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Bethesda reveals $750 million worth of Fallout 4 titles have been shipped

Just days after Activision and Treyarch revealed a massive opening three days of Call of Duty: Black Ops III — taking in over $500 million, Bethesda tries to one up them showing off an even larger figure. 12 million Fallout 4 games have been shipped to retailers across the globe leading to a $750 million profit for Bethesda.

It’s important to note the difference between the two numbers though. Fallout 4 has been shipped to retailers and the 12 million number includes copies that haven’t technically been sold to a consumer yet. The $500 million Activision made came from actual sales.

SuperData research shows that Fallout 4 has sold 1.87 million units on consoles and 1.2 million units on PC within its first three days of release. That amounts to a more subdued amount of revenue from actual sales — $100 million.

Regardless, the Fallout 4 launch has been a tremendous success. Call of Duty has higher expectations because of its place in the industry as a staple of video games. The fact that Fallout 4 has had so much success even with it’s lower place in the proverbial gaming totem poll is a great credit to what an amazing game it is.

Fallout 4 screenshot 3

Fallout 4 builds on the engine that Skyrim put in place in 2011 and does nothing but improve from both the Elder Scrolls game and the last two Fallout releases (Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas). While some of suggested the game isn’t quite as graphically stunning as they had hoped for, the general consensus remains that Fallout 4 is one of the best games of this generation.

The collector’s edition of the game that included the physical Pip-Boy to use with select smartphones, sold out almost immediately after being announced. Bethesda also set a milestone becoming the most concurrently played game on Steam with 470,000+ players exploring the Commonwealth at one time.

President of Bethesda Softworks, Vlatko Andonov spoke on the great work the studio has done.

“We’re extremely proud of Todd Howard, Game Director at Bethesda Game Studios, and his experienced team of developers for their talent and dedication in creating this extraordinary game. Fallout 4 is a masterpiece in game development and storytelling, providing fans hundreds of hours of fun as they explore and are challenged by this fascinating, beautifully crafted world.”

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Activision/Treyarch garners $550 million from Call of Duty Black Ops III release

Call of Duty has been a staple of video gaming for a decade now, and though the franchise has been developed by multiple studios with various subsets it always pushes out a consistent, quality product.

That trend is continuing with Call of Duty: Black Ops III — the fourth installment of the series following the story arch of Call of Duty World At War, Black Ops I, and Black Ops II.

The game is not only a week old, but according to reports by Activision the game had sold $550 million copies worth within just three days of its November 6 launch.

It is currently the most successful launch of a media this year whether it be games, movies, or anything else.

The game competes with the same success that Black Ops II had in 2012 when it took in $500 million in just one day.

“Call of Duty is more than a game, it’s a year round passion for a growing base of millions of fans and it’s only gaining momentum.” – Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing

The bread and butter of the franchise has been the multiplayer ever since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and there was no reason to expect anything but a massive success in that department. Activision reports “more than 75 million hours” have been spent online through the first three days.

Also of note, Black Ops III’s digital sales set a record for Activision with downloads on new generation consoles up 100% from last year. Digital gaming is continuing to rise in all facets of the gaming industry.

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Microsoft reveals Xbox One backwards compatible games

Backwards compatbility may very well have been the feature that won Microsoft E3 2015, and after a long five months the promises that they made are finally coming to fruition.

Xbox Live’s Major Nelson and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed exactly which Xbox 360 will be available on the Xbox One November 12.

“At Xbox, we believe that gaming is universal and should be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. Our philosophy since launching Xbox One two years ago has been to put gamers at the center of everything we do and create the best, most seamless gaming experience possible.” – Mike Ybarra and Larry Hryb

104 games — mostly first party games — will be part of the initial launch. The majority of the games are not particularly major titles or among the top titles that gamers were clamoring for in the Xbox Live uservoice community reach-out initiative by Microsoft.

Instead the biggest name titles include Just Cause 2, Fable II, Fallout 3, Mirror’s Edge, Super Meat Boy, and all of the Gears of War games. There is an extensive collection of Xbox Live arcade games as well.

While the selection isn’t particularly bad, there are still many gamers that are reasonably disappointed that even Halo: Reach will still be a ways away. Reach, Halo Wars, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite and Skate 3 are among the big name games that are “on the way.”

Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Skyrim were the top three requested titles and nothing was mentioned regarding future compatibility with these titles. It’s certainly possible that Microsoft simply has been given the go-ahead from Bethesda or Rockstar to release their games again through backwards compatibility.

Still, backwards compatibility is here, and it’s a major bonus for the console struggling to compete with the PS4 in European and Asian markets. Microsoft is continuing to re-invent it’s image and inticing previous-gen gamers with a few more games with the added media features of the Xbox One (game streaming, screenshots, game DVR) can’t hurt.

Are you happy with the games included in backwards compatibility?

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Star Wars Battlefront to exceed expectations? EA ups sales estimations

Star Wars Battlefront is releasing with expectations as high as any game that has come out since the start of the new generation consoles, and after a very successful beta EA’s financial estimations are going up by a substantial margin — 13 million to the previous 9 million units shipped throughout the 2016 fiscal year.

The 31% increase in sales projections comes after a 9.5 million-player beta — the most successful beta for a game ever.

Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about the confidencce that Battlefront has invoked on the entire company.

“Based on the ongoing strength of our business and reception of Star Wars Battlefront, we are raising our full-year outlook for the second time. Our markets are very healthy, the digital transition continues to drive margins, and engagement in our live services and excitement for our upcoming launches is exceptional.”

The excitement was expressed in the latest investors conference call for its second fiscal quarter. The Star Wars IP is expected to grow into a tremendous asset for EA with the potential for an entire new younger demographic up for grabs. There are two key groups that EA is relying on according to CEO Andrew Wilson.

“One are gamers that have lapsed, traditionally who have been big gamers in the past and maybe haven’t played for a while, and it’s certainly been a catalyst for those people to come back into the gaming universe as it relates to console. And two, onboarding a new younger age demographic.”

The Star Wars IP is expected to be used extensively in gaming over the span of the next trilogy of movies. Battlefront is simply the start for EA and with the ability to piggy-back on the success of the movies it should bode extremely well for fans hoping for more high-quality Star Wars games.

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Microsoft looking at Xbox Live memberships rather than consoles sales for success metric [Poll]

For consoles today the constant battle in market share is often what most people look to when analyzing which company is doing the best. The current status is pretty clear with Sony’s Playstation 4 taking a decisive lead over the other consoles of this generation — the Xbox One and the WiiU.

But Microsoft is shying away from the physical console sales to determine whether they are successful or not. Instead, the company will look at Xbox Live memberships to decide if they’re continuing to make progress as a major player in the console gaming industry.

The decision to switch to online subscriptions probably won’t affect the general gaming consensus that the PS4 is winning the race, but it seems a tad suspicious that Microsoft is going ahead with the switch just as the overall revenue for Xbox fell at the same time the revenue from Xbox Live went up.

And the news that Xbox Live revenue is on the rise while Xbox console shipments is stagnating is not surprising — especially for a Q3 report in 2015. Xbox 360 consoles are declining as it nears its 10 year birthday and Xbox One sales stagnate for gamers electing to wait for the holiday season for buying a $400 console.

Regardless of the decision, Xbox Live should be the cash cow for Microsoft with digital gaming on the rise. It grew by 6% revenue-wise with a 28% increase in its userbase (now at 39 million). The quality of the platform is what makes the Xbox One at all stand out against the PS4’s superior hardware and measuring the active users gives a more realistic idea of who uses their consoles.

But still with Sony and Nintendo still using shipments as their major success metric it will seem a bit odd when Microsoft shows off users rather the consoles shipped every quarter. It’s unclear whether the company will continue the quarterly reporting of console sales — or how often they’ll report them.

Do you like Microsoft using Xbox Live as a metric for success?

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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes… Probably

3_KeepTalking_GearVR_Players

Look at how much fun they’re having! It’s all lies! No one maintains this much of a relaxed demeanor with a timer quickly cycling to zero. Today we’re going to take a fresh look at the newly released bomb defusal game, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.

So, what exactly is Keep Talking? Well thematically there’s not much going on. You’re in what looks like a military bomb-testing facility with a suitcase-sized explosive device wired with all manner of devilish puzzles to solve. It’s intended to be a multiplayer experience with the bomb technician viewing the device and giving information to assistants who have access to a manual. I’m sure it could be played single player but what are we, psychopaths?

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So, like any normal person, I teamed up with two buddies on stream and decided to save the world over and over and over again.

The puzzles are intuitive in their design giving you the classic “which wire should I cut”, symbols and ciphers, enticing buttons, and freaking Morse Code! Yes, if you’re a sailor or were born in the 1800’s, please contact me, we need help with that part.

Don’t even get me started on the alarms that blare, the gas ventilation, and the lights that turn off at every opportunity. Granted, it’s only for higher difficulties, but the challenge is graciously accepted. I couldn’t help but feel that the room was trying to kill me, and in some cases perhaps my own team was trying to kill me. It was funny, to me at least, when you hear a string of numbers and out of nowhere the deafening cry of an alarm clock shocks you into a state of disarray. It was like calling the ISS inside a herd of elephants, something I would totally do over and over again.

The fantastic heart-pounding action track from the blast end of the timer was even more invigorating as it gave you a solid minute to relinquish fear through your steadily evacuating sweat glands.

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Modules on top of your modules

It’s all in good fun though. On several occasions we had never dealt with a particular module and decided to wing it. We found, through trial and error, that the instructions are articulated in a way that makes them fair but punishing to those who don’t pay close attention. It can get confusing at times, but perfect play with practice and the ideal adage “Keep talking” both ring true for anyone who plays this several times.

After awhile the initiated quickly develop a shorthand and the vocabulary becomes secondary. At least that was our experience. We love puzzles and couldn’t help but fall victim to KTaNE‘s enticing throes. Perhaps the biggest draw is getting multiple people together and developing a multi-tiered operation. We traded information at everything less than lightning speed all to one source who had to process and execute each order with impunity or else, you know, we all die. It was the people who made the bomb interesting, who added the element of imperfection to a very by-the-numbers experience.

2_KeepTalking_ManualSpread

For being a mechanically technical game KTaNE utilizes abstraction and the necessity of interpersonality to do what party games do best: create an atmosphere of raw enjoyment. Time is the enemy, the bomb is the obstacle, and together the engagement of friends or family steps KTaNE above other couch co-ops. One screw up might lead to death, but everyone is responsible. The resets are easy and the time it takes to disarm a bomb is nearly microscopic, so if you fail then there’s no hard feelings. You just move to the next challenge and keep on trucking.

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The immersion grows

Denying this game any modesty, I can say without a doubt that I’m seriously excited for the next step in Steel Crate Games’ IP. And given that I have yet to master all the puzzles and permutations, I can’t even imagine how many hours I’m going to kill(pun intended) inside that cold and dark concrete-padded room, but at least I know I won’t be alone.


Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is developed and produced by Steel Crate Games and can be purchased on Steam for $14.99, additional platforms pending.

 

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Four great games that will be overshadowed this holiday season

The 2015 holiday season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever with games like Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, and Fallout 4 on the way. But this huge surge of incredible AAA games on Xbox One, PS4, and PC is making the market tough for other games to record a more than solid Q4.

The aforementioned games may very well be fantastic, but there are others coming that would be top selling games any other year. Here are just a few that gamers can’t forget about.

Just Cause 3

Avalanche Studios seems to have finally perfected the Just Cause formula over the nine years the series has existed. Just Cause 3 (which I got the change to play at NY Comic Con) takes a good look at what fans of the franchise have loved and turns them into more refined features.

The first Just Cause game was on the fringe of being a good game with solid ideas that were made infinitely better in Just Cause 2. The sequel offered better grappling hook mechanics, more destruction in the environment, and a larger world.

And this upcoming third game? It offers better grappling hook mechanics (three-way grappling hook), more destruction (fully destroyable bridges, refineries, and more), and a larger world… and a new feature to keep the gameplay fresh and evolving. A wing-suit has been introduced and in conjunction with the parachute and grappling hook players can virtually fly — pulling themself across the terrain as they glide by.

Just Cause 3 launches December 1 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC retailing at $59.99.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Ubisoft has bordered on the line of oversaturating the market with Assassin’s Creed games, but the quality of them is (normally) worthy of being mentioned in this list. Syndicate brings a slightly darker feel to the excellent Assassin’s Creed engine running things.

Now set in Victorian London just as the industrial revolution changes the landscape of western society, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate looks to have an interesting narrative taking on another setting seldom explored in gaming. Despite the enjoyment fans of the series surely will find in it, this is a prime game to miss it’s target sales numbers (especially considering gamers seem to be growing tired of the year-after-year releases of the games).

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate launches October 23 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Rainbow Six: Siege

Though the recent beta has done a decent job creating some excitement for the first Rainbow Six game since Vegas 2 back in 2008, Rainbow Six: Siege is flying relatively under the radar despite it bringing back the classic realistic/intense style of the franchise to the new generation.

Rainbow Six thrives around player communication and strategy, and gamers looking for something that contrasts to the casual Call of Duty/Battlefield games. Rainbow Six is not a game in position to reach the same level as those games sales-wise simple because of the nature of the game, but any other year this game could be a top 3 game being sought after by way more gamers.

Rainbow Six: Siege is coming to Xbox One, PS4, and PC on December 1.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Microsoft was banking on Rise of the Tomb Raider giving it an advantage in exclusives this holiday season, but with so many multi-platform titles it’ll be tough for Tomb Raider to make a significant dent in the market. There’s no question though that the quality of the game will be fantastic. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition currently available on Xbox One offers one of the best most exciting narratives.

The adventure game has been a consistent icon in gaming — especially with it’s prevalence on the PlayStation 1, and Microsoft would have struck gold if this game was not poised to be overshadowed by other games this holiday season.

Rise of the Tomb Raider releases November 10 with timed exclusivity on Xbox One.


Which of these games are you looking forward to the most during this holiday season?

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“The truth” gets closer with new Halo 5 launch trailer

343 Industries and Microsoft have been constructing a masterful ad campaign with “Hunt The Truth” — a collection of various hints and teasers regarding the Halo 5 story leading up to the full release of the game in late October.

Now, “the truth” feels as close as it could be with the latest Halo 5 Launch trailer showing off more of the conflict between Master Chief and the people that previously heralded him as the hero of mankind. The new co-protaganist Spartan Locke and his squad will have a massive role in subduing Chief and Blue Team.

Where most Halo trailer purely stick to the iconic theme music and style that Halo has built up over it’s 14 year long life, 343i changes things up with a song in this Halo 5 trailer. The second half of the video has Muse, Knights of Cydonia playing over an assortment of gameplay clips and other badass moments from the campaign.

Halo 5 releases in two weeks — October 27 — exclusively on Xbox One. Microsoft is also launching a limited edition Xbox One bundle shipping with a 1TB Spartan Locke stylized console, controller, and a Steel Book containing a digital download of Halo 5: Guardians along with some small in-game extras.

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PlayStation 4 is finally $349

Early holiday for gamers

It was only a matter of time before Sony delivered the proverbial slice in its flagship console’s price tag from its debut price of $400 to Microsoft’s competing $349 mark.

John Koller, Vice President of Platforms Marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America, announced the console’s first price cut Thursday on the PlayStation.Blog:

“Since the launch of PS4, we have been thrilled with the amount of gamers jumping into the world of PlayStation for the first time. If you haven’t made the jump yet, and you’re starting early on your holiday wish list, I have good news – we’re dropping the price of the PlayStation 4 system in the U.S. and Canada. Starting tomorrow, October 9, you’ll be able to pick up PS4 starting at the new price of $349.99 USD / $429.99 CAD (MSRP).”

This move is geared toward continuing Sony’s reign atop the consoles sales with a slew of interesting holidays bundles hitting shelves in November, some of which include Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Bundle (10/9), Limited Edition Call of Duty Black Ops III 1 TB Bundle, and of course, the mecca of PS4 bundles, Star Wars Battlefront Bundle.

However, if you want to obtain the limited edition Star Wars bundle, which includes the Darth-Vader themed console and DualShock 4, you will still have to shell out $399. But let’s be honest, do you want to argue with the Sith Lord over prices?

PlayStation 4 dominance

The PS4 is simply on fire, currently holding 50 percent of the console market. It has shipped over 25 million units as of July 31 and outsold Xbox in August for the fourth consecutive month. In fact, the PS4 has sold more than the Xbox and Wii U combined.

Xbox head Phil Spencer admitted in an interview with Videogamer, he’s unsure if Xbox could ever catch the PS4.

“You know, the length of the generation… They have a huge lead and they have a good product. I love the content, the games line-up that we have.”

As of October, PS4 console sales are estimated at 25.4 million, passing the original Xbox which sold 24 million worldwide.

Last year, Microsoft marketed the Kinect-less Xbox One for the holiday season as $349 and made the price permanent in January. But although the price change boosted sales for Microsoft, it did not slow down the PS4.

Sony has sold the PS4 for $399 since its launch.

It’s also interesting to note the differences between this generation and last generation.

The Xbox 360 launched with two separate versions — Core ($299) and 20GB model ($399) as well as Sony — $20GB ($499) and 60 GB ($599) — which was a bit pricey.

Xbox proceeded to create Arcade, Pro and Elite versions, each with new price tags. Meanwhile, PlayStation 3 received its first real price cut three in a half years after its launch when Sony introduced the PlayStation 3 Slim 120 GB for $299.

Sony put all its money into its launch and it seems what looked like an interesting race two years ago has turned into a lopsided affair. With the Black Ops III beta being “the most successful beta in the history of the PS4” and an exclusive Star Wars Battlefront bundle being offered only on the PlayStation brand, you can bet PlayStation’s owner base will grow over the holidays.

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Super Mario Maker sells 1 million copies worldwide in just two weeks

Super Mario may very well be the most important gaming franchise in the industry’s history, and fans new and old are quickly finding that Super Mario Maker is giving fans something incredible. That something is level creation, and fans are responding with 1 million copies of the game now sold through just the first two weeks of the game’s launch.

Game’s have slowly evolved with more and more of them incorporating user-generated content within the game.

Nintendo’s decision to follow the trend with Super Mario was able to create a huge level of excitement with fans now making intricate games allowing creativity to flourish and the amount of extremely challenging and satisfying games to be created on the classic 2D Mario landscape.

The game currently available on the Wii U is now offering over 2.2 million Super Mario Courses with over 75 million total playthroughs of those courses.

The touchpad and stylus are perfect for Nintendo to implement 2D level creation.
The touchpad and stylus are perfect for Nintendo to implement 2D level creation.

Taking advantage of the Wii U’s touchpad to make level creation seamless and easy and giving fans access to virtually all assets — settings, items, enemies, power-ups, and more — has proved to be extremely effective at encouraging people to both enjoy the world’s of others and inspire them to create their own.

Nintendo of America and COO Reggie Fils-Aime spoke about his own excitement for the title.

“For Mario fans around the world, including myself, Super Mario Maker was a dream 30 years in the making. The game has captured and unlocked the imaginations of gaming fans of all ages and brought their dedication to Nintendo to a whole new level.”

Super Mario Maker is available now exclusively on the Wii U for $59.99 both digital and physical.