THQ exec Danny Bilson has shrugged off middling review scores for recent FPS Homefront, insisting the publisher has achieved what it set out to do with the game.
In an interview with IGN, THQ’s core game boss explained that developer Kaos Studios has successfully got itself “in the conversation’ with market leaders Call of Duty and Battlefield.
“If we were universally panned, I would say ‘Yeah I guess it didn’t work’,” he said. “I think the idea of 50 reviews that are so radically spread says that we made a game that has a point of view and that you might even argue is controversial.
“When we set out, and I was sitting with Kaos in New York, I was saying ‘Guys, if we’re going to make a modern shooter of any kind, we have to compete with the best of the world.’
“I remember in those meetings, the summary was: ‘We don’t expect to beat those guys; our mission is to be in the conversation.’ And on being in the conversation: mission accomplished. Everybody’s talking about Homefront”
He then went on to insist that the game’s current Metacritic score of 70 was not representative of its quality.
“Do I prefer that it’s controversial? No, I’d prefer if everybody in the world loved it. But there are 20 plus reviews that are over 80, there are some haters, and there are some mid-range ones.
“Do I read them all to see what we can do better next time and have every review be 100? Of course, our goal is always that. What I will say pretty clearly is the game is not a ’71’. You can’t apply math to art.”
Released last month on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Homefront notched up over a million sales in its first week on shelves.
“We’re really excited about the numbers for sure,” commented Bilson. “A million units in a week on an original IP coming out of nowhere I think speaks a lot to the concept and the marketing of the game. I think we really captured people’s imagination with the IP.”
Eurogamer’s Dan Whitehead awarded the game 6/10 on release.
“What’s most disappointing is that Homefront wanted so much to join COD and Battlefield at the top of the genre,” wrote Dane Whitehead in his 6/10 review, “but has ended up as merely a weekend timewaster for players waiting for the next shooter fix.