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Retail

Tony Hawk: Shred flops with only 3000 units sold in US

Wed 17 Nov 2010 9:33am GMT / 4:33am EST / 1:33am PST
RetailPublishing

NBA 2K11 sells 1.15m units, but DJ Hero 2, Medal of Honor and EA Sports MMA disappoint in October

Activision Publishing

Activision, Inc. is a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products....

activision.com

The most recent multiformat Tony Hawk title from Activision has had a disastrous launch in the US, selling only 3000 units in its first week in October.

According to Cowan and Company, Tony Hawk: Shred was "a virtual no-show" at retail, with another Activision title, DJ Hero 2, also suffering low sales of 59,000 during the two weeks of sale in the month.

Electronic Arts' first-person shooter Medal of Honor sold just over 1 million units during October, below expectations of 1.5 million. The company's latest sports title, EA Sports MMA sold 45,000 units.

The biggest software release in the US for the month was Take-Two's NBA 2K11 which sold 1.15 million units, roughly twice the sales of last year's iteration.

Cowan also noted that the low 6 per cent in software growth for the month was largely due to poor continued sales of games released in September, including Halo: Reach and EA's NHL 11.

Electronic Arts is currently restructuring its development process for its sports titles, while Activision is taking more drastic measures to staffing levels.

Yesterday it confirmed the closure of its Budcat Creations studio, as well as job losses in QA. It has also put staff at Bizarre Creations on 90 days notice as it considers the future of the UK studio.

Tony Hawk: Shred developer Robomodo let 60 staff go last month, revealing that it would no longer be working on the franchise.

24 Comments

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Maybe if some of Activision's Black Ops marketing budget had been a bit more spread out and gone into other titles, they would have enjoyed a bit more success.

It will be a f**king travesty if they close down Bizarre, and I only hope a more supportive and long-term-envisioning partner comes along and buys the studio from them.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Tommy Thompson
Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD)

110 0 0.0
I would blame a lot of these poor sales on marketing. I will confess I was not even aware that a new Tony Hawk game was in development until I saw Shred on shelves last week, nor was I aware of DJ Hero 2's release until the stacks of plastic equipment were put on display.

You can't put together expensive packages like this without giving them sufficient marketing to justify it. While one could argue that the marketing for Rock Band 3 has not been colossal, it is a successful franchise with a large install-base. The game can sell itself really. I doubt it will sell anywhere near as well as previous iterations, though I imagine it will compete with whichever Guitar Hero release we had this year.

Sadly, I would imagine that studios will be closed and more staff will lose their jobs as a result of this. Once the end-of-year financials come in, Activision will hopefully realise what everyone said last year; stop make annual releases to tired franchises.

Edit: I'm assuming Shred was terrible. Anybody check the reviews?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tommy Thompson on 17th November 2010 10:12am

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Sam Brown
Programmer

235 164 0.7
@Tommy: Acti are way ahead of you, they shut Robomodo (Shred developers) last month.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Bostjan Troha
CEO

29 12 0.4
Maybe some new IPs would be beneficial for Activision before CoD meets the same fate as Hawk and DJH.

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Josef Brett
Animator

296 0 0.0
Oddly I haven't seen any reviews for Shred. The reviews for Ride were terrible and I suppose the sales and lack of reviews show the quality of this one.

Posted:3 years ago

#5
i'll be gutted is bizarre go under, they have over the last few years made some amazing games, and some nice side projects and it be a tragedy.

The poor marketing for Blur and poor release time massively hurt sales. i met the guys from freestylegames when they came to dundee and that was the first i'd heard of DJ Hero 2, i looked a good game, anyone seen any adverts for it.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,227 388 0.3
I believe shred uses the peripheral launched for ride, that no one owns because ride didn't do so well.

Me and a good deal of mates loved the first four Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, and most fans of those games I speak to are in agreement that the franchise went sour with Underground. Every iteration now they get further from what made those early games vital, and although I understand at the time the pressure to do something different, if the franchise isn't scrapped, the best bet to win back fans would be to go back to the format of THPS1-3 (3 minutes, collect the tapes), but with levels that wouldn't have been possible on the last generation of consoles, rather than trying to tie in rpg element or free roam worlds or overpriced peripherals.
That said, it may be too late, but putting pro skater 1 & 2 on xbla and psn may be a good test to see if anyone cares. I'd buy them certainly.

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Paul Smith
Dev

189 148 0.8
@Terence Gage

I think this one is down to just how bad the game is, They probably realised this early on and came to the conclusion that it would be a waste of money to market it.

@Bostjan Troha

They have tried new ip's, Blur and Singularity, both good games with zero marketing behind them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Smith on 17th November 2010 1:52pm

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Aleksi Ranta
Product Manager - Hardware

268 124 0.5
I hate to say this but Shred is a bad game. Ride was a bad game. Marketing is a factor but the fact that Ride was so rubbish put the retailers in a negative mood regarding Shred, I know many just refused to stock Shred because of Ride. No amount of marketing is effective if retailers dont want to stock the product.

So the poor sales might be partly due to the fact that retailers didnt shelve the SKUs.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Stephen McCarthy
Studying Games Technology

205 0 0.0
how Tony Hawk taking this?
he was very negative about people not having/liking about the last game.

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Chris Riccobono
QA and Design Lead

10 0 0.0
Things are getting pretty bad for Activision. Hopefully the shareholders have the balls to get rid of Kotick. Reality distortion field, anyone?

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Frank Anderson
Website commentator

3 0 0.0
What does Activision expect when they greenlight a sequel to a hugely expensive flop? Of course who gets the blame? Robomodo. That is such bullcrap when Activision should have had more sense with what direction to take the series in. I mean, they didn't even think to forget about their horrendous skateboard controller and make the new TH use the Move and Kinect. And Robomodo gets the shaft for this? That makes no sense to me. Also, who said that had to release the game this holiday anyway? They must have known that there was little to know hype for this game. Why send it to die rather than try to revap it some and use some of the COD:BO money to buy some advertisements? I hate Activision. They are the worst publisher around... right now at least.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,030 908 0.9
Can't be too much better here in Germany. I have seen stores having stacks of it and they do not look like they move at all. Big plastic in general does not seem too popular right now.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

John Kauderer
Associate Creative Director

30 3 0.1
Why not just make another game like THPS2? Focus on great gameplay and not gimmicks and you might get some sales. Put NeverSoft back on it and reboot from the start says I.

You can't really blame them for not marketing shred though, it seems like they could see the fail coming a mile off. Better to cut your losses.

Closing Bizarre Creations would be stupid. If Activision gets desperate they could just have them churn out great XBLA games.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Wayne Gibson
UK Marketing Manager for GameKrib.com

69 8 0.1
With respect to Bizarre studios this would be a perfect time for Zenimax to swoop in and buy it up since they seem to be on a recent shopping spree. It seems Activision are putting too many eggs in one basket with the CoD franchise in terms of marketing budget. Other titles with a lot of potential are left to suffer. Singularity comes to mind in this instance. I wouldnt have even batted an eye lid at this title if a good friend and collegue hadnt pointed it out to me after he bought it. I hope EA does support a new MoH as the game still has a lot of potential to grow and be innovative if they are willing to push the boat out. Activision seems to be on a slow slope of decline atm. This will only get worse if they dont start re evaluating the potential golden eggs they have.

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Paul Erickson
Senior Analyst

10 0 0.0
EA had the chance to work with the UFC and grab that license for an MMA title years and years ago before the UFC went to THQ, instead they snubbed both the UFC and MMA itself. Once they got the NPD weeklies a few weeks after the release of UFC Undisputed they rushed together a presentation for E3 2009 to announce an MMA title, with no screenshots and no real details on the game. They were rushing to get the thing out the door ever since. I'm not surprised it had problems esp since EA has no brand equity within MMA, but the UFC does.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Albert Schmidt
Game News Reporter

11 0 0.0
The Tony Hawk game should have been canceled last year when Ride came out. The game and controller were very poor and right out of the gate everyone should have known the pending failure the follow up title Shred would have.

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,130 1,038 0.5
Actually, having seen the Wii version of Shred in action (couldn't play it myself because of a ladder fall a day earlier), that version was fun, a LOT more intuitive and definitely very kid-friendly.

I think the problem with the launch was a few-fold. A lack of big marketing, WAY too many peripheral-based games flooding the shelves (even Rock Band 3 isn't doing "stellar" numbers), the poor performance of RIDE which people obviously thinking a sequel wouldn't be improved (when it was), and welllll... the whole Tony Hawk game thing going bust. Hell, he had a great run and there were plenty of great games in the series, but the second you introduce a real peripheral into an extreme sports game, you're asking for trouble.

Nevertheless, I can see Kinect actually helping things out here (as long as the Birdman still wants to put his name on another game). No board, no slipping and breaking your ass or fatal coffee-table injuries when you slide off and crash through. Of course, there are other potential Kinect-related damages that can occuur, but I'd say there's maybe one more decent game there somewhere...

Anyway, the industry id headed for a(nother) crash of its own unless it stops chunking out expensive peripherals, limited editions up the wazoo (remember when all you got was a game, a manual and maybe a nice little comic in the case?) and other nonsense that ends up sitting in a warehouse until it gets picked up by closeout sites and sold on ebay...

g.

Posted:3 years ago

#18

David Spender
Lead Programmer

128 52 0.4
The controller is solid its the games that suck... Too bad really. I was looking forward to a game that finally shined and took advantage of the promise of this peripheral. The sad thing is publishers will be not looking to go down this road again anytime soon even a great implementation pops up.

Posted:3 years ago

#19

David Rider
Publisher

83 0 0.0
Welcome to the law of diminishing returns.

Posted:3 years ago

#20

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,130 1,038 0.5
^Well... so much for that Airblade remake, huh?

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,227 388 0.3
Theoretically would it be possible for people to include the peripheral in XNA indie games, if some clever guy came up with the librarys? What would be the legal position. It's a lot of effort for a peripheral few people own, but it would be interesting to see.

Posted:3 years ago

#22

Jordan Woodward
Studying Interactive Games Design

79 0 0.0
Tony Hawk games havn't been any good for a while now and with the Skate games making a huge impact on the scene this really doesn't surprise me. 3000 is absolutely dismal though for such a huge franchise but I'll agree that it must have a lot to do with marketing considering I had no idea there was a new Tony Hawk game or that it was even being worked on.

Activision really do suck, but I doubt they care considering the huge success they're having with Black Ops and some other titles.

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,227 388 0.3
Activision Blizzard seem to be banking on CoD and Warcraft a bit too heavily, Starcraft has sold amazingly, but it seems this caught some people at the top by surprise how well it would do.
Whilst both are strong now, and probably have quite a bit of life left as yet, what happens when they do bottom out. This could be 2 years, it could be 5, but chances are they won't be at the top indefinitely, and with Tony Hawk's crashing, and Guitar Hero diminishing rapidy, they don't seem to be putting much effort into strenghening new IP to take over, someone pointed out on another thread that when faced with new IP or sequels customers often go with a safe bet, but without strong new IP today, you have nothing to make sequels of tomorrow.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goodchild on 18th November 2010 7:49am

Posted:3 years ago

#24

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