NPD July, new EA branding for subscription, more

AUGUST 17, 2020

Daily Gaming Update

Transcript

NPD report for the month of July

Every month, the company NPD reports on the sales data of the video game industry in the United States. As of this month, they will now be providing not just unit sales, but also insights on things like DLC, microtransactions, and subscriptions. So on Friday, they reported on the month of July, which had some notable insights. Console sales have remained down since the dramatic decrease last month, as expected, especially with a new console generation around the corner.

Software sales on the other hand are still booming, with a 34% increase year-over-year. The best selling game of the month was Ghost of Tsushima, which is now Sucker Punch Productions’ fastest selling game in history. It also instantly became the fifth best selling game of 2020. Coming in at the #3 spot was Paper Mario: The Origami King, which set a launch month record for the Paper Mario series. And finally, The Last of Us: Part II came it at #4, and it is now Sony’s 3rd best selling game of all time, behind Marvel’s Spider-Man and the most recent God of War. Of course that can change over the next few years as the game picks up in popularity.

EA Access and Origin Access Basic combine to become “EA Play”

You might remember that EA has a game subscription service of their own, kind of like the Xbox Game Pass. The PC version was called Origin Access, and the console version was called EA Access. Well today, they announced that they are combining those services under one name, called EA Play. Now that name might sound familiar, and that’s because they previously called their E3-like events EA Play, so that is now going to be renamed EA Play Live. And finally, Origin Access actually had two tiers, so the second tier is now going to be called EA Play Pro.

This isn’t actually going to change anything about the service, it’s just streamlining everything together — which is good, because the naming scheme was pretty confusing. And soon the subscription is actually going to be available on Steam, which will be a first for that platform, so having something that unifies everything together is probably smart.

Factorio has exited Early Access

The hit indie game Factorio has now exited Early Access and Update 1.0 is now available. If you aren’t familiar with the game, this is probably one of the biggest indie games in the last 4 years or so. Its core concept is about building automated factories — it has resource management, progression, and then of course the optimization is a key aspect of it. Many people have never really considered the game an Early Access title, just because of how in-depth it has always been, and the developers are just tremendous. So be sure to give that a look, it’s $30 on Steam — and it’s not for everyone, but for those who love the genre, it’s at the top of many people’s list.

Spelunky 2 hits PC in October

Many were disappointed when Spelunky 2 was announced for a September 15 release date on the Playstation 4, with no mention of other platforms. Today, creator Derek Yu shared that they are planning a PC release date just a few weeks afterwards.

“We are taking the extra time to make sure that Spelunky 2 runs well on PC…That includes testing online multiplayer, but it’s not the only thing we’ll be busy with. We’re working hard to make sure the two release dates are as close as possible!”

Dead By Daylight gets full cross-play

Incorporating cross-play into multiplayer games has proven to be a very popular move over the past two years, and Dead By Daylight is the latest to do it. A unified friends list now exists across Steam, Microsoft Store, PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.

There is still no in-game chat for console players, so if you are playing with friends there, you will need to use something else. (Why isn’t everyone using Discord for everything anyway?)

7.5 million people claim free A Total War Saga: Troy giveaway

On the day of release, A Total War Saga: Troy was given away to everyone, free of charge, through the Epic Games Store. The regular price tag has now returned to its usual $30, but not before millions of people picked it up. As for why they did it:

“Epic approached us and asked if Troy could be an Epic exclusive, as part of a commercial deal…That’s not to say that we immediately signed on the dotted line, or that money was the only reason that we did this (it’s not!).”

“This opportunity allows expansive back-end infrastructure development that will allow us to expand into multiple stores. That means we can have more resources, push ourselves further, be more creative, make more Total War.”