Analyst: “Darksiders didn’t perform up to THQ’s expectations”

Wednesday, 3rd February 2010 14:06 GMT By Johnny Cullen


THQ’s Darksiders hasn’t made muster at retail, according to one analyst, who predicted that Vigil’s adventure missed company “expectations.”

“Darksiders didn’t perform up to THQ’s expectations, likely selling less than 1 million units despite heavy marketing dollars, 2-3 years of development costs, and was also subject to discounting just 2 weeks after its release,” according to Todd Greenwald of Signal Hill.

That’s despite the game entering at eight in the UK charts when it hit in early January, thanks to what THQ claimed was an advantage of releasing post-Christmas.

Greenwald also said THQ will announce takings of $347 million for Q3 FY10.

We’ll find out how much exactly, and what Darksiders sales should be, when THQ announces results tonight.

Thanks, Gama.



  1. Joe Anderson (wotta)

    Shame because I think it is absolute quality. Better than Bayonetta in my opinion.

    Seems to me Darksiders is one of these games people will overlook then try one day and think how could I have missed this.

    Buy it now – (Joe Anderson / THQ – I mean Wonderwallweb) :)

    #1 5 years ago
  2. NGCes26294BIV

    I call bullsh*t.

    The game is still selling at £42.99 at HMV, and £39.99 at Game and Gamestation. No discounting going on here.

    Also, these heavy marketing dollars must have been swallowed up somewhere, because there weren’t any TV ads (afaik), and I only saw a limited run of online ads.

    I agree that it probably didn’t meet expectations though – FYI, entering the chart at no. 8 in the UK is not a good result for an expensive title.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. JonFE

    A demo could sell this to me more than TV ads or trailers. People cannot help being cautious with new IP or wish for a quick price drop during this economic climate…

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Eregol

    I haven’t seen this discounted anywhere.
    And to be honest, this game is frankly brilliant.
    Only harshly reviewed by Gamestm and Edge, a good metacritic average and damn fun to boot.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Dannybuoy

    Maybe the ads should say ‘It’s like a Zelda game’. I’ve also really noticed how it’s been ‘influenced’ by God of War since playing CoO. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a fun game and people are missing out on a treat so it’s really their loss.. well theirs and THQ’s ;-)

    #5 5 years ago
  6. locus2k1

    Really did enjoy this game, it has whetted my appetite for this type of game until the next Zelda game.

    @2 I think it was sponsoring Sci-fi shows on Sky 1 for several months, but I agree I can’t seem to remember any actual TV advertisements.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Robo_1

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Darksiders. It’s one of those games I really look forward to settling into at the end of a day, I’d very much like to see a follow up. I can’t find any evidence to support that it’s been discounted either, certainly nothing which compares to poor old Dark Void, which I’ve just picked up new for £19.99.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Blerk

    It outperformed Bayonetta in the UK charts and was in the top ten for several weeks, so it can’t have done so badly over here. It’s still in the top 30 even now.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Neolucifer

    I wonder what they were expecting , i personally think it did fine , especially when going up against so not so direct , but still direct competition such as Bayonetta .

    Again imo the game did very well , even if it could deserve a better support , THQ just might have been greedy and expecting way to much .

    @Joe Anderson (wotta)

    I dont think it’s better personally . I enjoy both , and people need to stop comparing apple and oranges just because they are fruits .

    Bayonetta is nothing like god of war , wich isnt really like Darksiders .

    Darksiders was too often compared to Gow , even by it’s creators in some marketing ploy i bet …
    When looking at it , it’s mostly Zelda and/or Soul reaver .

    The gameplay isnt even really reminiscient of God of war anyway , but is closer instead to a basic devil may cry .

    Again apple and oranges imo . Did i miss the era were people wasted their time comparing soul reaver and god of war ?

    #9 5 years ago
  10. NGCes26294BIV


    Bayonetta failed in the UK too.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Hunam

    It’s a shame that these original games tend to get ignored.

    Then again I’ve bought neither but have Mass Effect 2 (due to budget reasons) so I guess I’m part of the problem. I hope THQ don’t just write the game off and actually try and get sales out of the game rather than ditching it and moving on like everyone else does.

    Also, give us a PC version!

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Blerk

    I don’t think ‘failed’ is the word – both Bayonetta and Darksiders were in the UK all-formats top ten for several weeks. They didn’t trouble the number one spot, true, but they were up against stuff like Modern Warfare, Wii Fit and… er… Just Dance.

    On the flip side, some of the games from before Christmas didn’t even make the top 20 – Saboteur, for instance.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. mington

    i didn’t enjoy it that much, the combat became a chore towards the end

    the horse controlled horribly

    but the textures were lush and the portal dungeon was fun

    #13 5 years ago
  14. M2Kx

    that’s a pity :(
    it’s an enjoyable game which should be continued.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Uncontested

    No offense but being “top 10 in the UK” really doesn’t mean much when you dont even make a dent in the US market. (dons anti flame suit)

    And I saw the game advertised on SyFy and Comedy Central here in the US.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Blerk

    Well, quite. But success in one region is better than none, right? Of course, the UK isn’t the whole of Europe either – they might’ve ignored it completely.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Neolucifer


    You are right , they didnt fail at all . Both went above 400k easily in a month as usual dominated my COD or wii title . And higher profiled titles on the horizeon back then , such as Mass effect 2 and MAG .

    Hell i dont even know why people kept repeating january would be an empty month . it was ripe with multiple valuable games , only february and March are obviously more flooded .


    “No offense but being “top 10 in the UK” really doesn’t mean much when you dont even make a dent in the US market. (dons anti flame suit)”

    Well it did make a dent . just look at total sales figure for both bayonetta and Darksiders worldwide .

    Did i also miss a memo with you guys expecting multiple millions for each at launch ?

    There is no way either would sell the 800k launch figures one would expect from a Mass effect .. and you guys know it .
    Those games might likely reach their million at their slower steady pace .

    Not every game can be a surprise instant hit in sales like batman (and then again it’s batman , a huge franchise , selling well even when the game were crap)

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Uncontested

    Uh the article states clearly that it didnt sell more than 1m worldwide. So you say 400k of those copies were sold in the UK? ok so that means less then 600k were sold in the US. (Probably closer to 400k considering) I’d say thats not a dent when you sell the same number as a country with a significantly smaller population and gamer base.

    I’m not saying that its “Bad” numbers but the developer/publishers ARE saying they are “bad” numbers for the money put into it.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Blerk

    Does it say 1m ‘worldwide’? When analysts talk numbers they’re usually talking US-only unless the specifically say that they’re including all regions.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Neolucifer

    Nope i said look at global sales . And let’s stop pretending most games even reach a million ( especially a launch)and are a failure when not doing so .

    As for the claim it’s bad for their money , i still hardly believe so . Darksiders was a polished game but hardly a graphical juggernaut . Most of the good stuff came from the excellent art from joe Madureira .

    So maybe they should be clear about how much they invested . Last i checked some games with a far more likely budget for both developpement and advertising , totally made a big benefit within their first 500 k (like yazuka in japan)

    Some guy , some analyst , a profession often wrong here and often proven so , declare that it wasnt good for the dev , and has probably more to do with what they expected , and hoped from it , than actual expenses .

    Hell i’d dare say they most likey only expected more , because they fled the fall , for a supposedly less charged month and “no competition” . Wich as we’ve seen aint the case at all .

    Hell they fled december , didnt release a demo , and for some of us at least , didnt really show the so called massive advertisement campaign . Most buyers i’ve seen came from vids and the good word from reviews and players

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Gekidami

    I think people are spoiled by the few games that do sell well like MW2, Halo (series) and recently ME2. Now if a game dosnt instantly do 3 million in a week its apparently not sold very well. No matter if its a new IP unlike all of those massive sellers that are sequels.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. Blerk

    Yeah, it’s definitely a shame when ‘only’ a million units sold is seen as a failure.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Neolucifer

    As for bayonetta , it sold really well in japan for both platform within their base , and despite the obviously rehashed and negative press around the ps3 port , wich obviously wouldnt help sales … performed quite well .

    If fact , and something that the “game flop” crowd forget , is that their numbers performed within the range of the usual action/hack games at launch so far .

    They might not have the same influence and pull in the long distance , who knows ? But Devil may cry , soul reaver and plenty others did the same kind of numbers at launch .

    God of war is the exception , and yet only launched around 172k in US . Only with the second did it launched at more than 500k in the US .

    A better question would be when did that genre of game ever made a “dent” within their first weeks in USA ?
    Again Gow 2 one of the few the exception , so almost never .
    So why apply impossible odds for such unfavored genre in the US ?

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Eregol

    Reading that article again, I think the analyst was only refering to the US market and not all of them as a whole.

    I reckon this has sold a million worldwide.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. NGCes26294BIV

    “And let’s stop pretending most games even reach a million ( especially a launch)and are a failure when not doing so”

    I’m sorry, but when 2-3 year dev cycles for triple-A games cost upwards of $20m (plus the same again in marketing), 1 million units is often not enough to turn a profit.

    “Both went above 400k easily in a month as usual dominated my COD or wii title”

    Erm… sources, please?

    #25 5 years ago
  26. DaMan

    sigh, people comparing Bayonetta to Darksiders. let’s also compare Smackdown to Tekken and Half Life to ArmA.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Goliath

    The game was enjoyable. The backtracking got old though.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Neolucifer

    I can only echo the sentiment … but hey if it got a sword or blunt weapon , is 3rd person based and features some qte it’s the same right ?

    “I’m sorry, but when 2-3 year dev cycles for triple-A games cost upwards of $20m (plus the same again in marketing), 1 million units is often not enough to turn a profit. ”

    Except that a few games with an higher budget like Yakuza 3 do work .
    So no i’m not buying it . there a point when cost is definitely a problem , but that argument i’ve mostly seen as an excuse and justification for unjustified dlcs … or steem from companies expectations .
    Often not the cost .

    also i dont like quoting vgchartz at all , but it’s within most numbers i’ve read elsewhere anyway :

    177,313 first week on ps3
    236,025 first week on 360 followed by 112,185 the next

    it has easily got at 400k and beyond

    Bayonetta ?

    203,957 first week on 360
    239,031 first week on ps3
    Again easily 400k within first weeks .And it was already deemed a success with it’s japanese release

    #28 5 years ago
  29. NGCes26294BIV

    “Except that a few games with an higher budget like Yakuza 3 do work”

    I’m sorry to refute your comments yet again, but you do realise that Yakuza 3 has was shopped around a dozen or more western developers, and nobody wanted it, right?

    In fact, even now that it’s FINALLY being released, it only includes subtitles – the publisher wouldn’t even fund voice dubbing, because they’re not confident enough in the product. Yakuza 4 will probably be out in Asia before 3 sees the light of day over here.

    Also, let me point you to another post on this site:

    If Wii games must sell over 1m to turn a profit (and be under no illusion that the dev costs are significantly lower than PS3/360), then triple-A ‘next-gen’ titles need to perform a whole lot better.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Uncontested

    I’m going to go ahead and believe the analyst that the game disappointed on its sales numbers, nobody cares what YOU think is a good number, if a game doesnt make money all it does it help put that company in the red and out of business.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Neolucifer

    You’re missing the point and misdirecting here , i was commenting yakuza’s japanese sales .

    And it was a hard sale for the west BECAUSE it NEVER sold in the west and THUS didnt COVER even the cost of PORTING it in the west , especially with the 500-700K upfront cost of Dubbing.

    It still doesnt make disappear the tremendous cost of yakuza for sega , in both budget and promotion … wich DS didnt match .

    Anyway i’m done trying to convince here . You asked me sources i tried at least to find one , and dont feel like going further in research tonight .

    Still nice convo anyway ..

    You basically went by US numbers only for both game and made your decision , i gave and mentioned worldwide ones .
    But i’ll let you keep stating the obvious … that if a game doesnt sales it doesnt bring money .

    The corporates folks are rarely happy till they pull a MW2 . While you can still chat with actual devs of the game in a few places like neogaf , and they were quite happy so far

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Cess

    Game wasn’t worth the purchase IMO. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the game but it’s not very long, offers NO replayability and there’s not much side stuff to do either.

    Can’t blame people for being cautious about game purchases, especially for a short single player story.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. RGW1982

    No Replayability + Uninteresting Storyline = Lack Of Sales.

    #33 5 years ago

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