Showing posts from March, 2011

THQ Defends the Homefront: Life Imitating Art Edition

Despite massive investments on the front end, most publishers abandon recently released boxed titles, leaving to fend for themselves like orphans in Dickens' London. Can anyone point to support for Ride from Activision, or Saboteur from EA after launch. Even Mercenaries 2 was left flapping in the wind. But THQ either picked something up during the development of Homefront - thank you John Milius - or chose this time to display the massive set of balls tucked away in the closet for so many years.

As I wrote a couple days ago, the company took an unfair valuation hit due to the compounding effect of a low Metashitic score coupled with an overzealous gaming press. The press ignored the downward trend of the entire industry for the days leading up to the decline and slammed THQ, leading to uncertainty in the financial market. Those guys in mainstream somehow believe the game journalists are experts and use their drivel to provide advice to their clients. The problem is exacerb…

Metacritic Attacks on the Homefront: Call to Arms Edition

Metacritic is an intrinsically flawed concept based on a corrupt ecosystem. It would not be an issue of the game business, like film, music, television and everything else tracked by Metacritic ignored the numbers. I have never seen a film’s failure supported by a headline pointing to Metacritic. Nor have I seen the film press trumpeting the unthinkable number one position at the US box office of Battle: Los Angeles despite its score of 37 – a number which would get any game development executive fired. Why then, do all of the major game news outlets report THQ’s lost 26% of its market value yesterday because Homefront got a 71 – unless you look at the sidebar which says it got a 72, or PS3 which got a 75. Using this logic, we must also conclude the most recent add on DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops did not sell well because it scored an anemic 78. and we should be stumped by Take Two’s decline despite the 88 achieved by Top Spin 4 on the same day as Homefront. Maybe this i…

In Defense of Console?: The Sky Is Not Falling Edition

Before I get started I have to say a word about priorities The first quarter is always a tough one. Products, trade shows and return to work always conspire to make this period a difficult time to prioritize our lives. Last week I was smacked in the face by the deaths of two people well before they were done living. They both spent extended periods of time fighting disease, so the deaths were not a surprise, but nothing can prepare kids who are still kids bury their parents, or parents to bury their child. It is the wrong order of things. I hope no one reading this has to see these things around you, and especially not coming in pairs in a single week. Then we were all struck by the incomprehensible tragedy in Japan. With all of our friends and colleagues in our business tragedies that seem so distant when they happen in other parts of the world, suddenly strike very close to home. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I must put down in text that as much as we get wo…