Red Faction: Armageddon sales below expectations, Volition moving on

Sales of Red Faction: Armageddon were "below our expectations," according to THQ CEO Brian Farrell. With middling reviews and low sales, the Red Faction franchise is being placed on hold.

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THQ has been undergoing a dramatic transformation as of late. A newfound focus on core games has led THQ to... further losses. For the quarter ending June 30th, the company reported a net loss of $38.4 million, and a certain game took the spotlight for the financial shortcoming. "We are disappointed in our first quarter financial performance," Brian Farrell, THQ CEO said. "Sales of Red Faction: Armageddon and our licensed kids titles were below our expectations."

The low sales figures may have been the death knell of the franchise.

Investors and representatives repeatedly referred to Armageddon as a "miss," an unfortunate end to a game that was center of a large trans-media campaign. In addition to Armageddon, THQ partnered with SyFy to release a made-for-TV movie. In spite of the more aggressive advertising campaign, sales fell short. And why? The quality.

"Mid-70s is not good enough," Farrell said, referring to the reviews Armageddon ultimately received. (The Xbox 360 version has a 72 on Metacritic.)

The disappointing sales of Armageddon and its digital spin-off, Red Faction: Battlegrounds, has essentially placed the series on hold. The audience is "niche," Farrell said, before saying that "I do not believe we went far enough in cutting our portfolio... Only titles we think will be profitable, like Saint's Row: The Third," will be supported in the future.

So what's the status of developer Volition? "They've rolled on to Insane," Farrel stated. Guillermo del Toro's trilogy is set to begin in 2013, meaning the Red Faction team won't be able to go back to Mars for a long, long time.

"We do not intend to carry forward with that franchise in any meaningful way," Farrell said.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 27, 2011 3:10 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Red Faction: Armageddon sales below expectations, Volition moving on.

    Sales of Red Faction: Armageddon were "below our expectations," according to THQ CEO Brian Farrell. With middling reviews and low sales, the Red Faction franchise is being placed on hold.

    • reply
      July 27, 2011 3:16 PM

      Armadeddon looked good and had the gameplay (sort of), but they somehow managed to wrap it around a story that I just couldn't care about. Also, they killed off the one character I did care about, which pretty much removed any remaining interest I did have in finishing it.

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      July 27, 2011 3:17 PM

      It wasn't broken in Guerilla.. Why the fuck change it drastically? It was pretty much a carbon copy of the gameplay in Dead Space 2.. Except Dead Space 2 was awesome :)

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        July 28, 2011 1:28 AM

        Whoever decided, "hey let's take this open world game and make a linear bug hunt," should be fired.

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      July 27, 2011 3:31 PM

      Why did they go from open world map to a narrow one way tunnel? Some of the stuff they added was fun but the fact that I couldn't go where ever I wanted really ruined the game.

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      July 27, 2011 3:33 PM

      Meh once i was told it was not open world like RFG that killed it i do not want to just walk down a premade maze of halls and doors going where told i like to run around and find stuff.

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      July 27, 2011 3:35 PM

      They went from an open world, destruction based game to a closed, linear, repair based game. I can't understand how those meetings must go. Nobody has the balls to laugh at a bad idea anymore?

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      July 27, 2011 3:42 PM

      It was a solid 3rd person shooter and I had fun with it, but it didn't feel like a Red Faction game to me.

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        July 27, 2011 4:04 PM

        I agree. It was fun blowing stuff up. And to be honest, you could have Red Faction Armageddon similar to that. Similar to "go here, enter the dungeon to complete the mission" kind of stuff. Be the Red Faction, conquer the Marauders, White Faction, EDF remnants, nano-aliens. The story of the terraformer being destroyed = GREAT! Add in the environmental impacts to the Guerilla universe (think, uh oh...tornado in the middle of a battle), etc.

        I enjoyed Armageddon, thought the weapons were fun and creative (magnet gun), and the driving vehicles had some spunk. But the charm of being a "Space A-Hole" was lost.

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      July 27, 2011 3:43 PM

      They just needed to make Guerilla but have huge Mars cities instead of tons of barren wasteland.

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        July 27, 2011 3:53 PM

        Exactly this

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        July 27, 2011 3:57 PM

        I would play the fuck out of this game.

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        July 27, 2011 4:02 PM

        Isn't it amazing they didn't just do this? Ugh.

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        July 27, 2011 4:04 PM

        Yup. Anyone coming from Guerrilla is going to want the same thing, more types and densely arranged buildings to level.

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        July 27, 2011 4:46 PM

        YES. This is the sequel they needed to make.

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        July 27, 2011 5:20 PM

        They were totally on the right track with guerrilla. The next step is bigger and better destruction not less destruction.

        IMO they could have taken all the enemies out and just made a demolition simulator and i would have bought it.

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        July 27, 2011 11:45 PM

        The trailers for the game turned me off when it was all in a cave.

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        July 28, 2011 2:00 AM

        Fixed it for you:

        They just needed to make Guerilla FREESPACE 3 but have huge Mars cities Shivan Juggernauts instead of tons of barren wasteland anything else.

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        July 28, 2011 3:42 AM

        pretty much this

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      July 27, 2011 4:03 PM

      Maybe one of their employees will pass this forum up to that CEO, the problem it wasn't open world like its predecessor turning it into a generic Doom wannabe.

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      July 27, 2011 4:04 PM

      A poster in another site's article on this said something about Volition putting too much stock in the Red Faction fiction. I'm inclined to agree.

      I remember back in 2001, a Volition employee made such a big deal out of Red Faction having a pro writer, and the final product had a generic storyline and progression, with some bad gameplay mechanics (escort missions, the scourge of early 2000's FPSes), a slow-rendering engine, and Quake 2 level polycount (okay, maybe that's a bit harsh, but Quake 3 looked better, and that game came out almost two years before Red Faction).

      Since then, not much shining in the franchise, aside from Guerilla, purely from the "space asshole" aspect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcUBI-YVRY8

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      July 27, 2011 4:05 PM

      Ugh. Saints row franchise is garbage. The only thing that made it mildly amusing was Gary Busy doing the commercials. THQ has absolutely no clue what gamers want. The only franchise that is going to be successful for THQ the is going to be Space Marine. And that is an even more niche market than RF.

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        July 27, 2011 4:22 PM

        I'm pretty sure Volition knows exactly what they're doing with the Saints Row franchise. The first game was indeed a rough start. Since then, all they seem to be doing is catering to the fevered wishes people who love the genre. Saints Row 3 has a ton of momentum behind it right now and I have no doubt that it will sell well.

        What is it exactly that you want from Saints Row?

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          July 27, 2011 4:39 PM

          What is it exactly that you want from Saints Row?

          Angsty protagonists in drab clothing doing generic gangstery missions in a vaguely "realistic" world with out-of-place splashes of zaniness.

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      July 27, 2011 4:10 PM

      Please make a new Freespace now.

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        July 27, 2011 5:46 PM

        oh god i hope not. never, ever ever. let that classic remain in its honoured grave.

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          July 27, 2011 5:53 PM

          I agree; we don't need anymore old classics being ruined by lowest common denominator design.

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          July 27, 2011 7:56 PM

          I'm not convinced the V of today could make a FS3 that even comes close to the writing and depth of the original games. :(

          Dave Baranec is still around though, and he would know all about those good old days.

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      July 27, 2011 4:21 PM

      who'd have thunk?

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      July 27, 2011 4:34 PM

      More and more signs of a video game bubble deflating...

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      July 27, 2011 4:36 PM

      They went in the wrong direction. A more advanced and refined Guerrilla with co-op would have been the way to go. Would've sold millions.

      Bad and inexplicable move, Volition.

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      July 27, 2011 5:00 PM

      I am reminded of http://www.shacknews.com/laryn.x?id=26040289

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        July 27, 2011 5:12 PM

        I'd like to think that Bilson has two franchise kills under his belt now. I'm counting Homefront; despite it selling well enough to probably fund a franchise, I don't think it'll get a lot of repeat buyers, considering how badly they got burned. Maybe the franchise will live on, but Kaos got shut down because of it.

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        July 27, 2011 5:41 PM

        That's fuckin sad :(

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        July 28, 2011 8:16 AM

        Hilarious that this post was quoted twice but no one actually commented on the original.

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      July 27, 2011 5:13 PM

      So what should I get? Guerilla or Armageddon?

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      July 27, 2011 5:21 PM

      Why the hell didn't they improve on Guerilla...?

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      July 27, 2011 5:50 PM

      Guerrilla was a good game, but going from open world to linear lost them my sale.

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      July 27, 2011 5:51 PM

      Guerrilla was a decent game, but I played the demo of Armageddon and thought it was pretty crappy and never thought about it again...

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      July 27, 2011 7:53 PM

      This goes for both Guerilla and Armageddon.

      1. Make bad game.
      2. Prince inflate it in every region that's not the US.
      3. ????
      4. No profit.

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        July 27, 2011 7:54 PM

        *price - EDIT BUTTON WHERE ART THOU

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        July 27, 2011 8:43 PM

        Well at least its a bad game so you don't have to worry about not having it

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      July 27, 2011 8:45 PM

      Oh good, you can bring back Freespace! :(

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        July 27, 2011 9:33 PM

        Was about to post this.

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        July 28, 2011 1:45 AM

        I don't trust them to make it good. Even basic design decisions would potentially create entirely the wrong type of game.
        Its too easy for someone to say, Sure freespace was good, so lets put in co-op, high scores, upgrade mechanics, canyon chases and replace the mission briefing with cutscenes and good/evil branching paths.

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          July 28, 2011 5:35 AM

          co-op and upgrade mechanics could be great additions!

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          July 28, 2011 5:45 AM

          Freespace had coop

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      July 27, 2011 9:24 PM

      Armageddon was a step back from Guerrila. They actually somehow managed to make the destruction annoying, a hinderance and just useless rather than cool. Destroying buildings actually required you to rebuild them to proceed. Did they forget the part about being a space asshole? it was just very ho-hum.

      You also had far less freedom, as the levels were highly linear. The enemies were dull, too--just generic aliens. The humans were much more fun to fight. The guns were though were pretty impressive and imaginative.

      All in all, they missed the boat with this game, and it a shame that it killed the whole series.

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      July 27, 2011 11:23 PM

      Fine by me. It was a boring franchise (for my tastes). Volition needs to return to spaceship combat games. That's when they were really rocking. Not this GTA in da Hood crap in Saint's Row. Meh.

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      July 28, 2011 2:45 AM

      I always feel bad when I cheer on games selling poorly and this is no exception. Now those cocks can maybe work on a good sequel to Space Asshole or Freespace.

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      July 28, 2011 3:00 AM

      An indoor red faction would be awesome if they made it a fast paced FPS with a rocket launcher as a default weapon. The shooting is too slow and unsatisfying. I just wanna blow chunks off the walls and jump around.

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      July 28, 2011 5:35 AM

      second they went indoor and non open world after Guerilla i was completely uninterested. Done with generic linear fps games.

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      July 28, 2011 5:49 AM

      Does that mean ex-Volition employee JT Carroll was right?

      jtcarroll: Between Red Faction Origins and the story @DannyBilson forced on Armageddon (@THQ), I think it's safe to call him a franchise killer. #Sigh

      Danny Bilson: @jtcarroll Interesting to have such a strong opinion on a game that hasn't shipped?

      jtcaroll: @DannyBilson After five years working on Guerrilla and one on Armageddon, yes, it's a strong opinion.

      Captured from shack post and twitter: http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=26040289

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        July 28, 2011 5:53 AM

        Well I certainly thought so. when I posted it in the thread earlier :(

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        July 28, 2011 8:15 AM

        I'm flattered! Based on my own experience with THQ, I have no doubt that the direction for RFA was forced on Volition by THQ and the result was catastrophic. Even more than destroying a franchise, they destroyed a studio. The studio founder left and I have no doubt it was because he realized working with THQ was pointless.

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      July 28, 2011 5:52 AM

      This is so disappointing. THQ MADE THEM do the sequel as a corridor shooter with aliens. If they'd just let them make another open world game, Red Faction would be fine.

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      July 28, 2011 7:50 AM

      What can I say? Armageddon was a boring CoD clone with tacked on destruction and a forgettable story. Honestly Volition what was wrong with RF Guerrilla? It had great open ended gameplay and only needed work in a few areas; it was a great new direction for the series and Armageddon just brought it back to mediocrity. If THQ and Volition go down, it will be because of their own bad decisions and I don't feel bad for them.

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      July 28, 2011 8:47 AM

      Red Faction 1 and 2 HD anyone heh heh?

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      July 28, 2011 9:26 AM

      The only people that SHOULD be commenting on this thread are those that bought it.
      As for me, I loved the game and I thought it was a great action game. Then again, like I always say. PUT YOUR MONEY DOWN!
      Time and again devs and games close shop cause all gamers do is bitch and play Call of Duty.
      Guerrilla was OK..but too many open game, sandbox games.
      This game was focused well designed a lot more fun than Guerrilla. Aside from "shooting aliens" which ranks up there with "shooting zombies" and "shooting Nazis" it was fun as hell.
      That Battleground shit was stupid and ill advised.
      Change is good.

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      July 28, 2011 10:27 AM

      Armageddon felt like someone wanted to attempt going back to the original concept of the series. Unfortunately, the story needed serious help, and after playing Guerrilla, putting the player back in an enclosed space felt limiting, if not suffocating. Armageddon had it's moments, but I really missed having the ability to choose exactly what I was going to do in the game each night I sat down to play it. Guerrilla felt like Volition/THQ sat down and had a decent win at blackjack, then with Armageddon they took their winnings and played Keno until it was gone.

      Was there past articles/interviews that explained why Volition/THQ had decided to abandon the open world aspect of Guerrilla for the enclosed environment of Armageddon? Time and money are the obvious culprits to me, but I'm just curious to know their spin on the decision.

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      July 28, 2011 6:08 PM

      Armageddon had too much release competition.

      I'll probably still play it, but I likely won't buy it till it's on sale at this point :P