Black Ops 6

A GameStop pre-order listing for Black Ops 6 suggests the franchise will stick with PS4 and Xbox One for at least one more entry. The image below (via CharlieIntel) shows pre-order information for Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PS5. 

The Xbox One version is a curious omission, but a report from Insider Gaming says that the Xbox Series X|S version comes with cross-gen support for the Xbox One. 

Why can’t games shake the PS4 and Xbox One? It’s all a numbers game. Sony painted a crystal clear picture when it announced it had hit 59 million PS5 consoles sold. It’s a great number, but they also mentioned there are 118 million monthly active PlayStation users. That means about half of them are still rocking a PS4. Some could be playing PS3 or Vita, but most are on PS4. 

While the PlayStation 5 has sold well, it also shows that despite the industry growing a lot over the past decade – the playing/spending habits have seen a huge shift. A recent report from Newzoo (covered by Kotaku) shows how we can’t shake old games and why millions of folks are reluctant to upgrade their consoles (hint: all of these games still run fine on old hardware).

  • According to Newzoo, the top 10 games by average monthly active users (MAU) are over seven years old.
  • In 2023, 66 games were responsible for 80% of all playtime. Five (Fortnite, Roblox, League of Legends, Minecraft, and GTA V) accounted for 27% of all playtime that year. 
  • Just 8 percent of playtime was spent on new, non-annual titles.

I’m part of the millions stuck playing what has been dubbed ‘forever games.’ Most of my playtime is spent on PUBG, which helped kickstart the Battle Royale genre in 2017. That or Warzone. Sure, I played some Diablo 4 and Dragon’s Dogma 2 when they released, but nowhere near the amount I would have played five or six years ago. I always return to my ‘forever game.’ 

Publishers have been trying to tackle this problem with mixed results. Some games, like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Helldivers 2, can break through. Others completely fail, Redfall being a recent example that comes to mind. This ultimately led to the studio’s shuttering. 

Jacob Navok, formerly director of business holdings at Square Enix, put together a fascinating thread on X talking about the recent failure of Final Fantasy games to meet their sales expectations. It’s a deep dive into the economics of video games and how they have shifted in recent years. 

What will be really interesting to see is what happens in 2025. That’s when Grand Theft Auto VI comes out. Take-Two has announced the game will only be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. This is one of the few franchises that can move the entire industry. And it will likely be the game that helps push early adoption for the ‘Pro’ versions of the Xbox Series X and PS5. 

As for Black Ops 6? Get ready for a huge reveal on June 9 during the Xbox Showcase.

Shooters are my jam, but I like to dip into story games from time to time as well. You can reach me at [email protected]

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