knight near the top of the list in the #3 spot, while The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (#4) and Mortal Kombat X (#8) held over from May. NPD’s Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz, “Warner Bros. Interactive is the top corporate publisher so far in 2015, with dollar sales growing 217% versus the first half of 2014.”
But WB Games wasn’t the only company having a nice Summer as Bethesda has a hit on their hands with The Elder Scrolls Online. It was also a good month to be a squid as Nintendo’s Splatoon held strong at #5, and became the only platform exclusive to crack the top ten.
The industry as a whole should be very happy about last month’s sales as consumers spent a lot more than they did last year. Overall sales were up 18%, $869 million versus $734 million, over June 2014. And that includes increases in hardware (+8%), software (+21%), and accessories (+34%).
The complete top ten list of best-selling games for June 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)