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Earlier this year, Microsoft and EA opened up the EA Access “Vault” to all Xbox Live Gold subscribers for a week of binge gaming. With this year’s E3 Expo set to kick off any minute now, they’re doing it again.
If you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you’ll have free to all 21 games in the EA Access “Vault” from now until Wednesday, June 22. That includes EA Sports titles such as EA Sports UFC, FIFA 16, FIFA 15, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 16, Madden NFL 25, Madden NFL 14, NBA Live 16, NBA Live 15, NHL 16, NHL 15, and Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, as well as Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Titanfall, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, Need For Speed Rivals, and Peggle 2. A pair of Xbox 360 games, Dead Space and Plants vs Zombies, will also be available through the “Vault” thanks to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility options.
Xbox One interested in subscribing to the EA Access service can do so for $4.99 per month, or $29.99 for a full year. A paid subscription to EA Access also includes “Play First” rental access to several of EA’s biggest upcoming games (including Battlefield 1, FIFA 17, Madden NFL 17, and Mass Effect: Andromeda) before they’re released to the public.
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…)
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the best-selling game of 2015; CoD franchise sells more than 250 million copies since 2003
The numbers have been tabulated and the Call of Duty franchise once again reigns supreme over all other video games.
According to The NPD Group’s yearly report of retail releases, Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the best-selling game in 2015, besting EA’s Madden NFL 16 (#2) and Bethesda’s Fallout 4 (#3). The Call of Duty franchise also controlled the back end of the list with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare taking the #10 spot. Activision’s Scott Lowe added (by way of the Activision Games Blog) that the entire franchise has sold more than 250 million copies since the release of Call of Duty in 2003.
Believe it or not, games outside the Call of Duty franchise found success in 2015 as well, though most of them were released after July 1st including Star Wars: Battlefront (#4), NBA 2K16 (#6), and FIFA 16 (#9). The only game to break that trend (aside from a few 2014 stragglers like Advanced Warfare) was Mortal Kombat X (#8), which was released in April. The game-playing public may not always like it, but this does explain why publishers constantly strive to release their games in the back half of the year.
On the hardware side, console sales surged in 2015, as the PS4 and Xbox One continued to outpace the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS4 was the overall winner in 2015, but NPD analyst Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz that both platforms did well: “After 26 months of sales, the combined cumulative sales of Xbox One and PS4 exceeds the 26 month total of the PS3 and Xbox 360 by 47 percent,”
The NPD’s list of the top ten best-selling games for 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
While financial folks continue to claim that the Call of Duty franchise is in freefall, the latest game in the series still managed to top the sales charts in December. Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which also topped the list in November, beat out several other strong contenders for the public’s Christmas dollars including Star Wars: Battlefront (#2) and Fallout 4 (#3). There weren’t too many new releases available in December, but one, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (#7), managed to crack the top ten.
However, the the biggest surprise in the NPD Group’s December report might be that Minecraft: Story Mode landed at #9… even though the game disc available in stores only contains the first episode. Interestingly, it placed just behind the original Minecraft, which was firmly locked in at #8.
Even with a dearth of new releases, December 2015 was a good one from a financial perspective, which NPD analyst Liam Callahan shared with GamesIndustry.biz: “December 2015 was the best month on record for PS4 and Xbox One, and the second-best for the Wii U in terms of new physical software unit sales. This also meant that it was the best month of total eighth generation new physical software sales.”
The full top ten list for December 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
Not surprisingly, a trio of shooters took the top three spots in the NPD Group’s recounting of November 2015’s best-selling games.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III scored another big win for Activision (and the Black Ops sub-series) with its claim on the top spot. It was followed by Fallout 4 at #2 and Star Wars: Battlefront at #3. With shooters holding on to the top of the list, sports games looked in for the next four places… Madden NFL 16 (#4), NBA 2K16 (#5), FIFA 16 (#6), and Need For Speed (#7). What? I’m sure someone, somewhere, thinks of illegal street racing as a sport.
The final three spots in the NPD’s November 2015 list include repeat appearances from Halo 5: Guardians (#8) and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (#9), along with a strong Black Firday-assisted performance from Just Dance 2016 (#10).
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD’s Liam Callahan confirmed that the PS4 and Xbox One are having a monster Fall: “After 25 months, the combined sales for the PS4 and the Xbox One are 47% higher than the combined sales for 25 months of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales.”
You can find the NPD’s November 2015 top ten in handy list format after the break. (more…)
The Master Chief’s sales performance was masterful last month as players flocked to stores to purchase Halo 5: Guardians, making it the best-selling game in October 2015.
The fifth entry in Microsoft’s long-running shooter series wasn’t the only new release to rule the charts last month. Players also pushed their gaming dollars towards the newly available Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (#3), WWE 2K16 (#5), Yoshi’s Woolly World (#8), and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (#9). And the battle of the (plastic instrument) bands ended with Harmonix’s Rock Band 4 taking the #10 spot and Guitar Hero Live failing to chart. This month is also notable for another no-show as Minecraft was knocked out of the top ten for the first time in a long time. But it’ll surely climb the ranks again as the holiday season approaches.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan confirmed that the game industry saw a year-over-year sales increase thanks to Halo 5 and the debut of Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite Controller: “Overall sales across physical software, hardware, and accessories experienced a modest 2% growth in October 2015 compared to October 2014. This was driven entirely by accessory sales, which grew by 18%, or just under $30 million.”
Halo 5 also helped sales of Microsoft’s Xbox One triumph over Sony’s PS4 on the monthly sales charts for the first time all year. Even more impressive, this happened after Sony officially dropped the price on the PS4.
The NPD Group’s complete top ten for October 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
Today is the first day of Fall and that means that Activision and Vicarious Visions are back with another entry in the popular Skylanders franchise. This time, the Skylanders will hop into a variety of different vehicles in Skylanders SuperChargers, which is now available to download through the Xbox Games Store on the Xbox One and Xbox 360. “Epic adventures over land, under sea, and through the sky” are promised, but you’ll need to own a Portal of Power from a previous Skylanders game to experience it all.
Also available to download this week is a pair of sports titles that use a football field in two very different ways. EA’s FIFA 16 (Xbox One, Xbox 360) is a traditional soccer simulation that features hundreds of teams from across the world. And in a first for the franchise, it also features 16 women’s teams that were part of this year’s World Cup. However, the other side of the pitch is occupied by Blood Bowl II, a turn-based strategy game that melds American football with the fantastic characters found in the Warhammer universe.
Finally this week, two arena fighters will battle it out for your gaming dollar. In this corner, Golden Ruby Games will release Extreme Exorcism, a supernatural single-screen arena fighter, for the Xbox One. And in this other corner, Self Made Miracle will release Penarium, an arena game set in a sinister circus, for the Xbox One.
More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)