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MotorStorm Pacific Rift – is the name putting people off?

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I was slightly bemused when I first heard the title of the new MotorStorm game. Was it an expansion of the original, perhaps? Was there a specific reason why the ‘2’ was left out of the title? There didn’t seem to be, given that the game was set against an entirely different backdrop, had twice as many tracks as the first and contained monster trucks, the latter being a commercially sensible inclusion in my eyes. Still, I read the press release and moved on with my life. It was a sequel, all right, and Evolution Studios had the time to create a top quality racing title. It eventually turned out to be miles better than the first, so I gave it 93%.

So, why have none of you purchased it? I looked at the UK’s own Chart-Track All Formats Top 40, where it debuted at an unfortunate number 29, but I also checked out the seemingly accurate VGchartz.com, which claimed the game had sold around 44,000 in two weeks on-sale in the US. For a PS3 exclusive of such high quality, the stats appear quite troubling.

I then had a conversation with a colleague, yesterday, who works on one of our sister 360 magazines. He sampled Pacific Rift a few weeks ago, when I was playing it on a 46-inch, 1080p Sony Bravia TV. His reaction, at the time, was rather positive. The first MotorStorm had been completely misunderstood, he said, citing the sequel as a dramatic improvement in terms of variety and content.

Yesterday, though, he told me that he saw Pacific Rift in the shops, but said that the box put him off buying it. Here’s a rough transcription of what he said: “It looked like a budget title. It actually put me off buying it, and I’ve played it! I know it’s good!”

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Would this box put you off buying the sequel to a 3 million-selling title?

This was a little weird. Then, I considered what he said about the box and wondered if branding was the reason he – and indeed, the entire PS3 user base – neglected MotorStorm Pacific Rift at retail. By removing the ‘2’ from a title, it could imply that it’s not part of the main series, just in the same way that tragic budget titles have done since the dawn of time.

This rule doesn’t seem to apply in every case, though. Call Of Duty: World At War just became the third fastest-selling title of all time in the UK, but that was bolstered by a heavy advertising campaign, which extended to a showing of Quantum Of Solace I attended last week. Without a strong marketing campaign to generate interest, MotorStorm Pacific Rift appears to have suffered.

Hopefully, through future PS3 bundles and sustainable, long-term interest, Pacific Rift will become as big a commercial hit as the first.




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  • Brian

    To me it just came out at the wrong time. I already had several other PS3 games I wanted to buy right now so I didn’t buy the game. It had nothing to do with the box. It has to do with too many games coming out at the same time and we can’t buy them all.

  • kisses

    Too many games that came out that month. Maybe that’s why it was overlooked. But I still plan on getting it with Mirror’s Edge and Valkyria Chronicles.

  • Me

    Although the name choice is slightly strange, I doubt it had much to do with sales. The reason why the original sold so much is because it was one of few games available at launch. All it had literally no competition initially in the racing genre. Now great games are being churned out every week in the build up to Christmas. Maybe if I didnt have to play through Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet, Bioshock, Call of Duty etc, then I might have considered buying Motorstorm 2. and I actually enjoyed the first.