It seems THQ has to take the good with the bad with its release of Homefront. Despite the game ranking as the most pre-ordered in the company’s history, THQ shares dropped 9% today to $5.40, Reuters reports. The culprit? Reviews of the game have turned out less favorable than expected, with a current Metacritic score of 72 on Xbox 360. With Homefront’s success critical to THQ’s future, the response from critics and investors alike is troublesome.
“The market is a quality driven market [and] you need at least a score of 80 and above on Metacritic to do well,” said Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey. While a 72 is still decent, a peek at the reviews themselves reveals that many consider the game too short and too derivative. Others point to the game’s excellent multiplayer and unique story as positive attributes. With a first-person shooter’s longevity typically determined by its multiplayer mode, the scores may not have such a huge impact in the end.
Still, THQ could wind up in a bad spot. They recently lowered their profit outlook, resulting in a 15% drop in share price since February 2. To make matters worse, the recently released de Blob 2, which was expected to be a success based on the strong sales of the original, has reportedly sold much less than the 75,000 copies it was predicted to move in its first month.
If Homefront fails, THQ’s last hope for success (this month, at least) comes in the form of WWE All Stars, which hits March 29. The WWE games have generally enjoyed strong sales, so the title could be just what the company needs to bounce back.
As for Homefront, check back to see where we stand on the game when our full review goes live tomorrow.