Tony Hawk: Ride Face-Plants, Sells Less Than 114,000
When I first heard about Tony Hawk: Ride, I figured, "well, Activision has yet another massive franchise; they've really got this innovative interaction thing down."
And then Arnold told me he sampled it several months ago and it played terribly, which really surprised me. And it seems Robomodo didn't bother to fix the issues so we ended up with a very poor effort, contrary to what Mr. Hawk himself has to say about the game. Now, those who continue to believe that review scores mean nothing should really pay attention, considering this is one game that - if such a theory was correct - should've rocketed to success on name-brand (and celebrity) recognition alone. But instead, after its November 17 launch, we learn from the latest NPD numbers that Ride hasn't even sold 114,000 units in the US, which falls well short of expectations on the publisher's side. But those analysts, they know how crucial review scores are and predicted this marketplace flop and of course, it couldn't help that the Ride package is priced at $120. Tony Hawk isn't about to take this lying down, though. As he said in a recent Twitter update:
"Most snarky critics had their minds set before ever seeing/playing the game. I'm proud of what we created; it's innovative, responsive and fun."
Sorry Tony, if any of them "had their minds set before ever seeing/playing the game" (which is an insulting accusation, by the way), it probably would've been set in the other direction, given Activision's history of innovation with new peripherals and the excellent success of the Tony Hawk franchise over the past 12 years or so. The bottom line is that the board peripheral simply doesn't work. Believe it or not - and this goes out to some critics, too - there is such a thing as "bad innovation." Hell, I've played lots of games that tried to do something new but you know why you never heard of 'em before? Because the implementation sucked and hence, the gameplay sucked. It happens.
Related Game(s): Tony Hawk: Ride
12/11/2009 10:31:42 AM Ben Dutka