It was just yesterday when Geoff posted up asking if review scores matter after Resident Evil Racoon City which was an appalling managed to sell nearly 2 million copies.
And then last night I received an email from a local distributor showing how well their game is doing in the UK with Sniper Elite V2 knocking Prototype 2 off its perch in the UK.
Now there is nothing wrong with a distributor trying to pick up media attention for their title and I genuinely applaud their effort. Obviously I’m not just going to rush out and post about how awesome their title is to make them feel better but at least they are trying.
However this morning I decided to check out some review scores for the multiple games on that UK chart and for the sake of simplicity I’m just showing the Xbox 360 scores here, but the PS3 and PC scores would likely be about the same.
1. Sniper Elite V2 (505 Games)
2. Prototype 2 (Activision)
3. FIFA 12 (EA)
4. FIFA Street (EA)
5. Mass Effect 3 (EA)
6. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (EA)
7. Kinect Star Wars (Microsoft)
8. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Sega)
9. Battlefield 3 (EA)
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision)
So we have 3 blatantly obvious outliers in this list, we already know Microsoft spent a bucketload marketing Kinect Star Wars so that explains it’s odd showing and the Wii hasn’t had many games recently and an Olympic tie in (in the country of the Olympics) is obviously going to do well.
But what about that one at the top, I know 505 Games had a fair sized marketing budget for Sniper Elite but so did Activision with Prototype 2. Granted this is the second week that Prototype 2 is on the chart and it’s Sniper’s release week but it’s still unsettling that a game which appears to be mediocre can top the charts with such ease.
So with gaming being such big business now are things just going to get worse, are companies going to continue spending more on marketing and retail presence than on actual development and how are we as gamers going to stop the tide?
Remembering that sites such as ours rely entirely on advertising revenue, do we have to sit back and admit that possibly we are half the problem? How can things be done better?
Is this a real problem in the industry or just simply a minor annoyance and lastly does Sniper Elite’s retail success make you want to play the game despite the mediocre reviews?