Whenever a new game system launches, without a doubt the first question that comes to any gamer’s mind is “what games are coming to the system?” More important in the short-term, what games are launching with the system. Every console launch, hopefully, brings about an array of titles to choose from. While a crappy launch is not the end all be all of a gaming system, it is very important when it comes to initial sales and positive press. A simple glance at gaming past reveals what makes a successful launch title, and what PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games may follow suit.
Buying a new gaming system can be very expensive. When looking for games to play, most people want the most value, something that you can play for a long time without the threat of monotony sinking in.
Past Example: Tetris on the GameBoy is one of the best examples of making a long-lasting launch title. With the drive to beat your best score, and the thrill of playing it on the go, not many games have truly reached the level of addictiveness that Tetris reached.
Possible PS4/Xbox One Example: With Peggle 2 no longer being a day one title for the Xbox One, there is no clear winner for this category. Games like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 will keep players up through the night, but nothing seems to standout this time.
If a company wants their system to sell well, one way to do it is to have a game that will appeal to more than just the jaded kind of person who waits in line at midnight for the system. Having a game that appeals to a wide audience may not always be a good thing when it comes to the quality of a game, but it can help word of mouth spread amongst the main-stream consumer, and boost holiday sales.
Past Example: Wii Sports for the Wii may have been a pack-in game, but it more than met Nintendo’s need to market their new console to a bigger audience. Wii Sports was a selling point for many parents, and some of the most fun kids and adults had the holiday season of 2006.
Possible PS4/Xbox One Example: LEGO Marvel Superheroes may not be Wii Sports, but LEGO games have proven themselves to be successful. The latest in the series puts the LEGO spin on the Marvel Universe. As a launch title for both the PS4 and Xbox One, it may just be the reason more families buy these new systems.
Yes, I know this sounds like a terrible idea, but bringing game slated for a release on older systems to a new console can do well.
Past Example: Another Wii launch game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess may have originally been slated to be only on the GameCube, but bringing it to the Wii helped many consumers decide whether to buy a Wii at launch.
Possible PS4/Xbox One Example: There are many ports coming to the PS4 and Xbox One. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Battlefield 4 are just some o them. Like it or not, these are popular games, and bringing it to a new system around the time of the initial launch of those games can motivate many to upgrade to a new console.
Nearly Perfect Game:
If a gaming company really wants their system to sell well, how about make the best game that could possibly be made? Not only will critics sing the praises of your system, but it will help sales of future systems, in the hopes that the nostalgia from that one game can be experienced once again.
Past Example: Super Mario 64 is considered by many to be the best Mario game. Many consider it the best N64 game. A good amount of people consider it to be the greatest game ever made. Even though the N64 in the United States only launched with two titles, Super Mario 64 was enough to get many people hooked.
Possible PS4/Xbox One Example: There truly is no way to guess when a game will reach perfect status. While there are multiple exclusives on each system, you won’t find many people making the argument that Ryse: Son of Rome or Knack or any of the other games are going to be considered the best game the system will ever have.
What do you think makes a good launch title? Leave a comment and share this post to let others join in on the discussion.