While the Master Chief and his crew cast a big shadow, Microsoft has actually put together a strong catalog of other go-to franchises along the way, including “Gears of War” and “Fable”. In late October, it published its latest effort to build another franchise: “Sunset Overdrive”.
“Minecraft” is the videogame world’s equivalent of lightning in a bottle—an indie gaming sensation that grew organically, eventually becoming one of the industry’s biggest franchises. It was a game that opened the doors for several other independent developers, who, in turn, brought a new burst of creativity to the industry.
So Monday’s news that corporate behemoth Microsoft was buying Mojang, the developer of “Minecraft,” for $2.5 billion might seem an odd fit to some, but it could be a key strategic move for Microsoft.
The company, as part of its quarterly earnings statement Tuesday, announced it had sold 1.1 million Xboxes in that period – about 100,000 more than it did in the same time a year ago.
The good news: sales of the Xbox One “more than doubled” in June, compared to the May figures. The bad news: It’s becoming increasingly clear that no one cares about Kinect, which was the console’s big differentiator this generation.
NeoGAF user BeforeU rooted out the promotion, which offers a code for a $75 promotional credit to select users who buy either an Xbox One or Xbox One bundle. The offer is apparently appearing onscreen for select Xbox 360 owners when they turn their Internet-connected systems on.
While the show is closed to the public, Nintendo once again offered fans the chance to play demos of “Super Smash Bros.” at over 100 Best Buy locations around the U.S. And while that may gave fans a taste, it hardly filled their appetites.
While it’s impossible to fully showcase E3’s eccentricities, here are a few snapshots of the industry’s annual party/trade show to give you a taste.
In theory, the idea sounds fine. Get a personable, well-liked young star to promote the Xbox One, and, even though you’ve unbundled Kinect from the system, feature it prominently in ads to keep awareness high.
In practice, though, Microsoft’s latest Xbox One commercial is driving current Xbox One owners crazy as it tries to sell the system to people who don’t have one yet.
The excitement that surrounds new game systems often has a sweeping effect on share prices of companies in the video game space—but it’s hard to get as worked up about game announcements the following year.
After ingesting a flood of information for hundreds of titles and watching their excitement levels rise to critical peaks, players now must sit back and be patient. Some of the games won’t be out for months. Others could take years.
Figuring out which will top sales charts is always a dangerous exercise. Publishers show carefully controlled demos of small segments of their games, specifically designed to pique interest. It might be fun in a five-to-10-minute microburst, but truly terrible after an hour of gameplay.
As we do each year, we’ve compiled a list of the games most likely to perform well when they hit stores. That doesn’t mean they’ll be critical smashes, but they’re likely to connect with today’s gaming audience.
Here’s what turned our head at this year’s E3.
To underline that, a year ago it announced a live-action “Halo”-themed series produced by Steven Spielberg—and has since revealed a fairly extensive lineup.
But the division has undergone changes, and now original video content is being de-emphasized.