When it comes to the majority of American consumers once they’ve heard one bad thing about a product, you can almost never get those potential customers back.
Twenty-three days ago, the first footage for Activision’s The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was premiered on IGN’s Up at Noon with Greg Miller on Christmas Eve. Usually, major games don’t put out media or news around Christmas in fear of not being covered but as it’s being part of the Walking Dead franchise it’s really hard to overlook it. Watching the show and clips of gameplay though, I’m sure that Activision intended for this small teaser to go unnoticed.
Just over a week after the footage came out on IGN’s Start channel, a video was uploaded called The Walking Dead : Survival Instinct - First Gameplay Trailer. I felt eerie watching it as if I was having a small case of deja vu. Fortunately, it wasn’t as the footage shown off in this ‘first gameplay trailer’ was just footage ripped from the Up at Noon episode to clamp 90 seconds of footage together that was originally spread out over 15 minutes.
In an interview with Glenn Gamble who gave the original interview on Up at Noon, he declared that the footage in the ‘trailer’ was old footage. If the footage was old, why was it premiered on an Internet TV show then? The next question in the interview, he was asked about what he thought of the reaction of the video. An Activision rep was there to keep Mr. Gamble from saying too much on the reception of the video. Later on in the interview, they go into the fact that there was new footage that was shown off privately to one of the writers for VideoGamer.com. If there is such a negative impression of the game, don’t you think it would be smart to show off the new footage as soon as possible?
I mean, recovering from some bad PR usually is done by celebs by doing something really generous or releasing something new to make people forget about whatever happened. Most consumers have a short-term memory about such things but not showing off new footage in my opinion is only making gamers wonder why there isn’t new footage though the game is due to drop in about two months. Speaking of that release date trailer, doesn’t Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Michael Rooker (Merle) look awkward in this short 18 second trailer? Perhaps, some new gameplay footage, instead of some bad script writing by the two stars, could have been better to tease the title.
Don’t you think all of this stuff piling up would appear as the developer Terminal Reality not being ready to go gold (sending of the game code for certification to be released on all the consoles)? On the 22nd, we’ll have exactly 60 days before release which is usually when the game is announced to be reading for disc production. That’s only six days away and we still barely know anything about the game. Well let’s look into the developers history to see how they’ve previously performed so we can anticipate how well the game will be received.
Known for developing game engines, Terminal Reality was founded in 1994 by previous Microsoft employee Mark Randel & former Mallard Software manager Brett Combs. Neither founder have had any outstanding success before coming to the company as Mallard Software actually closed a few years before Terminal Reality was formed. Fast-forwarding to 2009, there have been two games that have been released by the studio which are Kinect Star Wars and Ghostbusters: The Video Game. As Kinect Star Wars (April 2012) recieved a 55 out of 100 rating, Ghostbusters ended up getting an average score of 78 between the three platforms it was available for. For most people that follow the gaming press, these aren’t great averages especially when you realize that Ghostbusters was Terminal Reality’s best game according to critic scores.
Gathering all the information together that I presented, I believe that, as published by Activision, Terminal Reality’s The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct won’t surpass the average Metacritic score of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. While the Ghostbusters game had a bit of backing by Sony for pre-release public relation communications, we have only seen a few interviews online for the title with two months before the games releases. Where is the ‘up-to-date’ content and game trailers? What do you guys think of Terminal Reality’s Walking Dead title from what you’ve seen of it thus far?