The ability to pick up and throw feces just doesn’t have the same power it used to. Michael Pachter, the game industry analyst who called out Microsoft for their demand to be first all the time, decided to slash the estimates for Duke Nukem Forever’s sales figures from 3 million to 1.5 million total units. With that move he asserted that the game will fail to meet the numbers needed to be one of 2011’s best selling games.
While he blamed poor reviews, saying:
“We had previously expected Duke to be one of the year’s top sellers due to a high degree of hype and a dedicated fan base, and expected solid profit contribution as the bulk of development had been previously expensed. However, the game’s poor reviews (average Metacritic score of 49) likely had a negative impact on sales, causing us to lower our [first quarter] sell-in estimate to 1.5 million units from 3 million units.”
Some of the blame can also be placed on other, better, games swallowing up the market. Pachter was ready to admit that (significantly better game) LA Noire will easily be an exponentially more gamer friendly unit shifter – an announcement supported by Take-Two’s report that they had to ship some 4 million copies out for retail alone.
While the news of Duke Nukem’s failure should come as no surprise for anybody who played the game or saw even a few minutes of unbearably mediocre to god awful gameplay, art, and dialogue, the sales figures of current top sellers like Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (which has sold enough units to rake in over $1 billion) not only dwarf DNF but completely blow it out the water. Only at the end of 2012’s first quarter will we really know how poorly or how well Duke managed to convince people to bite the bullet and take the risk of buying the game. For now, though, the backlash at Duke Nukem Forever will remain as scathing and true as ever.