NEWS - Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Faction Future in Jeopardy

Red Faction: Armageddon didn’t really manage to stand out after being released last month. THQ shared its first quarter fiscal results today, and Armageddon’s sales came in below expectations. As a result of its lack of success, the franchise doesn’t sound like it has much of a future.
 CEO Brian Farrell talked about how the game didn’t resonate with a "sufficiently broad console audience." THQ as a whole didn’t do as well as it expected during its first quarter, with Farrell saying he was "disappointed." Unlike Homefront, which was considered "moderately successful" and will be seeing a sequel, THQ doesn’t have much in the way of plans to move forward with Red Faction.
"Given that that title now in two successive versions has just found a niche, we do not intend to carry forward with that franchise in any meaningful way," said Paul J. Pucino, THQ’s chief financial officer. He said that developer Volition is a "very talented team" and has moved on to develop Guillermo del Toro’s game, Insane.
Earlier in the conference call, Farrell explained what is now necessary for THQ games: "Moving forward, our core game titles must meet a very high quality standard with strong creative and product differentiation, appeal to a broad audience, and be marketed aggressively."
THQ has previously talked about how publishers can no longer get away with selling average games, but it didn’t seem to believe Red Faction fit into that category. Red Faction Guerrilla was believed to have established RF as a "major core franchise" along with Darksiders and UFC, and just last year it was among the reasons Farrell believed rival publishers should be envious of THQ. Hell, there was even a Red Faction movie made for the Syfy channel to help promote Armageddon.
Despite releasing fairly early in the month (June 7), Armageddon failed to make the top ten sales chart in the U.S. for June, according to the NPD Group. One of its hooks was its destructible environments, but as a feature that’s becoming more and more commonplace, it apparently didn’t offer enough to lure in a sufficient number of gamers for THQ to feel it has a promising future. That’s not to say we’ll never see a Red Faction game ever again, just don’t expect to see one in the near future.


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