Why Haven't The Big Games Sold Well Recently?

A couple of big games came out in September, and it turns out that several of them haven’t met various sales expectations. Take Halo: Reach. A fine game (for a console shooter/Halo game), but it *only* sold 3.3 million units. A prominent analyst at Cowen & Company (an investment services group) had officially predicted 3.75 million. Believe it or not, that’s bad news for Microsoft and not the person who made the prediction. Okie dokie.

The very idea of *only* selling 3.3 million games (times $60 a pop, that’s just under $200m) and that being a disappointment is crazy, but here we are.

Another game that hasn’t done too well: Nintendo’s Metroid: Other M. Of course we can’t know for sure how well (or not) it did because NPD has altered the way it reports sales.

Not shocking: Guitar Hero: Legends of Rock only moved 86,000 units during its five days of availability. Pretty sure that cow is done giving milk.

So, what gives? Big games, or games the “should” be “big,” aren’t doing as well as you’d think.

I think we’re sorta in a rut creatively right now: how many years in a row will Call of Duty, or its derivatives, occupy the top spot on the consoles? Medal of Honor‘s multi-player mode, based on a few hours of playtime, is pretty much Battlefield: Bad Company 2, but with smaller maps.

That’s probably why Minecraft has done so well: it’s different. (It’s also why I have high hopes for Okamiden, even if it’s a sequel. It’s not a played out sequel.) $60 for a re-skin of the same military shooter just seems daft.

And doesn’t Metroid: Other M suffer from some game-breaking glitch? Why buy that before it’s fixed?

This whole industry could use a spark of some sort.