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The NPD Group has released their monthly report on the financial health of the video game industry and, good news, retail game sales in August 2013 increased 21% over the same period last year. The entire retail game industry (games, consoles, and accessories) raked in $521 million, an increase of 1% over August 2012. Though the report estimates this number accounts for only half of all video game spending in August when you factor in used games, rentals, digital sales, add-on content, subscriptions, mobile apps, and social network microtransactions that the NPD doesn’t track.
Most of the increase in game sales was due to a stronger than usual slate of August releases. In fact, only two games in the August top ten are holdovers from previous months (Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition at #5 and NCAA Football 14 at #7).
The remainder of the top ten is populated entirely by new titles: Madden NFL 25 (#1), Saints Row IV (#2), Disney Infinity (#3), Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (#4), Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (#6), Payday 2 (#8), Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (#9), and Pikmin 3 (#10).
If you’d prefer the top ten in list format, you can find it right here:
Bestselling Games in August 2013
1. Madden NFL 25 (Xbox 360, PS3)
2. Saints Row IV (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
3. Disney Infinity (Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, Wii U, 3DS )
4. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
5. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
6. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS)
7. NCAA Football 14 (Xbox 360, PS3)
8. Payday 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
9. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3, PC)
10. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
It’s another big week for the PlayStation Network as the majority of this week’s retail releases also found their way onto the PlayStation Store.
Volition’s Saints Row IV leads off the craziness and its joined by another title on the PS3 that focuses on an alien invasion, 2K’s The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. There’s no aliens for Sam Fisher to fight in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (at least, I don’t think), but he makes his return to the PS3 as well. Finally, Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers, a budget aerial combat sim, is new to the PS3 section of the Store.
Gamers interested in quirkier fare who also have an interested in PSN/Vita Cross-Buy titles would do well to check out the one-on-one fighter Divekick and the puzzler Ms. Germinator. Speaking of the Vita, The Walking Dead: The First Season shambles onto Sony’s handheld this week.
Finally, a pair of PS2 Classics, Kessen III and Naval Ops Commander, round out this week’s new additions to the PlayStation Store.
This week’s new releases take us to infinity and beyond.
The “infinity” is taken care of by Disney’s massive companywide crossover, Disney Infinity, is ready for release on the 3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, and Xbox 360. The game’s “Starter Pack” will come complete with three figures (Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, and Sulley from Monsters Inc.) with additional figures available for purchase separately.
That brings us to the “beyond,” which is ably covered by Volition’s Saints Row IV. The insane antics of the Third Street Saints have found a new home at Deep Silver, but the latest game is available for three familiar platforms: PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. And if you’ve got the scratch, why not spring for Saints Row IV’s luxurious (and ridiculous) “Million Dollar Pack.”
Also available this week is the latest adventure of Sam Fisher, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360); the 1960s-set adventures of an anti-alien task force, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PC, PS3, Xbox 360); and the standalone release of Luigi’s latest starring effort, New Super Luigi U (Wii U).
More new releases can be found after the break. (more…)
Once again, the Virtual Console is home to the highlights of this week’s Nintendo Download. The NES adaptation of Mario’s first adventure, Donkey Kong, has been added to the 3DS eShop. Meanwhile, the NES adaptation of Galaga is now available on the Wii U eShop.
Also available today is a quartet of 3DS title… budget compilation 10-in-1: Arcade Collection, squeaky clean Barbie: Glam and Groom Pups, miniature shooter Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D, and equestrian sim My Western Horse 3D.
On Tuesday, Wii U owners will be able to download Sam Fisher’s latest adventure, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which is definitely the biggest new release of the week.
More details about all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
Ubisoft plans to make a big splash at this year’s Gamescom expo, which kicks off on August 21 in Cologne, Germany. The publisher will have nine games playable on the show floor (including Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Rayman Legends, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, The Crew, and more). They also plan to debut a “new next-gen IP currently in development.”
“This year’s Gamescom is particularly exciting because it’s the first time players can really get their hands on the next-gen consoles and games they have been waiting for,” said Yves Guillemot, co-founder and CEO, Ubisoft. “Gamescom is a unique opportunity for us to connect face-to-face with our fans and listen to their feedback, and we think they’ll love what we’re bringing to this year’s show.”
A complete rundown of Ubisoft’s Gamescom lineup can be found after the break. (more…)
Ubisoft’s Fall 2013 lineup will be well represented at this year’s E3 Expo as the publisher plans to display five titles at the gaming showcase, as well as multiple unannounced next-generation games:
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
- Rayman Legends
- South Park: The Stick of Truth
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
- Watch Dogs
Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference will take place on Monday, June 10 at 6:00 PM (Eastern Time). The company will post a livestream of the presentation on YouTube for everyone who can’t attend the E3 Expo. Updates from the show floor will also be posted on Ubisoft’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, and official blog during E3 week.
“This is a pivotal moment for the video game industry, and E3 is the opportunity for us to share our vision for the future,” said Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft’s CEO. “We have many incredible games in development, and we’re especially excited to share more on our next-gen titles, which will deliver more connected, immersive and interactive experiences to our fans.”
So, any guesses on what Ubisoft’s unannounced next-gen games will be?
Ubisoft has confirmed that Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist is bringing back the popular “Spies vs Mercenaries” multiplayer mode. To the dismay of many fans of the franchise, “Spies vs Mercs” skipped the last Splinter Cell game, Conviction. Here’s what Ubisoft had to say about the mode’s inclusion in Blacklist:
The stealthy and agile spies have to extract sensitive data from 3 terminals while the powerful and heavy armored Mercs must use any means necessary to stop them. Each team has different abilities and tools at their disposal to outsmart their opponents in an exciting, high stakes redefined multiplayer experience.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be released for the PC, PS3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 on August 20.
The latest trailer for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist showcases some of the in-game abilities that have been made easier to execute using the Wii U GamePad.
Marking targets and drone piloting are just two things that you can expect to use the Wii U GamePad for in Blacklist. It really looks like Ubisoft has enhanced the gameplay experience by using the Wii U GamePad instead of giving the system a straight port.
Ubisoft is targeting a release date of August 20 in North America, August 22 in EMEA regions, and August 23 in the UK for Splinter Cell: Blacklist.