Editor's Note: Critical Success, Commercial Flop

Critical Success, Commercial Flop

Most of the time a game flops due to some critical flaw - crippling bugs, a horrendous license, excessive hype, bad timing, hubris ... . But sometimes, there's really no explanation for a game not catching on with players.

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Why did Bioshock do well? it road the Systemshock 2 fame and was hyped well.

I do no think it would have mattered if it was released later of if the PC port was ported corrected and then released a year later, they jump the gun and released it early and shot it out both barrels.

IMO the game is mediocre the AI is more retarded than the splicers on the screen and the amount of weapons weapons and mods unpolished, at this point and time the patch is not good enough to make me feel like I was not robed of my 30$ used game dollars, I want the SDK thats about the only thing that will save this from being another over rated game.

BS rant/

Now if you ask me 3 things can make or break a game timing,hype and over all quality, timing and hype includes bad press that gets the word out.

Quality is a issue but not as much as timing (getting it out in dry sport or before a big title of the same genre) and hype which includes advertising and getting the word out about the game and what hyperlobe can be made to make the game look bigger than it really is.

Example Doom 3 V Quake 4

Doom 3 was a hotly awaited title and like FF8 drove a wedge in the fan base, from a simple adventure FPS theme to a even more simple gun and gun int he dark theme doom 3 IMO imploded on itself, but ti sold well mostly due to name/hype timing too might have played a factor.

Then lets look at Quake 4 it was long awaited title it managed to deliver a better experience than Doom 3(at least in trems of game not interactive movie) yet was not as greatly received as D3 because it suffers from everything D3 suffered from but the shooting in the dark bit.
if it was more in tune with Quake 2 more than D3 it would have sold better on the grounds it was more fun to play.

of coarse in the end both games sold well enough because of name recognition > hype > timing > quality.

I am starting to believe it comes down to shear marketing, if you fool enough people out of 50$ you can at least break even on the project...

I love to buy games that no one else buys just to make myself an even bigger outcast than I already am.

Beyond Good & Evil should have done better. I just think it wasn't publicized as well as other games by Ubi like the Splinter Cell series. In fact I think it was Pandora Tomorrow that over shadowed BG&E. Too there was a heavy emphasis on FPS game round that time and a lot of gamers were uni-minded in that regard. It's annoying that those who have played the game loved it and demand a sequel and yet Ubi just sits on it choosing instead to make more war games...Oh and LOST.

i think shadowrun falls under this thread, i never saw many adds and no one talked about it. but i dont know anyone who doesnt think it isnt the best thing since sliced bread.

Max Payne 2, the game got great reviews and was a sequel to a game that everyone loved, and it was a huge commercial failure.

Definitely Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. The game received incredible scores that few others have been able to match, yet few bought it and Namco destroyed all copies remaining on shelves.

Now you have better luck trying to find the Ark of the Covenant than finding this game.

I bought Psychonauts just because it was $20 and because assuming it was as good as everyone said, it needed to be supported. Neither I nor my wife have really played it, as neither of us cares for platformers, but hopefully Tim Shaeffer will make enough on it that he will stay in the business and someday make another great game that one of us will want to play.

bulletproof12:
i think shadowrun falls under this thread, i never saw many adds and no one talked about it. but i dont know anyone who doesnt think it isnt the best thing since sliced bread.

THe only version of Shadowrun that was worth a damn was the Genesis version.

Surely "Planescape: Torment" must be the best examples of this.

HalfShadow:

bulletproof12:
i think shadowrun falls under this thread, i never saw many adds and no one talked about it. but i dont know anyone who doesnt think it isnt the best thing since sliced bread.

THe only version of Shadowrun that was worth a damn was the Genesis version.

Amen to that!!!

I dunno, I can't help but feel that there was the potential to do a lot more with Shadowrun-as-an-FPS. At the very least, they could have randomly generated the maps and given the defenders time to modify said map and install some defenses in clever places while the attackers collaborate on a plan of attack based on their increasingly-outdated plueprint. That alone would have helped captured the feel of the tabletop games better than just CounterStrike with Mages and Cyberware.

An MMO backend might make it even cooler, but only if you had a player base who actually cared more about re-creating the feel of the cyberpunk setting than about raising their stats and accruing wealth and power. Eventually you reach a point where the more intuitive the game is, the more jerks play it, the harder it becomes to maintain authenticity... hmmmm... UNLESS... What if it were a sort of Co-Op Massively Signle-player... Each player is the only PC in their area, and they could use a communication tool to get in touch with other players... I guess kinda like COH... meh, now I'm just rambling.

The point is, I think Shadowrun could work great as an FPS or an FPS hybrid, but the PC FPS didn't give the players enough of a chance to come up with a plan, and then ruin the other side's plan. That's the essence of Shadowrun, right? Pitting elaborate player schemes against Murphy's Law?

Thanks for this article, it leads to some interesting games I wasn't aware of. Chances are I'll take a look at Grim Fandango.

Adventures are not FPS, but I never thought of calling them "lacking in actual gameplay." That's as stupid as the assertion that the adventure genre is "dead" - it has been dying for ages, and I'd still be buying Myst games if Rand Miller hadn't discovered 3D graphics and become boring. Another jewel for your forgotten "classic" collection is Activision's Zork Nemesis, my favorite of the whole genre - it had awesome graphics, unforgettable music and athmosphere, and the only disappointment was the ending.

 

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