Overwatch (-44%) holds top spot for a third week ahead of the debut for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst at second. The original Mirror’s Edge for which Catalyst is a prequel/reboot had protracted success, selling only 60% of lifetime sales in the first twelve weeks.
DOOM 3 is at third for three consecutive weeks (-28% ) as Uncharted 4 (-45%) drops behind it from second.
FIFA 16 drops one place to fifth ahead of GTA V which sticks at sixth.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is up one place to seventh.
At the start of the tournament, UEFA Euro 2016 Pro Evolution Soccer (-4%)has reached the top ten for the first time in eight weeks at eighth.
Dead Island: Definitive Edition and Ratchet & Clank both slip down the chart, to ninth and tenth respectively.
There are two other new releases this week, Kirby: Planet Robobot, on 3DS, is at fifteenth, and Sherlock Holmes: The Devils’ Daughter is at thirty-seventh.
The annual E3 gaming conference is taking place in Los Angeles this week, and many of the world’s biggest gaming publishers are lining up to show the public their latest big budget offerings.
Many of the new games presented will share a common theme: guns.
The mid-90’s represented a turning point for the gaming industry, in which its focus on shooters grew stronger — going from Quake to Goldeneye, to more recent celebrated games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
The mass-market appeal of shooters such as these reached fever-pitch in recent years, with annual installments and frenzied launches marking what are now some of the biggest money makers in all of entertainment (raking in over half a billion dollars in just a matter of days).
For the past several years E3 has attracted critical commentary on the volume of games involving guns.
Some of that criticism is based on just a sheer lack of variety, yet sometimes it’s due to the real-world parallels that can be drawn. Sometimes those lines are obscure, but for E3 2016 the parallel for some is ostensibly clear.
Following yet another horrific mass shooting in the U.S, in which over 50 people were killed, some members of the gaming community are now beginning to question the role that such games play. Not only in promoting gun culture, but in how their flashy presentations can often seem tone deaf — particularly in the wake of such tragedy.
Chris Plante and T.C Sottek, writing for The Verge, pulled into question EA’s press conference for its apparent disregard for the very real events that had occurred just hours prior in Orlando.
The Verge editorial questions the morality of showing footage where “humans kill each other with hyper-detailed guns” so soon after the worst shooting in the history of the United States.
EA’s conference is the first of many taking place this week, showing new ‘gun games’ like Titanfall and Battlefield. Yet, as The Verge points out, such heavy focus on the shooter genre is not the practice of just a single publisher, adding that E3 as a whole “regularly celebrates graphic violence”.
Many have taken The Verge article to be a either a cheap shot towards the gaming industry, or click bait at a time of mourning. Whatever you consider it to be, one thing is clear — the issue the editorial is attempting to address is by no means a binary one.
The Verge piece isn’t attempting to shame EA and others for the games they create. Nor is it a criticism of the gaming industries creative output.
Instead, I believe the commentary (misjudged or not) was attempting to start a timely dialogue on the brazenness with which various gun fantasies are flaunted, trailer after trailer.
American gun culture, violent games, and popular entertainment in general have a longstanding (and lucrative) relationship which isn’t going away anytime soon.
People will draw parallels, lines will be drawn. This is inevitable. Some will blame games, others won’t. Sometimes it will be justified, sometimes it won’t be.
Real people died, and hours later a corporation took to the stage to showcase how you can kill people in their new game. It makes for a flashy headline, but the connection is often tenuous and the subject much more nuanced.
Games are often a scapegoat, and gamers are often defensive. Either way, distinguishing fantasy from reality and remembering real people have suffered is what matters right now.
Nobody is calling for end to this form of entertainment, however we should take this as an opportunity for consideration, reservedness and to reflect on how popular gun-toting media fits into and informs our culture.
No matter what your stance, we should first and foremost mourn those lost. Worrying about how EA and others sell their games can be an issue for another day.
For the past several years Nintendo has had an ‘on again, off again’ relationship with E3, the annual gaming convention held in Los Angeles. Be it scaling down their presentation, adjusting their show-floor presence, or scrapping their physical keynote in its entirety.
Overwatch has extended launch week, marking top spot and becoming the most successful on console for developer Blizzard. The bulk of sales were made on PlayStation 4 (47%), followed by Xbox One and PC.
The rest of the top five move down in tandem. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End ( -37%) is ahead of Doom (-41%) and Homefront: The Revolution (-41%). Call of Duty: Black Ops III (+26%) improves to keep ahead of the resurgent Ratchet & Clank (+114%) at sixth.
FIFA 16 (+91%) is back up the chart at seventh thanks to retailer promotions.
Tom Clancy’s: The Division (+41%) does better with sales figures but drops to eighth.
Total War: Warhammer, a PC exclusive, rides into the chart to ninth ahead of GTA V (+49%) which drops two to complete the top ten.
The only other new release this week is TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan at eighteenth.
Quantum Break, only on Xbox One, launches to the top of the chart despite stiff competition from Dirt Rally on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.Rally bests the launch of the last title in the series by 197% and ranks third overall, behind Dirt 2 and Dirt 3. Both put long term best-seller Tom Clancy’s: The Division (-41%) down to third.
FIFA 16 and Far Cry Primal swap places on their way down to fourth and fifth respectively. GTAV, COD: Black Ops III and UFC 2 drop two places each to land as they were between sixth and eighth.
Rainbow Six: Siege falls one place to ninth and Star Wars Battlefront collapses three places to complete the top ten.
The only other new release this week is MXGP 2: The Official Motocross Videogame at seventeenth.
Tom Clancy’s The Division (-37%) stays at the top of the chart to make it four consecutive weeks since launch, a first for developer Ubisoft.
Far Cry Primal (-8%) and FIFA 16 move up one place each to second and third, as Grand Theft Auto V (+18%) improves significantly on sales to jump two places to fourth.
COD: Black Ops III does enough at fifth to help EA Sports UFC 2 on its way down from second to sixth in its second week.
At seventh, Star Wars Battlefront holds off against Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Siege (+21%), which does well to rise to eighth. As a result, LEGO Marvel Avengers and Garden Warfare 2 move down one place each to ninth and tenth respectively.