Recent Articles: Minecraft

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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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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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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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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The Strong announces finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015

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The Strong National Museum of Play and the International Center for the History of Electronic Games have announced the finalists for the inaugural class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. More than a dozen classic games passed this first test on their way to video game immortality, which were selected from thousands of nominations that poured in from gamers all across the world. Nominations for the Class of 2015 were accepted from February 17 through March 31, but in case you missed out, the Hall of Fame is already accepting games for next year’s class.

This year’s inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be chosen from the finalist pool by an “international selection committee” made up of journalists, scholars, and other individuals. The inaugural class will be announced on June 4 at 10:30 AM (Eastern Time) during a ceremony at The Strong.

The finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 include:

  • Angry Birds
  • Doom
  • FIFA International Soccer
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Minecraft
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Pac-Man
  • Pokemon Red/Blue
  • Pong
  • The Sims
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Space Invaders
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Tetris
  • World of Warcraft

“The 15 finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame span decades, gaming platforms, and geographies… but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on popular culture and society in general,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, the Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

Inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be selected based on the following criteria: “Icon Status,” “Longevity,” “Geographical Reach,” and “Influence.” All 15 finalists certainly qualify, but I know I’ll be rooting for Tetris.

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Minecraft on consoles gets female character; Sony platforms receive Simpsons Skin Pack

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Mojang made three big Minecraft-related announcements today…

First, Mojang has announced that all console players will be able to play as Alex, a female character, beginning Wednesday. According to Mojang’s Owen Hill (writing on the company’s official website), Alex was added to the game because “jolly old Steve doesn’t really represent the diversity of our playerbase.” All eight “Alex” skins will be available as a free update on the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Alex has been available for PC players since last year.

Today’s second big announcement is that The Simpsons Skin Pack will be available to download on PlayStation platforms this Wednesday. It’ll be priced at $2.99 and include 24 of your favorite Springfieldians.

Finally, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition will receive 30 additional Achievements that were introduced to the game in Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. A few extra music tracks will also be included in this update.

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