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It looks like Microsoft will challenge Sony’s PlayStation Now subscription service in a big way with the Spring, because the consolemaker announced their own Xbox Game Pass this morning.
Unlike Sony’s service, the Xbox Game Pass does not stream games to your console. Instead, subscribers will gain access to full-game downloads of more than 100 titles for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. But like Netflix, new games will be cycled into the service every month, while older titles will be cycled out.
However, subscribers interested in purchasing any game offered through the Xbox Game Pass will be able to do so at a hefty discount.
Naturally, Microsoft themselves will supply many of the games available to download through the Xbox Game Pass. But the consolemaker has also recruited a huge number of third-party publishers to participate including 2K Games, 505 Games, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, Sega, SNK, THQ Nordic, and WB Games. And the first wave of available titles will include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, and Soul Calibur II.
The Xbox Game Pass will be available later this Spring and Xbox One owners will be able to subscribe to the service for $9.99 a month.
With a sweltering Summer in full swing, game publishers mostly skipped the month of July. And nowhere is this more evident than the monthly NPD ranking of best-selling games, which was topped by Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, a game that was originally released almost three years ago. The only new release to crack the top ten in July was Capcom’s Monster Hunter Generations, which claimed the #4 spot.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD analyst Sam Naji said: “Lack of strong new titles for the month resulted with poor comparison with last July’s Batman: Arkham Knight with consumers spending 14 percent less year-on-year on hardware, software and accessories. However, the release of Monster Hunter: Generations and the price drop for the 2DS helped to bolster spending for 3DS and 2DS hardware by 44%”
While brand new titles were a rare sight in the NPD’s July 2016 top ten, new-ish titles like Overwatch (#2), Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (#3), and Doom (#8) continue to be popular with shoppers.
The NPD Group continued their foray into tracking sales of digital downloads last month, though Capcom, Mojang, Bethesda, and Blizzard (for Battle.net sales) chose not to participate.
A full look at July 2016’s best-selling games can be found after the break. (more…)
June is typically a slow period for new game releases, but The NPD Group’s look at last month’s best-selling games proves just how slow it was. According to tracking firm, consumer spending on games was down 20% from last year, when Batman: Arkham Knight launched to strong reviews and even stronger sales.
To make matters worse, the only new release to crack the top ten were Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (#3) and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst (#5). But that means the path to the top of the list was clear for Overwatch, which rode a wave of support from fans to become June 2016’s best-selling game. Grand Theft Auto V (#2) and Doom (#4) rounded out the top five.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in June, as NPD Analyst Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz: “After 32 months since the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One, the combined cumulative hardware sales for these two consoles exceed the sales of [the PS3 and Xbox 360] by 40% at the same point in their lifecycles.”
However, the biggest news this month might be the new way that the NPD reports their monthly sales data. Provided a publisher supplies the numbers, the company has agreed to begin integrating digital sales into their monthly tally. Most publishers have already signed on, though Bethesda, Sony, and Mojang remain holdouts, and Blizzard has decided not to share sales data from Battle.net.
A complete look at last months top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)
The NPD Group has revealed their tally of the best-selling games from May 2016, and four new titles were battling it out for the top spot. But ultimately, Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End bested them all for the #1 spot on the list.
The three shooters that made the month of May a very crowded time for fans of the genre slotted in just behind Uncharted 4, and id Software’s Doom claimed the silver medal as the runner-up. And in the duel for the “Hero Shooter” crown, Blizzard took the first round as strong sales for Overwatch ensured a finish in the #3 spot. That means Gearbox had to settle for a bit less of the market thanks to Battleborn‘s fourth place debut.
Overall, the retail side of the industry did very well in May, which NPD’s Liam Callahan explained to GamesIndustry.biz: “Overall trends across new physical software, hardware, and accessories in May 2016 rose by 4%, or $19.3 million, due to 18% growth of new physical software, which offset the 10% decline of hardware, and the 2% decline in accessories”.
A complete look at last month’s best-selling retail games (which also includes Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, Dark Souls III, and others) can be found after the break. (more…)
Dark Souls III envelops your very being in darkness and despair… it was also the best-selling game of April 2016
I’m sure this is a surprise to no one, but people really love the Dark Souls franchise. And according to The NPD Group (as reported by GamesIndustry.biz), Dark Souls III was the best-selling retail game in April 2016.
The finale to From Software’s brutally difficult trilogy beat out some stiff competition in April including the Ratchet & Clank reboot (#2), Quantum Break (#7), and Star Fox Zero (#10). MLB The Show 16 also got a boost from the opening of this year’s baseball season (#3), but it wasn’t enough to unseat the Babe Ruth of gothic action RPGs.
But even with a handful of big new releases, the retail sector as a whole suffered a huge decline from the year before, when Mortal Kombat X obliterated all expectations. “In April 2016, overall trends (hardware, new physical software, and accessories) were down 15% (or $88.5 million) compared to April 2015 due to a $41.6 million decline in hardware and a $52.8 million decline in software, with the $5.9 million growth in accessories unable to offset these losses,” said The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan.
However, Callahan added, “Despite these declines, keep in mind that Xbox One and PS4 are trending over 40% higher in cumulative sales after 30 months in the market compared to their predecessors.”
A complete look at last month’s best-selling retail games can be found after the break. (more…)
Tom Clancy’s The Division deals with the horrific aftermath of a terrorist attack on New York City on Black Friday, but everything came up green for Ubisoft last month. According to The NPD Group (as reported by GamesIndustry.biz), the multiplayer shooter took the top spot as the best-selling game of March 2016.
A bevy of new releases helped the retail game sector perform just as well in 2016 as it did in 2015. That includes The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD at #3, EA Sports UFC 2 at #5, MLB The Show 16 at #6, and Pokken Tournament at #7. And don’t worry, Grand Theft Auto V and Minecraft continue to hang around the top ten, at #4 and #10, respectively.
A complete look at last month’s top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)
It’s time to listen to the mastodon roar as Ubisoft’s Far Cry: Primal was declared the best-selling game of February 2016 by The NPD Group. Proving that players might be in the market for more titles that feature pre-modern warfare, Far Cry: Primal beat out Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which took the #2 slot.
Several other new releases broke into the top ten last month, including Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 at #4 and Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright at #9. But the most surprising result might be the less-than-stellar debut of Capcom’s Street Fighter V. Even after a big push from Sony, the much-hyped fighting game was only able to punch its way to #7.
Sales of new PS3 and Xbox 360 games continued to drop last month, and total retail spending on new games slipped 10% from February 2015. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD’s Liam Callahan said: “New physical software trends suffered due to a sharp decline in seventh generation consoles of 52% despite the 14% (or $28 million growth) in eighth generation software. Portable software also had a drop of 30% due to a poor comparison to the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, which coincided with the launch of the New 3DS.”
A complete look at last month’s top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)
The NPD Group recently delivered their monthly report on the state of retail video game sales, and the market research firm once again crowned Call of Duty: Black Ops III as the best-selling game of the month. The military shooter’s January 2016 victory is its third straight, but the industry as a whole is in a bit of a slump due to last month’s lack of new releases.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, retail sales for new games totaled $212.7 million last month, down from $235.6 million in 2015. The NPD Group speculated that the lack of a highly-anticipated new title like Techland’s Dying Light might be the cause for the dip, which makes sense when you realize that only one new release, Lego Avengers, was able to crack the top ten. Across the entire industry, US consumers spent $605.2 million on games, consoles, and accessories in January 2016, which was slightly down from January 2015’s total of $627.6 million.
Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, Minecraft, and a few others continue to tally impressive sales. And you can find them all in the full top ten list of January 2016’s best-selling games, which is available after the break. (more…)