We always love to cheer on the underdog, especially in this country. And in some ways I can just about understand why this embittered attitude is clear to see amongst some elements of gaming’s fanbase.
But what I struggle to understand is why the games industry itself begins craving the next big failure.
And in the long wait between Modern Warfare 3 and Activision’s first press release on its launch sales, you can be absolutely certain what news it was that many reporters wanted to hear.
That Modern Warfare 3 had sold less than Black Ops. So you could almost feel the tangible disappointment when Activision confirmed another record-breaking launch for its latest Call of Duty.
But the naysayers didn’t have to wait long for a bone to be tossed their way. Chart-Track numbers published this week (numbers we were subsequently asked to remove from MCVuk.com, I should point out) revealed that MW3 fell just short of Black Ops’ first five days in the UK market.
Of course, it beat in it revenue terms. And became the biggest UK entertainment launch of all time. And propelled the UK games market to its best week ever.
But that isn’t what interested much of the press. No sooner had the news broke than I had a UK tabloid emailing me asking about the sales, asking whether it was fair to call the game ‘a flop’. One specialist website led with “Modern Warfare 3 sells fewer than Black Ops”.
Yes, you can ponder the detrimental effects of huge triple-A hits for indie devs and developer creativity. But at a time of global financial instability and retail turmoil, why would we not want to celebrate the successful Modern Warfare 3 launch?