When it comes to a benchmark for a video game’s success it is hard not to point towards the wildly popular Call of Duty franchise. With any new IP these days, the main goal, aside from developing a compelling experience, is to take a small chunk from the large piece of pie that Activision’s killer franchise holds.
One property that is looking to, in the future, grab a large piece of Call of Duty’s thunder is Homefront, the alternate reality FPS from THQ. THQ CEO Brian Farrell, when asked point blank if he thinks Homefront could ever attain “Call of Duty status,” said that he thinks it is very possible.
Citing the early sales numbers for the first Call of Duty, Farrell likens Homefront’s early reception to that of Call of Duty 1. The game series started out small, but as Call of Duty continued to grow, and its developer(s) perfected the product, so did the sales numbers.
It’s a process that doesn’t happen over night, it takes time to build a record-breaking franchise. Specifically Farrell says:
“When I think about it, if you go back and look at the original Call of Duty, how they built that, the first Call of Duty didn’t do 18 million units. The franchise was built over time, building a quality consumer experience and supporting it well. And hey, there’s a lot of room between 2.6 million units and 18.”
Of course, Farrell is overlooking a few of the obvious differences between Homefront and Call of Duty, namely the quality of each product. While Call of Duty was a critically lauded PC shooter experience – one that took a played out genre and reinvigorated it – Homefront essentially took Call of Duty’s concept and tried to recreate it with minute changes.
Homefront, in light of the backlash over the game’s length and multiplayer problems, has a much harder uphill battle if it wishes to achieve Call of Duty levels of success. Thankfully, Farrell doesn’t count out some of THQ’s other popular franchises as popular candidates for the crown.
“Certainly you can’t count out Saints Row. We have a great opportunity this fall with that one as well. We have a lot of strong franchises; we’re the market leader in off-road racing with MX, and we’ve established a great niche that we own in these creativity and art-based games, with the uDraw series. We’re still a leader in our real-time strategy games with our Relic Studio, and we’re also building our Space Marine game, so we think it’s the best line up in our history coming out over the next 24 months. And I think it’s one that anyone in the industry would love to have.”
While Homefront might not ever achieve the same success that Call of Duty, most recently with Black Ops, has, developer Kaos Studios has an opportunity to prove that the concept is viable. With a planned sequel in the works, and a vow to improve, Homefront 2 can correct the mistakes made with the first game and, hopefully, put the series on the path to Call of Duty’s crown.
Do you think Homefront will ever achieve the same level of success that Call of Duty has? What improvements would need to be made to make that possibility a reality?
Source: Industry Gamers