PUBG reaches 20 million sold, the Switch gets more third-party support, and Grand Theft Auto V breaks sales records. Here’s our roundup of last week’s most important video games news.
PUBG reaches 20 million copies sold
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to stroll past various, arbitrary, milestones. Although this is a big one, admittedly. Last week, PUBG passed 20 million copies sold worldwide. With the game still in Early Access, and with its Xbox One edition on the horizon, we don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon.
Elsewhere, Gamasutra reports on a story in The Korea Times that suggests that Tencent are interested in acquiring PUBG developer, Bluehole.
And on the ground, Brendan Greene has revealed more images of PUBG‘s new desert map.
Call of Duty: WWII has successful launch
Activision’s back-to-basics approach looks to have paid off, with Call of Duty: WWII‘s launch sales being twice that of last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. According to Activision CEO Eric Hirschberg, the game generated half a billion dollars in sales.
“Our $500 million opening weekend was not only bigger than Thor: Ragnarok‘s, it was bigger than the opening weekends of both Thor and Wonder Woman combined.”
Apples and oranges, Eric, but we take your point.
Capcom reaffirms Switch support
Capcom have confirmed that they will continue to support the Nintendo Switch into 2018, and are bringing an Ace Attorney game to the platform.
Capcom’s recent half-year financials also cite the Switch version of Monster Hunter XX and Ultra Street Fighter II as doing well. On other platforms there were also strong performances from Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, and Resident Evil VII, which has so far sold 4 million units.
And so do Ubisoft
Ubisoft have also confirmed that they will continue to support the Switch. On last week’s earning call, CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed that new titles would be released in 2018. Steep and toys-to-life game, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, are already on the slate, so it’s unclear if Guillemot is referring to those titles, or some new unannounced games.
Electronic Arts buys Titanfall developer
EA have announced the full acquisition of Respawn Entertainment for $151 million. The move brings Respawn into EA’s Worldwide Studios organisation. Vince Zampella will continue to head the studio, which is currently working on a Titanfall follow up, and a new Star Wars title.
GTA V is the best-selling game of all time
Grand Theft Auto V has been confirmed as the best-selling game of all time in the US, with 85 million units sold. It’s a remarkable achievement, and with GTA Online continuing to generate huge revenues through “recurrent consumer spending” it’s another game we don’t see going away.
Need for Speed Payback review round-up
Ubisoft and Activision have recently received positive reviews for two returning franchises that have had a creative reboot. However, the return of EA’s Need for Speed series – with developer Ghost Games behind the wheel – has not been so warmly welcomed.
Owen S. Good, writing at Polygon, speaks for many in criticising the game’s grind, and reliance on loot boxes:
“Cars, parts and all of the customization options that have given the Need For Speed franchise its variety and glamor are bought with the same in-game currency, forcing an unpalatable choice: Drive the same car in different races, or drive different cars in the same races, to grind out currency and diversify my holdings.”
It’s a sentiment shared by PCWorld‘s Hayden Dingman:
“What did it benefit Need for Speed to get rid of under-the-hood customization? What did it benefit Need for Speed to tie your car’s top speed, its braking power, and so on to a Collectible Card Game, then dole those cards out so painfully slowly that you’re forced to either pay up or waste your time running old races?”
And Need for Speed Payback is not so hot on the road either, says Martin Robinson at Eurogamer:
“Handling is noticeably dumbed down, that languid sense of momentum that Criterion introduced and Rivals maintained lost to something much blunter, and much less enjoyable.”
IO is working on a new Hitman
Despite solid reviews, and decent sales, it was a surprise when Square Enix decided to withdraw support for Hitman developer IO Interactive. Having bought themselves out, the Danish studio have now confirmed that another Hitman game is now in development.
IO’s 2016 Hitman series continues to be supported with a Game of the Year edition, and a Mac and Linux release.
Let’s Snuggle Forever
Let’s Snuggle Forever is the wonderful name of a brand new Z-move coming to the upcoming Pokemon Ultra Sun and UltraMoon. The move will be used by Mimikyu, and according to its description:
“When Mimikyu’s wishes are in sync with its Trainer’s, it comes up behind its target, enveloping it in the cloth that it wears. Then it uses its full power to show its opponent a little ‘tough love.'”
Sounds a little creepy, if you ask me. The move’s reveal trailer shows some snuggling in action.
Trophies can now earn PlayStation Store credit
Sony Rewards members in the US can now cash in their PlayStation Trophies for credit on the PlayStation Store. However, you’ll have to spend sizeable chunk of change to benefit. Members earn 1 point for every dollar spent, and it costs 1,000 points to get $10 of PSN credit.
New GDC talks announced
Next year’s Game Developers Conference continues to take shape. Registration is open now, and new talks covering Far Cry 5 and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground have been announced.
Telltale Games cuts staff by 25%
Telltale Games have sadly announced the redundancies of 90 members of staff, which equates to around 25% of its workforce. In a statement, Telltale’s CEO Pete Hawley said:
“Our industry has shifted in tremendous ways over the past few years. The realities of the environment we face moving forward demand we evolve, as well, reorienting our organization with a focus on delivering fewer, better games with a smaller team.”
Telltale’s current projects – which include Minecraft: Story Mode, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead, and Batman – will not be affected.
Nintendo has closed the curtain on its Miiverse social network. Criticism of Nintendo’s online services is often justified, but credit where credit’s due, Miiverse was a truly distinct, funny, and creative place to visit.
To commemorate its passing, a “Thank you!” mosaic that compiles hundreds of farewell messages has been created by Nintendo. You can zoom in to see each individual post on the Miiverse website.