Are Assassin's Creed III: Liberation and Black Ops: Declassified dead on arrival?
- Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 02:57 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 4 Comments
This fall sees the launch of both Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, unequivocally two of PlayStation Vita’s biggest titles to date. Both games aren’t ports, but rather original products made with Sony’s high-powered pocket brick in mind. Made from the ground up, they incorporate a host of PS Vita-specific functions, taking advantage of the handheld’s numerous control input methods and solid online infrastructure – least of all packing some dazzling visuals to boot.
However, there’s something important to note about the timing of their release. Something that may in fact act as a detriment to the success of these high-profile portable games: both are being released day-and-date with the main home console entries, namely Assassin’s Creed III and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, respectively. Is this a wise decision? We think not. To be honest it’s a bloody awful one. The fact is, you’ve got two of the biggest IPs of this generation battling it out for your hard-earned cash in a climate where people aren’t exactly able to splash out on heaps of triple-A software. Not only that, but the release schedule is already packed full of other major sequels and new IP in the run-up to Christmas – consumers are going to be strapped for cash and therefore inherently picky about where they spend.
With that in mind, it doesn’t bode well for a pair of ‘companion’ titles that are releasing on a platform that hasn’t achieved the same market penetration as PlayStation 3. If you’ve got a major console title versus a handheld offering, Joe Average is almost definitely going to pump for the former. In addition, you also have to consider the perception shared by the buying public regarding Liberation and Declassified. All too often are handheld games palmed off as inferior versions of their console cousins regardless whether or not they are actually original projects; and in the case of Liberation and Declassified, chances are they’ll suffer the same fate. Releasing both games simultaneously with the console games only further perpetuates this misconception, and people are likely to think they’re just the watered-down portable versions of ACIII and Black Ops II.
In our mind, Ubisoft and Activision should have waited until a quieter period, preferably after the October/November rush, around December time when things traditionally quieten down before the New Year kicks off. This would have ensured the games would get more attention and would benefit from some aggressive marketing, while the initial hype for the console versions would have waned somewhat.
Both games deserve to nab as much attention as possible, and no one can deny that PS Vita is desperately craving a few heavyweight releases. But pushing Liberation and Black Ops Declassified out the door into a crowded market with the shadow of their console cousins looming over them, we can’t help but feel the publishers have shot themselves in the foot.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
- 4:34am EDT - November 2nd, 2012
That's a good point but the PSvita needs games, especially AAA games like this. To push Vita sales it needs a huge FPS franchise like Black Ops or COD, in the short run this could be bad for sales figures but with christmas coming this could change. Personally I'll prefere buying black ops for my vita but not now.
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- 4:32am EDT - November 3rd, 2012
Considering the blind hate the vita gets it's going to be bad regardless of whether it's actually a good thing or not. The system is awesome (if maybe a little inconvenient with the pricing of the memorycards) and it kicks tail in numerous ways in terms of tech, graphics and functionality but people are determined to see it in a poor light. The games are coming but they can't come fast enough to erase that impression of not having enough games and people are going to say "I'll just wait for the price to drop on the vita version before I buy it since I just dropped 60 on the console game" which causes more complaints that they have nothing to play on the vita. If these games were some how bundled with the console versions it might be a great thing but you cant ask a person to drop 115 bucks on a game and it's immediate potential sequel the same day and especially not in a struggling economy. They should have staggered the release day buy a couple of weeks at least.
- 11:09am EST - November 4th, 2012
For the people that don't own a Vita, would you see these games and think "Wow! i need to buy a vita to play this game!"
or "...hmm another spin-off". (Even if it isn't) It's what we see.
It needs proper individual games that make gamers NEED to have the vita.
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