So Why Listen?

We all see the numbers each week for sales of whatever somebody finds interesting, be it games, consoles, Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD sales, or what have you. With each of these topics, we see multiple sites quoting multiple analysts about some number or trend regarding the direction these products are going. One camp says they are tops in this region. Another says the first is lying and they are in first. The last says the second made a statement that wasn't true about widget 4. You see where I'm going with this, right? With all these PR people trying to spin their product why should be listen? What do we get out of it? The truth is most definitely something we don't get, and the numbers can lie.

If a good game, by good I mean well designed and critically praised, under sells its potential, does that mean it was a bad game? Of course it doesn't. We've all seen the results of what happens when a publisher fails to promote a game that may be a little out of the norm. We get Madden (a game that shows very little innovation from year to year) shoved down our throats each and EVERY year, but a truly unique game like Psychonauts, gets less press coverage and no on air advertising. Clearly Psychonauts was less of a mainstream game and it didn't sell very well, so if the numbers are correct it must have been a bad game. Let's look at Kane and Lynch, a game that was given not so hot reviews by pretty much everybody. The sad thing about a game like this is that it wasn't a great game (which the developer and publisher had to know) and still had a HUGE marketing campaign to back it. Conversely, we see badly reviewed games, poorly designed and difficult to play, get up in the sales charts all the time. They may not be horrible games, but they're probably not as good as an Okami or some other non-typical game. Back to Kane and Lynch, will it sell better than Psychonauts? Probably. If it does sell more, does that prove that it was the better game? Not a chance.

I've given up listening to all these charts and numbers that everyone puts out. The only number that matters in my life is little ol' number one: Me. I know what I like and what I'm likely to buy. Am I going to let Microsoft's or Sony's number games influence my buying decisions? Don't count on it.

Don't buy in to the PR schtick and stick to what you like. Let's stop crap from getting so much attention.


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