Analyst Says Darksiders Was A Disappointment for THQ

John Funk

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Analyst Says Darksiders Was A Disappointment for THQ



Signal Hill analyst Todd Greenwald thinks that Vigil Games' Darksiders [http://www.amazon.com/Darksiders-Playstation-3/dp/B001D7T2VC/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1280162086&sr=1-1] may have been a poor way for THQ to ring in its new year.

Vigil Games' Darksiders rang in the new year with a roaring apocalyptic journey of kicking ass through heaven and hell as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Some reviewers 83 on Metacritic [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/7010-Review-Darksiders]. Despite generally positive reviews, however, at least one analyst is predicting that Darksiders did not pass muster when it comes to publisher THQ's books.

Darksiders must have cost THQ a pretty penny, says Signal Hill's Todd Greenwald, and THQ may not be seeing quite the return on investment it's been hoping for. "Darksiders didn't perform up to THQ's expectations," laid out Greenwald, "likely selling less than 1 million units despite heavy marketing dollars, 2-3 years of development costs, and was also subject to discounting just 2 weeks after its release."

Overall, Greenwald expects THQ's Q1 earnings to be around $347 million come March. While I'm sure there isn't a single one of us who wouldn't love to have made $347m in revenue in a quarter of a year, it all depends on how much they spent in that year - and if Greenwald's predictions about Darksiders are true, then THQ's hopes at achieving profitability may have just been severely undermined.

(Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27060/Analyst_Darksiders_A_Disappointment_For_THQ.php])

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Sparrow

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I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
 

Nimbus

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Oct 22, 2008
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I agree. I didn't see 1 god-damned advert for this game. The first thing I heard about it was my brother buying it for cheap in extra-vision. Seriously, it's their own damn fault.
 

FactualSquirrel

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Wait, there was advertiseng?

Must have been in America only then.

And what is it with analysts, why does it matter whether it was a success, just ask THQ the next time you can.
 

MGlBlaze

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Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
This game wasn't even on my radar until after it was already released; first a 'Context Sensitive' video by Armake21 on youtube (the game didn't look too bad, actually, I'll probably get it at some point) and then the Zero Punctuation video of it.

I never even heard of it before then.
 

sln333

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Man, it got discounted 2 weeks after release. How well did they think it would do? It's one of the weaker titles out so far this year. Yahtzee's countless agonizing descriptions of the main character's look are enough to show the game can't be that great.
 

Christemo

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wow, talk about not knowing shit. Darksiders is a great game, and 347 million bucks is ALOT of money. if he thinks thats a dissapointment, he must have his head stuck up his arse.
 

CD-R

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Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
There were TV ads on all the time for it.
 

TsunamiWombat

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How the hell do you spend millions advertising anyway? Stick a trailer on game trailers, get some websites to put up banners. The kind of people who would play this game aren't going to care about a TV ad - I never saw a MW2 TV AD except the Gamestop ones.
 

Duraji

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Doesn't come as a surprise to me. The game looks laughably awkward at best, and terribly lame at second best. Seriously, a God of War clone with the most vapid sort of character you can imagine?

I honestly don't care if Metacritic has an 83 for it, there's nothing about that game that looks worth $60 to me. I think reviewers need to stop handing out 7s and 8s to every single game just because it would hurt some developer's feelings if they got a more harsh and realistic score, but that's just me.
 

Sparrow

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CD-R said:
Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
There were TV ads on all the time for it.
I didn't see a single one, anywhere. Not on Dave, not on any BBC, not on Channel 4, E4, More 4, Film 4... nowhere.

Then again, maybe it just wasn't advertised in England.
 

Worgen

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Duraji said:
Doesn't come as a surprise to me. The game looks laughably awkward at best, and terribly lame at second best. Seriously, a God of War clone with the most vapid sort of character you can imagine?

I honestly don't care if Metacritic has an 83 for it, there's nothing about that game that looks worth $60 to me. I think reviewers need to stop handing out 7s and 8s to every single game just because it would hurt some developer's feelings if they got a more harsh and realistic score, but that's just me.
*slaps you upside the head* if anything its a zelda clone, the only thing it has in common with god of war is executions, now go back to your cod and other "realistic games"
 

dalek sec

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The first time I heard of it was during Zero Punctuation and a few adverts on tv after the game came out already.
 
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Sparrow said:
CD-R said:
Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
There were TV ads on all the time for it.
I didn't see a single one, anywhere. Not on Dave, not on any BBC, not on Channel 4, E4, More 4, Film 4... nowhere.

Then again, maybe it just wasn't advertised in England.
BBC ads?
 

Sparrow

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Grinnbarr said:
Sparrow said:
CD-R said:
Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
There were TV ads on all the time for it.
I didn't see a single one, anywhere. Not on Dave, not on any BBC, not on Channel 4, E4, More 4, Film 4... nowhere.

Then again, maybe it just wasn't advertised in England.
BBC ads?
Well, if there were, I'm guessing I missed them. Can't have been many.
 

ma55ter_fett

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sln333 said:
Man, it got discounted 2 weeks after release. How well did they think it would do? It's one of the weaker titles out so far this year. Yahtzee's countless agonizing descriptions of the main character's look are enough to show the game can't be that great.
I would trust Yahtzee to give a good objective review about as much as I trust myself to perform open heart surgery with a whip saw and a pickaxe.

I'll form my own thoughts on the game once I rent it and power play it in a day.
 

bjj hero

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3rd person action games are feeling really yawnsome at the moment. I have not seen one I felt the need to buy since the first ninja Gaiden.

John Funk said:
Overall, Greenwald expects THQ's Q1 earnings to be around $347 million come March. While I'm sure there isn't a single one of us who wouldn't love to have made $347m in revenue in a quarter of a year, it all depends on how much they spent in that year - and if Greenwald's predictions about Darksiders are true, then THQ's hopes at achieving profitability may have just been severely undermined.
My understanding is that there is a new UFC game out this year. The first one sold like titty flavoured hot cakes so I'm not worried about THQs profitability just yet.
 

Galad

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While I'm sure there isn't a single one of us who wouldn't love to have made $347m in revenue in a quarter of a year, it all depends on how much they spent in that year - and if Greenwald's predictions about Darksiders are true, then THQ's hopes at achieving profitability may have just been severely undermined.
I thought the average cost of development for big title games these days is somewhere between 5 and 50 millions, so I'd call 350 millions of a revenue a big success, assuming of course, that this is the clean revenue, which it probably isn't. Clearly I know nothing about this industry ..
 

DC1

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I didn't think it was going to make as much as the Saint's Row or Red Faction franchises. Better games were coming out at the time of it's release, anyway. It probably would have sold well as a Summer release.
 

Sephiwind

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Aug 12, 2009
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Jeez they really must have localized their advertisments because my area was swamped with adverts for Darksiders. You really couldn't go 1 hour with out seeing an advertisment on TV.

As for profitability what do people expect, it's a new IP. I thought for it being Vigil's first game it really wasn't all that bad.
 

HyenaThePirate

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1. THe marketing for Darksiders was piss poor at best. The first time I ever heard of it was when I was in the local gamestore and they were asking if I wanted to preorder it TWO DAYS before it released. Releasing it with absolutely zero real marketing during a season when every company is releasing their AAA+ titles is a guaranteed way to make sure your game never even registers as a blip on 90% of the market's radar.

Nobody even had a chance to decide between it and Bayonetta because the only thing we heard about was Bayonetta..

2. Who are these "Analysts" I keep reading about?! They seem to make a living making all sorts of claims and such, but seriously who do they work for, how are they gathering their information, and more importantly, who is seeking them out to get their opinions?! I want that job.
 

Jaebird

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I think this person is disappointed because Darksiders wasn't another Warhammer 40k game; which, given the art style, can fool anyone.
 

HentMas

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Apr 17, 2009
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Thalking about biased oppinions the only time i heard about this game was because Yahtzee made the review... and then i have just heard about it twice

its weird how publicity campaigns can work... or if you are THQ dont do one and hope someone notices
 

VGCATZ

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CD-R said:
Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
There were TV ads on all the time for it.
It seems that the marketing campaign may have been a little targetted. Sky One was practically running on ads in the UK and Ireland for the weeks leading up to the release of the game. Though that may say more for what Sky charge and are capable of doing to get the game out there then about the ad campaign in general
 

Jared

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Jul 14, 2009
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Not surprised actually. I didn't really like the look of the game. Plus at time of release so many other games in same genre came out. Like Bayonetta.
 

Trifixion

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Oct 13, 2009
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I saw dozens of TV commercials for it. There was a huge display for it at the local Gamestop. There were banner ads on several of the webcomics I frequent. Guess it must've been localized to the U.S.

On the other hand, I didn't see a single Bayonetta ad until after the game was released. Very odd.
 

Johnny Danger

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I live in the US and I only heard small glimpses here and there when previews would pop up on various sites. It really didn't seemed to be pushed hard at all.

That said, this is one the best games I've played in a long time and would have been a top contender for my favorite game of 2009 if it had been released a couple weeks earlier.

Unoriginal gameplay mechanics aside, what they "borrowed" is executed well and in the end I had a ton of fun with the game. I can't remember the last game I played 6 hours straight and still wanted to keep playing.

This seems to be a very dividing game though. It just bugs me when people knock it without even playing the damn thing like they have some sort of horrible bias.
 

Niracas

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I saw quite a few commercials for this game, and I went and bought it. Although it was a short game I feel it was worth the 60 dollars I shelled out. I didnt think it was a complete God of War clone and the story was pretty solid. This guy sounds like a total douche to me.
 

Niracas

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Johnny Danger said:
I live in the US and I only heard small glimpses here and there when previews would pop up on various sites. It really didn't seemed to be pushed hard at all.

That said, this is one the best games I've played in a long time and would have been a top contender for my favorite game of 2009 if it had been released a couple weeks earlier.

Unoriginal gameplay mechanics aside, what they "borrowed" is executed well and in the end I had a ton of fun with the game. I can't remember the last game I played 6 hours straight and still wanted to keep playing.

This seems to be a very dividing game though. It just bugs me when people knock it without even playing the damn thing like they have some sort of horrible bias.
I agree completely with you Johnny, this is one of the few games I actually felt like playing over on the hardest difficulty. Also trying to get every extra thing in it done. Hell even after that I still went around and slaughtered demons for fun.
 

teisjm

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Hehe hehe the topics first word starts with anal hehe hehe.

Beavis and Butthead aside, i thought it was a sure investment seeing as it's supposedly a GoW/zelda hybrid with WoW graphics-style. I thought games like that, who just copied popular games we're made cause they we're bound for succes.
 

GamingAwesome1

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CD-R said:
Sparrow said:
I didn't see any advertisements for this thing, whatsoever. Not even a web banner. Yet, even though it sold well, this guy thinks THQ will be disappointed regardless?

Really?
There were TV ads on all the time for it.
I didn't see a single TV advert or indeed any adverts at all for this game. Not a great loss, apparently.
 

Lono Shrugged

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Even though this subject has been beaten to death, I was pretty interested after I heard it got great reviews. I saw the box art however and went "right.....Todd McFarlene is on performance enhancers" It just looked generic and a bit silly, I could not get past the feel of the box art.
When I actually read the review which gave it 10/10 I was really put off by the fact it was copying other games that are renowned for being unoriginal. It just felt like I'd seen it a million times and probably like a lot of people I was looking at my bank account and the release list thinking "Hmmm, AVP, Bioshock 2 Mass Effect 2....nah, I might get it when it goes down" I'd never judge a game by it's cover or theme but there are too many Gothic brawlfests out I'm not bothered trying to pick one.
 

Fearzone

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Having watched games rise and fall over the years I have this to day to developers: if you want to maximize the profits and popularity of your game, then avoid religious themes, and when you do include them, keep it general, and keep it positive.
 

Jharry5

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The only thing I heard about this before its release was a quick comment from a friend. I didn't see one advert for it until after it had been released. They have only themselves to blame...

I might pick it up when it comes down in price a bit further.
 

Crunchy English

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THQ will be fine. Trust me. Dawn of War has an expansion coming up, expansions are usually pretty good money. Plus I expect good things from Metro 2033. If you haven't taken a look at that game yet, give it a look.
 

jubosu

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I saw these advertisements every so often
It may just be me but i care more about things that are going to be EPIC
case and point Mass Effect 2
Similar release time THQ epic phlail
 

Loop Stricken

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RE: Advertising, at least in the UK.

Sky ONe was running those ads for at least two hours a day and...
VGCATZ said:
It seems that the marketing campaign may have been a little targetted. Sky One was practically running on ads in the UK and Ireland for the weeks leading up to the release of the game. Though that may say more for what Sky charge and are capable of doing to get the game out there then about the ad campaign in general
Damnable ninjas!

Anyway, those ads are still going.
 

Rusty Bucket

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Duraji said:
Doesn't come as a surprise to me. The game looks laughably awkward at best, and terribly lame at second best. Seriously, a God of War clone with the most vapid sort of character you can imagine?

I honestly don't care if Metacritic has an 83 for it, there's nothing about that game that looks worth $60 to me. I think reviewers need to stop handing out 7s and 8s to every single game just because it would hurt some developer's feelings if they got a more harsh and realistic score, but that's just me.
Seriously? Did you just say this? You haven't even played it and you're saying that reviewers rated it too highly? Did you actually think about this?
 

Enigmers

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Rusty Bucket said:
Duraji said:
Doesn't come as a surprise to me. The game looks laughably awkward at best, and terribly lame at second best. Seriously, a God of War clone with the most vapid sort of character you can imagine?

I honestly don't care if Metacritic has an 83 for it, there's nothing about that game that looks worth $60 to me. I think reviewers need to stop handing out 7s and 8s to every single game just because it would hurt some developer's feelings if they got a more harsh and realistic score, but that's just me.
Seriously? Did you just say this? You haven't even played it and you're saying that reviewers rated it too highly? Did you actually think about this?
Well, he read somewhere online that it's a God of War clone, that's enough right? right?
 

Johnny Danger

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Sooo, this analyst can suck it, Darksiders sequel announced:
http://ps3.ign.com/articles/106/1066369p1.html
 

John Funk

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Well if your main character didn't look like some hybrid of a Space Marine, Gandalf, and Raiden, you might have sold more!

Also, there was no advertising for it, so very few people knew it even existed in the first place.
 

Pimppeter2

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I think were missing the important part.

Darksiders was a disappointment for pimppeter2
 

sln333

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ma55ter_fett said:
sln333 said:
Man, it got discounted 2 weeks after release. How well did they think it would do? It's one of the weaker titles out so far this year. Yahtzee's countless agonizing descriptions of the main character's look are enough to show the game can't be that great.
I would trust Yahtzee to give a good objective review about as much as I trust myself to perform open heart surgery with a whip saw and a pickaxe.

I'll form my own thoughts on the game once I rent it and power play it in a day.
I understand that we shouldn't take his reviews for granted, but you can't say that this is good character design:
 

ma55ter_fett

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sln333 said:
ma55ter_fett said:
sln333 said:
Man, it got discounted 2 weeks after release. How well did they think it would do? It's one of the weaker titles out so far this year. Yahtzee's countless agonizing descriptions of the main character's look are enough to show the game can't be that great.
I would trust Yahtzee to give a good objective review about as much as I trust myself to perform open heart surgery with a whip saw and a pickaxe.

I'll form my own thoughts on the game once I rent it and power play it in a day.
I understand that we shouldn't take his reviews for granted, but you can't say that this is good character design:
Looks cool enough to me, I wouldn't pick a fight with him at least.
 

Ezra Rainstein

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Greenwald is an idiot. Darksiders has sold over 1 million units worldwide, moving more units than its initial release date competitor, Bayonetta.