The stories for this week:
- Many Games March from 2009 to 2010
- UK Gamers to See Price Hikes in Games (but not EA ones)
- Sad (or Happy?) End to Midway Sale
- Realtime Worlds Says They Only Broke Even on Crackdown
- Another Dead Week in Releases
Many Games March from 2009 to 2010
This was probably the biggest news story of the week. Many companies decided to come out and announce that their games were moving from 2009 to a 2010 release. Major games like BioShock 2, Max Payne 3 and the previously announced Red Dead Redemption and Mafia II are all now firmly in 2010 according to Take Two. Also announced as moving was Bayonetta from Sega (at least in the U.S.) and MAG from Sony (although only retail places moved it, Sony has made no announcement as of yet) and Heavy Rain from Sony as well (even though we already knew this if you watched G4’s hands-on at E3 when they said “Spring 2010”). The week before saw the delay of Raven’s Singularity as well as Namco Bandai’s Dead to Rights: Retribution (although was this ever honestly coming out this year…did they even announce that?).
I would not be surprised to see some other games get moved in the near future. Army of Two: The 40th Day is a good one since it wasn’t shown at the latest press junket by EA in New York a week ago. Assassin’s Creed II may see a flip to 2010 as well, although they do have a date. Who knows, it’s just starting to look like 2009 may not be quite the year in games that 2008 was.
UK Gamers to See Price Hikes in Games (but not EA ones)
Watch out United Kingdom, your games are about to see an increase in price thanks to the Pound being weak versus both the Dollar and Euro. Activision is the first one out of the block saying that Modern Warfare 2 is going to run £54.99 (close to $90) whereas games last year were running about £40. More publishers are supposedly going to increase prices, but one big publisher that has said they are not going to raise prices is Electronic Arts. Kind of funny how when Activision overtook EA as the #1 3rd party publisher out there that they also must have changed personalities as Activision is now probably the most hated gaming company around.
Sad End to Midway Sale
As you know this column has been following the Midway ups and downs pretty much since this column began. Sad news is that the Newcastle group was canned and that studio was closed. This week the Chicago headquarters office got canned (60 people, including the CEO), but Warner Bros. is offering a job to all 100 employees of the Chicago development house, so that’s good news. The San Diego development house is still up for sale. It is also rumored that Warner paid more than $33 million to acquire Midway. So, how long before they announce a new Mortal Kombat or will that DLC for MK vs. DC going to suddenly appear?
Realtime Worlds Says They Only Broke Even on Crackdown
In the “What you talkin’ about Willis?” department comes Realtime Worlds saying they only broke even on Crackdown after only selling 1.5 million copies. They believe 2-3 million copies have been purchased though, with those extras coming from used game sales. Anyway, I question them only breaking even selling 1.5 million copies. I don’t know how much of a percentage Microsoft took on sales (and maybe even Bungie for the demo), but by my math 1.5 million at $59.99 (I think it was at this price and not the $49.99 when it was released) is $90 million…and they broke even? WHAT?! Sure, the price of development has gone up, but I highly doubt it even cost RW $45 million to make the game (guessing that they took 50% in the deal, which is probably off) and Microsoft probably even put some money into the development as well.
I’m sure Realtime Worlds is still licking the wounds from a new development house made up of many old RW employees are busy making Crackdown 2 for Microsoft.
Another Dead Week in Releases
Basically what I see is G-Force on multiple systems from Disney (movie comes out this week) and King of Fighters XII on 360 and PS3. Yeah, pretty dead. I’m sure there are other recent games you can spend your time on this week, like all those adventure games from LucasArts on Steam that I talked about last week.