411 Games Fact or Fiction 02.07.12: THQ, Xbox 720, Simpsons Arcade and More!
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 02.07.2012
Would the Xbox 720 not playing used games wreck its sales? Will THQ go under? Will The Simpsons Arcade Game sell well? 411's Adam Larck and Dan Watson debate these topics and more!
1: Due to all the reports of stock delisting and layoffs THQ will go under by the end of 2012.
Adam Larck - Fiction: I think they'll be around for at least a few more years. This year, the company has Darksiders II, UFC Undisputed III, South Park: the Game and the next WWE title, and they have some big titles already in the works for next year. Sure, the uDraw may have hurt the company, but I think they'll be alright, at least for the next few years.
Dan Watson - Fiction: THQ will probably be bought out by another company or spin off into another name but in the end the company will remain around. I think we will see a decrease in high risk games like UDraw and more focus on the WWE series and possibly the another Saints Row game or a title similar to it. THQ has had a pretty good life as a company when you think about how long they have been around and some of the titles they have created. At the same time, they have taken a few too many risks that have lead to them being in this position. Here is a tip for fellow game companies, stick to what works and minimize risks. It is okay to take a risk on a title or two a year but when you start making that a monthly occurrence that is an issue.
1 for 1: I think we are seeing the decline of THQ as an independent company. If THQ is delisted then someone will buy them out.
2: You prefer the 38 Studios "Day One DLC" incentive to buy Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning instead of the no multiplayer for people who buy used games.
Adam Larck - Fact: I'd rather see companies add extra content then take big features out. It's the same reason I like Dragon Age 1's DLC with Shale as a new character. This is what the Project $10 should be, extra incentives to make you buy the game new. Just taking modes out, or an entire multiplayer out, just seems cheap and the easy way out.
Dan Watson - Fact: I would support anything over taking away parts of a game if it is bought used. I am assuming that you are talking about situations like the sports games that make you enter a code to activate the online section and if you have bought it used you don't have that access. WWE 12 did that this year and I did buy the game used. I refuse to ever pay for online access if I have to get a code that only lasts one year. I played the hell out of single player but never thought once about buying the access code.
2 for 2: This seems to be a better solution than punishing people who do not have $60 to spend on an unknown new IP like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
3: A report on Kotaku says that the XBOX 720 will not allow people to play used games (from an unnamed source so take it as you will). This will not hurt XBOX 720 sales when released.
Adam Larck - Fact: Sure, fans may be ticked by it, but they'll buy it none-the-less. Used game sales are good, but when it comes to a new system people will still buy it to check out the newest games. The better question is if this is actually true. Until Microsoft announces it, I'm just not believing this report.
Dan Watson - Fact(if this is true): If Microsoft goes this route, I would be 100% behind an all out boycott. Gamers cannot afford to keep buying games at $60 or more each month for top titles and then take a risk or two on smaller titles but still paying $60 a pop. If Microsoft goes this route they need to find a way to get the cost of games down to around that $40-$50 price range as well as make DLC free again. Why should I pay $60 for Call of Duty, then spend $15 for 5 maps when they should be included in the game. This goes for all games. At the current trend, I would not be surprised to see sports titles charging for roster updates soon.
3 for 3: I think if Microsoft is thinking about doing this it will be shot down pretty quick. Sony would love it though. Allow the PS4 to play used games and watch consumers leave Microsoft very fast.
4: Trion introducing Rift Lite (a free to level 20 version of Rift) will end with Rift being free to play by the end of 2012.
Dan Watson - Fiction: I did a bit of research on this but not enough to be considered an expert by any means. There are plenty of titles in the PC realm that offer this free to level whatever and then you have to pay. I think this is a great way to get people to try the game but ultimately do not see this as the company saying we are going to make it entirely free to play anytime soon. Maybe by mid 2013 when other games have come along and Rift is outdated but not by the end of this year.
Adam Larck - Fact: This seems to be the way most MMOs are going, and in most cases it proves more successful. I think Trion's introducing this to try to get more interest with The Old Republic and WoW being the bigger competition. However, by the time everything is said and done, I think Rift will join Lord of the Rings and DC Universe as being free. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. In fact, it may get more people to check it out.
3 for 4: I think with Old Republic out now, and Guild Wars 2 coming out this year, we will see Rift go F2P to try and keep player numbers up.
5: Vita games being cheaper to download than the physical version will encourage more people to buy virtual games than an actual, physical, copy.
Dan Watson - Fact: This is an idea I can get behind. I would love if all companies took this approach. I hate having disc cases around and even more hate having old game stuck with me. Let's take this idea a step further and allow a gamer to return the game after it is beaten for a discounted price or to gift it to a friend. Imagine having a dashboard app that is like a big trading house. I trade you my copy of Madden for your copy of NHL. I think this could really turn into something and have stated before I am a big fan of this concept. This would be okay if Microsoft did this while banning used games. They could call it a green movement and create a trading system and resale system. We know that you go to Gamestop or anywhere else you are going to get ripped off trading games in, so it isn't anything new. Good job Sony for going with a great idea.
Adam Larck - Fiction: Sure, people like to buy Arcade games and PlayStation Network games because it's the only place to find it. However, when given an option, I think people still prefer to have a physical copy to hold. If the price is a good discount, it may sway more people's minds. However, I still think physical copies will do better in the long run.
3 for 5: Unless we are talking a $10 to $15 discount I think most gamers would want a physical copy of a game over a downloaded one.
6: You are looking forward to the release of The Simpsons arcade game on PSN and XBLA and will purchase it.
Dan Watson - Fact: I loved this arcade title. I purchased the similar titles of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as X-Men. This will be a great addition to my arcade library and I look forwards to it coming out. I do not want them to even update the graphics, just leave them as they were and allow me to just have fun with a great retro arcade game. The price is probably going to be a bit concerning but nothing you can really do about that. Once it comes out feel free to join me on Xbox Live with my gamertag Dag821.
Adam Larck - Fiction: Am I looking forward to it? Sure. I know eventually I'll check it out and have some fun. However, I won't be purchasing it anytime soon. I have plenty of other games to keep me busy right now. I'll wait for the eventual Deal of the Week promotion and keep working on some other things for now.
3 for 6: I will pick this up and play it with my friends for a week or two and then the game will probably not be played after that time frame.
Bonus Question: You think The Simpsons arcade game will sell better than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game and the X-Men arcade game on PSN and XBLA.
Adam Larck - Fact: I think people remember the Simpson's game the most when it comes to the old arcade beat ‘em ups. Plus, players have waiting for this game for so long that they'll be waiting to buy this. We'll never see numbers for the sales of this game, but I think that Simpson's will top both of them in the long run.
Dan Watson - Fact: I think only because there are more people playing Xbox now than in the past. The Simpsons are a recognizable if not over the hill name. All generations know who they are where as Turtles were a bit more limited to kids in the 80s and 90s (minus that really terrible movie they put out a few years ago). X-Men has a following but not quite the same as the Simpsons. I think this will outsell both games mentioned.
Daniel Anderson - Fact: I think this game will sell more copies than either TMNT or X-MEN just because of the Simpsons name. It is a more recognizable brand among most people than TMNT or X-MEN. Sad but true.