ESA: NPD Does a 'Disservice to the Industry' By Not Reporting Digital Sales

June 10, 2013 -

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President Michael Gallagher said last night that retail research firm NPD is doing a grave disservice to the video games industry by not adequately covering digital sales in its monthly reporting.

"The digital side of the industry is not being adequately reported, understood or covered. I think we've seen the consequences of that over the last two years," said Gallagher.

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GOG: DRM Solves Piracy Like a Bag of Concrete Solves Hunger

May 31, 2013 -

An excellent feature over at Forbes chronicles the DRM-free revolution which has been moved forward in part by popular game portal Good Old Games. While the exhaustive history of the company's push towards software that abandons DRM in favor of a better customer experience is interesting, there's also a great conversation with GOG.com managing director Guillaume Rambourg.

In the article he's pretty blunt about what they think of using DRM over at GOG:

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UK Government Plans to Revamp Consumer Laws Concerning Digital Content

May 8, 2013 -

If the laws being proposed by politicians in the UK this week were in place when SimCity and Diablo III launched, consumers would be able to get a refund. The BBC is reporting on plans to pass new laws that will make it easier for UK consumers to get a refund or a replacement product from companies when a digitally distributed video game, mobile app, or piece of entertainment content doesn't work they way it should at launch.

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More Than 10 Million Copies of Minecraft - Pocket Edition Sold To-Date

May 2, 2013 -

Minecraft developer Mojang announced that Minecraft - Pocket Edition for Android and iOS devices, has sold more than 10 million copies to-date. The portable version of Mojang's popular sandbox building game joins other versions of the game - PC and XBLA which have sold millions upon millions of copies to-date. It just goes to show that people never get tired of a game that is decent and is constantly updated by its creators.

"We are very thankful to all the support that we have gotten and people playing and talking about our game," said Mojang's Daniel Kaplan.

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Netflix Removing Over 1700 Titles This Month

May 1, 2013 -

It looks like Netflix is about to take a chainsaw to its catalog of content, according to information collected by content cataloguing site InstantWatcher. With several licensees set to expire, Netflix will begin removing content from MGM, Universal, Warner Bros., and more. Instant Watcher puts the amount of content to be removed this month at around 1,794. Some of that content include 15 seasons of South Park, older horror movies and some early James Bond films.

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GDC Talk Reveals Digital Distribution Growing at a Rate of 33 Percent a Year

April 1, 2013 -

During GDC last week in San Francisco research firms NPD, iResearch and Digi-Capital held a talk on digital games sales and revealed some interesting numbers on the space. According to data revealed during the event, digital game and downloadable content sales are growing at a rate of 33 percent year over year in the United States and Europe, while spending in China is expected to grow 10 percent annually for the next three years. Asia is going to be the most dominate region in the world when it comes to online and mobile games by 2016, according to the speakers.

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Report: European Wii U eShop 18+ Restrictions Lifted

March 21, 2013 -

Remember those ridiculous age restrictions on Wii U eShop content in Europe because Nintendo of Europe is based out of Germany and subject to German laws about content? Yeah, well those silly restrictions have been removed much to the delight of our Wii U owning brothers and sisters in various regions throughout Europe including the UK, according to Daily Joypad.

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Valve Reveals Steam Early Access

March 20, 2013 -

Valve Software today revealed a new feature for Steam users called "Early Access" which allows consumers to roll the dice and buy a game still in development and play it early. Valve calls this an opportunity to "go behind the scenes" and experience the development cycle of games first-hand. They'll also be able to interact with game developers and provide the feedback that could potentially make the game better.

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Super Meat Boy Developer Argues Against Using DRM

March 19, 2013 -

In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.

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SimCity and the Failure of Retailers

March 18, 2013 -

SimCity's "always-online requirement" may have irritated consumers at launch, but by most accounts anyone that reads this or any other gaming web site was well aware that the game would require a constant Internet connection in order to play (EA made that fact clear quite awhile ago).

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Good Old Games Surveys Community on Downloadable Content

March 15, 2013 -

After a less-than-stellar launch of downloadable content for Omerta: City of Gangsters, Good Old Games has decided that it wants feedback from the community on whether it should continue to offer DLC and other content. As the company steps into offering newer games the reality is that a lot of these games use new models for content including multiplayer, offering early access to games, season passes for purchasing DLC content in bulk, and episodic content.

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Poll: Do You Prefer Boxed Copies or Digital Downloads?

March 13, 2013 -

Digital downloads are nothing new for PC gamers but they are a fairly recent option for their console counterparts.

So, console gamers, when you purchase a new title, do you prefer a boxed copy or a digital download?

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Activision Adds In-Game Purchases to Call of Duty: Black Ops II

March 12, 2013 -

Activision will add in-game purchases in its popular action game Call of Duty: Black Ops II tomorrow. The announcement was made by Activision community manager Dan Amrich on his OneofSwords blog. Amrich says that players will notice on March 13 new "Micro Items." The pre-order bonus map, Nuketown 2025 will also be made available for free tomorrow.

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No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

March 7, 2013 -

Well, the good news is that EA's official Twitter for its digital distribution service Origin has confirmed that you will not be banned if you ask for a refund on your purchase of SimCity in light of the fact that you probably can't play it.

The bad news is that you more than likely ain't getting that refund.

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Amazon Suspends Digital Sales of SimCity

March 7, 2013 -

It's been a pretty rough day for both customers who bought SimCity and the developers trying everything under the sun to get it working at full capacity. While EA has been trying to solve the problem and get gamers playing the game, some fans have been very vocal about how the game's DRM has broken it beyond repair.

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NPD: Used Games Sales Outpace Full Digital Sales, New Retail Sales Beat Both

March 6, 2013 -

New data gathered by NPD Group offers some insight on how core gamers feel about digital distribution and the purchase of used games. The data comes from a new survey the retail research firm conducted. According to the results of that survey, core gamers have embraced digital distribution, but downloading full game titles has not yet outpaced second-hand game purchases. The NPD survey found that 78 percent of core gamers said that they frequently purchase used games, compared to 70 percent who reported buying full digital games regularly.

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GOG Promotes Old SimCity With New SimCity Jab

March 6, 2013 -

In a cheeky promotion to support its SimCity back catalog title, Good Old Games takes a slight dig at the problems associated with the new SimCity game during its launch. In a tweet offering an alternative to the trials and tribulations of connecting to EA servers, GOG says that it has a SimCity game that you won't have any trouble playing.

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Fans Suffer From SimCity Launch Day Hiccups

March 5, 2013 -

As is often the case with games that rely heavily on "always online" schemes, EA's SimCity had a bit of trouble today as it officially launched servers for the latest entry in the popular city building simulation. EA's biggest problem seems to be related to its digital distribution platform Origin, which has struggled to keep up with fans' demand to buy and play the game on launch day. Users have encountered a number of problems today including trouble downloading their digitally purchased copies and problems with unlocking physical copies of the game.

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Ubisoft Wants to Improve its Relationship with PC Gamers

February 22, 2013 -

In an interview with MCV Ubisoft’s worldwide Uplay director Stephanie Perotti acknowledges that the company doesn't have the best relationship with the PC gaming community because of past issues (namely its strong support for "always on DRM" in several of its major PC titles), but that the company is listening to the feedback and reacting accordingly - most notably getting rid of its much-hated DRM-scheme.

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Uplay Gets EA Games, Origin Get Ubisoft Titles

February 19, 2013 -

It's not an evil alliance, but some (those that don't like Uplay and Origin) might view it that way. It looks like Uplay and Origin are doing a little foreign exchange action, with Ubisoft's digital distribution platform getting select EA titles and EA's digital distribution platform getting games from Ubisoft. Ubisoft's Uplay service is also offering games from other third-party publishers including Warner Bros., Focus Home Interactive, Freebird Games, Paradox Interactive, Telltale Games and more.

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EA Launches Origin Client for Mac

February 8, 2013 -

Mike Blank, EA's Vice President, Production, Design, and Engineering for Origin, announced on EA's Blog the official launch of the Mac OS X client for its digital distribution platform. The OS X version of Origin offers dual-platform play for select EA games (that are available on both PC and Mac) for those gamers that use both platforms.

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Journey Wins Big at 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards

February 8, 2013 -

Journey was the big winner at this year's 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, bringing home eight awards in various categories including Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, Casual Game of the Year, Outstanding Innovation in Gaming, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction, and Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay.

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Ubisoft Sees Strong Sales of AC3 and Far Cry 3

February 7, 2013 -

Ubisoft announced that it has shipped well over 12 million units of Assassin's Creed 3 and well over 4.5 million units of Far Cry 3. That number includes all platforms the games are available on - as well as digital sales of both games. Ubisoft's total sales for Assassin's Creed 3 have now passed the 12 million mark worldwide, while Far Cry 3 sales are up over 4.5 million units, the French publisher announced today in its third-quarter financial report.

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Dead Space 3 Micro-Transactions Thwarted by Exploit

February 7, 2013 -

Update: A representative from Electronic Arts clarified with us that the resource-earning mechanic in our story is not some sort of glitch or exploit, and therefore they have no plans to issue a patch to fix "the problem." From the EA representative:

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Xbox Live Arcade Doubles Revenue in 2012 - Driven By Minecraft's Success

February 4, 2013 -

According to research by analyst firm FADE, Xbox Live Arcade set a record for annual revenues in 2012. In 2012 Xbox Live Arcade made $290 million according to the firm. The driving force behind these revenues were three games: Minecraft, Trials Evolution, and The Walking Dead.

The biggest title of all was Minecraft, bringing in an estimated $97.38 million, followed by Trials Evolution at $14.29 million, and The Walking Dead at $10.27 million. Even the lowest game on the top ten list of best selling games managed to rake in nearly $2.8 million.

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Temple Run Downloaded 50 Million Times To-Date

January 31, 2013 -

Temple Run 2 has been downloaded over 50 million times on iOS, Android and Kindle devices, according to developer Imangi Studios. The latest game from Imangi Studios reached that milestone in just 13 days, breaking the previously set record for the fastest growing mobile game (Angry Birds held the previous record with 50 million downloads in 35 days in April of 2012).

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German Consumer Advocacy Group Files Complaint Against Valve for Steam's Used Games Resale Policy

January 31, 2013 -

The German consumer advocacy group The Federation of German Consumer Association has filed an official complaint against Valve Software for its Steam's end-user license agreement because it does not allow consumers to resell digital content. The European High Court ruled last year that digital content games can be sold. The complaint against Valve filed with the German courts is directly related to that ruling.

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Report: Multiple Bond Games Disappear from Digital Store Fronts

January 4, 2013 -

A number of Activision's James Bond games have disappeared from Valve software's Steam digital distribution platform, Xbox 360's Games on Demand service and Activision's own store, according to GameSpot.

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Maxis Talks About 'The Benefits of Live Service' for SimCity

December 26, 2012 -

You may remember that the development team behind the upcoming SimCity game held a Reddit AMA, and that the community there gave them a hard time for making the game use a DRM scheme that required players to be always connected to the Internet even when they are playing the single-player portion of the game.

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EA Maxis AMA on Reddit Turns Sharply to Discussion on DRM in SimCity

December 18, 2012 -

The developers at EA Maxis decided on Friday that it would be a good idea to participate in an AMA ("ask me anything") discussion thread on Reddit. The discussion quickly turned from a discussion about the gameplay in the next SimCity game to questions about the company's planned DRM scheme. The next SimCity game will require users to be "always connected" when playing multiplayer or single-player and will also save game progress online.

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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