China Toy Fair


NPD Group Reports Numbers of Gamers and Average Hours Spent Playing Per Week

Core Gaming 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group, states there are 34 million core gamers in the U.S. spending an average of 22 hours per week playing video games.

These core gamers are defined as individuals who play video games five or more hours per week on a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, or Mac. They play action, adventure, fighting, flight, massively multiplayer, racing, real time strategy, role-playing, shooter, or sport genres.

While core gamers are most likely to play on consoles and computers, phones and mobile devices are also a popular method of play by two-thirds of these gamers, according to the data. In addition, close to 70 percent of core gamers play multiplayer games either regularly or occasionally, and 74 percent would opt for the physical format over digital if the price were the same. The preference for digital is up 5 percentage points to 26 percent this year.

Madden NFL 15 Kicks Off in August

Madden15Electronic Arts Inc.’s Madden NFL 15 will be available on August 26 in North America and on August 29 in the EU for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Developed by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 15 features the most immersive defensive game play control in the franchise’s history. Fans will also experience a broadcast presentation with new camera angles, pre-game, and halftime features.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Makes Heroic Debut This Fall

DIsneyInfinityMarvelSuperHeroesDisney Interactive and Marvel Entertainment are assembling a group of iconic super heroes for Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, which will feature more than 20 new interactive figures, as well as original storylines by Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis. Developed by Avalanche Software, the game includes an all-new Toy Box mode, making it easier for players to create and share with family and friends.

The Avengers’ Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Hawkeye will debut when the game launches this fall for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360, and Wii U.

BioWare to Launch Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon AgeBioWare, a division of Electronic Arts Inc., will release Dragon Age: Inquisition in stores and for digital download on October 7 in North America and October 10 in Europe. Players will take on the role of the Inquisitor and lead a team of heroes to uncover clues about a potentially devastating event in this role-playing game.

Players can pre-order the game to unlock special bonus content. Dragon Age: Inquisition will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

Skylanders Trap Team Brings Digital Characters into the Physical World

SkylandersTrapTeamActivision’s newest installment to the $2 billion Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Trap Team, redefines the toys-to-life phenomenon with a new ground-breaking innovation. Unveiled today, the new game will reverse the magic of bringing toys to life by allowing kids to pull villains—including Kaos—out of the digital world and into the physical world.

In Skylanders Trap Team, Kaos continues his ongoing quest to rule over Skylands. He has discovered the location of the legendary Cloudcracker Prison—a fortress built entirely out of the magical substance, Traptanium, and home to Skylands’ most nefarious villains. In an attempt to build his own army of foes, Kaos blows up the prison, releasing the baddies and blasting shards of Traptanium to Earth in the form of Traps. Now it’s up to Portal Masters to recapture all of the escaped villains using powerful Traptanium Traps and defeat Kaos. The new adventure delivers a diverse and dynamic story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini-games, activities, platforming, and drop-in/drop-out co-op play—all set within new compelling, breath-taking environments.

With Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most-wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in the magical crystal traps. Players can then send the trapped villains back into the game where they will fight for good. The latest installment will include the Traptanium Portal, a new ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also magically capture villains using the new traps. Once they’ve defeated the villain in the game, kids will be able to place a Trap into the new portal to capture it. They will also be able to hear the villain inside the Trap, furthering the magic of Skylanders in 2014. [Read more...]

Ubisoft’s The Crew Accelerates This Fall in Two Different Versions

TheCrewThe Crew, from Ubisoft, will be available this fall for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. An action-driving game that takes gamers on a reckless ride throughout a massive, open-world recreation of the United States full of challenges and populated by other real players, The Crew is available for pre-order in both Limited Edition and Muscle Edition.

Orders for the Limited Edition come with early access to the BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Mini Cooper S, and Dodge Ram SRT-10 rides and their respective sets of full custom and performance parts. The Muscle Edition, available for pre-order at GameStop, will include all early unlock content from the Limited Edition, as well as exclusive early access to the 2015 Ford Mustang GT.

Lego The Hobbit Dwarfs All Previous Lego Games

LegoHobbitThe new Lego The Hobbit game–inspired by the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as the collection of Lego The Hobbit construction sets–is available now across North America for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. The game will be available for the Nintendo Wii U on April 22.

Lego The Hobbit features key locations from the film, including Bag End and High Pass over The Misty Mountains. In addition, this will be the first Lego game to utilize a loot system, in which Lego studs representing a variety of materials can be for crafting items. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by TT Games, Lego The Hobbit will be available on all platforms.

A main new feature of the game allows players to utilize dwarves’ combined abilities such as buddy fighting, two-player attack, staff climb, mace swing, and belly bounce to help them fight Orcs and fouler things. There’s also an easy access drop-in, drop-out gameplay option available on the consoles. Together players will navigate 16 levels, unlock more than 90 playable characters, and partake in treasure quests–the most diverse number of any Lego video game to date.

Sega’s Alien: Isolation Brings the Fear This October

AlienIsolationSega of America Inc., Sega Europe Ltd., and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will release Alien: Isolation on October 7. Developed by Creative Assembly, it will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC.

Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror game that evokes Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film, Alien. Players find themselves stalked by an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph creature, and must scavenge resources, improvise solutions, and use their wits to not just complete the mission, but to stay alive.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Will Feature New Music and The Hollow

DisneyFantasiaThe Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved video game by Disney Interactive and Harmonix Music Systems will include multi-player gameplay, an all-new realm, and new songs from award-winning artists, including Lorde and David Bowie. The two-player game is played in cooperation through friendly competition. Players can collaborate and choose unique remix paths to discover new melodies and beats in the songs.

Disney and Harmonix have also revealed “The Hollow,” an all-new interactive discovery realm. When users perform songs, they will interact with the world to add light, color, and characters to the forest environment.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is a musical motion video game and will be available for the Xbox One and Kinect this year.

NPD Reports Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Powered Video Game Sales

According to the U.S. Games Industry Sales analysis by The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, February hardware sales increased by 42 percent over the prior year, due to a more than 60 percent increase in console hardware sales. These strong year-over-year increases are due to the success of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The analysis also showed that total video game sales in February were $887 million, a change of 9 percent compared to February 2013. This is credited to strong growth in hardware and a slight rise in accessory sales. Total software sales—across the console, portable, and PC categories—were [Read more...]