News Roundup: NPDs, XBLIG and Knoxville [12th September]

 

August 2015 NPDs

  • Playstation 4 wins the hardware battle, Xbox One up 26% Year-on-Year
  • Madden 16 takes #1 spot, Gears Ultimate Edition #3, Rare Replay #6, Until Dawn #7
  • Most games selling better on PS4
  • 7 million Amiibos sold

Not a surprise to me that Sony won the hardware race again, despite the TV + Xbox One sales combo the PS4 seems like an unstoppable train that MS need more than unfortunately a great (and cheap) collection plus a remaster to beat, not that Sony had a great month in terms of releases but Until Dawn is a title that has surprised many people.

NFL XB1

Supposedly it was very close between Xbox One and Playstation 4 though so that will be of some encouragement to Microsoft going into the holidays at least. As you’d expect from a platform with around an 800k lead in sales PS4 also took the software sales with all titles available on both Xbox One and PS4 selling more on Sony’s platform except for Lego Jurassic World and Minecraft, perhaps Xbox One is doing a better job of appealing to the younger market?

The software charts themselves had little in the way of surprises for me, Madden NFL 16 was top although with Minecraft second I don’t think that is a good sign for the titles below it, Minecraft is a juggernaut but with multiple new releases in a typically low selling August month, is Minecraft really that big in August 3 years after its first release? Or at least, should it be that high in the charts given the level of other releases at the same time?

UD

Gears of War Ultimate Edition in 3rd was a decent placing for that releasing at the end of the month, Rare Replay at 6 and Until Dawn at 7 seem less impressive given Rare Replay’s cheap price and almost entire month to chart and it doesn’t seem like the US has responded to Until Dawn in the same way Europe has.

It’s still pretty much pre-holidays though, September is when the big games and bundles start happening so hopefully things will perk a bit with Metal Gear Solid V, Mad Max, Destiny The Taken King, Forza Motorsport 6 and Fifa 16.

XNA Creators Club and Xbox Live Indie Games Program (360 initiative)

  • Subscriptions have stopped as of when the news broke
  • New games can now be published until 9th September 2016
  • Games are still able to be downloaded even after its officially shuttered
  • September 2017 the store will be shut down
  • Look at ways to preserve content and will talk to devs about that

An interesting program that opened the flood gates for self-publishing on consoles but what I like about this is the way they have gone about announcing and executing the end period, giving developers and gamers two years notice for the end of the store and one years notice to finish and publish games is a good way of doing it and hopefully this has been received well.

XBLIG

It wasn’t something I used too much but I did buy a couple of games, there certainly seemed to be a willing and engaged community of gamers and developers otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted this long, hopefully they can find a good solution for the preservation of those titles going forwards.

Press Play announce “Project Knoxville” after community vote

  • Fans voted for three projects: Knoxville, Karoo, Dwarka
  • Third-person 11 player multiplayer action game based on alliances and survival
  • Game show setting (hunger games-esque)
  • Bi-weekly twitch streams will happen as part of the open development plan

Probably the game I least wanted to win the vote but if I am completely honest I wasn’t very excited for any of the three concepts, 2013s Max and the Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba released last year were games I enjoyed a lot and I like that the studio is thinking much bigger for their next game but I can’t say the concept really appeals to me.

PN

My concern is that in a sea of other multiplayer survival games it will get lost, perhaps if it goes down the Free-to-Play route it will give it a higher chance of survival and success but I think it’s a bad idea for Microsoft to keep flooding the market with multiplayer games, they have Fable Legends and Gigantic already, Halo 5 Guardians and Gears of War 4 too and that’s just in their own line-up.

Perhaps I am wrong, multiplayer is certainly a huge market and games keep doing well for a reason but Microsoft talk about diversity a lot and I can’t help but feel this isn’t exactly helping their cause. I like Press Play a lot though and I wish them well with development and release of the game. It will be interesting to see how the open development process works too, Lionhead said they were going to do a similar thing for their new IP, perhaps we will get a good insight into what that means with Project Knoxville.

The artwork is nice at least.