Recent Articles: Grand Theft Auto V

The Witcher 3 hunts down the top spot as May 2015’s best-selling game

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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…)

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Take-Two CEO doesn’t know anything about GTA5 story expansion

grandtheftautov-box-largeWay 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.

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Flawless Retaility! Mortal Kombat X tops April 2015’s list of best-selling games

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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…)

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Battlefield Hardline pulls off a heist to become best-selling game of March 2015

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Hey, have you heard of this Bloodborne game? I hear its pretty popular and that Sony’s got a bonafide hit on their hands. It even sold more than a million copies. For all the acclaim Bloodborne has received and all the copies it surely has sold, the game was topped in last month’s NPD rankings by Battlefield Hardline. Developed by Visceral Games, Battlefield Hardline is a cops-and-robbers spin on the Battlefield series and it, not Bloodborne, managed to become the best-selling game of March 2015.

That said, nearly every game of note managed to crash the top ten last month including Mario Party 10 (#4), MLB 15: The Show (#6), Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (#9), and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (#10). Nintendo’s Code Name: STEAM was the only other March release that seemed like it might have enough juice to reach the top ten, but it was pushed out by Grand Theft Auto V (#3), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (#5), and other returning heavy hitters.

The NPD Group (via Game Informer) used this new release drought to explain why March 2015’s game sales were down 6% from the same month a year ago. NPD’s Liam Callahan was also quick to point out that March 2014 saw the release of two very well-received games in TitanFall and InFamous: Second Son. Callahan also confirmed that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One for another month.

March 2015’s top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)

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New Releases: Mortal Kombat X, Grand Theft Auto V for PC

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Just two new games are set to be available on retail store shelves this week… but they’re two of the biggest games of the Spring.

First up, NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat X will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The sequel will slingshot the franchise’s storyline 25 years into the future and introduce a whole new generation of kombatants to the world. The last game in the series, Mortal Kombat, was released four ago, which is the biggest Mortal Kombat drought since the five-year gap between Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.

Also available this week, after several delays, is Grand Theft Auto V‘s PC launch. Rockstar’s game of cops and robbers was originally released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013 while an upgraded edition for the PS4 and Xbox One launched last year. The PC version (which requires seven discs) promises to be the most expansive version yet.

That’s it for the retail release report, but a handful of new games will also be available through Steam, the PlayStation Store, the Xbox Games Store, and the Nintendo eShop this week.

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Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D shoots the moon as the top-selling game in February 2015

legendofzeldamajorasmask-limitededitionThis just in… people really love the New 3DS XL. According to Nintendo, the consolemaker sold almost twice as many 3DS handhelds last month than in February of 2014. Though I guess that was probably going to be a given as people love every Nintendo handheld.

More surprising is the fact that people really love The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. Long thought of as the black sheep of the Zelda franchise, it took the top spot in the NPD Group’s recounting of the best-selling games from February 2015. The handheld’s other major launch title, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, checked in at #10. When you add in digital sales, the game sold more than 290,000 copies in February, making it the best debut for any game in the entire series.

Majora’s Mask 3D beat out February’s other big release, Evolve, which managed to shoot its way to the #2 spot. Other new releases appearing in the February top ten include Dragon Ball Xenoverse (#7) and The Order: 1886 (#9), which only had a few days to rack up sales due to its February 20 release date.

The remainder of the top ten includes plenty of holdovers from January including the former #1, Dying Light. Techland’s zombie game drops to #3 and it’s followed by Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (#4), Grand Theft Auto V (#5), and NBA 2K15 (#6). Another strong showing by Minecraft keeps it in the top ten for another month, this time at #8.

Overall, Game Informer is reporting that sales of hardware, software, and accessories all saw major improvement last month versus February 2014. And while Nintendo may have dominated with the New 3DS XL, Sony has once again claimed the top-selling console with the PS4.

If you’d prefer to read the full top ten from February 2015 in list form, you can find it after the break. (more…)

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GTA5 PC release slips again as Rockstar synchronizes a March 10 launch for Heists

grandtheftautov-box-largeJust when you thought Grand Theft Auto V was ready to come out for the PC… Rockstar pulls it back in.

Today, the publisher announced that Grand Theft Auto V’s PC edition will miss its previously announced March 24 release date and will launch on April 14 instead. According to Rockstar, the delay is due to the fact that “a bit more time is needed to ensure that the game is as polished as possible, and to make certain that both Heists and the GTA Online experience are ready to roll out on day one for PC.”

But speaking of Heists, Rockstar has also announced that the Heat-inspired multiplayer mode will be ready to go for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on March 10. You can steal a glance at some new screenshots from GTA5’s Heists mode at the Rockstar Newswire.

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Dying Light parkours to the top of the best-sellers list for January 2015

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Question… if only one major new title made its way to stores in January, should we be surprised when that game takes the top spot in the monthly sales rankings from the NPD Group? We probably shouldn’t be, and yet, I was still mildly surprised that Techland’s Dying Light was the best-selling game during 2015’s first four-week frame. It was followed by the two biggest titles from 2014… Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare at #2 and Grand Theft Auto V at #3.

Minecraft, coming in at #4, continues to rise even without the holiday shopping season to bolster its sales rank.

Every other title in the top ten seemed to land in roughly the same position it held in December. NBA 2K15 held onto the #5 spot while Super Smash Bros. For Wii U / Super Smash Bros. For 3DS dropped two places to #6. Far Cry 4 was lucky number seven once more while the #8 spot was taken by Madden NFL 15 (which dropped five spots from #3). The final two spots were once again held by Destiny (#9) and FIFA 15 (#10).

While the best-selling software list was relatively stable (and saw a 5% year-over-year increase in sales), the PS4 reigned supreme on the console charts after a one-month hiatus. This turn of events was most likely due to Microsoft’s temporary suspension of the Xbox One’s $50 discount (it was reinstated on January 18).

If you’re looking for the full top ten from January 2015 in list form, you can find it after the break. (more…)

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