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What You Missed This Week in Video Games

Posted June 5, 2024 at 10:15 am
Sam Martinelli
The Fly

U.S. game spending in April dropped 3% year-over-year, according to Circana

“Game On” is The Fly’s weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.

NEW RELEASES: 

This week’s most notable release is Bungie’s “Destiny 2: The Final Shape,” the concluding expansion for “Destiny 2,” which first released in 2017. “The Final Shape” launches June 4 on PlayStation 5 (SONY), PS4, Xbox Series X/S (MSFT), Xbox One, and PC. The Fly notes that Bungie is owned by Sony. Also out this week is the iOS (AAPL) release of Ubisoft’s (UBSFY) “Assassin’s Creed Mirage,” which first launched for PC and consoles in October 2023. The iOS version of the game releases June 6.

CIRCANA APRIL: 

Circana analyst Mat Piscatella said that projected total U.S. spending on video game hardware, content and accessories fell 3% in April 2024 vs. last year, to $4.1B. A 2% increase in content spending could not offset a 43% drop in hardware and a 4% dip in accessories. The content spending growth was led by mobile, with gains from this segment offsetting a 24% year-on-year dip in content spending on Console platforms. April video game hardware spending fell 43% when compared to a year ago, to $208M. All current console hardware platforms fell a minimum of 26% year-on-year, with Switch (NTDOY) showing the strongest year-on-year decline at 69%. PlayStation 5 again led the month’s hardware market in unit and dollar sales. Nintendo Switch once again finished second in unit sales, while Xbox Series ranked second in dollars.

On the software side, PS5 exclusive “Stellar Blade” debuted as the best-selling premium game of April, and the #16 best-selling game of 2024 year-to-date. “Stellar Blade” was the only new release in April to rank among the month’s top 20 best-selling premium video games. Sony’s “Helldivers II” remains the best-selling premium game of 2024 year-to-date after placing 2nd in April, repeating its March ranking. “Helldivers II” held to its #2 ranking despite April dollar sales falling by more than 70% when compared to March. Microsoft’s “Sea of Thieves,” which originally launched on Xbox and PC in 2018, was the 4th best-selling game of April following its launch on PlayStation platforms during the month. The title ranked 55th on the March best-selling titles chart. “Sea of Thieves” was the #3 best-selling game on PlayStation platforms in April. Other top-selling premium games in the U.S. for the month were Activision’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III,” Bethesda’s “Fallout 4,” Sony’s “MLB The Show 24,” Capcom’s (CCOEY) “Dragon’s Dogma II,” Warner Bros. Disccovery’s (WBD) “Hogwarts Legacy,” and Electronic Arts’ (EA) “EA Sports FC 24.”

STATE OF PLAY: 

Last week, Sony hosted a digital PlayStation State of Play event, where the company announced new titles coming to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation VR2 consoles, as well as provided updates on previously-announced games. The showcase began with a deeper dive into Sony-published multiplery shooter “Concord,” which will launch August 23, 2024 on PS5 and PC, and then transitioned into the announcement of 2022’s “God of War Ragnarok” going to PC on September 19, 2024. Many third-party announcements followed, including Koei Tecmo unveiling “Dynasty Warriors Origins,” Skydance Studios announcing VR action title “Skydance’s Behemoth,” and NetEase (NTES) saying that its multiplayer action game “Marvel Rivals” will have a closed beta on PS5 in July 2024.

Meanwhile, Konami (KONMY) confirmed that its previously-announced remake of psychological horror game “Silent Hill 2” will officially release on PS5 October 8, 2024. Additionally, Capcom (CCOEY) officially unveiled the next game in its popular “Monster Hunter” series, titled “Monster Hunter Wilds,” which will release in 2025. The PlayStation maker ended the showcase with the announcement of 3D platformer “Astro Bot,” which will release September 6, 2024 for PS5. The Fly notes that 2018’s “Astro Bot: Rescue Mission” was a popular and well-received game for the first PlayStation VR headset, and that the PlayStation 5 comes packaged with 3D action game “Astro’s Playroom,” which was meant to be an extended tech demo for the PS5 and its DualSense controller.

PSVR2/PC: 

On Monday, Sony announced that it has been working to enable access to additional games on PC for its PlayStation VR2 headset, and that it will be rolling out this support on August 7. “Players will have access to buy and play Steam’s expansive library of thousands of VR games, including fan favorites like Half-Life: Alyx, Fallout 4 VR, and War Thunder,” the company said, noting that players will need to purchase a PlayStation VR2 PC adapter, which will be available for an estimated retail price of $59.99 / EUR 59.99 / GBP 49.99 at select retailers and direct.playstation.com where available. Players will also need a commercially available DisplayPort cable, also sold separately that is compatible with DisplayPort 1.4, as well as a Steam account and a PC that meets the minimum requirements.

  • Amazon Prime (AMZN) will release a TV series later this year based on Sega’s (SGAMY) “Like a Dragon” franchise, Variety reports [read more]
  • Nintendo’s recent remake of “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door” debuted in the top sales spot in Japan in its first week, VGChartz reports [read more]
  • The Communications Workers of America and Microsoft extended their labor neutrality agreement to cover ZeniMax workers [read more]
  • Amazon announced a publishing agreement with Maverick Games, whose studio head Mike Brown previously served as creative director of “Forza Horizon 5” [read more]
  • Netflix (NFLX) is working on an animated “Minecraft” series [read more]
  • Take-Two (TTWO) is looking to sell off or shut down Private Division, IGN reports [read more]

Originally Posted June 4, 2024 – What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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