93% of New IPs Fail, Reviews Don't Matter

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Seb
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http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/46874

According to Midway senior VP and chief marketing officer Steve Allison, only 7% of the new game-related intellectual properties introduced across the past four years can be considered successful and review scores had no bearing on the sales of those games. "In other words, 93 percent of new IP fails in the marketplace," he explained on N'Gai Croal's Level Up. "So while the 90-plus review scores and armfuls of awards create the perception that titles like Psychonauts, Shadow of the Colossus, Okami and other great pieces of work were big successes...they were big financial disappointments and money losers."

"The truth is that there is no correlation between review scores and commercial success," Allison wrote in a followup entry. "If there were, 'great' games Beyond Good & Evil, Ico, Okami, Psychonauts, Shadow of the Colossus, Freedom Fighters, Prey and Midway's own Psi-Ops would all have been multi-million unit sellers. The aforementioned games are all games that average review scores of nearly 90 percent out of 100, some even higher. The reality is none has sold more than 300,000 units at full price in the U.S. and a couple of these less than 250,000 units lifetime even with bargain pricing."

Earlier this year, Capcom shut down Clover Studio--the celebrated developer behind Okami (PS2), God Hand (PS2) and the Viewtiful Joe series--a move widely believed to stem from poor sales of the studio's new intellectual properties, such as Okami and God Hand.

So the message is: consumers *don't* want innovation. :(

Seb
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Quality

True, but quality films & music more often than not manage to find an audience (and at least turn in a profit) which isn't sadly the case with videogames.

Bill Loguidice
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Quality versus Name Recognition

I think if those titles had the same type of splashy advertising and were made to seem as "cool" or "hot" as their "safe" brothers, then the end result would be much different. Rarely do art or quality films or music make lots of money relative to their over-advertised and often inferior mainstream, big budget competition. It's no different in the world of videogames. In reality, who other than those who actually read videogame magazines or truly frequent Internet sites even knew that games like "Beyond Good and Evil" and "Psychonauts" even existed? You certainly can't tell their quality as an uniformed consumer sitting on the shelf next to immediately recognizable IP's. That's a big reason why licensed garbage does so well and continues to be a high ratio of created games. It's "safe" and the uninformed consumer has the ability to buy a game based on a familiar property, regardless of the game play being any good.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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