Author Topic: Licensed games are commercially challenged  (Read 2209 times)

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Offline Stretch

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Licensed games are commercially challenged
« on: May 28, 2004, 08:58:17 AM »
Games based on movies show less than stellar sales.

It has become common that a video game will be released alongside a major motion picture.  In addition to the usual critical malaise surrounding these games, an article from the New York Times reports that licensed games also sell poorly.  The article mentions that of all the licensed games published last year, only Enter the Matrix reached the top 10 in NPD sales charts.


One of the major factors retarding the sales of such games is the tremendous negative history. Only a few have broken through to become huge successes. Dan Hsu, editor in chief of EGM, notes:


Generally, we feel that they stink. We've gone through entire generations of movie-based games that were just no good at all. They are certainly getting better. The Lord of the Rings games, for example, are more highly polished. But gamers are used to a lot of bad stuff in the past, and they are expecting more.  


According to the New York Times, one reason the publishers continue to license is to reach the mainstream audience.  Publishers can piggyback on the massive marketing already paid for by the movie studios giving the game an easily recognizable brand.    Even so, hardcore gamers still drive the market.  Acceptance within the serious gamer community will often garner mainstream support eventually.  These gamers are like the kindling which can lead to the million seller mainstream fire.  As Mr. Hsu puts it:


Everyone is trying to make gaming more mainstream, but it's still the hard-core gamers that get it started. Look at Halo. That's not a franchise sequel or a licensed property, but the word of mouth from the hard-core community really drove the larger market and made it the success that it is.


The link connects to the highly informative and detailed New York Times article.  You’ll need to sign up for a free account, which is well worth it, especially considering their increasing coverage of gaming related issues.  


Offline ootler

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RE:Licensed games are commercially challenged
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2004, 02:32:05 PM »
Warner bros have already destroyed the games industry once.  When they bought out atari and kicked out Nolan Bushnell they made some ludicrous mistakes.  ET for the Atari VCS sold 800,000 copies.  They manufactured 4 million carts.  They manufactured more carts of pacman than there were Atari VCS machines.  I wonder who/what they blamed for that?  Did you know for example that under the WB mantle most VCS games were coded in a week and de-bugged within that week by the programmers who were already working for peanuts under massive pressure?  You can get hold of the internal mails from atari at that point if you surf around for them.

Licensed games have sold badly for a decade now - but because a few press releases have cast blame on arbitrary factors it becomes news.

Some awful games sell.  Some great games don't.  Now, who do I sue to stabilize earnings on an annual basis?

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Offline Infernal Monkey

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RE: Licensed games are commercially challenged
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2004, 05:07:50 PM »
Maybe they should only release them here, then. Both Dark Angel and Terminator 3 stayed in the PS2 top ten for about two months. -_-

Offline KnowsNothing

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RE: Licensed games are commercially challenged
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2004, 05:50:42 PM »
Top ten in Australia:

Superman 64 - 12
Dark Angel - 7
Terminator 3 - 6
Charlie's Angel's - 5 and a half
A Pencil - 2
Nintendo -  LOSE.


And that's it.  The top ten only has six.
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Offline KDR_11k

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RE: Licensed games are commercially challenged
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2004, 09:43:37 PM »
Too bad the number of crappy licensed games doesn't seem to get smaller. Publishers cut the original titles instead...

Offline RABicle

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RE: Licensed games are commercially challenged
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2004, 04:34:57 AM »
Quote

Look at Halo. That's not a franchise sequel or a licensed property, but the word of mouth from the hard-core community really drove the larger market and made it the success that it is.
Sure. It only sold because it was the only good game on Xbox. I mean it's like a horse competing with sheep in a running race.
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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RE:Licensed games are commercially challenged
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2004, 10:42:15 AM »
Quote

Originally posted by: RABicle
Sure. It only sold because it was the only good game on Xbox.


You're not using good logic.  Halo's success can't be attributed to a lack of quality titles, because it was a launch game and did extremely well even at launch.  Halo is so good (and the hype was/is so strong in its favor) that people went out and bought Xboxes just to play it.  It's not that all those people were going to buy an Xbox anyway and just got Halo because it was the best game.  That happens with only a small, extremely hardcore piece of the market.  Most people buy systems for games, not the other way around.
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