Friday, June 16, 2006

Who Cares?


Has you ever played a terrific game and then salivated for a sequel, but as years passed lost hope of that ever happening (as it seemed like month after month went by and nothing was announced)? Well, there’s always the opposite – game companies releasing unwanted follow-ups to games no one really cared about in the first place. Two recent games – Winback 2: Project Poseidon and Urban Chaos: Riot Response – make me wonder why the developers even bothered putting the game’s data on pieces of plastic that no one is going to pay hard earned money for.

Winback 2: Project Poseidon

The original Winback was released for the Nintendo 64 and then later beefed up as an early Playstation 2 release. A blatant Metal Gear Solid rip-off, Winback’s (N64) main purpose was to keep stealth fans without any access to a Playstation console busy as they couldn’t play the superior stealth title. Decently received, the original Winback was also met with lukewarm sales, so Koei spent two years improving (hoping for it to a hit the second time around) it and then released it in 2001 as Winback: Covert Operations. Although, like the earlier N64 version, it received adequate reviews but totally bombed marketwise. Those who did buy it though mostly purchased it to kill some time until Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released later that year.

The sequel, Winback 2: Project Poseidon has recently been released for the Xbox and Playstation 2. However, I have to ask Koei one simple but effective question: “Why”? You tried releasing the first two versions of Winback at times where you might have sold copies of it, but even then the two games were sales disasters. Now, in 2006, no one really wants to play a third-rate Metal Gear Solid rip-off, especially on the Playstation 2 which has received two incredible installments Kojima’s popular series. Winback 2 has already dropped in price after only being available for a little over a month, signaling awful sales.

Urban Chaos: Riot Response

Ah, Urban Chaos. Riot Response. The original Urban Chaos was available on PC, Playstation and Dreamcast, and its release went by gamers completely unnoticed. It received lackluster reviews, and Gamespot went as far as to call it “…almost completely unplayable”.

I hate to tell you this, but an under-the-radar sequel to a game that sold probably about four copies (which the publisher probably purchased) isn’t going to be such a hot seller this late into the Playstation 2’s life. Hell, even if it did turn out to be a great game, it has not received an abundant amount of marketing, so the future looks dim for any potential future installments of Urban Chaos.

This is a note to game developers and publishers: when no one asked for a sequel to an atrocious or uninspired release, maybe there’s a reason for that. Well, if you’re going to make a follow up a game that flopped, here’s a hint: if you want it to sell, make it ENJOYABLE, and market it a bit. Hey, the game wont self itself...

7 Comments:

At 2:15 PM, Blogger gnome said...

Urban Chaos sounds like fun... Could I play against the cops perhaps?

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Wedge14 said...

I'm pretty sure the intrest level in these two games peaked when you made a blog about them.

The game companies definatly need to cut you a 'slice' if you know what i mean.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger The Elderly said...

Still beats me why a company would risk such an a large amount of money, without adequate marketing, whatever about taking a chance on the quality of the game.

Is there a tax consultant in the audience?

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger gnome said...

There was one... God reast his tattered soul...

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Ross said...

It sounds like fun, Gnome, but its unlikely you'd actually pay money for it...

Wedge, I do deserve some dough from these companies for this post alone... Someone should let them know.

Elderly, it is rather perplexing and pointless to me.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger The Elderly said...

(sweeps up remains of tax consultant)

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Tomleecee said...

I had the first Urban Chaos on the Dreamcast and it was really poor in every area: crap graphics, boring to play and full of bugs and glitches. However, I belive the follow up Urban Chaos game has very little to do with the first one and has recieved quite favourable reviews. As for Winback, I also had that on the N64 and it was rather good - and the N64's only real attempt at a MGS clone. I can't speak for the sequel, but if it's anything like the first it'll probably be a fun little shoot em up. You should give it a try and let us know!

 

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