ReCore: AAA Title or Exclusive Underdog?
Why isn’t there more noise being made about ReCore?
You couldn’t be blamed if you weren’t too hyped about ReCore, the Xbox One and Windows 10 title from Comcept and Armature that will be arriving on September 13th. This is a game that was supposed to be exclusive to the Xbox One but is heading to Windows 10. Granted, that’s the case for many former Xbox One exclusives but for a new IP like this, it kind of dulls the appeal.
"How does this all tie back to ReCore? Well, it’s again another case of a new IP that doesn’t quite have that huge marketing push."
Not that it matters either way. If a developer makes a good game, then it deserves its recognition. I’ll have fun playing it and I’ll recommend that other people play it. Unfortunately, in the games industry, when judging a game’s success, it’s about more than just “Well, I enjoyed playing it” (pretentious as that may sound). Take Until Dawn, for instance. That’s one PS4 exclusive that succeeded despite having a long development cycle, being a relatively new IP and having very little marketing might behind it. That too in a year when Sony wasn’t exactly blossoming with exclusives.
How does this all tie back to ReCore? Well, it’s again another case of a new IP that doesn’t quite have that huge marketing push. When it was first showcased at E3 2015, this seemed like an amazing new IP with a strong female protagonist. Flash forward to E3 2016 and we have a snazzy trailer and…that’s it. Compare this to Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 or even Sea of Thieves and you’ll begin to wonder why there wasn’t more time devoted to it. Yes, there have been gameplay demos that emerged courtesy of other media outlets but it feels like Microsoft isn’t really pushing ReCore as much as it should. Where are the “Making of” trailers, especially given the talent that’s on this game?
Think about it for a minute. Armature Studio has designers and employees who worked on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Keiji Inafune is the man behind some of Capcom’s most treasured franchises including Mega Man and Resident Evil. Joseph Staten was in charge of directing cinematics for the Halo series at Bungie. He also wrote the story for Destiny before it was scrapped, causing him to depart the studio. That’s a pretty strong roster to tout and then you tell people that this team is creating a new IP? How is this not getting more attention?
"All indications from Microsoft point to ReCore being great value for your money and worth investing in. Then why in the world isn’t it being pushed more?"
There could be any number of factors, including Inafune’s recent lackluster release in Mighty No. 9 and the controversy that followed. But surely the other talented developers would be enough to offset that. One could argue that it’s a $40 title because it’s relatively small. Heck, that’s why I thought it was $40 and not getting nearly enough attention. The genre itself isn’t exactly the stuff of marketing dreams either. Imagine a third person, Mega Man-esque shooter/platformer in a new universe and boom, you have ReCore, at least from a casual bystander’s perspective. A few minutes watching the game is enough to indicate that this isn’t the set-piece heavy drama that adorns titles like Tomb Raider and Uncharted. And hey, more power to developers for creating experiences that are divergent from the norm but set pieces are the norm because they impress people.
Regardless, the game isn’t $40 because it’s viewed as a small title (which by extension means less marketing). It’s because Microsoft wants to offer a strong experience at great value to build a fan base. This would indicate it has plans for the franchise. I could understand not pushing ReCore because it’s a new IP and you have no idea how it could perform. The game could be short and not warrant a $40 price tag. However, all indications from Microsoft point to ReCore being great value for your money and worth investing in. Then why in the world isn’t it being pushed more?
Look, I’m not telling you to skip the game if you think it looks interesting. It’s just a shame to see new IPs like this that have to flourish simply on word of mouth. When good games are recognized, pushed and receive support, that often means the developers behind said games can thrive and make even more good games.
"Hopefully, ReCore and other future titles that may not have “Halo” or “Forza” emblazoned on it receive as much investment and publicity especially when that could lead to more such great game in the future."
And while I railed on Sony earlier for not pushing Until Dawn all that much, it did give a strong amount of publicity to The Witness despite its long development cycle. Lo and behold, The Witness broke $5 million in sales for its first week, which can be attributed to both console and PC sales but it’s more about getting the word out there. No Man’s Sky, as controversial as it may be, received strong support from Sony including time on stage at E3 and has been pretty successful even if too much hype may been its undoing.
What happens if ReCore is a good game and doesn’t sell well simply because not many people knew about it? Where will that leave Armature or Inafune, especially when this might be the latter’s attempt at redemption for Mighty No. 9?
There’s a fine line between advertising one’s game and really pushing it to the moon. Microsoft has done a great job letting consumers know about its biggest exclusives but should push its smaller, newer IPs like ReCore all the more. Once again, whether the game is good or bad, there’s a way to let your fans on Windows 10 and Xbox One know more about it even for the purpose of whether they should be playing it. Hopefully, ReCore and other future titles that may not have “Halo” or “Forza” emblazoned on it receive as much investment and publicity especially when that could lead to more such great game in the future.