It’s your video game industry news update for January 31st, 2018 – Nintendo Switch passes Wii U lifetime sales, PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold free games for February 2018, and Anthem has been delayed to 2019. The video game industry changes every day and your time is important. Let’s get you caught up, starting right now, on Games in Time!
With the release of their 2017 financials, Nintendo announced that 14.86 million Nintendo Switch units have been sold worldwide through December 31st. This means that in the ten months since launch, Switch has already surpassed the Wii U’s lifetime sales of 13.56 million units. Passing this milestone only accentuates just how strong of a launch year it has been for the Nintendo Switch.
Other highlights from the sales report include:
- Super Mario Odyssey sold 9 million copies in two months, easily putting it on pace to be the highest-selling 3D Mario game of all time
- Operating profit increased 261% year-over-year
- 3DS hardware sales increased during the U.S. holiday season, but were down 9% worldwide
- Mobile game-related income is up 172% from last year
The February 2018 free games have been announced for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold members. For PlayStation Plus, PS4 launch game Knack is finally available, as well as RiME on PS4. PS3 players will have access to Spelunker HD, as well as Mugen Souls Z. Exile’s End is available for PlayStation Vita and Grand Kingdom is a cross-buy game for PS4 and Vita. Finally, StarBlood Arena continues from last month as an available PlayStation VR game.
For Xbox Live Gold, Shadow Warrior on Xbox One is available throughout all of February and Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India on Xbox One is available from February 16th to March 15th. Split/Second on Xbox 360 is available in the first half of February and Crazy Taxi on Xbox 360 is available in the second half. All four games are playable on Xbox One, due to backwards compatibility.
Anthem, the upcoming open-world game from Bioware, has been officially delayed to 2019 by EA. This follows a must-read investigative report from Jason Schreier at Kotaku last week, where he detailed the internal and external pressures that currently exist at the studio. For a game aimed to be a competitor to Destiny, hopefully EA can give Bioware some leniency and time for that very high bar.
In a peculiar PR spin, EA’s Blake Jorgensen told the Wall Street Journal that this was not a delay, even though the publisher announced the release window as Fall 2018 during E3 2017. In this same Wall Street Journal article, EA confirmed that a new Battlefield game will be released this fall.
- Some big 2018 games continue to be reviewing surprisingly well. Monster Hunter: World shipped 5 million units in three days and is generating solid social media buzz with a Metacritic score of 91, Celeste is an indie 2D platformer darling with a Metacritic score of 94 for its Switch version, and the February 6th remaster of Shadow of the Colossus has a Metacritic score of 93.
- A Polygon article speculated about possible acquisitions by Microsoft to solve their current first-party game shortage issue. Rumored targets included EA, Valve, and PUBG Corp, but there doesn’t seem to be much weight behind this.
- Nintendo of America posted a tweet promoting Halo, Gears of War, and Banjo-Kazooie skins in the now-available Minecraft Skin Pack 1.
- With Jaromir Jagr leaving the National Hockey League for a Czech league, the last active player from the classic NHL 94 roster is no longer playing stateside.
- And finally, here are your recent notable game releases:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is out now on PS4
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – The Diary of Agent Silent Death is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC
- Call of Duty: WWII – The Resistance is out now on PS4
- Pokkén Tournament DX – Battle Pack Wave 1 is out today on Nintendo Switch
- EA Sports UFC 3 is out on Friday, Feburary 2nd on PS4 and Xbox One
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