If anything, this year put to rest the fear that gamers are abandoning traditional video games in favor of tablets and smartphones. After all, the industry saw the highest-grossing entertainment launch in history in 2013, with Grand Theft Auto V, and both Sony and Microsoft delivered their biggest console introductions to date. With that strong momentum as a backdrop, let's take a closer look at a few of the software titles that could carry the industry even further in 2014. Here are the three most anticipated video games of 2014.
Titanfall -- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA )
Electronic Arts thinks it has a new hit game in the making with Titanfall, a first-person action game that revolves around imaginative futuristic man-vs.-machine combat. And in a not-so-subtle dig at its biggest rival, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI ) , EA is trumpeting the fact that the game was crafted by several key developers, including the co-creator, behind the Call of Duty franchise that's made Activision $8 billion over the last decade.
Titanfall is entirely multiplayer, but aims to merge that experience with the epic set-piece moments that traditional shooter campaigns do so well. It will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and PCs, and is set for a March release date.
Mario Kart 8 -- Nintendo (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY )
First-party franchises are reliable blockbusters across Nintendo's hardware platforms, and that's especially true for the Mario Kart brand. Consider that Mario Kart Wii was the single best-selling game on that console apart from Wii Sports, which came bundled with most Wii devices. Mario Kart Wii sold an incredible 34 million units on that system. Likewise, Mario Kart DS is the second-best-selling game on Nintendo's handheld system, notching 23 million sales and coming in behind only the epic Super Mario Bros.
Mario Kart 8 is set to carry on that tradition of platform dominance when it comes out on the Wii U next year. Still, while the game should sell well, its numbers are sure to be held back by the relatively weak hardware base that Nintendo has built up for that system. The original Wii ended up selling 100 million devices, but Nintendo has only managed to move about 4 million of its next-gen Wii U devices so far.
Destiny -- Activision Blizzard
Finally, Destiny is a role-playing action-shooter game set in an online universe that developer Bungie has said will quickly "take a life of its own" through gamers' actions. The title is just the beginning of an exclusive 10-year deal that Activision struck with Bungie, and will be rolling out in beta testing next summer.
Activision has every reason to expect a lot from this game: Destiny racked up 75 awards at this year's Gamescom -- including Best of Show. It's also on track to amass the most preorders of any new game in history. Activision says that its goal with the title has been to create a major brand for the next decade, which could set Destiny up as a strong successor to World of Warcraft as one of the company's key franchises.
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