New Releases: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, NBA Live 16, Fallout Anthology, More
Nintendo Download: Freedom Planet, River City Ransom, The Rivers of Alice, more
10 Actresses We Think Could Play Elena Fisher in the Uncharted Movie
Second Transformers: Devastation behind-the-scenes video shows off more gameplay
Xbox One Holiday Bundle will (technically) include 36 free games
Weekly Warp-Up: Is It Fall Yet? Edition
New Releases: Rock Band 4, Uncharted Collection, Transformers Devastation, More
The Games of October 2015
Warpback: What We Played in September 2015
Xbox Store Today: Fat City, Polychromatic
Recent Articles: Grand Theft Auto V
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…)
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…)
Take-Two Interactive didn’t have much to talk about during their quarterly financial report yesterday. Because XCOM 2, Battleborn, and Mafia III are still many months away, company executives mostly used the presentation to boast about the continued success of Grand Theft Auto V.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that the game has sold more than 54 million copies since it was released in 2013. That number includes GTA5’s initial launch on the PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as its subsequent release on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s quite an impressive achievement for everyone involved, which is probably why Zelnick didn’t sound very appreciative when an analyst tried to compare Mafia III to a Rockstar-developed project during the Q&A portion of the presentation:
Mafia III is a completely different experience. I wouldn’t compare it to anything else out there. The reveal was great, but it stands alone. And no, we don’t use any other game in the same sentence as Grand Theft Auto. It is the industry’s standard bearer. It’s not up for comparison. So no, I think, it’s flattering to even think that may be the case, but it’s not.
I love Zelnick’s “take no prisoners” attitude and the defense of his developers, but there was also some bad news for GTA fans during the presentation as well. Karl Slatoff, the President of Take-Two Interactive, confirmed the publisher has no information to share about a single-player expansion for Grand Theft Auto V, telling one analyst, “[W]e really don’t have anything to say about that today.”
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…)
The NPD Group has published their monthly report on the financial state of the video game industry and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has emerged as the best-selling game of May 2015.
The Witcher 3’s victory was assured after the game leapfrogged both of April’s big releases including Mortal Kombat X (#2) and Grand Theft Auto V (#3). The only other May release to make the list, Nintendo’s Splatoon, swam its way into the fifth spot. Though Splatoon should get extra notice for being the only platform-exclusive title in the top ten.
All told, retail sales for games, hardware, and accessories were down 13% versus May 2014. However, Mario Kart 8, Watch Dogs, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and the continued success of TitanFall more than explain the sales gap. The drop-off might have been even bigger if it weren’t for a new wave of Amiibo figures. According to NPD’s Liam Callahan (speaking to GamesIndustry.biz), accessories rose 20% year-over-year, with a 73% increase for “interactive gaming toys.” Callahan also confirmed that the PS4 was the best-selling console of the month.
The complete top ten list of best-selling games for May 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
Way back in December 2013, Rockstar Games announced that at least one “Story Mode Update” would be released for Grand Theft Auto V. The developer said they had “big plans” on how to expand the story, with the first expansion scheduled to launch in 2014.
Unless your name is Rip Van Winkle, you’re probably quite aware that we’re now in 2015 and no story expansions to Grand Theft Auto V have ever materialized. Instead, Rockstar has focused on the PS4/Xbox One port of Grand Theft Auto V, as well as GTA Online enhancements like Heists Mode. To further rub salt into the wound, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said he didn’t know anything about the expansion during yesterday’s investor Q&A:
Doug Creutz: When you had originally launched GTA5, I believe that you had said that there was going to be some story-based DLC content shipping eventually and obviously where your past game launch. Is that still something that you have planned? And I’m sure you’re not going to talk about timing but is there still something that’s in the pipeline for you guys, eventually? Thank you.
Strauss Zelnick: No, we haven’t discussed any story-based downloadable content. We did talk about the Heists and they’ve been released.
Doug Creutz: But I am correct in remembering that you had talked about that around the launch of the game?
Strauss Zelnick: We have different recollections.
Sadly for Zelnick, Take-Two executives also mentioned the work being done on GTA5’s story expansion so he owes Mr. Creutz an apology this morning. So what happened between then and now? Speaking to GameSpot, a Take-Two spokesman said that Zelnick “misspoke” and that “we leave it to Rockstar Games to share information about their games when they’re ready.”
While Take-Two has always deferred to Rockstar to make announcements on their own time, it’s troubling that the CEO of the company doesn’t remember a fairly major announcement concerning his most important product. It’s possible the Grand Theft Auto V story expansion is dead, but it’s just as possible Rockstar is working on it in secret. However, after the success of GTA Online, I think the latter scenario is unlikely.
Mortal Kombat X killed the competition last month as it’s been crowned the top-selling game of April 2015 by The NPD Group. Aside from NetherRealm’s latest and Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin at #8, the tracking firm’s report showed a top ten that was comprised solely of returning titles including Grand Theft Auto V at #2, Battlefield Hardline at #3, MLB 15: The Show at #4, and the well-loved Minecraft at #5.
Overall, it was a good month for the game industry as total sales rose 3% over April 2014. It’s a small gain, but it’s a gain nonetheless.
“Overall sales across hardware, new physical software, and accessories in April 2015 grew by 3% over April 2014 due to the strength of new physical software sales, which offset losses from hardware and accessories,” The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz.
April 2015’s top ten best-selling titles (which also includes CoD: Advanced Warfare, NBA 2K15, the fourth Super Smash Bros. game, and a remastered Borderlands collection) can be found after the break. (more…)