It is a new year, and with that, we should all have plenty to look forward to, the FA Cup Third Round, Superbowl and Wrestlemania will all take place in the coming weeks and months. While I am certainly looking forward to those events, I have a few hopes for what I will occur in the gaming world over the next twelve months. Kevin is running through his Top 10 Games to look forward to, so my hopes will largely avoid specific games. Apart from my first choice of course. …
I am often one to praise the success of digital distribution and wonder whether there will be much room for traditional retail in the games industry in the coming few years, but Excalibur Publishing continue to push against my beliefs with an expanding range of PC titles in the retail network. The British Publisher launched their Extra Play budget range of simulation titles earlier this year which put games like UK Truck Simulator and Falcon 4.0 back on shelves at the £9.99 price point.
Not content with their traditional simulation range, Excalibur have bolstered their Extra Play range with a range of titles from Russian group 1C Publishing. Amongst the new titles to be released are shooter NecroVisioN: Lost Company and racer Death Track: Resurrection.
Excalibur’s Managing Director, Robert Stallibrass had this to say: “Already featuring a strong line-up of titles from our back catalogue and a selection of debut titles, this is PC gaming at a great budget price. In 2012 we are planning to release around 50 – 60 titles of a fully diversified range, many of which are previously unreleased boxed products.”
It is definitely pleasing to see Excalibur trying to keep some life in the PC retail market, clearly there is still life out there despite the ever shrinking displays of PC titles in bricks and mortar establishments.
As we get ever closer to possible reveals of the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft at E3 this Summer, musings about the future of the console market are bound to crop up here and there. The first sign of the changes to business of how we pay for consoles emerged yesterday with Microsoft launching a new bundle in the US where you get a 4GB 360 with Kinect for an initial fee of $99, with a two-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold at $14.99 a month. Hit the jump to see what might be in store for how we pay for the next gen. …
The recent escalation of issues at leading UK games retailer GAME Group are nearing a head with reports emerging this afternoon that senior management are bracing themselves for the group to enter administration. GAME Group, which runs GAME and GameStation stores up and down the country, has had several big blows recently with the inability to stock Mass Effect 3 for today’s launch the most striking for gamers. There is currently a massive sale now on at GAME on new releases, pre-owned titles and hardware, part of an attempt to generate some cash flow with administration possibly on a couple of weeks away.
It is difficult to see a way back know for the company unless a takeover package is put together by US giant GameStop, if that fails to materialise we could be witnessing the death of a key player in the British games industry. Best of luck to all involved.
Whoever said new IP didn’t have a chance was wrong, oh so wrong. It pleases me to report that in the latest GFK Chart Track All Formats chart the all new IP Kingdoms of Amalur: Recokoning from publisher EA is number one. Chart Track also report that this is the first brand new IP to debut at number one since Dead Island last September, and it is the first time since 2000 that an all new RPG has appeared at the top spot.
This is infinitely good news, as it shows that even in a poor economic climate, people are still willing to take a punt on a new series, albeit one with the big name support of R.A Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, Ken Rolston and Curt Schiling. Hopefully this will encourage publishers to take a punt on new IP to shake up the sequel heavy charts.
My word, what a time it is to be a gamer, we are being spoilt for choice in new games right now. The major titles normally get released around this time of the year, everyone is used to that by now, but this year it is something else as the number of major titles being released seems to keep growing and growing. There really is a mad crush of games all being released together right now, and judging by some of the sales figures we are seeing, people are happy enough to buy the games they want despite the current economic climate.
The latest UK games charts are now in at Chart-Track with Modern Warfare 3 predictably leading the way at Number 1 while Skyrim sits in a happy second place. But perhaps more important for the business is that this was the biggest week ever for game sales in the UK according to Chart Track. It was a week when game sales took more money than the opening weekend takings for the last four Harry Potter films. That is big and shows that despite the economic difficulties, the games industry can still bring in the money.
A little while back it was reported that the latest Deus Ex title was going to feature in-game billboard advertisements, ala the likes of Battlefield 2, and recently people have spotted the Star Wars Blu-ray, of all things, advertised on its loading screens. So far- at least from my experience of running around crushing people with beverage dispensers- I’m yet to encounter either. Perhaps it’s something that will crop up later depending on region, or not at all. But it got a few of us over here thinking! …