Twisted Metal: Why It’s Shot Itself In The Foot
Twisted Metal appears to be going out of its way to eliminate its most devout audience.
Twisted Metal is now likely to be a ‘mature’ rated retail release, as opposed to the first-announced ‘teen’ download-only game we were so looking forward to.
Since then we’ve played it and we’ve not been blown away. Now, with this, I can’t help but feel Twisted Metal has shot itself in the foot. Or stabbed itself in the eye, as the case may be.
Yes, Twisted Metal: Black had ‘mature’ themes (and was a brilliant game) – so much so that they were cut for the EU release. But this isn’t a series built on attracting a particularly adult, ‘mature’ audience.
Twisted Metal is a silly, fun series and finds a strong following in a teenage audience. That’s not me being dismissive (nor is it based on observable fact) – it’s just how things feel and seem to be. It’s not exactly the kind of game 30-something gamers come together to have deep discussions on.
So surely swapping out the ‘T’ for a ‘M’ effectively eliminates this core audience?
Granted, age ratings – especially in the US – don’t exactly stop people from buying games, but the mere fact the game is likely to have a ‘M’ on the front cover rather than a ‘T’ speaks volumes, I think, to three groups: impulse purchasers, parents (and others) who want to play with younger gamers and those buying for gifts.
The ‘mature’ on the box is sure to put these people off buying what they would likely have little hesitation to buy if it were a simple, innocent ‘teen’ game. It’s got cars! And explosions! Harmless fun!
Swap the ‘T’ for a ‘M’ with a picture of a scary clown and I think you’re trying to attract the wrong audience.
I don’t want Twisted Metal to fail – the original is home to some truly great schooltime memories for me, the second is one of my favourite games ever made and TM:Black was excellent. But when this popped up, I couldn’t think anything other than ‘they’ve stabbed themselves in the eye’.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.
[You will notice the words ‘mature’ and ‘teen’ keep appearing in speechmarks. That’s because no Twisted Metal game has ever actually been ‘mature’. Yes, I’m being a bit petty.]