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US Video Game Industry Sees Record April Sales: Survey

International Business Times

Spending on video games in the US jumped to a new April record as locked-down consumers sought refuge in play, industry figures released Friday showed. A total of $1.5 billion was spent on video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards, eclipsing a previous April high of $1.2 billion spent in the US in 2008, according to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. April was the first full month of tight restrictions on people's movements in the US to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. Sales of video game software alone climbed 55 percent to $662 million, a new record high for the month, according to NPD. "Final Fantasy VII: Remake" was the top-selling game during the month, setting a new sales record for the blockbuster vide game franchise, Piscatella's analysis showed. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" continued to be a hot seller, being the second most purchased title during April, followed by "Animal Crossing: New Horizons."

'Every Game You Like Is Built on the Backs of Workers.' Video Game Creators Are Burned Out and Desperate for Change

TIME - Tech

Spending on video games and related equipment reached an all-time high last year, with Americans shelling out $42 billion to immerse themselves in virtual worlds where they can steal cars, shoot cowboys, and fight Nazis with abandon. But as tens of thousands of video game fans and creators gather in Los Angeles this week for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, a difficult truth about the gaming industry is beginning to emerge: what's seen by outsiders as a fun, creative business is becoming psychologically and financially unbearable for those working in it. "Every game you like is built on the backs of workers," says Nathan Allen Ortega, 34, who thought he found his dream job when Telltale Games offered him a position as a community and video manager in 2015. Ortega was such a Telltale enthusiast that he used to participate in cosplay--the practice of dressing up as a particular character for events--as Rhys Strongfork, one of the main heroes in the company's Tales from the Borderlands. So it was an easy decision to pack up his stuff in Texas and relocate near the company's headquarters in San Rafael, California.

Video games battle for the cloud as industry girds for change

The Japan Times

SAN FRANCISCO - The knock-down, drag-out battle in the video game world heads to the cloud as the premier industry event looks to adapt to a consumer shift to streaming services. New blockbuster titles will be on center stage as usual at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) opening in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but the big question for the sector will be how consumers play. The E3 opens with gamers gradually moving away from traditional console play and Google seeking to capitalize on that trend with a new Netflix-style service allowing people to play cloud-powered games on any connected device. Adapting to the new trends will be critical for players in the massive video game industry, which last year generated more than $135 billion globally, and $43.4 billion in the United States. According to the Entertainment Software Association, which runs E3, more than 164 million adults in the United States play video games, and 3 out of 4 U.S. households have at least one video game player.

Tom Clancy video game 'The Division 2' brings a battered Washington, D.C., to life

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In new video game'The Division 2,' players explore Washington, D.C., which has been decimated by a virus. Draining the swamp pales in comparison to the problems facing the nation's capital in new video game "Tom Clancy's The Division 2." The White House is under attack. An enemy force occupies the Lincoln Memorial and a wrecked Air Force One has crashed at the foot of the U.S. Capitol. Chaos reigns as the result of a pandemic, which has left Washington decimated. In the role of an agent for the Strategic Homeland Division, the player is tasked with protecting the division's makeshift headquarters at the White House and assisting survivors to improve their ragtag existence.

Fortnite Is a Huge Success -- And a Sign of What's to Come in Gaming

TIME - Tech

This year that game is undeniably Fortnite Battle Royale, an online free-for-all that every teen in America suddenly seems to be playing. It's not just kids, though–everyone from rapper Drake to Los Angeles Laker Josh Hart is a fan. That groundswell of support has propelled Fortnite from a simple video game into a cultural sensation, with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide who play the game, wear the gear and even learn the characters' victory dances. "Fortnite is another in a long line of games like World of Warcraft or Guitar Hero or Minecraft that is changing everything underfoot," says Mat Piscatella, a video-game industry analyst with research firm NPD Group. Fortnite's big draw is a madcap multiplayer mode that drops up to 100 players on an island in a last-person-standing showdown.

'Fortnite,' 'Call of Duty' and other fall releases look to propel video games to record sales

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Big-time athletes were on hand for the reveal of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" and sounded off on who they would pick to be on their Black Ops team. With "Fortnite" batting leadoff and many heavy hitters on deck this fall, video game companies are poised to score a new record sales mark this year. During the first six months of 2018, consumers spent $19.5 billion on video game software, consoles and accessories, according to market tracking firm The NPD Group. That's 40 percent higher than during the same period last year, which over the full 12 months resulted in a spending record of $36 billion. By the end of 2018, the U.S. video game industry could tally at least $40 billion, says Mat Piscatella, a games industry analyst at The NPD Group.

Everything you need to know about Fortnite and why it's so popular

Washington Post - Technology News

When the University of Maryland-Baltimore County basketball team pulled off the greatest upset in NCAA history, player Nolan Gerrity had the perfect metaphor for what he was feeling. "It's like your first Fortnite victory, honestly," he told reporters. For those out of the know, it was a puzzling statement. But Gerrity's example made perfect sense to the 150 million people worldwide who have launched the video game Fortnite into an international obsession this year. Fortnite has been described as a cross between Minecraft and a shooter game.