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Capcom, Grin's  Bionic Commando  Sells A Meager 27K in U.S.
Capcom, Grin's Bionic Commando Sells A Meager 27K in U.S.
June 15, 2009 | By Kris Graft

June 15, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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Capcom and Grin's Bionic Commando title sold just 27,000 units in its opening month in the U.S., despite the title's roots in Capcom's classic swing-and-shoot platforming game from the 1980s, research firm NPD Group told Gamasutra on Monday.

Bionic Commando sold that amount at U.S. retail from its May 19 release to the end of NPD's retail calendar on May 30, across both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. NPD Group said it could not disclose the exact split between Xbox 360 and PS3 sales.

The Capcom-published Bionic Commando is currently earning around a 70 percent review average on Metacritic. Stockholm, Sweden-based Grin is also responsible for August 2008's well-received downloadable title Bionic Command: Rearmed, a side-scrolling, polygon-based remake of the NES version of Bionic Commando from 1988.

Another Grin-developed game that launched on May 19, the movie-licensed title Terminator Salvation, sold 43,000 units during the same period across Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The game launched in close proximity with the McG-directed movie, which garnered largely poor reviews but still generated $67.2 million during the extended Memorial Day weekend.

Evolved Games published the Terminator Salvation video game, which is garnering a relatively low 45 percent review average on Metacritic.

Gamasutra contacted Grin for further comment on the performance of the two games. The studio is rumored to have laid off a significant amount of employees in recent weeks, although the studio has yet to officially confirm.

NPD also said Electronic Arts' Wii game Boom Blox Bash Party, released May 19, sold 23,000 units during the period. The game is the sequel to May 2008's original box-toppling puzzle action game Boom Blox.

As reported last week, total U.S. video game retail sales across hardware, software and accessories fell 23 percent to $863.3 million in May. The top game was THQ's UFC 2009: Undisputed, which sold 679,600 units on Xbox 360 alone.


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Comments


Stephane Bousquet
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Such a shame for a classic name like Bionic Commando.

Jerome Russ
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The demo was not very exciting... That is why I passed on it.

Ian Fisch
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The multiplayer demo was incredibly underwhelming for me. I think that probably hurt sales.

Carl Chavez
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These low NPD numbers are proof that the hardcore audience doesn't support the.... oh, wait, wrong systems. :-p

Alex Chiang
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I heard enough people complain about the jankyness of the radiation and shooting that I decided to pass on itónot my cup of tea.

Russell Carroll
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...but it does say something about the Wii as well!

Boom Blox Party didn't sell well...which is bad, since it was a core gamer media darling (the first gamewas the Wii game of the year by several of the major game review sites last year). More than anything it further proves that core gamers aren't playing games on the Wii...



...which leads to the question of how they have such a strong & negative opinion about the platform, seeing as how they aren't actually playing the games ;).

Russell Carroll
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...wait...

...sorry, I hadn't realized I'd answered my own question...

Paschalis Agnostos
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"well-received downloadable title Bionic Command: Rearmed, a side-scrolling, polygon-based remake of the original Bionic Commando, which first appeared in arcades in 1987, and later on the NES."



Rearmed is a remake of the NES version which is very different from the arcade version. I won't buy the big game because I am getting fed up with games regularily dropping below 30fps and tearing the screen. Same goes for Resident Evil 5 and others.

Kris Graft
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@ Paschalis: I updated the piece to make that clear.

Carl Chavez
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Russell, Boom Blox Block Party's first-week NPD numbers are about the same as Boom Blox's were, and Boom Blox has close to one million sales worldwide now, so EA probably does not consider the new game a failure after just one week.

steve roger
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The demo showed that it is a generic copycat of many other games that do it better. We just bought games for my son's birthday and Bionic Commando didn't even make the discussion list. The game is DOA.



Grin needs to re-examine it's business plan. Wanted, Terminator Salvation and Bionic Commando may have looked good on the in-development balance sheet and seemed like a near self-marketing advertising hook, but the games that were rolled out: were incredibly unsatisfying.



I don't think it was the properties themselves. All were good ideas at their core. But this time I think the developer simply failed to deliver games that were worth playing.



I wonder if the producers themselves were at fault. I would like to know why the games sucked?

Andy Jobb
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Its news like this that makes you realise why they had to fire most of their workforce. But I cant say I feel sorry for them considering they gave everyone 2 days notice before closing studios and not paying anyone. Must be hitting serious financial troubles, and a company so unscrupulous I cannot see ever recoving after blackening their name with such poor staff treatment.

Z Z
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For an old franchise like Bionic Commando Capcom shouldn't be letting another developer develop it. This is like if Konami would have let GRIN make Metal Gear Solid 1 for the PS1. It may have never become what it has over the course of the PS2 and PS3. Capcom needs to develop their classic franchises themselves.

Paul Lazenby
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Grin is having a banner year at churning out mediocre (and I'm being generous here) titles:

Wanted, Terminator, and BC. I feel bad for the folks that have and will lose their jobs, but this developer needs to shut down and have other teams pick up the pieces.

Ian Fisch
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Actually Konami handed off development of Castlevania to a company called Mercury Steam in Spain

Chris Melby
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So, where's the analysts spouting about how 3rd part titles don't sell on the PS3 and 360...

Kevin Reese
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I haven't played it myself, but I've seen enough game video footage to suspect the flaws that lay in the design of the game.



I don't think Bionic Commando tried enough new stuff, or took enough chances, to really generate much interest. There are tons of good games out there and it didn't look to me that Bionic Commando really offered anything surprising.



I feel bad for the company though only selling that many copies of the game. Hopefully if the Bionic Commando Rearmed remake ends up selling more units than the actual Bionic Commando game some body will decide that maybe they should try to be a bit more inventive and creative instead of playing it safe and making a game that doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd.



Same went for Terminator Salvation -- it's just a 3rd rate Gears of War. Why not try something new?

Alex Chiang
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@ Kevin: Bionic Commando's grappling mechanic was, by all accounts, superb; it's just that the environments were billed as relatively open world and free swingin' but were really limited by the radiation. Despite this, I'd say the grappling mechanic is fairly innovative and not as derivative as you're making it sound.

Diego Leao
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I am a hardcore player and had high hopes for this game, all videos were very interesting... but then, they released that multiplayer demo... It was really frustrating as I always ended up dead by the experienced players before even realizing what was going on. My expectations for the game were to be able to play a really exciting campaing, and /then/ go online against others.



Sumarizing, I think that if a campaign demo were released first, they would be getting much better feedback and sales. Also, although a bad demo is more than enough to undermine people's interest on a game at first, I think that this game could gain traction after some time by word of mouth, if it's campaign is really as good as advertized.

Adam Piotuch
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Contra 4 is good, and the team that worked on that was contracted out. It really depends if the team is a fan of the original series and can produce something new, fun, and still cater to the hardcore fans of the original. The remake (Rearmed) was well done, the 3D version I have yet to try. Considering what is out there this month however, BC has some strong competition.

no no
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@Andrew,



Kojima and Mercury are developing the complete Castlevania for all platforms. And believe me, Its awesome.


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