2K: XCOM was a success, eats own words

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http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/10/31/xcom-enemy-unknown-a-success-more-dlc-coming.aspx

Take-Two, the parent company of 2K Games and Rockstar Games, said XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a commercial success and that fans can expect to see more content for the game sometime next year.

"The title is proving to be a critical and commercial success, with strong digital sales and a near 90 average review score on Metacritic," Take-Two said in a statement. "XCOM: Enemy Unknown is being supported with two downloadable add-on content packages available this year, with additional content planned for 2013."

The two content packs that were previously announced include the Slingshot Pack and the Elite Soldier Pack.

Take-Two did not disclose any sales numbers for the game at this time, however.

I am honestly surprised in this day and age. Its now official.

What was that about strategy games being "not contemporary?" Again?

Oh yeah, 2K is eating its own words.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/07/13/2k-strategy-games-not-contemporary/

Its a damn miracle a non-FPS XCOM happened at all, now its a double miracle that 2K got a return out of it by following the original formula instead of going all Call of Duty on it.

So what do you think? Will this have any impact on the industry? Possibly challenge the notion that gamers are "retards that need their hand held?"

Will it challenge the notion that you NEED to follow COD to make a profit?

So what do you think?

Ultratwinkie:

So what do you think? Will this have any impact on the industry? Possibly challenge the notion that gamers are "retards that need their hand held?"

Will it challenge the notion that you NEED to follow COD to make a profit?

So what do you think?

Well, about fifteen minutes before you posted this I posted something related on the News Article about MoH: Warfighter tanking. I think that companies won't change particularly, because they haven't already despite obvious evidence that they should.

We are indeed fortunate to get a proper XCOM, but don't expect to see publishers, doing... well, this.

In that final bit on Dishonored I originally mentioned XCOM, but edited it out when I realised that bringing up a reboot from an established team sort of muddied my point. Nonetheless, I'm very, very glad it succeeded, and despite my low expectations, I do have my hopes that companies will notice the vast gaps in the gaming industry, and the demand for interesting and niche titles.

extra content packs next year.. awesome im pleased to hear that i can always do with more x-com goodness

Indeed, the market seems to be slowly shifting. Niche titles are seeing a resurgence, both with big publishers as well as through Kickstarter. Meanwhile, the "safe" bets such as Modern Military FPS games are reaching oversaturation. Also, it's becoming more and more evident that massively bloated budgets are just not sustainable and in fact not needed to deliver a quality product.

Darksiders 2 was a good game that sold fairly well (over 1 million copies, topped charts on release), but THQ stated that 2 million is the break even point. Dead Space 3, as was already stated, needs a silly amount of sales just to make its investment back, forget about actual profit. And then you have XCOM, which likely had a solid budget but nothing like the bloat that mainstream AAA titles have. And it sold like crazy, more than making its investment back and bringing in profits, with even more money down the line through DLC since the game now has a fairly satisfied user base that wants more.

Between the gradual shift in the market and the first big wave of Kickstarter games arriviing, the next few years promise to be very interesting...

Jandau:
Indeed, the market seems to be slowly shifting. Niche titles are seeing a resurgence, both with big publishers as well as through Kickstarter. Meanwhile, the "safe" bets such as Modern Military FPS games are reaching oversaturation. Also, it's becoming more and more evident that massively bloated budgets are just not sustainable and in fact not needed to deliver a quality product.

Darksiders 2 was a good game that sold fairly well (over 1 million copies, topped charts on release), but THQ stated that 2 million is the break even point. Dead Space 3, as was already stated, needs a silly amount of sales just to make its investment back, forget about actual profit. And then you have XCOM, which likely had a solid budget but nothing like the bloat that mainstream AAA titles have. And it sold like crazy, more than making its investment back and bringing in profits, with even more money down the line through DLC since the game now has a fairly satisfied user base that wants more.

Between the gradual shift in the market and the first big wave of Kickstarter games arriviing, the next few years promise to be very interesting...

i couldnt agree with you more there. if they do arrive with rave reviews it will completely change the industry

Ultratwinkie:

What was that about strategy games being "not contemporary?" Again?

Oh yeah, 2K is eating its own words.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/07/13/2k-strategy-games-not-contemporary/

The funny thing about that is XCOM: Enemy Unknown must have been fairly far into development by that point, and he would have known it. I sort of suspect that was clever marketing rather than anything else.

I think it will change the notion of following CoD, I'm willing to bet EA's next syndicate game will be a dodgy knock-off of XCOM:EU, and they still won't understand why their sales are lower than expected.

X-COM did well for itself but it's no runaway success like CoD, don't expect any big ships to turn it all around and follow.
And it's not that publishers feel CoD is the only way to make money they see as the surefire blockbuster sale, the big lottery win that everyone dreams about, and while there is no "WoW killer" amongst them these games still sell like hotcakes just for being modern military wankery.

I'd say this is better for now because I really don't want another cheap rehash genre to start forming, I would like to see some more of these games but only by the people who have a clue.
Heck the new X-COM is great but I'm far from happy with the whole package, now imagine some accountant tries to replicate that... the horrors.

XCOM is a commercial success. Medal of Honor is a commercial failure. This is certainly an interesting time to be a gamer.

The 90's generation of gamers all love Xcom and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it? Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had it's own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing - strategy games are just not contemporary.

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The amount of clueless bullshit talk in that statement is almost too much for me to handle. A real bonafide case of stuffing their own words. All the more delicious with how utterly wrong this turned out to be with Enemy Unknown's success.

Of course, we could always make the valid comparison between EU and the new Syndicate. Clearly doing what's "hot" is not best way to revive an old IP. And not the best way to do EVERYTHING. And in Syndicate's case, doing what's "hot" turned out to be a complete fucking waste.

While the game isn't raking in as much as other inflated franchises, the success it garnered is something quite a lot of overproduced AAA titles fail to achieve. I hope 2k learned it's lesson here, and I hope other companies are taking notes.

erttheking:
XCOM is a commercial success. Medal of Honor is a commercial failure. This is certainly an interesting time to be a gamer.

I wonder what this means.
A game made in a format thought to be too outdated and niche turns out to be one the biggest surprise hits and successes of the year.
And another game made in the same Modern Military format of many, many, many, other successful games turns out to bomb.

It may be hard to use Warfighter's failure as a comment on Modern Military games (Based on my observations, there was never much interest in the new MoH games.) When Black Ops 2 is basically already a commercial success.

It's hard to make predictions for the videogame market in general when things can change or go tits-up with the release of any one game. But I do wonder if BO2 is going to be that one CoD game to finally reach the genre-exhaustion threshold.

I don't know why they'd think that anyway. Strategy (everything that under that umbrella term) is a very healthy genre I think. While you won't see Call of Duty-like sales (which you don't see for anything else, really. So people need to stop using that as a benchmark for success), you see a ton of moderate successes.

erttheking:
XCOM is a commercial success. Medal of Honor is a commercial failure. This is certainly an interesting time to be a gamer.

That's why I've thought for a long time that the FPS genre is actually very unhealthy. Outside of Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield, lots of titles tend to tank badly. And honestly, I get the feeling most people were expecting Warfighter to do badly.

Tohuvabohu:

The 90's generation of gamers all love Xcom and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it? Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had it's own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing - strategy games are just not contemporary.

\

image

The amount of clueless bullshit talk in that statement is almost too much for me to handle. A real bonafide case of stuffing their own words. All the more delicious with how utterly wrong this turned out to be with Enemy Unknown's success.

Of course, we could always make the valid comparison between EU and the new Syndicate. Clearly doing what's "hot" is not best way to revive an old IP. And not the best way to do EVERYTHING. And in Syndicate's case, doing what's "hot" turned out to be a complete fucking waste.

While the game isn't raking in as much as other inflated franchises, the success it garnered is something quite a lot of overproduced AAA titles fail to achieve. I hope 2k learned it's lesson here, and I hope other companies are taking notes.

erttheking:
XCOM is a commercial success. Medal of Honor is a commercial failure. This is certainly an interesting time to be a gamer.

I wonder what this means.
A game made in a format thought to be too outdated and niche turns out to be one the biggest surprise hits and successes of the year.
And another game made in the same Modern Military format of many, many, many, other successful games turns out to bomb.

It may be hard to use Warfighter's failure as a comment on Modern Military games (Based on my observations, there was never much interest in the new MoH games.) When Black Ops 2 is basically already a commercial success.

It's hard to make predictions for the videogame market in general when things can change or go tits-up with the release of any one game. But I do wonder if BO2 is going to be that one CoD game to finally reach the genre-exhaustion threshold.

I want to ask why that guy is sweating so much... but I am afraid I won't like the answer.

This makes me profoundly happy.

Between this and Dishonored, a new IP, apparently doing well... just so happy right now.

The real longevity for games like Call of Duty isn't in the single player anyway. I don't get why they haven't tried releasing a multiplayer standalone title with no attached campaign at a lower cost. They'd probably make some serious bank, especially because a campaign greatly increases the assets they have to develop.

The main stupidity in those decisions is that the white collars see sales of games X and want to follow the FORMULA of said game. While with gamers, well we just want games that are GOOD.

COD4MW sold so well and was received so well because that game is seriously really good. But neither of the copycats can even reach it, including the sequels.

XCOM does so well most likely also because it's good (haven't played it so just assuming).

Moral of the story is obvious, but apparently lost in translation.

BTW I'm not into strategy games but I loved e.g. Red Alert 2. RA3? Piece of crap. Make another game like RA2 and I'll take it, even if it's 2012.

kyoodle:
The funny thing about that is XCOM: Enemy Unknown must have been fairly far into development by that point, and he would have known it. I sort of suspect that was clever marketing rather than anything else.

Youre right about that. What could be better suited to generating a buzz about a franchise that either alot of people had written off, or didnt even know existed, by announcing something that would send its remaining fans into a frenzy?

Well it worked and it put XCOM on my radar in a big enough fashion for me to notice Enemy Unkown and decide it was worth the asking price.

Now i wonder whether Firaxis are going to take it one further and rebiuld Terror from the Deep...

Ultratwinkie:
Will this have any impact on the industry?

no

Possibly challenge the notion that gamers are "retards that need their hand held?"

no

Will it challenge the notion that you NEED to follow COD to make a profit?

no

So what do you think?

n- oh wait, this requires more than a monosyllabic answer...

Well, its success in PCspace was pretty much a given... beloved franchise, TBS, Firaxis. You can't improve a game's chances in the PC marketplace anymore than that unless you add 'free blowjobs' to the formula.

The success in consolespace wasn't a surprise, either. There has always been a healthy market for challenging turn based games there... but they died off about the same time the games industry rushed off to get a mouthfull of mainstream cock and a bank vault full of mainstream cash. Hell, go find and 'old skool' console gamer and poke them with a stick, if they're not bitching about the death of 'proper platformers' they're bitching about how 'twitch gaming' has come to ruin consoles.

No, this won't be what slaps the industry back to reality.

It won't even be something that stops 2K execs saying utterly moronic things... afterall, they were publishers of the the world's best selling TBS franchise when they spouted shit about TBS not being contemporary.

Its funny how I have no experience with the previous Xcom games, and had zero interest in the new one but after watching the Angry Joe review and ZP it actually sounds like something I'd be into.

Still not interested in Dishonored, but xmas is coming and I might actually have stuff to make a list of for once as I only got like 3 games this year.

Not a lot interested me this year.

*Goes back to replaying EO3*

Club G/A, Sword G/F, N/H
A/P, P/M

It could work...

I think the coming years are going to be very interesting for the industry. Kickstarter has already done its job in proving that there is a market for these niche titles. If every last one of the kickstarted games had failed in production and never made it to market, it still would have made the big publishers realize that, wait a minute, there's still some life left in these old genres. There's a definite demand there, with no supply of new titles. Xcom is a brilliant example of a big publisher taking a chance on one of these niche titles, and being rewarded with a tidy profit. I don't mean to say we're going to go to some model where nearly everything is a niche title, but I think we're about to see a lot of medium sized budgets being spent on games that are meant for a specific audience, instead of the more general target of "anyone with a pulse" that we've seen from the big publishers this gen.

Ultratwinkie:

So what do you think? Will this have any impact on the industry?

Probably not, since it will only take one failure to send them back to Call of (Franchise name here).

This might turn some heads short term.

Despite the success, I do not see XCOM (X-COM) having a major impact on what type of games big publishers like EA and Activision keep shoveling out. Strategy games are still a smaller market that is a "higher risk" compared to shooters because more people buy shooters (despite that they may be horribly uninspired rehashes of the same thing that came out last year). I think whats more important is that the failures of AAA shovelware like MoH and the rise of smaller studios will result in more diversity in gaming. Hopefully we can see XCOM becoming a staple franchise that is well maintained and not be milked and rushed like what happened to X-Com.

Edit: I accidentally a word

KoudelkaMorgan:
Its funny how I have no experience with the previous Xcom games, and had zero interest in the new one but after watching the Angry Joe review and ZP it actually sounds like something I'd be into.

I was the same. I mean, I vaguely knew of Xcom before, more recently I heard about it getting a new game (or games?) and that's about it. Well, as well as the random pre-rants about how the game wouldn't follow the exact same formula to the letter and would therefore be "dumbed down" and would suck. And then my flatmate watched a "WTF is XCOM Enemy Unknown" from Total Biscuit - I joined him while my tea was making and in the time it took for the tea to be ready (so 5-8-ish minutes) I was hooked on the game.

I still have yet to get it but I'm pretty confident I'll be making the right decision.

Vankraken:
Strategy games are still a smaller market that is a "higher risk" compared to shooters because more people buy shooters.

I disagree. Smaller market means smaller budgets and lower expectations and that's low risk, comparatively speaking... however, that also means that they're 'low reward' compared to what a successful AAA action title can bring in.

I think whats more important is that the failures of AAA shovelware like MoH and the rise of smaller studios will result in more diversity in gaming.

AAA failures will only give brief spurts of diversity as the publisher(s) cast around for The Next Big Thing. When they find that, it's back to regurgitation city. The AAA games industry works in cycles.

There are already plenty of small studios around, though. What's important, though, is that the internet has allowed for the... well, let's call it the Democratisation of Development Capital. Developers and Investor-Gamers are now directly interacting on levels way beyond the old 'PR gladhanding' without publishers acting as filters and gatekeepers. Now instead of grumpy old developers and even grumpier old gamers griping about how this, that or the other was awesome and someone should be doing it again, they can get all their shit together online and start moving it forward without the blessings of a bunch of bean counting shitheads interjecting.

Some of the best games out this year have been despite the game industry, not because of it. Dishonored, while short, XCOM, while very pandering in the start, and The Secret World, while shell-shocking/ confusing reviewers into exploding their review scales - were all some of the best games I've ever played. These are games that have less than 10% chance of publishing in this day and age, and I feel extremely lucky and happy to have seen them happen. In fact, those three games makes the rest of the year look like total crap. From the dime-a-dozen Medal of Honors, AssCreeds and Guild Wars to these are like night and day.

To me, even as someone who isn't even a connoisseur in tactical TBS of this sort, this game really was the CoD of TBS. So if anything that can be classified as good comes of this, that good is going to be extremely minor in my eyes.

While this is great I fear that at the end of the year blops2 will have outsold everything and publishers will forget that it's one franchise that manages those sales

teebeeohh:
While this is great I fear that at the end of the year blops2 will have outsold everything and publishers will forget that it's one franchise that manages those sales

even if Blops 2 outsells everything ever, hopefully that will mean a move to the sci fi genres away from modern military stuff

The best thing we can hope to come out of this, is Firaxas and a couple more smaller game devs, continuing to make nice tactical games on a medium budget.

Ultratwinkie:
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/10/31/xcom-enemy-unknown-a-success-more-dlc-coming.aspx

Take-Two, the parent company of 2K Games and Rockstar Games, said XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a commercial success and that fans can expect to see more content for the game sometime next year.

"The title is proving to be a critical and commercial success, with strong digital sales and a near 90 average review score on Metacritic," Take-Two said in a statement. "XCOM: Enemy Unknown is being supported with two downloadable add-on content packages available this year, with additional content planned for 2013."

The two content packs that were previously announced include the Slingshot Pack and the Elite Soldier Pack.

Take-Two did not disclose any sales numbers for the game at this time, however.

I am honestly surprised in this day and age. Its now official.

What was that about strategy games being "not contemporary?" Again?

Oh yeah, 2K is eating its own words.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/07/13/2k-strategy-games-not-contemporary/

Its a damn miracle a non-FPS XCOM happened at all, now its a double miracle that 2K got a return out of it by following the original formula instead of going all Call of Duty on it.

So what do you think? Will this have any impact on the industry? Possibly challenge the notion that gamers are "retards that need their hand held?"

Will it challenge the notion that you NEED to follow COD to make a profit?

So what do you think?

i said it once and i say it again:
the gaming industry has lost the "touch"/comunication with his customers completely and is tossing everything that was a success at them in panic in hopes to be "cool and fresh" again.

so i am not really suprised that xcom was a success whereas warfighter stepped on a mine and blew up in EAs face.

the only game i am not sure if it will be a failure is the upcomming rainbow six game


lets hope they go the spec ops: the line route and not go for mass effect

Will it break the current trend of following COD for a profit? No, that's simply been going on too long, and, well, working too much for it to just disappear.

Will we see a change in how developers/publishers look at these things? Yes, I think we will. This proved that you can go with genres/styles that aren't necessarily the "big thing" right now and turn a real profit from it.

I think Medal of honour warfighter will affect things more, though. It may well be the big thing that finally proves that people are getting tired of these trends.

The problem is, it's only a matter of time until the next trend. Maybe it'll be sci fi. Maybe it'll be hack and slash games. Hell, there's a chance it could be strategy.

But another trend will rise, and within a space of a few years, we'll be just as tired of it as we were of COD.

Metalhandkerchief:
The Secret World, while shell-shocking/ confusing reviewers into exploding their review scales...

Almost a million people played in the beta. Less than 1 in 5 bought it on release. Retention of even that tiny pool of customers has been below 50% (mind you, that is industry standard). Are we STILL playing "blame the metacritic" when it comes to TSW's shitbag sales? Are we EVER going to cast a critical eye on the game itself?

I'd love to see Syndicate using the XCOM:Enemy Unknown engine and expand upon it.
Hell, I just want more TBS games for 360!

Hammeroj:
To me, even as someone who isn't even a connoisseur in tactical TBS of this sort, this game really was the CoD of TBS. So if anything that can be classified as good comes of this, that good is going to be extremely minor in my eyes.

As a connoisseur of tactical TBS, I wiil tell that you are right in your assumption.

We have to keep in mind that 2k is, first and foremost, an insatiable business out to make as much money as possible. Even if they acknowledge that XCOM sold well, they are probably not thinking "People like complex TBS, we should make more of those", but rather "If we had streamlined it more, we could have reached a broader audience and made more money".

Even if they continued making more TBS, it would probably go something like this:
Game that is already pretty lightweight in it's complexity gets watered down even more, in order to "appeal to a broader audience". Probably by changing the setting into a modern military setting like COD. Maybe drop the turn-based-system and go for rtwp. Then drop that too for real real-time fo' realz. Then give you the option of taking control of one of your soldiers in first-person to "better immerse the player". And then, water down the tactical aspect so far until it is effectively removed.

If the game had tanked, it would only have confirmed their bias even further. You just can't win with these guys, business and marketing trumps everything for publishers of this size.

Hargrimm:
As a connoisseur of tactical TBS, I wiil tell that you are right in your assumption.

As an ardent fan of the genre going back to the early 80's, I can tell you that this kind of nonsense is incredibly tiresome. The game isn't everything the original was, but there's a good foundation there to tweak with mods.

You know who you can't win with? Video game fans. They'll bitch and whinge and hyperbolize about EVERYTHING. The relentless, grating cynicism isn't as funny or productive as you might think.

As MovieBob said on a different context about a different thing, publishers do that for safety. If they do something different and it fails, they have to take responsability for that failure themselves. But if they make a CoD clone and it fails, they say, 'hell, look at these numbers! CoD sold more units than there are people on planet Earth! The analysis was sound, I guess the devs just didn't polish the game enough. We should withhold their bonuses!'

It does seem that the gritty military shooter's reign is ending, but something else shall soon rise to take its place as the go-to unoriginal video game concept. Just as happened to the GTA wannabe with a poor gimmick that came before the gritty military shooter, and the gritty beat-em-up before that, and the blocky 3D fighting game before that, and the repetitive 3D platformer before that, and the clunky 2D fighting game before that, and the generic 2D platformer before that, and...

rhizhim:

the only game i am not sure if it will be a failure is the upcomming rainbow six game


lets hope they go the spec ops: the line route and not go for mass effect

Yeah, there's still hope for that one. It gave me the same vibe as Spec Ops gave me before launch, and at least they should be lauded for having the Americans be the villains and making sure the main guys don't particularly care about throwing a dude off a bridge if it helps them succeed in their mission of not letting the bomb blow up anywhere important.

BloatedGuppy:

Hargrimm:
As a connoisseur of tactical TBS, I wiil tell that you are right in your assumption.

You know who you can't win with? Video game fans. They'll bitch and whinge and hyperbolize about EVERYTHING. The relentless, grating cynicism isn't as funny or productive as you might think.

Who ever said anything about it being productive in the first place? People like me are cynical because nobody listens and nothing ever changes.

Except when it does, of course. Even the infamous RPGCodex changes it's tune when developers are giving interviews, answering questions on the forum and developing the things they like. But it's mostly just indie developers, so you don't hear about it all that much.

So, that means we've got all the more energy to bitch about the things we don't like ;).

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