The Order’s Controversy Might Result in High Sales

Sometimes, controversy can be just as effective as a great critical reception.

Sometimes, controversy can be just as effective as a great critical reception.

Typically, higher review scores result in better sales in the video game industry. There’s a reason why publishers offer bonuses to developers for games that hit a certain Metacritic plateau. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but in general, most of the best-received titles in existence performed exceedingly well on the sales charts.

However, controversy and general word-of-mouth can be just as effective for selling a product. In the case of The Order: 1886, one wonders if the fallout concerning that game will actually have a positive impact on sales. Had the game simply netted its disappointing mid-6 average and it never really made headlines, and it wasn’t much of a topic of conversation online, it would’ve invariably bombed. It’s a new IP and as such, unproven. It didn’t have a franchise name on which to fall back, which is always a serious hurdle in this industry.

The Order: 1886 didn't exactly leap off the Metacritic charts, but does that matter in this case?

The Order: 1886 didn’t exactly leap off the Metacritic charts, but does that matter in this case?

But there’s a very good chance that despite those scores, Ready at Dawn’s PlayStation 4 exclusive will still do quite well. Not only is there a strong – and very vocal – contingent of supporters, many of whom have called out the critic community for unreliable reviews, but controversy and argument are strong determinants of success. Not always, obviously, but the more something is in the limelight, the more it’s on everyone’s lips, the better chance it has. Positive or negative headlines are almost irrelevant; the fact that so many headlines exist with “The Order” in the title is what matters.

We’ll have to wait and see. We’ll also have to see what happens in the future: If the game is a financial success despite the critical letdown, what will Ready at Dawn’s next move be? It seems inevitable that we’d get a sequel but how will they approach it? They have to know the game sold well despite lower scores and they can’t expect the same result a second time, so wouldn’t they have to work to significantly improve the experience? And what about that aforementioned vocal group who vehemently claim the game is great as is, and a sequel really shouldn’t be much different?

It’s definitely an interesting situation, no matter how you slice it.

5 thoughts on “The Order’s Controversy Might Result in High Sales”

I really hope the game sells well because it deserves a sequel. Screw all these idiots saying the game is too short or too easy or has too many QTEs or whatever. Just bias running amok.

Don’t change a thing when you make the sequel, RaD. Well, you can FIX the faults but don’t CHANGE the game structure.

Controversy is a major factor, no matter what. I just think it’s sad that this game will be a success based on argument rather than its quality.

Eh, I wasn’t that impressed with The Order. It feels outdated, no matter how great it looks. And yes, it is a problem when the game falls short in a lot of different categories, no matter what the PlayStation fanboys say.

You hate everything anyway. So who cares what you think?

Looks like sales are just fine…so controversy obviously did help. 😉

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