Speaking to IGN, THQ’S EVP, and walking headline machine, Danny Bilson discussed the future of Homefront and, specifically, addressed the supposedly disappointing reviews the game received.
“If we were universally panned,” began Bilson, “I would say “Yeah I guess it didn’t work.” I think the idea of 50 reviews that are so radically spread says that we made a game that has a point of view and that you might even argue is controversial. When we set out, and I was sitting with Kaos in New York, I was saying “Guys, if we’re going to make a modern shooter of any kind, we have to compete with the best of the world.” I remember in those meetings, the summary was: “We don’t expect to beat those guys; our mission is to be in the conversation.” And on being in the conversation: mission accomplished. Everybody’s talking about Homefront.
“Do I prefer that it’s controversial? No, I’d prefer if everybody in the world loved it. But there are 20+ reviews that are over 80, there are some haters, and there are some mid-range ones. Do I read them all to see what we can do better next time and have every review be 100? Of course, our goal is always that. What I will say pretty clearly is the game is not a “71.” You can’t apply math to art.”
Interestingly, Homefront’s success in the face of middling reviews has changed Bilson’s viewpoint on the importance of reviews in certain circumstances.
“I used to think for a core game they matter more, claimed Bilson. “I think I realize now that when you make a mass-market game it’s more like the film business. The idea and the concept will resonate with a large group or it won’t.”
When asked by IGN how important a game’s marketing budget was, Bilson had an interesting answer.
“You could ask this question a different way. “Would you rather have a 100 Metacritic rated game that sells 100,000 units, or a 70 Metacritic rated game that sells 3 million units?” And I have an answer that would get me in so much trouble.”
The Future of Homefront [IGN]