Homefront's release has been mired with negative report after negative report. Reviewers have been giving the game average scores, and the game's metacritic score currently sits at 71. Our own review of Homefront definitely fell close to that mark, citing moments of brilliance, but not enough substance to live up to the hype generated for the game pre-launch.
THQ remains optimistic about its controversial new shooter, and maybe it has to be after its stock plummeted 21% to $4.69 during the first day of Homefront's release. Things haven't improved much since, with THQ's stock closing at $4.54 -- down another 15 cents overall -- since Tuesday's close.
THQ's most recent bout of optimism came regarding the price drop yesterday. Many perceived that drop as a sign that the title was going to perform weakly in the long haul, with retailers trying to dump copies of the game while they still could. THQ wanted to make it clear that this was not the case, and that the one day sale was not their doing.
"Amazon and Wal-Mart.com have raised the prices back up... it was a one day play to gain market share on the biggest title in the industry right now. THQ did not support this in any way shape or form."
Biggest title in the industry right now might be perceived as reaching, but if THQ is only looking at this week, then they don't really need to reach that far. Not at all deterred by the drop in the value of its stock, THQ was proud to announce that the total launch day sales of Homefront in North America totalled 375,000 units. With this strong start, and the additional sales caused by the temporary price drop, maybe word of mouth will be enough to carry the title on to its minimum target of 2 million copies sold.
THQ isn't alone in its faith that it will be able to reach its target. Colin Sebastian, an analyst for Lazard Capital Markets, expressed a great deal of support for THQ.
"We remain comfortable with our F4Q estimate of 1.5 million units of Homefront, following the company's announcement that first-day sales at retail hit 375k units in the U.S. We are also encouraged by the initial conversion of pre-orders to sales, despite some disappointing critic reviews."
"Looking ahead, word of mouth will become more important as gamers explore the online multi-player levels of the title. We note that Homefront also launches internationally this weekend."
International sales should help propel the game's sales numbers further, but whether or not foreign gamers are going to be interested in Homefront still remains to be seen. The game's campaign relies so heavily on feelings of patriotism for one's country that it's not a stretch to imagine that international gamers will take little interest in feeling patriotic for a country that is not their own. For this international launch, the multiplayer component will be a much more important factor, and so far that component of the gameplay has been met with the least criticism.
Do you think that Homefront can sustain sales long enough to break even at 2 million copies, or will it flounder and fade into the past like so many other shooters before it?
Homefront was released earlier this week in North America for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and OnLive, and today in Europe.
Source: Industry Gamers, Metacritic