Resistance 3 Sales - Does Sony Still Care About The PlayStation 3?
Resistance 3 is supposed to be a big exclusive for Sony, a first-person shooter (FPS) series that helped launch the PlayStation 3 (in arguably one of the worst videogame console launches of all time) before molding into one of the platform holder's premier franchises.
However, first-week sales for the game are anything but impressive, bordering downright pathetic leading into arguably one of the most competitive few months in the industry in a long time (Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Gears of War 3, Forza 4, Batman: Arkham City, just to name a few).
Where did Sony go so wrong in its marketing for Resistance 3, and is Uncharted 3 on the same pathway to retail destruction?
Probably not. Simply put, Resistance 3 was never that much of a franchise, but it did hold up as a very solid FPS series with an intriguing story (now, if only the developer could actually execute the story on a level that gamers can appreciate).
It is very troublesome to see the game's sales, though, and the figures do raise some questions as to Sony's handling of a game that could very well have the potential to move hardware on its own accord.
The fact that the third game in a series can only sell a mere 274,000 copies of the game (only just surpassing Resistance 1's first-week figures by a mere 30,000 -- remember: the first game was a launch title) for a console with an install base of roughly 53 million is disappointing to say the least, but not at all surprising.
Why isn't it surprising? Well, looking back over the past few months, we've been subjected to anything but Resistance 3. A few dev diaries here and there, a nice little Alice Springs reveal to get Aussie gamers excited and some multiplayer footage didn't really do enough to get the game hyped up, all the while Microsoft was absolutely whoring the crap out of Gears of War 3.
Are the sales of Resistance 3 indicative of the game's quality, a dying franchise, a crashing genre or a platform holder more focused on its upcoming handheld?
I personally think the latter, and to me, Resistance 3 kind of felt like an afterthought. I'm constantly bombarded with videogame updates and trailers on a daily basis and the games with the most attention and hype are generally the ones on my mind.
Surprisingly, Resistance 3 kind of crept up on me. Gamescom 2011 came and went with little to no information on the game, and apart from some wisecracks from the retired and then reinstated Kevin Butler, the game was blanketed under a bombardment of Vita info and hype from the Tokyo Game Show.
Japan's annual videogame extravaganza came and went, and we came out of the show with Vita information overload (not that that's a bad thing!).
I've been thinking about this lately because I had heard word that Resistance 3 had gotten off to a bad start, and now these sales figures all but confirm those concerns. The entire situation is eerily reminiscent of the latter years of the PlayStation 2 era, as Sony was ramping up its support for the PSP through 2004, leading into its revealing of the PlayStation 3.
This might very well be a non-issue -- a mere fault on Sony's behalf for not marketing a game at a level indicative of its quality and standing among the install base -- but it seems incredibly unlikely that such a major release would be so blantantly ignored if it is as important a franchise as Resistance is made out to be.
It's a shame, because Resistance 3 is actually a very enjoyable shooter -- both online and offline -- and arguably the best in the trilogy. And yet it's come at a time when its publisher is shifting its focus to new hardware, while third-party publishers ramp up their support for upcoming blockbusters.
By Gaetano Prestia
Did you buy Resistance 3? Do you think it's been neglected on the marketing front, and if so, did this contribute to its poor first-week sales?