Sega CEO Hajime Satomi says he wants to improve the quality of their games moving forward. That could mean a lot of things. It's nice to hear, but what they do next with their games is the real answer.
Games in 2013 So Far: Trimester in Review
The world of video games has seen the development of some excellent and popular indie titles, in addition to many popular triple-A titles that we are all used to. The console market hasn’t seen much of a shakeup, and the headlines haven’t changed much, but let’s take a look at some of the big stories and interesting statistics for the first third of 2013.
Popular Gaming Titles
The following games did extraordinarily well so far this year, and were a hit with many gamers, earning them high marks and top sales spots:
- Tomb Raider – Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics (Leviathyn Rating: 10/10)
- BioShock Infinite – 2K Games/Irrational Games (Leviathyn Rating: 8.5/10)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision/Treyarch (Leviathyn Rating: 8.5/10)
- While technically released in 2012, this game still rides high on the 2013 sales charts given its late year release
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – Namco Bandai/Level-5 (Leviathyn Rating: 9/10)
- Halo 4 – Microsoft Studios/343 Industries (Leviathyn Rating: 8.7/10)
- Another 2012 release, this game has still been one of the most popular, as far as sales go, in 2013
This list is not comprehensive of all the popular games, though. Other best-sellers include Fire Emblem: Awakening and Just Dance 4.
Influx of Indie Gaming Titles
Riding the Kickstarter wave, many indie games are making their way to market. Some indie games that didn’t use Kickstarter are also finding success from marketing strategies and otherwise. Here are a few games that I’ve taken a look at that seem to be doing fairly well.
Prison Architect – Introversion
While technically still in alpha testing (indefinitely), the game is purchasable and playable (similar to the scheme Minecraft used). This is a popular method for indie companies with no backing finances to develop a game with little pressure. While it cuts into their finished game sales, it gets the name out there and builds a fan base that helps move things along with suggestions and bug reports to help in development.
Game Dev Tycoon – Greenheart Games
This game will suck all of your free time away from you. Greenheart did an excellent job coming up with a deep game development simulator, while keeping it relatively easy to play. The thing that may be attributed to getting its name out there is the fact that upon releasing, they put a copy of the game on The Pirate Bay. Little did the folks that pirated the game know, after the first few in game years passed, people started to pirate the games in large enough quantities to bury the company. This story made it onto CNN’s entertainment news, which is essentially free advertising. There’s really no reason to pirate the game, since it’s only eight bucks.
StarForge – CodeHatch Corp.
According to their website, as of writing, CodeHatch had sold just over 14500 copies of their ALPHA. The alpha test version is available on Steam (like Prison Architect). This is a Cinderella story for an indie company that is becoming more and more familiar. Their development rests on a core group they call the Founder’s Club, in addition to alpha purchases. The Founders Club gets exclusive skins for in game items, two copies of the game, as well as the soundtrack and other great perks. There are dozens of “Founders” in addition to the thousands of purchasers helping get this game released.
Big News Stories
The biggest stories this year consist of platform announcements, struggling servers, and PR nightmares. Here’s a list of the headlines with links to the articles:
- PlayStation 4 Information
- Xbox 360 Outsells Wii U Five To One in January
- SimCity’s Terrible Launch
- EA CEO John Riccitiello Steps Down
There was plenty of news floating around, but these stories were the ones that flooded the news world when they happened (save perhaps the Xbox 360 sales numbers, everyone sort of knew that the Wii U was selling pretty slowly, but don’t worry).
Other important things happened, like the pushing back of release dates and rampant speculations about next gen consoles, but rumors are rumors, and shouldn’t be considered news until they are confirmed.
2013 is still bound to be a great year in the making. Keep an eye out for more games to come from developers big and small, and watch for more awesome game related news and reviews from Leviathyn.