Recent Articles: Minecraft

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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Nintendo Download: Minecraft Wii U Edition, Mega Man Zero 4, MM Battle Network 5, more

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Peanut Butter and Jelly. R2-D2 and C-3PO. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Like other great duos from history, fans have been clamoring for a team-up between Nintendo and Mojang since the original release of Minecraft back in 2009. Today, the two companies have finally made this dream a reality with the release of Minecraft: Wii U Edition on the Wii U eShop. Priced at $29.99, the latest version of the popular crafting game will include many of the most popular add-ons and Off-TV Play. If that weren’t enough, the consolemaker is even assisting Mojang on a future Nintendo-themed expansion to Minecraft.

Also available to download this week is a trio of classic Mega Man titles. Newly available to the Wii U’s Virtual Console today are Mega Man Zero 4, a ridiculously hard platformer, and Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel / Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Protoman, a strategic pair of companion games. A three games were originally released for the Game Boy Advance, which was home to a good portion of Mega Man’s many adventures.

More information on all of these games, and a few other new releases, can be found after the break. (more…)

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Minecraft is coming to the Wii U on December 17; Nintendo-exclusive add-ons in the works

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The whimsical world of Minecraft and Nintendo’s colorful sensibilities seem like a match made in heaven. So the frustration that many Nintendo fans feel at the game’s absence from the Wii U is understandable. But that all changes on December 17 when Minecraft: Wii U Edition will be added to the Wii U eShop.

Priced at $29.99, Minecraft: Wii U Edition will include Off-TV Play and six of the most popular add-on packs (Battle & Beasts 2 Skin Pack, Natural Texture Pack, City Texture Pack, Fantasy Texture Pack, and Festive Mash-up Pack). A huge number of additional add-on packs will be available for Wii U owners on December 17 too:

  • Festive Skin Pack
  • The Simpsons Skin Pack
  • Doctor Who Skins Volume 1
  • Doctor Who Skins Volume 2
  • Star Wars Classic Skin Pack
  • Star Wars Rebels Skin Pack
  • Star Wars Prequel Skin Pack
  • Mass Effect Mash-Up Pack
  • Skyrim Mash-Up Pack
  • Plastic Texture Pack
  • Candy Texture Pack
  • Cartoon Texture Pack
  • Steampunk Texture Pack
  • Pattern Texture Pack
  • Greek Mythology Mash-Up Pack
  • Halloween 2015 Mash-Up Pack

Finally, Nintendo and Mojang also announced that they will collaborate on at least one Minecraft add-on pack in the near future. Minecraft: Mario? Minecraft: Zelda? Minecraft: Metroid? Neither company is talking just yet, but I can’t wait to find out what they have planned.

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NBA 2K16, Madden NFL 16 lead off September 2015’s top ten list of best-selling games

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Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports!
Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports!

With the Fall gaming rush off to a slow start, Electronic Arts and 2K Games more-or-less split the month with four sports titles in the NPD Group’s monthly top ten. NBA 2K16 slammed it home to take the #1 spot, while EA’s Madden NFL 16 slipped to #2 in its second month on the chart. Rounding out this month’s murderer’s row was FIFA 16, which bicycled kicked its way into the #4 spot; and NHL 16, which safely skated into the #9 spot.

While most of this Fall’s biggest games are still a few weeks away, new releases did take up the majority of the remaining slots. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain sent off Hideo Kojima in style with a #3 ranking, while Bungie’s Destiny: The Taken King expansion took the #5 spot. Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker was the only platform-exclusive title to break into the top ten and it did so at #6. A pair of licensed games, Disney Infinity: Star Wars at #7 and Mad Max at #8, claimed the next two spots.

Finally, Minecraft continues to hold on by claiming the #10 slot. Expect Mojang’s creation to rise as we get closer to the holiday shopping season.

September 2015’s top ten can be viewed in handy list format 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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It’s Always Blocky in Minecraft… because Rob McElhenney is directing the movie

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Have you heard? Word on the Internet is that there’s going to be a Minecraft movie coming out… sometime. There’s really no information on it just yet. But here’s one thing we do know, the director of the film has been announced to be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney.

McElhenney has mad credits on Sunny for creating, writing, producing, directing, and starring as Ronald “Mac” McDonald… not to mention snagging colleague and funny lady Kaitlin Olson. The announcement was made in a succinct blog post from Mojang, which offered no other information about the project. While McElhenney’s ascension to the position remains a temporarily confusing but delightful mystery, we have noticed some fun similarities between Minecraft and several recurring Sunny characters.

Minecraft aficionados will certainly remember the Creepers, which are very reminiscent of the infamous Green Man (Charlie Day’s Charlie, high out of his mind, in a full-body green spandex suit), who first debuted in the season three episode “The Gang Gets Invincible.” And who can forget Day Man and the creepily suggestive Night Man, which viewers may recall from Charlie’s weird musical, “The Nightman Cometh,” from the end of season four. Both characters seem to parallel the protagonist “Steve” and the mysterious Enderman.

With these concurrent elements in mind, McElhenney now seems like a natural fit for the film. It almost begs the question, was Notch just a huge Sunny fan all along?

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