Natural Selection 2 Devs Won’t Milk Aliens: Colonial Marines’ Failure
Unknown Worlds’ Natural Selection 2 serves as a prime contender to Gearbox’s newly released and critically panned first person shooter, Aliens: Colonial Marines. Unlike the latter title, Natural Selection 2 is adored for its developers’ commitment to the game, due to its polished setting and well-designed game mechanics.
Natural Selection 2 was developed on a tiny fraction of Aliens’ budget by indie developers with neither the resources nor the supposed expertise held by the “triple A” team at Gearbox.
As gamers continue to express their profound disappointment with Aliens: Colonial Marines, some gamers took to the Natural Selection 2 forums to ask the developers at Unknown Worlds why they haven’t chosen to capitalize on A:CM’s failure by ramping up the marketing on their title, a thread to which Unknown Worlds’ PR guy Hugh Jeremy has since responded.
“The degree to which we feared Colonial Marines was, in hindsight, crazy,” he wrote on the forum (via PC Gamer). “Potential release dates for NS2 were discussed with reference to ACM’s potential release date. Around the lunch table, we pondered the lambasting reviewers would give us if they were simultaneously reviewing a AAA mega-budget aliens vs. marines title.
“At shows like GamesCom, PAX-East, and E3 I walked around the ACM super-booths in awe. I spoke to ACM PR reps and they had no idea what NS was. I watched the demos (especially the E3 one) and thought… ‘How can we possibly stand up to these guy on the aliens v marine stage?’ I walked around the Power Loader in multiple countries and shook my head at the poor luck of having to face this Sega/Gearbox monster in our launch window.
“Now, I’m filled with sadness. Sadness at being an Aliens fan and not being able to experience LV-426 like I had imagined I would. Sadness that we spent so much time being afraid of a game that we have beaten on Metacritic by 38 points. Sadness that the launch trailer for ACM probably cost more than 30% of the entire development budget of NS2.
“With that marketing machine, with that moneypot, with that kind of development time, with that kind of bullet-proof intellectual property, ACM should have been an absolute hit,” he wrote, adding that the studio has no intentions to milk the poor reception of the Aliens game.
“To do so would make us wankers, it would be dishonorable,” wrote Jeremy, who pointed out that Activision had ran a targeted ad campaign for every Warfighter codeword with Black Ops 2 ads.
“I’m sure it got them sales. But it also said much about the kind of company they are.”