Boys and girls, just look at that headline right there. Aliens: Colonial Marines (also known as Colon Marines here at NAG, because it’s such a crap game) has sold 1, 310, 000 copies in Europe and America. Over a million copies of arguably one of the most rubbish game to come out of this generation, and definitely the most rubbish game of 2013 so far. By generally accepted publisher mentality, the game should get a sequel.
Despite the fact that you might have been burnt by this game, let’s look at these figures objectively because they provide proof of two things. The first thing is that it proves there are people out there who purchase games even though the title might have been critically panned. Those people might also be the type that buys games based on covers or recognisable IP without reading up about them first. That’s not the most interesting thing to note here.
The second thing that these sales figures prove is the power of the pre-order. More importantly it shows the power of the pre-order when coupled with review embargos that are nefariously timed so that cancellation of pre-orders is impossible without a time machine.
If we are to learn anything here it is perhaps to be weary of pre-ordering games no matter how tempting the offer; it is definitely to be weary of pre-ordering when we reach the day before release and there still aren’t any published reviews.
In slightly less depressing news, unless you happen to work there, rumour has it that TimeGate Studios has been shut down. Two sources contacted Kotaku to tell them that the studio has been shuttered and that every member of staff has been laid off. If you’re just joining us, TimeGate is the studio that developed Aliens: Colonial Marines when Gearbox was too busy developing Borderlands 2 instead.