629 views 0 comments

Homefront: Microsoft’s Marketing Plot

by on February 15, 2011
 

Homefront, a game all about Unified Korea’s takeover of the world. Microsoft is putting some major marketing muscle behind Homefront in the form of exclusive DLC and a limited edition console bundle. But why would Microsoft do this with an unproven IP? Hit the jump for a complete analysis.

When I first saw the backstory trailer for Homefront, I was 100% interested. Sure, it’s “just another war game“, but it was one with a compelling story. I felt a need to fight for my country and defend the home front! As time went by, some initial thoughts on Homefront were released on gaming sites, and I started to become skeptical of the game’s quality. I felt like it’d turn out to be an all-star story with D-rated gameplay. As my interest in the game declined, Microsoft had a ‘big surprise announcement’. They announced that DLC for Homefront would appear first, (dramatic pause), on the Xbox 360. This news completely blew me away. Homefront, a new IP from an unproven developer (Kaos Studios), and a publisher (THQ) that is known for publishing wrestling games, not AAA shooters, gets backing from Microsoft before the game is released! Now today, Microsoft puts another rock in the pile – there will be a limited edition Homefront console bundle. WHAT!  Let’s quickly go through the limited edition hardware bundles, it’s a short list.

  • Halo 3
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Splinter Cell Conviction
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Halo: Reach
  • Homefront

Each game on that list, except Homefront, is a proven franchise with a huge fanbase. So my questions are:

  1. Are we at the point where Microsoft will throw its weight behind any unproven shooter just because it can?
  2. Does someone at Microsoft owe a friend at THQ a favor, a really BIG favor?
  3. Is the game actually amazing and Microsoft just wants to show support for an IP that could become a powerhouse?

Regardless which of the above if any, are true, what I am certain about is simple, 90%+ of Homefront’s sales will be because of Microsoft’s marketing. Not only that, I predict the 360 version will outsell the PS3 and PC versions by a huge margin, and that the game will be a critical wash, with an average in the 7’s on metacritic.

Finally, what does Microsoft gain by strongly marketing this unproven game?

Note: Here’s a couple links to actual gameplay.