$ 6.3 billion, this is what generated the video game market in the United States in November, as revealed by NPD Group. A result down 10% over one year, mainly because of console sales: they fell 38% compared to November 2023, which marked the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series. A year later, the market is still penalized by the shortage of semiconductors. Nintendo still managed to sell 1.13 million Switch in the United States in November 2023, including 550,000 during Thanksgiving week, but this is less than in November 2023 (1.3 million). No specific figures for PS5 and Xbox Series sales, but stacking them together would barely reach Switch total, analyst says Daniel Ahmad.
On the gaming side, Call of Duty: Vanguard was unsurprisingly the biggest hit of the month, and it’s already taking 2nd place for best-selling titles in 2023… behind Black Ops Cold War. Battlefield 2042 occupies the 6th position of the best sales of the year, while Pokémon Sparkling Diamond / Sparkling Pearl is 8th knowing that its digital sales are not taken into account here. Remember that in the world, 6 million copies have passed in one week, a launch equivalent to that of Pokémon Sword / Shield.
Forza Horizon 5 also posted a remarkable performance by being the 4th best seller of the month and by achieving the best launch of the Forza franchise (Motorsport / Horizon), all without counting Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Shin Megami Tensei V, released only on Nintendo Switch, is lower in the ranking (16th) but it also surpasses the start of its predecessors.
Finally, note that Guardians of the Galaxy manages to stay in 7th place for its second month of marketing unlike Metroid Dread which came out of the top 20. As for the absence of GTA: The Trilogy, it can be explained by the that Take-Two does not communicate download sales of its games.
Remember last summer: many independent developers and publishers had expressed, on social networks and in signed articles Kotaku and IGN, their frustration with Sony’s policy towards them. The manufacturer was criticized in particular for a lack of communication and listening, too complex and unclear processes, or a lack of flexibility and tools to promote games on the PlayStation Store compared to other platforms. Ultimately, Sony would be the most frustrating manufacturer to work with for an indie developer looking for visibility.
Sony has never reacted publicly on this subject, but has obviously taken these criticisms into account.IGN was able to obtain a copy of an annual survey which was carried out by the manufacturer and sent to its partners. In it, Sony commits to several things : reduce the complexity of processes and improve its communication channels, provide all its partners with better analytical tools for sales, engagement and promotion of games, or improve its support system, its documentation as well as its client system to respond to the problems of publishers and developers.
After looking at this document, IGN went to interview some developers who criticized Sony last summer. David Logan, CEO of Akupara Games, explains that “Sony started rolling out a bunch of big changes very soon after (the IGN and Kotaku articles were published)”. Now, responses to spam requests typically take 24 or 48 hours to arrive, whereas it could take up to nine months before. “Dealing with big companies is always slow, but it clearly seems more fluid and natural now”, testifies Matthew White, CEO of Whitehorne Digital.
Regarding the promotion of games, changes are also taking place, but more slowly. Matthew White is delighted with the arrival of a “new releases” section on the PS Store, which allows any game to be featured, which he says “will make a huge difference in terms of visibility”. He also welcomes the presence of an “Indies” tab. However, studios still cannot promote their games on the PS Store whenever they want, unlike other platforms. This requires receiving an invitation from Sony.
“Overall, the indies we spoke to six months ago seem more positive about their relationship with PlayStation.”, summarizes IGN. Others are more negative like Iain Garner of Neon Doctrine, who believes that the situation is not really better on other consoles. : “Xbox is a little more open when it comes to promotion and the Switch gives you a spot on a list, so both are a little better than Sony. But in a world where Steam exists, the way consoles work is still very dumb, to my opinion. I hope all platforms can find a way to surface promising games without relying on absurd middlemen. If I have a good game and the data shows people love it, why should I beg an account manager for a feature? “, he explains.
Sony did not wish to respond to IGN’s requests on this subject.
Minecraft is definitely the game of all records. With over 238 million sales in just over ten years, it has been one of the biggest hits in history. This week, the title of Mojang and Microsoft has crossed a new milestone attesting to its popularity: that of the trillion views on YouTube. As shown on this page specially set up to celebrate this unique performance, the 500 billion views mark was reached in 2018, then growth accelerated, notably under the impetus of creators like PewDiePie, Mikecrack and Aphmau. Proof that Minecraft has not weakened over the years, quite the contrary. The game is more popular than ever with a record 141 million active users in August 2023. According to YouTube, there are more than 35,000 active channels on the platform that regularly offer Minecraft content.
European video game giant, Embracer will also become a board game giant. The Swedish group has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy Asmodee, heavyweight of the board game with its catalog of more than 300 licenses including Arkham Horror, Catan or Jungle Speed. The company, based in Guyancourt, is also known for distributing Pokémon cards in France and for its video game label Asmodee Digital (Gloomhaven, The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game …). In 2023, it sold nearly 39 million board games in more than 50 countries.
The operation is expected to amount to 2.75 billion euros, a colossal sum which is explained in particular by strong competition. “If the transaction is finalized, it would mark a transformative step in Embracer’s strategy and create the largest games group in Europe with a leading position in the board games market, a category very complementary to video games with long-term appeal “, can we read in the communicated. Asmodee will become Embracer’s 9th operational group alongside THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Koch Media, Coffee Stain, Amplifier, DECA Games, Gearbox and Easybrain. An armada which, in combination, will bring together 108 development studios, more than 560 intellectual property and 11,300 employees.