When Games Become Spam

Well maybe that title is a little harsh, but that’s what came to mind when I saw on GameSpy.com that Atari had shipped 2.5 million copies of Driv3r to retailers. Pressing CDs and DVDs is cheap these days, but that’s still a lot of disks for a game that is so far getting lack luster reviews. Also keep in mind that only the most successful titles actually sell anything near 1 million copies, let alone 2! So why is Atari shipping so many?

The most obvious answer is, they need the money. Atari is counting on Driv3r to take them out of the red as the second quarter comes to an end. A little less obvious is that they sort of got away with this sort of thing when they released Enter the Matrix. They flooded the retail channel riding a wave of movie premiere hype and managed to sell over 500000 copies. Many of those copies were probably sold before the really bad reviews of both the movie and the game got around. Doesn’t matter though, it’s still money in the bank. So Atari is going to have another go at it with Driv3r. But without a movie to hype it up and the bad reviews getting around, Atari may have made one trip too many to the well. At least I hope that spamming the retail channel like this won’t prove to be a winning strategy for lackluster games.