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Video Game Release Calendar Changelog #4: The 2015 Calendar is Taking Shape
Recent Articles: Watch Dogs
The NPD Group has finished calculating the 2014 game sales in the United States and they’re ready to declare a winner. In 2014, gamers bought more copies of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare than any other game. The franchise actually bookended both ends of the list as Call of Duty: Ghosts tabulated enough 2014 sales to check in at #10. In between those two extremes, the list actually features plenty of familiar faces.
Last year’s best-selling game, Grand Theft Auto V, managed to heist the #4 spot thanks to good sales in the early half of the year and a PS4/Xbox One re-release in the Fall. Sports games occupied three spots in the top ten as Madden NFL 15 (#2), NBA 2K15 (#7), and FIFA 15 (#9) were all popular with players.
Gamers voted with their wallets and both of 2014’s budding megafranchises-in-the-making cracked the top ten. Destiny came in at #3 while Watch Dogs had to settle for the #8 spot.
All told, game software sales were down 13% in 2014 to $5.3 billion. That’s still an impressive chunk of change, but players are increasingly moving over to digital storefronts for the majority of their game purchases. The complete top ten from 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)
The final piece of Nintendo’s attempt to dominate the Fall 2014 gaming calendar is here as Super Smash Bros. For Wii U is finally upon us. OK, more accurately, it’ll be upon us tomorrow. But fans clamoring for the Nintendo fighter (which also includes Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Sonic) have less than 24 hours to go before its added to the Wii U eShop. It will be joined on Nintendo’s digital storefront by another major release tomorrow, Pokemon: Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (3DS). The pair of Pokemon games are actually remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, both of which made their debut on the Game Boy Advance in 2003.
Another game that has been a long time coming is the Wii U version of Watch Dogs, which was also released this week. The hacky adventures of Aiden Pearce were originally released in May, but the Wii U version includes Off-TV Play and an interactive map of Chicago on the Wii U GamePad.
More information on all of these games (as well as a few more new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)
After years of revealing screenshots and teasing trailers (including one 35-minute “Extravganza“), Nintendo is finally ready to release Super Smash Bros. For Wii U this week. It’s a big week for Nintendo in general as the publisher will also release Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon: Omega Ruby for the 3DS along with their first wave of Amiibo figures.
What can the rest of the publishing world do to compete? A lot, actually. Rockstar will bring Grand Theft Auto V to the PS4 and Xbox One for the first time while Ubisoft will release the Himalayan-set Far Cry 4 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One) too. Those are both massive open-world games… though only one lets you ride an elephant. Also available this week is BioWare’s latest RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One); Sony’s latest LittleBigPlanet game, LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS3, PS4); and Deep Silver’s Dead Island spinoff, Escape Dead Island (PC, PS3, Xbox 360).
And if you’re looking to pick up some previously released major releases on new platforms, now’s your chance. WWE 2K15 makes the jump to the PS4 and Xbox One, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor downgrades to the PS3 and Xbox 360, and Watch Dogs finally makes its way to the Wii U.
And you can find even more new releases after the break. (more…)
Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.
In this installment, Austin Walker, writing for Paste, contemplates the rich lives of non-player characters found in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Watch Dogs. Each game attempts to create a background for each NPC, specifically the Orc Captains that stalk Shadow of Mordor’s Talion through the game’s “Nemesis System” and the petty criminals of Watch Dogs that cause pain for so many of the game’s other citizens.
I’ve been thinking about non-player characters for four months now. I’ve been thinking about them ever since I stood over the body of the eleventh man I killed in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. He had a sneering face and a stuffed bank account. The game told me that he was listed on FBI watch list. His name was William Jones. I shot him three times: twice in the back and once in the head.
Monolith offers the player all sorts of ways to fail [in Shadow of Mordor]. As Talion, I regularly overcommitted to combat deep inside of Orkish strongholds only to find myself surrounded by dozens of Uruk-hai, including a few powerful enemy captains. The Arkham series of games taught me that if I could just counter enough attacks, I’d never fail. No matter their number, the Joker’s henchmen would always leave room for me to knock them around. That is not the case here. Even in the final hours of the game, with almost all of Talion’s abilities unlocked, I was once dropped to one knee by ranged attacks and then instantly killed by a particularly strong captain. I wasn’t sent to a “Retry?” screen. Instead, the Orc who killed me rose in rank, and when he saw me later, laughed in my face. My failure—the act of my death—was not erased; it was just made more complicated, more interesting.
You can read the rest of the article at Paste.
Even though his stance said, “stop,” Richard Sherman took it to the house as the cover athlete of Madden NFL 15. While it’s too early to be concerned with The Curse, EA Sports’ latest football sim, as expected, toppled the competition and emerged as the best-selling game of August 2014, according to The NPD Group.
Only a small number of new releases made their way onto store shelves last month and many of them were re-releases of older titles. This tactic helped Diablo III: Reaper of Souls reach the #2 spot as the “Ultimate Evil Edition” is now available for previous-generation and current-generation consoles. And thanks to its PlayStation debut, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare cracked the top ten for the first time at #7.
Joystiq posits that this lack of major releases is the reason why game sales were down when compared to last August. The eighth month of 2013 saw the release of Madden NFL 25 as well as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Saints Row IV, and Disney Infinity.
A full look at the top ten best-selling games of August 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)
Ubisoft has announced that Watch Dogs will finally make its debut on the Wii U on November 18. The Wii U version of Watch Dogs was originally scheduled to be released in May, but Ubisoft delayed the Wii U launch to more heavily focus on the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One editions of the game. The Wii U version is in development at Ubisoft Bucharest and will include an interactive map and Off-TV Play available exclusively through the Wii U GamePad.
Last month, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that Watch Dogs was the last “mature game” the company planned to release for the Wii U.
Speaking to Game Informer, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has confirmed that the publisher is getting out the “mature games” business on the Wii U. But let’s face it, the writing has been on the wall ever since Ubisoft pushed back the Wii U launch of Watch Dogs. The open-world game launched for every other possible platform in May, but Ubisoft delayed the Wii U release to some indeterminate point in the Fall. However, Guillemot was firm in stating that the Wii U version will be released: “[Watch Dogs] is coming to Wii U. It will be the only mature game we publish on it.”
Guillemot’s “mature game” clarification was his way of saying that the publisher has no intention of completely abandoning the Wii U. The Just Dance series, for example, is still a big seller for Ubisoft and Just Dance 2015 will be released for the Wii U this Fall. So why do mature games (like the scrapped ZombiU sequel) get the axe? It’s just business, says Guillemot.
“It’s very simple,” Guillemot says. “What we see is that Nintendo customers don’t buy Assassin’s Creed. Last year, we sold in very small numbers.” In fact, across Ubisoft’s portfolio, Nintendo Wii U sales only represent three percent of the total for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.
Ouch, but it sounds like this is all part of a development restructuring that Ubisoft is implementing across the board. The CEO also revealed that all PS3 and Xbox 360 development will likely stop at the studio’s development houses in 2015. “After 2015, it will be hard for us to create games for those systems,” he said.
In previous years, the best-sellers chart for the month of July would normally be dominated by the latest entry in the NCAA Football series. But EA Sports canceled the series last Fall, so a new emperor is sitting upon the July Throne in 2014. Or rather, an emperor we’ve seen before in a spiffy new set of clothes.
This is a roundabout way of saying that the Remastered re-release of Sony’s The Last of Us (combined with more sales on the PS3) pushed the game to the top of the best-sellers chart. July was a pretty sparse month as far as new releases go, but 505’s Sniper Elite III also cracked the top ten. It was number eight… with a bullet.
You can check out July’s complete top ten list (which includes May releases Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8 hanging tough in the top five) after the break. (more…)