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Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned. DAMN!

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I was browsing joystiq today and noticed some NPD figures that caught my eye.

Nintendo keeps making money off of old games, as Zelda moved 280,000 units in June. As much as people rail about all of the weak 3DS games and how Nintendo is just recycling old material — the check don’t change.

Now look at Ubi’s Child of Eden and EA’s Shadows of the Damned which COMBINED to sell less than 60,000 units.

And you wonder why this industry is so sequel oriented? That’s brutal. And I think in EA’s case that they knew it. There was next to no press surrounding SoD before launch. Nothing at E3. No hype at all except for those big boner trailers.

READ ALSO:  Lords of Waterdeep Review

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

11 thoughts to “Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned. DAMN!”

  1. I didn’t like either of these games (and really kind of hated Child of Eden), but it goes to show that for all the talk about tired people are of shooters, how the industry is out of new ideas, how people want new IPs, blah blah blah it’s all just a bunch of _talk_. What they REALLY want is safe, can’t-fail AAA games that take zero risks and offer polish and refinement of existing ideas instead of innovation and progress.

    There’s also the issue that the consumer is trained to wait for price drops. Used or not, everybody knows that you can wait two months and the price on a title like Shadows of the Damned will come down as much as 60%. I was thinking about buying F.E.A.R. 3 the other day, and I was shocked that it’s already down to $39.99 retail- it just came out last month and it’s 40% off launch day price.

    What does this mean? Something’s obviously wrong with the $59.99 standard price tag. Shadows should have been $39.99 at launch. Child of Eden, with its extremely limited content (even if you play it 30 times, the content is still limited), should have been a $10 download title. The perception of value has changed, and people aren’t willing to take risks on dicier, less polished titles. Most people are OK with $59.99 for Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, etc. but for a game with questionable or uncertain prospects…they’ll wait for the price to come down.

    But yeah…those are some SHITTY sales figures…come on everybody, let’s act like video game forumistas and blame the people that buy Halo and Madden instead of these brilliant jewels…

  2. Child of Eden was really cool, but I admit not for everyone. I’m interested to see if a similar thing happens with Catherine later this month. I’m getting that one too.

  3. I hope not, but I am getting it anyway.

    Nice to see something different outside one of the online services.

    I think it would be an interesting experiment to release a box game that is totally original but packaged like a sequel and see how it sells

  4. Leonard Part 6: The Game?

    Catherine won’t sell well…people are still unsure about what you do in the game, there’s all this bad publicity about how it’s supposedly “just” a puzzle game,and there’s the unusual subject matter. I bet it hits discounts pretty quickly…but it’s Atlus, not an EA or Ubisoft game so sales projections are likely lower.

  5. I’d never begrudge someone else their Call of Duty 6000: Super Leet Edition. But I think the price thing is a valid point. I’m waiting for CoE to launch on PS3, and I bet it will be cheaper when it does launch. I can’t imagine CoE cost as much to make as other games, so charging full price is pretty damned cynical.

    As for new IP: everything is new when it first comes out. Call of Duty came out, once upon a time, without a number or a subtitle. Surprises happen all the time: nobody knew they wanted Star Wars until they saw it.

    Better to save our complaint-energy for improving our ability to figure out what makes some IP succeed, and others fail. I’m sure if the money men could be shown how to Make Quality Pay Off, they would do so.

  6. I’m seriously having trouble discerning exactly what’s going on in this picture. Is he really kicking a skinless ghoul in the junk?

  7. Atlus tends not to plunge as fast as other companies in my experience.

    Mind, we shall see.

    I am not expecting it to set sales charts on fire. I meant well for Atlus instead of, say, NPD well. I like weird shit though and loved the demo so I can handle “just” a puzzle game.

  8. It’s a visualization of how I (represented by the skinless ghoul) felt after spending sixty bucks for that clunker. Garcia in this image represents shitty gameplay and penis jokes.

  9. The price point is an understandable argument but I’d say there were bigger factors at play here than just that.

    You can certainly pull the price point card easier with Child of Eden, but we’re also talking about a Kinect game that hardcore gamers rage about simply for it being Kinect-enabled. The internet rage over Wii waggle and Kinect flailing of limbs probably didn’t help it much at all either. Top that with a game that is very techno/rave themed and you’ve limited the mainstream market that isn’t into that stuff. I doubt we’ll ever see a music game like Parappa the Rapper ever manage to take the more typical “mainstream” by storm again. The industry and audience is too fractured. I mean, did we ever even see any kind of reviews or hype for Major Minor’s Majestic March around the blog-o-sphere? I didn’t realize it actually got a US release until I checked amazon for it as I was writing this post.

    I’m a guy that can still justify $50-40 bucks for the first Ninja Gaiden NES game though, and look how long that takes to play any more.

    I can’t say as much about Shadows of the Damned because I was immediately turned off by the humor they wanted to sell. The first Big Boner video was funny for the minute and a half the video had. After that though, it totally wore off on me. I’m way over the humor they tried to sell there. This is where I say something about how dick jokes just don’t get a rise out of me anymore. Har-de-har-har. The middling reviews that kinda harped on the gameplay didn’t help either. Grasshopper+Miakami or not, I think the industry took the game about as seriously as the game took itself. I’m not starving for mindless butt/fart humor regardless of Duke Nukem Forever finally releasing.

    I feel that neither of these games really provided the full package/polish that a good new IP needs to produce break out sales.

    I’m more worried (Note that I’m not saying I’m surprised here though) about how yet another re-release of an old Nintendo game for the 3DS is making so much money myself. To me that’s scarier that these sales figures, Ocarina of Time or not.

  10. Well now I feel bad. I want to play this, but I was waiting for a price reduction on Amazon. Have I done the wrong thing?

  11. Furthermore, anytime you sell a niche Japanese game without including the original Japanese audio track, I’d wager you lose a certain fraction of your audience right there.

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