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October 2015 NPD: Strong Sales All Around As Halo Leads The Pack

The October NPD numbers are out, and while it doesn’t seem that too much has changed since last year, gamers (and game makers) have plenty of reasons to be happy. Here's the full breakdown.

NPD Group reports that October sales were up slightly since last year. Overall video game market's sales experienced a modest 2 percent jump since last year around this time. Much of this was driven by accessory sales, which grew by 18 percent, or just under $ 30 million. This includes subscription card sales, which were up 38 percent from October 2014, making this the best October for video game subscription cards on record.

Hardware sales were pretty neck-and-neck with the numbers from last year. Console sales grew by 3 percent, while portables sales declined 27 percent. 

Gamers are still buying plenty of games, but the sale of new physical copies of games actually decreased by 3 percent when compared to last year’s numbers. However, it’s worth noting that the NDP doesn’t actually track downloadable numbers, so it’s plausible that total game sales are fairly even – or even exceed – last year’s data. 

Here is the full top ten list:

  1. Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
  2. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  3. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PS4, Xbox One)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  5. WWE 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  6. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  7. Destiny: The Taken King (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  8. Yoshi's Wooly World (WiiU)
  9. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)
  10. Rock Band 4 (Xbox One, PS4)

As always, the platforms are listed in the order of sales, and do not include hardware bundles. 


Our Take
It's great to see that game sales are holding strong. It’s not too surprising to see Halo 5: Guardians and the usual sports titles on here, but I’m happy to see that Rock Band 4 is also doing well. And it’s nice to see that not too many people were turned away from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate after the debacle that was Unity. – The Feed

PSA: Today Is Your Last Chance For October PlayStation Plus Games

This is your friendly reminder that today is the final day to nab your October PlayStation Plus games. A new slate of titles rotates in tomorrow, so make some time to lock in your licenses now.

If you need a refresher, October’s titles include:

PlayStation 4

  • Broken Age
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Unmechanical Extended

PlayStation 3

  • Chariot
  • Kickbeat
  • Kung Fu Rabbit
  • Unmechanical Extended


  • Broken Age
  • Kickbeat
  • Kung Fu Rabbit
  • Super Meat Boy

November takes us to the stars with Mass Effect 2 and gives us colorful wizard robes in Magicka 2. You can check out the full slate of next month’s titles here. – The Feed

PSA: Today Is Your Last Day For October Games With Gold

In addition to Halloween, today is the final day of October. Xbox Live members know what that means.

Be sure to grab your September games before they’re gone. Rotating off the service after today are Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Xbox One and The Walking Dead: Season One on Xbox 360.

Be sure to carve out some time to lock these in. Ha! I made a pumpkin joke.

For next month’s titles, check out our previous coverage. – The Feed

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (October 29, 2015)

This week was a good one. People shared Super Mario Maker
levels, while others joined in on the community writing challenge. Time to get reading!

Community Blogs For October 22 – October 28:

Current State Of My 2015 Backlog

Avid blogger Rebekah Lang has a problem many of us share: a crippling backlog.
As readers can see, she hasn't even touched many of the games released this
year. I still haven't touched some PlayStation games I own.

Legend Of Zelda History. Is It Showing A Pattern?

Investigative blogger GerardoExber explores whether or not The Legend of Zelda
series is exhibiting a pattern. It's almost as deep as the Zelda timeline,
which makes my head hurt every time I read it.

Heroes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I have been enjoying Tri-Force Heroes, as has MightyMagikarp – oh wait, he
returned it. While I may have enjoyed my hour or so I've played with a friend,
our mighty Pokémon has found too much to hinder his joy. Has anyone else played
it? What are your thoughts?

Best Horror Experiences Of The Year

With Halloween almost upon us, Jonathon Garrard's post about the best horror in
games this year is a timely one. I plan on checking some of these out with my
fiancé…but only so I don't get scared. She's imperious when it comes to facing
down horror. And our grumpy cat.

Games You Don't Care About

@ChrisContinues has a fun video feature up about games he doesn't care about
this holiday season. Have some of these games fallen off your radar? I'm just
jazzed about Fallout at this point.

Community Reviews:

Super Mario Maker

GreenePanda21 has difficulty reviewing Mario's latest game. It's unlike
anything before it, but also could be more. Read the full review to see what
the final verdict is.

Writing Challenge Responses:

Writing Challenge: A Special Set Of Skills…

firedude3663 graciously took on our writing challenge. He chooses a power-up,
skill, and finishing move – and all three together create a winning combo.

Writing Challenge: The Stats I'd like To Have From Video Games.

GerardoExber was a busy blogger last week, but I'm glad he joined in on the
responses for the community challenge. I too would like the ability to take a
bullet to the face and then fix it by pulling on my thumb. He has some other
really interesting powers and skills he'd like to have, and the post is a fun
read, so get to it.

Community Writing Challenge:

What do you think your favorite video game characters would
do if they suddenly found themselves in our world? Would it be chaos? Would
Mario and Luigi set up a plumbing business?

Community Playdate:

We only received two Super Mario Maker levels last week, so
I'm going to ask for more this week!

Please share your Super Mario Maker levels in the comments.
One level for each community member. I'll play each and every one of them,
hopefully to completion, and write about them in the community writing
challenge responses section. For starters check out pestulio007's Assault on
Bowser's Airship! (via this code: FF1E-0000-00B7-CB3E), and SnakePlissken722's
The Black Pearl level (40B6-0000-0044-72E3). If you'd like to, please feel free
to write about your fellow community members' levels and I'll feature them in the blog
next week.

I hope you enjoy the blogs! Please contact me
via my Game
Informer page
 or on Twitter
at @LouisGarcia12 with any blog news or playdate suggestions. – The Feed

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (October 22, 2015)

Want to know how Splatoon can be improved, if difficult
games are worth it, and what it would be like to hang out with Resident Evil's
Jill Valentine? Well, this week's Blog Herding is for you!

Community Blogs For October 15 – October 21:

Ways Splatoon Could Be Improved

Will Watson has played a lot of Splatoon and clearly loves it. I agree with all
of his calls for improvement. And though it has nothing to do with the game, I
would love to see an anime for Nintendo's surprise hit. I don't know why, but
it seems like a good, weird fit. Actually, let's get an anime and proper sequel
for Chibi-Robo while we're at it.

Games: To What End?

Diligent blogger Rebekah Lang is honest in exposing a truth about Bloodborne: It may be difficult just to be difficult, not to actually be interesting. While
I've had more problems with glitches in From Software games, I'd have to agree
that sometimes the difficulty is just a bit silly. Then again, I've beaten a
lot of "hard" games, and constantly play games on the highest difficulty from
the beginning, so I can't really complain. I'm a glutton for punishment.

Topic: Would You Play This Table-Top Game?

Uesugi-dono gives us a look at Honor and Glory, and though it isn't a video
game, it sounds like a fun, interactive time. As someone who has enjoyed some
tabletop games, I'm going to have to at least check this out at the local comic
and hobby shop.

Community Reviews:

Bunko Fighting Climax Review

I'm going to be honest: I have no idea what "light novel" Justin Mikos is
talking about in this review. What I do know is that fans of fighting games, as
well as newcomers, should probably check this out. It sounds very accessible.

Resident Evil Revelations – A Return To Form Mixing Old And New

GerardoExber is one of our most prominent bloggers lately, and here he gives us
a look at what I consider to be a great iteration of Resident Evil. Our
blogger's most important point is that this game is survival horror, not
action. These days that's much appreciated when it comes to Resident Evil.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials And Tribulations

GreenePanda21 is a huge fan of the Ace Attorney series, so when he reviews a
game in the series (and another one here),
you can expect it to be a very honest, in-depth assessment. I've only played
the first game (on my iPhone, no less), so I really want to jump into this
series a bit more.

Quest Heroes Review: Merriment In The Marvelous Mashup

Enuo gives a very different type of Dragon Quest game a perfect score. It may
not be what everyone expects, but it sounds like a fun take on the storied
franchise. I'm down. And really, when a Slime enemy is involved, you know the
game is going to be at least a little fun.

Writing Challenge Responses:

Writing Challenge: Jill Valentine, The Character I Would Like To Hang Out With During A Week

GerardoExber chooses Jill "lock pick" Valentine as someone he'd like to hang out
with. He feels like she'd be a lot of fun to talk to, and he'd even take her to
a Resident Evil movie or two – which is totally breaking the fifth or sixth wall.
I think. I don't know. I just want to shoot zombies and play soccer with Jill.

Community Writing Challenge:

What is one power-up, skill, or special move you'd like to
take from a video game and have in real life? My fiancé would choose the ice
skate power-up and cat bell in Super Mario 3D World, whereas I would choose the
intelligence skill in Fallout – I'm just getting prepared for the apocalypse is

Community Playdate:

I want to try something different this week: Please share
your Super Mario Maker levels in the comments section below – one level per community member. I'll play each and every one of them, hopefully to completion, and
write about them in the community writing challenge responses section.

I hope you enjoy the blogs! Please contact me
via my Game
Informer page
 or on Twitter
at @LouisGarcia12 with any blog news or playdate suggestions. – The Feed

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (October 15, 2015)

Another week, another great batch of blogs. A good variety of
topics means each of you will find something interesting, or something new to
learn about this week.

Community Blogs For October 8 – September 14:

Back At Ya: Ranking Every Game In The Super Mario Series

MightyMagikarp must have evolved into Gyarados in order to take on the task of
ranking 30 years' worth of Super Mario games. But that's what he did in
response to Game
Informer's list
. The top five games are quite different, which surprised
me. Both are wrong: Mario is Missing! is the best Mario game ever made. Ever.
Side note: I'm a liar.   

Top Ten Boss Themes Since 2010

Will Watson has chosen a somewhat unique take on the ever-present listicle.
This blog is worth a read just to listen to the music via the YouTube videos
he's embedded.

Space Retrospective: A Horror Classic

Gamemaniac3434 is quick to point out (like in the first sentence quick) that
Dead Space is not the scariest game he's ever played. However, it is just
stylish enough to make it his favorite series showboating horror themes. The
scariest games I've played are P.T. and Silent Hill 2. Great. Sleeping with the
lights on tonight.

Thoughts On The Rainbow Six Siege Beta

Caesar isn't so sure about his time with the latest
shoot-em-up-all-realistic-like Rainbow Six outing. I mean, the lack of a
campaign kind of stinks, so multiplayer needs to come out swinging.

I'm Leaving Xbox Moving Into Next-Gen

That Guy… yeah, the blogger, is jumping ship. See you later, Microsoft – this
gamer is out of your camp. But why? Well, No Man's Sky is a big reason for the
move to a Sony console after siding with Xbox 360 last generation. I moved to a
PlayStation 4 because I'd be able to play FIFA online with a buddy, and I got
sick of my 360 breaking down after it lasted for so long.

Wonder Of PS4's Share Play Function

It seems that Rebekah Lang is always finding new ways to explore her PS4 each
week. This time she's messing around with the Share Play function. Spoiler
alert: She was "sort of blown away." Dig into this blog to find out why.

Community Reviews:

The Taken King Review

Destiny's latest expansion has taken (heh) everyone, including blogger
Cavehobo, to a very happy place. For many, it's what the game was always meant
to be. For our writer, it's a move that makes Destiny a must-play title for
anyone who loves first-person shooters and MMO gameplay. 

Writing Challenge Responses:

Writing Challenge: The Setting I Would Like To See Again

GerardoExber chose a setting I didn't quite expect: 3D rendered backgrounds. I
expected a Final Fantasy VII location when I first saw his post's image. After
reading his reasoning for wanting to see them come back, I have to admit that
I'm on board; I really enjoy a nicely rendered background, and kind of miss

Community Writing Challenge:

If you had one week to hang out with any video game
character, who would it be? We've had some memorable heroes, villains, and inbetweeners
in our gaming adventures, so this might be a hard one. I'd love to shoot some
cans with Garrus, throw back a space beer with him, and just chat. That is one
cool cat…err, turian.

Community Playdate:

We have to once again set this aside. As you may know, I
recently moved and am still not completely ready with the new place (I wrote
this very Blog Herding while sharing my "office" with my cat's litter box, and
Miyamoto is not happy about the situation), but we'll be able to game together
soon. I promise!

I hope you enjoy the blogs! Please contact me
via my Game
Informer page
 or on Twitter
at @LouisGarcia12 with any blog news or playdate suggestions. – The Feed

[Update] Battleborn Closed Technical Tests Start On October 29

Update: For those hoping to be part of the Battleborn technical tests, we have some new details. The first test will take place on October 29.

Sign-ups are still open on Gearbox's website. Those that participate will be under NDA, so there won't be a flood of streams or chatter about what's on display.

Original Story:

Pay attention, Gearbox fans! The developer is opening up sign-ups for an upcoming Closed Technical Test for Battleborn as long as you've signed up for a free Shift account, a colorful first-person multiplayer game that pits teams of eclectic heroes against one another. We've got your details right here, including which platforms will be supported and what the PC specs are for the early test build.

The Battleborn technical test aims to help Gearbox balance the 25 playable characters, test the servers, and polish the game in preparation for a February 9 release date. The test will be open to all platforms the game is destined for: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. If you're a PC player, here are the specs you'll need to run the test build:

  • OS: Windows 7 x64-Bit or Later
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Extreme CPU Q6850/ AMD A8-3870k (Quad Core CPU’s)
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 70 GB free
  • Video Memory: 2 GB
  • Video Card: AMD HD 7700/ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or better, PhysX support
  • Sound: DirectX 11 Compliant
If you want to toss your hat into the ring to be a part of this early taste of Battleborn, RSVP here. Remember, you need a Shift account in order to do so. Also remember to check out our hub of exclusive Battleborn content from our previous cover story on the game.

Our Take
Battleborn is a big departure from Gearbox's successful Borderlands series, so this early technical test could be a great opportunity for dedicated fans to get see what they think about the new game before next year. Having played a good deal of Battleborn's competitive multiplayer mode, I'm excited to see more folks sharing their opinions about the game. I certainly had fun leaping through the trees and downing enemies with my bow and arrow as Thorn – The Feed

Blizzard Brings Character-Based Shooter Overwatch To Beta On October 27

With the MOBA genre firmly established, developers and publishers are looking for new ways to build on the premise of characters in lieu of classes. Motiga’s Gigantic, Hi-Rez’s Paladins, and Gearbox’s Battleborn are all competing in that new sub-genre of multiplayer games.

Blizzard’s entry, Overwatch, is one that we’ve been following since its announcement at BlizzCon last year. If you’ve not had a chance to play yet, you might have an opportunity soon.

The beta begins on October 27 in closed format. That means, you’ll need to apply for access. You can do that on the official Overwatch website.

In addition to the small group of testers that have access around the clock, Blizzard will be conducting larger test weekends. These are designed to stress test servers, but will still be by invitation only. These will be more streamlined, with limited maps, characters, and modes.

The beta will run on Windows, and you’ll need to have the app. You can register for the beta and read the fine print on the Overwatch website. For more, check out our hands-on impressions.

[Source: Blizzard]


Our Take
I’m curious how Blizzard plans to monetize Overwatch. It seems ripe to run as a free-to-play (and Heroes of the Storm has tested those waters for the publisher). Hopefully BlizzCon will herald the clarity we’re looking for. – The Feed

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses Is Stephen Colbert’s Musical Guest On October 13

CBS has announced that The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will be performing as the musical guest on an upcoming episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The group, which performs orchestral arrangements of the most iconic and beloved songs from the Zelda franchise, will be making its appearance on October 13.

According to Nintendo, Symphony of the Goddesses will be performing new music from the upcoming 3DS game, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, which launches on October 23. The episode's line-up is rounded out by comedian/actress Sarah Silverman and actor Elijah Wood.

The Symphony of the Goddesses is currently on tour across the country with upcoming stops in New York, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, and Portland. If you'd like to learn more about the Legend of Zelda: The Symphony of the Goddesses, check out a recent episode of the Game Informer Show where we interviewed the producer of the show. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs on CBS at 11:35 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Monday through Friday.

[Photo Credit: Andrew Craig] – The Feed

New Releases This Week: September 27 Through October 3

September says goodbye this week, as the infamous holiday quarter begins. The fun gets started, as we gear up for the meat of the fall rush.

This week is already underway, with the third of the toys-to-life games hitting stores yesterday. Lego Dimensions is available now, completing a trifecta of wallet-draining fun.

Still yet to come this week are Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, and a duo of hoops games. Here’s the full rundown:

Lego Dimensions (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U) – September 27
Fallout Anthology (PC) – September 29
Might & Magic Heroes VII (PC) – September 29
NBA 2K16 (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC) – September 29
NBA Live 16 (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC) – September 29
Persona 4: Dancing All Night (Vita) – September 29
Samurai Warriors 4-II (PS4, PS3, Vita, PC) – September 29
Secret Ponchos (PC) – September 29
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 (Xbox One, PS4) – September 29
Toto Temple Deluxe (Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, PC) – September 29
The Escapists The Walking Dead (Xbox One, PC) – September 30

For more on this year's games, check out our regularly updated list of game releases. – The Feed