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The 2017 E3 Expo will unofficially begin this weekend, when Electronic Arts opens the doors to “EA Play 2017,” their E3 Press Conference. EA Play 2017 will feature eight new titles, and it can be viewed online at EA.com or Twitch beginning on Saturday, June 10, at 3:00 PM (Eastern Time).
So what will EA talk about during their 90 minutes in the spotlight? In addition to a closer look at six previously-announced blockbusters, the publisher plans to unveil “more surprises,” including at least two never-before-seen projects. The six games currently confirmed for EA Play 2017 are:
EA Play 2017 Lineup
- Star Wars: Battlefront II – Featuring all Star Wars eras, a single player campaign and epic scale multiplayer battles, Star Wars: Battlefront II presents the most robust Star Wars game to date. The game is developed in partnership with three powerhouse studios: DICE, Motive Studios and Criterion Games, each with a rich background of creating award-winning games.
- FIFA 18 – Powered by Frostbite, FIFA 18 blurs the line between the virtual and real worlds, bringing to life the heroes, teams, and atmospheres of the world’s game.
- Madden NFL 18 – With Frostbite, the spectacle of NFL gameday comes alive delivering photorealistic players, crowds and stadiums, and introduces an all-new mode to the Madden NFL franchise.
- NBA Live 18 – Delivering gameplay innovations and a brand-new way to play with “The One,” NBA Live returns with an experience completely centered around a player’s individual journey.
- Need For Speed Payback – This explosive adventure is filled with intense heist missions, high stakes car battles, epic cop pursuits and jaw dropping set pieces. It’s blockbuster gameplay never before seen from the series, fueled by a gripping story of betrayal and revenge. With Need for Speed Payback, it’s about building the perfect ride, getting behind the wheel and playing out an action driving fantasy.
- Battlefield 1 – It’s a Summer of Battlefield including the entry of the Russian Army and the biggest front of WW1 in Battlefield 1: In the Name of the Tsar. Partake in the skirmishes of the Albion assault in a freezing archipelago and fight in the snow-covered ravines of the treacherous Lupkow Pass.
EA Play 2017 will be followed by a second livestream that includes further details about the all-new “Nivelle Nights” map in Battlefield 1 Need For Speed Payback, Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
If you’re going to be in Los Angeles for this weekend, you can attend the EA Play FanFest at the Hollywood Palladium to play any (or all) of games. More than 150 demo stations will be available, and tickets are free (but limited). You can learn more about how to attend the EA Play FanFest at the event’s official website.
Nintendo continues to dominate the retail charts with another strong showing in April for their Switch console. According to The NPD Group, Nintendo added another 280,000 Switch consoles to its tally last month, and the newly-launched Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold more than 459,000 copies (in just two days) to take the top spot on the list of best-selling games. The company’s success also seems to be great for the industry as a whole, as the industry generated $636 million in sales in April 2017, a 10% increase over the year before.
The other big news in April is that Persona 5 pushed the franchise and gave the RPG the #2 spot on the best-seller list, just below Mario Kart 8.
“Persona 5 experienced the strongest debut month for any title in Persona franchise history, with packaged dollar sales five times that of the previous best-selling debut, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4,” NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella told GamesIndustry.biz.
Additional new releases were thin on the ground in last month’s Top 20, but Lego Undercover‘s re-release on the PC and current-generation consoles helped it secure a spot (#13). And as expected, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continued to sell well, landing in the #3 position for the month. But the big retail winners in April all came from the backlist, including Grand Theft Auto V (#6), Overwatch (#9), Call of Duty: Black Ops II (#10), and Minecraft (#20).
The NPD Group’s complete list of best-selling games for April 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
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…)
Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was named “Video Game of the Year” at the 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards last night, finally putting an end to Overwatch‘s winning streak. Nathan Drake’s final adventure also earned the big prize in the “Excellence in Narrative” and “Excellence in Animation” categories, and the treasure hunter himself won for “Most Memorable Character.”
However, don’t feel too bad for Blizzard, Overwatch took home three SXSW Gamnig Awards including “Esports Game of the Year,” “Most Promising New Intellectual Property,” and “Excellence in Multiplayer.”
The WWE’s Austin “Xavier Woods” Creed hosted the 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards, and he also handed out statuettes to a wide variety of other games including Pokemon Go (“Mobile Game of the Year”), Doom (“Excellence in Gameplay” and “Excellence in Musical Score”), Battlefield 1 (“Excellence in Technical Achievement” and “Excellence in SFX”), and Dishonored 2 (“Excellence in Design”). And this year’s “Tabletop Game of the Year” award was given to Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
You can find all the winners from last night’s SXSW Gaming Awards show after the break. (more…)
Ubisoft’s For Honor conquered all comers during its first month of availability, as The NPD Group declared it the best-selling game during February 2017. The multiplayer brawler faced some tough competition, but it emerged victorious on the retail battlefield, besting both Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (#2) and Grand Theft Auto V (#3).
The only other new release to crack last month’s top ten was Nioh, an action RPG developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo.
But the overall retail health of the industry was on a downward swing in February. According to GamesIndustry.biz, hardware and software sales were down: “Total hardware sales amounted to $204 million, down 30% from last year. Console and portable software dropped 14% to $344.2 million, PC software fell 26% to just $25 million, while accessories fell 21% to $150.8 million. All told, industry sales took a 21% hit, declining from $918.7 million to $724 million.”
However, it seems likely that the successful launch of the Nintendo Switch (and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) will change that trajectory in March.
The complete list of best-selling games from February 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
Overwatch continues to rack up year-end awards for Blizzard Entertainment, and it picked up two more statuettes last night during the Game Developers Choice Awards. After more than a month of deliberations, the GDC committee choose to bestow “Game of the Year” status on the team-based shooter, as well as “Best Design” for its colorful world.
Two other games collected multiple awards at last night’s GDC Awards. Playdead’s platformer, Inside, earned “Best Audio” and “Best Visual Art.” And later in the night, Campo Santo’s Firewatch was selected as “Best Debut” and its story was honored with “Best Narrative.”
“This year’s amazing slate of winners is a testament to the diversity of experiences in games,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference.
Scavio added: “Pokemon Go [“Best Mobile/Handheld Game”] took gaming outdoors using AR, while Job Simulator [“Best VR/AR Game”] showed how lo-fi aesthetics could meet cutting edge tech for a winning VR experience. Overwatch once again proved Blizzard’s uncanny ability to make a perfectly balanced multiplayer game, and Inside delved deep into our dark psyches to unearth our scariest nightmares. These nominees speak to the strength of games as a medium, but also show the various textures and possible creative outlets that interactive entertainment can provide. Congrats to all of the winners and nominees for following their visions and thanks to all developers who strive to make amazing games for us day in and day out.”
The full list of winners from the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards can be found after the break. (more…)
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…)
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…)