NPD June, Paradox gets Iceflake, Worms update, more

JULY 1, 2020

Daily Gaming Update

How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from The Gaming Observer and welcome back to your daily news update for Monday, July 20th. I hope you had a tremendous weekend, let’s go ahead and kick off the new week with some video games.
We’ll start today talking business, because the NPD has released their data for the month of June, yielding some interesting points here. First of all, pandemic spending on video games is still extraordinarily high. Tracked spending on software is up 49% year over year, which is the highest for a June month since 2010. Hardware is actually down 17%, but that’s honestly to be expected — console sales were down before the pandemic, they spiked in the middle of it, and now we’ve got a new generation on the horizon. Now here’s the real fun bit, in terms of game sales, The Last of Us Part 2 was June’s best selling game, and just instantly became the 3rd best selling game of 2020, behind Call of Duty and Animal Crossing. In dollar values though it had a better launch month than those two games, and it was the 2nd best in Sony’s history, only beat out by Spiderman. So HUGE performance for that game, perhaps as expected, but also by the end of the year it’ll be in a very good spot. Also on the June charts at #7 was Ring Fit Adventure, which is just constantly appearing and disappearing as stock becomes provided and gets sold. It’s a very popular game for the Switch, and Nintendo can’t make it fast enough to meet demand. Finally, at #18 was Persona 4 Golden, following its appearance on Steam. The only other new game in the top 20, besides Last of Us, was the Spongebob Battle for Bikini Bottom remaster, at #19.
Paradox Interactive has officially acquired Iceflake Studios, who are the developers of the game Surviving the Aftermath, but not its predecessor Surviving Mars. This makes Iceflake the ninth developer under Paradox, which is acquisition and self-created locations. That’s about all there is to say, but Surviving The Aftermath is currently in early access, if you would like to check it out, it’s on the Epic Games Store and Xbox Game Preview.
Just wanted to give you a little update here regarding the Worms franchise. First of all, Worms Armageddon, one of original games, just got a new update on Steam, which basically just gave it a refresh, and modernized it a bit. The biggest thing being they now have the option to use CPUs in online matches, so that you can team up with your friends in a multiplayer game. There’s also some fun QOL stuff, like being able to save a map after it’s been destroyed, and use that as a place to start. Anyway besides that they are also currently in a closed beta for the game Worms Rumble, which is their latest entry, taking the game to real-time combat. Thanks to Team17’s Nottingham team for getting me access, I’m having fun with it in the beta so far. There’s not much there right now, but I could definitely see how the game could expand and be very exciting.
You might remember the game Paragon from four years ago. This was a MOBA that Epic Games tried to bring to life, which ended up getting overshadowed by Fortnite and eventually shutting down. Well, when the game closed, Epic released all of its assets for free use on Unreal Engine. Paragon definitely had a dedicated community, and now that is being cropped up with an attempted spiritual successor of the game, this time around being called Fault. It is currently available in Early Access, though based on the reviews it looks like they have some things to work out before it’s worth paying money for. Which is to say, it very much is an Early Access game, so unless you were a hardcore Paragon fan it may not be worth it. Nonetheless, its there, and I think it’s pretty cool they were able to make something happen. Once again the game is called Fault, keep an eye on it if you want because it will be free-to-play at some point.
Thanks Mr. J Rodwell for 5-star review