With ratings for Homefront lower than expected, and investors abandoning ship as a result, THQ isn't worrying one bit. The publisher is shifting their attention from the lackluster singleplayer campaign of Homefront to the game's multiplayer modes. THQ has released the game's day-one sales numbers, and credits the overwhelming activity of the game's buyers in the online multiplayer game modes with the success. Nobody can accuse the publisher of failing to look on the bright side.
After Homefront's less-than-spectacular reviews led to THQ's stock dropping and reduced prices at major retailers, the publisher is making it clear that a singleplayer campaign isn't all it takes to achieve success in the shooter genre.
The developers sent a message to their fans via Twitter that the multiplayer activity after the first day had exceeded their predictions, and they were in the process of adding more dedicated servers to meet the demand.
So with the day-one reaction to Homefront being that of some disappointment with the previously-lauded story, but greater than expected multiplayer activity, THQ has now released their launch day sales numbers.
With sales of 375,000 copies in North America, and global releases still forthcoming, the opening day is nothing to scoff at. The publishers of Homefront, now described as a "thrilling first person shooter with outstanding multiplayer" are showing that the plan for now is to cut their losses, and embrace the elements of the game that have resonated with the gaming community.
THQ's Executive VP Danny Bilson has wasted no time in finding the silver lining, shifting public attention to the parts of the game that have yet to be attacked by reviewers:
"Homefront’s excellent multiplayer experience, combined with our commitment to dedicated servers, make this a must-have purchase for gamers...Due to the strong and growing demand for Homefront’s multiplayer, we continue to add dedicated server capacity. We are confident that the large-scale multiplayer maps featuring 32 players, vehicles, infantry and drones, will continue to be a major draw for the huge audience of FPS gamers looking for a new experience over the coming months.”
You can't blame the publishers for wanting the general discussion of the game to revolve around its successes, even though our review of Homefront wasn't as harsh as some. Given Kaos Studios' history with multiplayer, it's no surprise that Homefront would scratch the online itch for many, but whether that's enough to drive future sales of the game remains to be seen.
Perhaps THQ could start asking reviewers to release separate ratings for the game's online component, since they desperately need to generate some positive buzz for the upcoming European and Pacific launches.
We'll keep you posted on the continued sales numbers for Homefront, available in North America now for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and OnLive.