China Toy Fair


NPD Group Reports Strong Growth for Video Game Hardware, Decline for Software in July

npd_group_logoAccording to The NPD Group, strong growth in hardware sales offset declines in software sales in July, while accessory sales had modest growth, leading to an increase of 16 percent in overall new physical video game sales compared to July of last year.

Hardware sales doubled in July compared to the same month last year, stemming from growth in eighth generation console sales, which offset declines in seventh generation console and portable hardware. When combining life-to-date sales of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4) after nine months, and comparing them to the combined totals of nine months’ worth of sales for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (PS3), sales of the newest consoles are larger than the prior generation by close to 80 percent. [Read more...]

Skylanders Trap Team Will Be Unleashed on Tablets

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoActivision Publishing Inc. will bring the complete Skylanders Trap Team video game to tablets at launch, marking the first time a full Skylanders game will be available on iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets day-and-date with the console version. The tablet version of the game delivers the same experience with console-quality graphics and comes with its own high-performance controller.

The Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack will include a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal, an embedded Bluetooth controller, a built-in tablet stand, two Skylanders characters, two Traps, and a display tray that lets Portal Masters keep track of the Traps they’ve collected and which villains they have trapped. [Read more...]

Hasbro and Ubisoft to Launch Hasbro Game Channel on Xbox, PlayStation Consoles

MonopolyPlusHasbro and Ubisoft have announced the Hasbro Game Channel, a destination for family game entertainment on leading consoles, featuring games based on Hasbro’s most popular brands. The Hasbro Game Channel will be available to download this fall on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. All games will also be available for download individually on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The first three games available on the Hasbro Game Channel will be Monopoly Plus, a customizable 3-D version of the game that lets up to six players choose their own house rules; Risk, where players will venture into simulating modern warfare combat with a new strategic experience and modern armies; and Trivial Pursuit Live! will test fans on the trivia game with a TV-show setting and reinvented question formats.

Grammy Award-Winner Pharrell Williams to Curate NBA 2K15 Soundtrack

nba 2k152K has announced a new collaboration with Pharrell Williams to curate the soundtrack compilation for NBA 2K15, the next installment of the NBA video game simulation franchise. Pharrell’s soundtrack selections will be revealed later this summer.

NBA 2K15 is scheduled for release on October 7 in North America, and on October 10 internationally for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition to Premiere at Comic-Con International

Skylanders

Skylanders Trap Team at Licensing Expo 2014

Activision Publishing Inc. is bringing the Skylanders video game franchise to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be the first to check out the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack toys. The pack includes the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5.

In addition, the pack will include two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire, and Food Fight; a two-sided poster; sticker sheets; and trading cards. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack will be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Comic Con International: San Diego kicks off thus Thursday, but North American fans can pre-order the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack beginning today at major retailers while supplies last.

Special Alien: Isolation Content Unites Original Movie Cast

AlienIsolationAlien: Isolation will include exclusive pre-order bonus content, featuring the vocal talent and likenesses of key cast members of the 1979 Twentieth Century Fox movie, Alien. Sigourney Weaver (who played Ellen Ripley), Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), Yaphet Kotto (Parker) and Ian Holm (Ash) are set to feature in two downloadable bonus missions, which allow players to relive classic scenes from the movie.

Anyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content, Crew Expendable. Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett’s death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas, or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship’s airlock. [Read more...]

Ubisoft Takes Players on an Unpredictable Journey with Far Cry 4

june10 FarCry4,jpgAt the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Ubisoft showcased Far Cry 4, the sequel to the No. 1 rated shooter of 2012. The sequel features co-op Guns for Hire, which allows players to invite friends to liberate towers, take over outposts, and share in the spoils–even if their friend does not own the game.

Customers who pre-order Far Cry 4 will receive a free upgrade to the limited edition, which includes Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three action-packed, single-player missions featuring the popular character, Hurk, and his harpoon gun The Impaler, from Far Cry 3. Pre-orders are now available at all major retailers.

The game will be available worldwide on November 18 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Scheduled for October Console Release

DisneyFantasiaMusicEvolvedDisney Interactive and Harmonix will release the music and motion video game, Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, for Xbox One and Kinect for Xbox 360 on October 21.

At this year’s E3, players will be introduced to new multiplayer gameplay and musical content, along with a vibrant city realm, entitled The Neighborhood. In The Neighborhood, players work their way through a restrained 2-D urban cityscape, unleashing a vibrant and magical 3-D environment by interacting with billboards, rooftops, trains, and more. Players will watch and listen as their movements create bold colors and whimsical music.

The latest announced tracks that will appear in-game include “Enjoy the Silence,” by Depeche Mode; “Take Care” (featuring Rihanna), by Drake; and “Message in a Bottle,” by The Police.

Players will also be introduced to Yen Sid’s previous apprentice, Scout, who will guide players as they perform, transform, and create music to restore order to the world.

Warner Bros. and NetherRealm to Launch Mortal Kombat X

MortalKombatXWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment recently broke the news on Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm Studios’ next installment in its legendary fighting game franchise. Scheduled for release next year for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360, Mortal Kombat X will make its first public appearance at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 (E3) in Los Angeles.
Mortal Kombat X combines cinematic presentation with all-new game play, and offers a new, fully-connected experience that launches players into a persistent online contest. In addition, for the first time, players will have the ability to choose from multiple variations of each character, impacting both strategy and fighting style. The game also features an original story showcasing some of the game’s most prolific characters including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, as well as new challengers.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Blasts Off to Outer Space Adventure

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the third installment of the Lego: Batman video game franchise, will be available this fall under multiple platforms. The game is being developed by TT Games and will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will take Batman and Robin outside of the title city to join the superheroes of the DC Comics Universe in an effort to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Players will be able to unlock over 150 characters from the DC Comics universe, including members of the Justice League, as well as villains such as Killer Croc and Soloman Grundy. Fans can play as heroes and villains alike with new gadgets and abilities. [Read more...]