Recent Articles: Grand Theft Auto V

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the best-selling game of 2015; CoD franchise sells more than 250 million copies since 2003

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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…)

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CoD: Black Ops III does a repeat of November as the best-selling game of December 2015 too

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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…)

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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is now available for iOS devices

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Rockstar continues to muscle into Apple’s turf with today’s announcement that Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is now available to download through the iOS App Store. Liberty City Stories, which was originally released for the PSP in 2005, actually serves as a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III and gives players the chance to visit many of the same haunts:

In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, former trusted wise guy for the Leone crime family, Toni Cipriani, returns home after spending time in hiding for killing a made man. Now, the streets of Liberty City are in turmoil, as warring families vie for control and the town begins to self-destruct under waves of political corruption, organized crime, drug trafficking and union strikes. Deranged hit men, morally depraved tycoons, cynical politicians and even his own mother stand in the way, as Toni tries to bring the city under Leone family control.

With the move to iDevices, Rockstar has added a number of new features and enhancements to the game. Priced at $6.99, the latest version of Liberty City Stories will treat players to “real-time lighting and shadows, upgraded textures and art, greater draw distance, performance enhancements for touch-based gaming, cross-platform cloud saves, support for Apple’s 3D Touch and more.” Players who purchase the game on the iOS App Store will also be able to unlock an “I Heart LC” t-shirt for their GTA Online character in Grand Theft Auto V on the PC, PS4, or Xbox One.

According to Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories will soon be available to download for Android devices through Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. A new trailer for the game can be found after the break. (more…)

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BOOM! Madden NFL 16 is the best-selling game of August 2015

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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…)

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When Dinosaurs Ruled the Charts… Lego Jurassic World is best-selling game of July ’15

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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…)

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Grand Theft Auto V has sold 54 million copies; Single-Player DLC is still MIA

grandtheftautov-box-largeTake-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.”

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Mortal Kombat X was the best-selling game in the first half of 2015

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Fortune has scoured the last six months of data from The NPD Group to assemble a definitive list of the best-selling games from the first half of the year.

Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly when you realize just how few games have been released this year, NetheRealm’s Mortal Kombat X took the top spot. The latest game in the long-running series paved the way for WB Games’s complete domination of the sales chart. The publisher secured four spots in the half-year top ten including Batman: Arkham Knight (#6), Dying Light (#7), and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (#9). Arkham Knight’s appearance on the list is even more impressive as it was released in the last week of June.

Among the holdovers, Grand Theft Auto V (#2), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (#4), and Minecraft (#5) all broke into the top five. It’s likely that all three will stick around for the year-end list as well.

The complete top ten list can be found right here:

Bestselling Games in the First Half of 2015
1. Mortal Kombat X
2. Grand Theft Auto V
3. Battlefield Hardline
4. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
5. Minecraft
6. Batman: Arkham Knight
7. Dying Light
8. NBA 2K15
9. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
10. Super Smash Bros. For 3DS / Super Smash Bros. For Wii U

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Batman: Arkham Knight stands watch atop the best-selling games list for June 2015

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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…)

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