Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Top 10 Best Sellers of '08 - Did Your Favorite Make the List?

The stats for the best selling titles of 2008 have been released, and it was unquestionably Nintendo's year for sales. Wii Play (bundled with the Wii remote) is at the top of the pack with a staggering 5.28 million in sales for last year alone. Would it have sold as well without the remote pack in? Probably not, but I know that’s the reason I (and millions of others) purchased it. The mini-games on it are decently fun too, if only for a limited amount of time. Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl round out the next three spots, all featuring both mainstream and casual appeal. Grand Theft Auto IV on the 360 did extremely well at the number five spot with over three million copies sold, and Call of Duty: World at War (the 360 version) outsold Gears of War 2 on the same platform. Grand Theft Auto IV sold under two million units at the number eight spot on the PS3, and Madden 09 on the 360 sold about the same at number nine. Mario Kart DS, a title that was released way back in 2005, rounds out the list at number ten.

And, for those that just want to know the top 10 best sellers without any context...

1. Wii Play (Wii remote bundle - Wii
2. Mario Kart Wii (Racing wheel bundle) - Wii
3. Wii Fit (Balance board bundle) - Wii
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Wii
5. Grand Theft Auto IV - 360
6. Call of Duty: World at War - 360
7. Gears of War 2 - 360
8. Grand Theft Auto IV - PS3
9. Madden NFL 09 - 360
10. Mario Kart DS - DS

It was a tremendously good year for Nintendo, whose mix of accessible games and popular franchises dominated the sales chart. Amazingly enough, Mario Kart DS made the top 10 list despite being three years old! It was also interesting to see Call of Duty: World at War outsell Gears of War 2. Hopefully 2009 will be an even better year for gaming - I have my fingers crossed...

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

And the Award for Most Rehashed and Least Improved Game Goes To...

What gaming series has been beat to death more than any other? Could it be the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, where the quality of the games have been on the decline for years now? Nah. While it's true that Sega's once mighty blue mascot has seen better days, the Sonic games are generally different enough not to be considered mere rehashes. How about Mario? Well, most of the plumber's adventures are quite good.

So what could it be then? Well, none other than Koei's Dynasty Warriors series. Since its original release this mediocre and highly-repetitive action series has seen a staggering 32 releases (if you count the offshoots like Samurai Warriors and such, which share the same exact game play as the Dynasty Warriors titles. The Dynasty Tactics releases were not included because the game play is unique from the action versions). That comes out to nearly four new Dynasty Warriors games released per year with little innovation (if any) from title to title.

However, someone must be eating these titles up. Despite the Warriors series typically being a one-trick pony, the releases of these games seem to have no end in sight. Koei already has Dynasty Warriors 7 and Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 in the works, as well as a few other titles for the series. However, it seems like Koei has built up a cult audience. While the Warriors games aren't in the same league as something like Grand Theft Auto in terms of sales, I'm sure each new release sells a decent enough amount to churn a profit for Koei. And I hear that these games are quite popular in Japan... so much for Western gamers being stereotyped as the only ones with poor taste in games...

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

UGO Buys 1up: EGM Officially Canned

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Remember how I recently reported that Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) might “go the way of the dodo”? Well, it looks like that has finally come true. UGO Entertainment has purchased 1up from Ziff Davis, and while they may have claimed that 1up would “stand beside UGO as a flagship brand.” (as quoted from, that appears to not be the case as they’ve laid off an enormous amount of 1up’s previous staff. Also, to add insult to injury, Ziff Davis has canned EGM in the process.

What’s aggravating about UGO acquiring 1up is that they essentially purchased it and killed it off around the same time. It appears as if UGO simply wanted the 1up name in order to drive more attention to its site (which currently isn’t a major force in the internet world). Also, even though it’s no secret that EGM has been a magazine of questionable quality for the past six years, I still hate to see a magazine I grew up reading be put to an end.

Oh well, that’s the way the business world runs. The popularity of print magazines have been declining for years now in our Internet age, and I’d expect some of the few remaining U.S. game-based magazines to suffer the same fate within the next couple of years. As long as Europe continues to provide us with quality video game magazines then I’ll still be a somewhat satisfied man…


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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Pro-Gamer: Year Three is Up!

You see how many candles are on that cat's cake? There's three of 'em. Alright, so why am I pointing that out? Have I turned this into a rather special blog? Nope - that's how many years old Pro-Gamer has turned today (well, yesterday, but...).

Over the years I've lost contact with older blog friends (who seemingly got lost into another dimension and whose blogs have gone non-updated for quite some time now) but gained support from new ones. I would like to thank everyone whose ever read my blog and who has commented on my articles. It's great reading what you guys have to say, regardless if your views lack integrity or not.

I would like to keep this blog updated for many years to come, and maybe I'll even look into redesigning it sometime in 2009. Pro-Gamer has had the same look since 2006... it's looking a bit worn out now, eh? I'd just like to give a big thanks to everyone for reading and I hope that you guys stick by for another (hopefully) great year of gaming!

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