Earlier last week, THQ's share value dropped 25% as a result of mediocre early reviews for Homefront posted on Metacritic but, despite that, the game has gone on to sell strongly, shifting 1 million units across all markets, with 2.5 million shipped.
In a report on Gamasutra, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divinich claimed that investors jumped the gun following the initial reviews.
"As an industry," he claimed, "and this is specifically targeted towards analysts and investors — it is easy to become too reliant on a single metric, which may erroneously drive forecasts and/or investment decisions.
"In the case of Homefront, it is clear that the investment community did not take into account all the factors including the strong preorders and pre-release awareness that existed among consumers for the title. The reality is that numerous factors exist that can impact the overall sales performance for a title."
The dependence on Metacritic is understandable, it does have some impact, but as an industry, do publishers, investors and gamers place too much value in what is an unweildy, inconsistent average across a multitude of press outlets with wildly varying methods of scoring?
We've always thought so, which is why - despite the fact that Homefront is a mediocre game - we're glad to see a product buck the trend. Sure, Just Dance pushed millions of units in spite of its low review scores - but Homefront is a game targeted (to an extent) at gamers who are aware of review scores, and that's an interesting turn of events.
Maybe it's a victory for raw marketing budget, maybe it's proof that core gamers don't necessarily drive software sales - but hopefully publishers will be less inclined to treat aggregated scores like the holy cows they shouldn't be.
THQ: Homefront Reaches 1M Sales, 2.4M Shipped [Gamasutra]