Welcome to the Weekly Knockout, our weekly round-up of the biggest gaming news for the week ending 15th May.
This Weeks 6 Biggest Stories
1. Pokémon Moon/Sun Starters Revealed
Nintendo have released new Pokémon Moon/Sun details, including a new trailer (Below – bottom) and artwork for the new starters (Below – middle). The new starters are called, Rowlet, a Grass/Air owl, Litten, a Fire kitten, and Popplio, a Water sea lion/clown. Also released was the cover art for both Moon and Sun, which are also featured in the gallery below.
The new region will be called Alola, glimpses of which can be seen in the trailer below. Alola appears to be inspired by Hawaii, which would make it one of the most tropical regions featured in Pokémon to date. Pokémon Moon/Sun will release 18th November 2016 on Nintendo 3DS.
2. Disney Infinity Cancelled
Disney Infinity has been officially cancelled, with developer Avalanche shutting down. Disney will still release two upcoming sets that include three new characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass, as well as a Finding Dory playset. Disney Infinity was the most popular toys-to-life brand. With Avalanche now closed, Disney are looking to adopt a licensing model for its franchise (As seen with Star Wars and EA), as opposed to self-publishing games. You can listen to my thoughts on why Disney has withdrawn from the toys-to-life market, and what it means for its competitors here.
3. EA Confirms Star Wars Battlefront 2
EA has revealed new details with regards to its line-up of upcoming Star Was games. Starting off with next year, EA has confirmed that a Star Wars Battlefront sequel will be released. The sequel will have “bigger and better worlds” according to EA, and will include content from “the new movies”. Currently expected to follow in 2018 is an unnamed Star Wars game, being developed by Visceral and Motive, and penned by Amy Henning. There is also an unnamed game that Respawn are developing, with EA planning to release at least one Star Wars game per year, “over the next three to four years”.
4. Witcher 3: Blood and Wine Release Date
Witcher 3’s final expansion, Blood and Wine, will release on 31st May. Game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz had the following to say;-
“Blood and Wine makes The Witcher 3 complete – It’s Geralt’s final mission. Containing more than 90 new quests, and over thirty hours of brand new adventures, it’s something that I think gamers will remember for a long time … [Blood and Wine will feature] a dynamic Point of Interest system, a new Gwent deck, new endgame mutation mechanics, and even a place Geralt can call home…. And it’s all happening in a new region as big as No Man’s Land in the base game.”
5. Monster Hunter Generations Release Date Revealed
Monster Hunter Generations, already released in Japan as Monster Hunter X, will be released in North America and Europe on 15th July this year on 3DS. Those who already own Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be able to access additional content for Generations. There will be two Generations themed Nintendo 3DS XL releasing, featuring game-related artwork. A red version of the console will release in Europe, with a Blue version releasing in North America. Both are pictured below.
6. Nintendo Drops 2DS Price
Nintendo has dropped the price of the 2DS in the United States, from $100 to $80. Additionally, some editions of the console will come pre-installed with Mario Kart 8, which retails for $30, making the effective cost of the system as low as $50. This price drops follows a previous price drop in last August from $130 down to $100.
This Weeks Financial Report
IT’s NOT AS SCARY AS IT SOUNDS! Here’s the weeks latest sales figures and financials for games, developers, publishers and hardware manufactures.
Street Fighter 5 Underperforms
As of 31st March, 1.4 million copies of Street Fighter V have been sold. News came via Capcom’s financial report, in which they stated that the game has “maintained steady sales” but is still well short of Capcom’s 2 million expectation.
Star Wars Battlefront Passes 14 Million Sales
EA’s fiscal report for the year 2015/2016 has released, revealing that Star Wars Battlefront sold 14 million copies across PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Note that that figure represents copies shipped to retail, not sold through to consumers. That’s an increase from the 13 million figure EA predicted the game to sell, itself an increase from the original 9 million figure.
Dark Souls III Shipped 3 Million Copies
Dark Souls III has shipped 3 million copies worldwide, with 1.5 million sold in North America, 1 million in Europe, and 500,000 units in Japan and Asia. Consequently, Dark Souls III is Bandai Namco America’s fastest selling game. Furthermore, the series as a whole has surpassed 13 million units sold.
Battleborn Sales Set to Surpass Borderlands
Creative Director, Randy Varnell has revealed Gearbox Software is “cautiously optimistic” about Battleborn. Currently the game is tracking just ahead of the first Borderland’s sales, and Varnell expects to Battleborn to see similar growth; “[We are seeing] steady and growing user counts on all three platforms”. For reference, Borderlands sales were; “almost 7, 8 million units in its lifetime”, according to Varnell. You can expect our review of Battleborn in the towards the end of next week.
The Division has 9.5 Million Players
Tom Clancy’s The Division, has a registered player-base of 9.5 million according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. Announced during Ubisoft’s earnings report, Guillemot said the game exceeded Ubisoft’s expectations, and that active players playing the game for an average of three hours per day. Additionally, he stated that the audiences for Far Cry and Rainbow Six have tripled and doubled respectively, although exactly which bases these figures were derived from is unknown.
And that’s a wrap on this weeks’ news, be sure to come back next week for another news round-up and subscribe to the Weekly Knockout on iTunes.