Analyst unimpressed by Stuntman's start

Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian says THQ racer's sales "slow off the blocks"; maintains buy rating.

After posting a less-than-expected second-quarter net loss of $9.3 million last month, THQ reaffirmed its fiscal year 2008 guidance of $1.12 billion to $1.15 billion in net sales. THQ president and CEO Brian J. Farrell told analysts that the forecast hinged largely upon the projected platinum status of five internally developed multiplatform games: Frontlines: Fuel of War, MX vs. ATV Untamed, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, the latest Destroy All Humans!, and Stuntman: Ignition.

However, selling a million copies for at least one of those games may not be as done of a deal as THQ hoped. In a company note to investors, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian said early sales of Stuntman Ignition were "a little slow off the blocks" and "slower than originally anticipated." Sebastian noted that the over-the-top racer was experiencing a weak sell-through at retail and that restocking orders were "unlikely in the near-future."

Nevertheless, Sebastian remained optimistic on Stuntman's outcome. Provided that THQ invests in a more aggressive marketing campaign that includes "a free movie ticket and cable ads targeting a 'mass market' audience," Sebastian believes Stuntman: Ignition can reach platinum status by March 2008, the end of THQ's 2008 fiscal quarter.

The analyst also maintained THQ's "buy" rating on the strength of Juiced 2's and Ratatouille's upcoming European releases, as well as projected strong holiday sales for THQ's WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008, Cars, SpongeBob, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and MX vs. ATV games.

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60 comments
Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GrimBee
GrimBee

Stuntman games have never really captured the name of the game. If I were to create a Stuntman game, I first would make it relevant to the title - Stuntman SHOULD be about the stunt-MAN. So I would start out with a create-a-stuntman option. And then you start out in the small time, doing really easy stunts. And if you fail certain stunts - fixing injuries that incurred would take it out of your pay. Time in injury would let you miss important stunts on the timetable - so your efforts let you go on different paths - like a proper stuntman. If you do a good stunt, you can get the chance to do it again (if you came out alright) but it would put your reputation down at the end because it cost the studio alot of money and time. So then instead of having that trial and error - you would have alot of depth to better yourself, and also feel a sense of danger and consequence when choosing what stunts to do and actually performing them. However - It is a shame that the series has never captured anything of what it would be like to be a stuntman, it just recreates stunts - over and over. If they renamed the game to STUNTS then it would at least stop being a bit of a let-down. I have some friends who are stunt-men, and the game really does not capture much of what it is like to be a stuntman.. I am a big hater of trial and error gameplay.

Amir_Badshah
Amir_Badshah

I completed Ignition in se7en days with 5 stars in all.. Worth Playing.. Good game, but Too Short..

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

The graphics look hot, and the ads have been tempting. -I will be buying Destroy All Humans! 360 for sure though.

Chirico_Cuvie
Chirico_Cuvie

Stuntman was a horrible game on PS2, the trial and error gameplay with absolutely no direction was a stupid design. This game fixed most of those problems, but it's still a niche title that is Dragon's Lair in a car. I'd rather play Road Avenger for Sega CD.

MegaXtreme
MegaXtreme

Believe it or not, _AbBaNdOn, those "kiddy" games you speak of actually do sell well, I mean, how many Spongebob games have really gone Greatest Hit? I know Battle for Bikini Bottom did. And Cars, the movie-based game, is also a Greatest Hit on PS2 and a Platinum Hit on Xbox 360. So these games do sell very well. BTW, WE 2008 will rock.

Homerj
Homerj

THQ's offerings for PC have been pretty great in recent times (of course, how can you go wrong when Relic is developing for you?) Its seems that their console offerings are a little juvenile and derivative though.

marbles3
marbles3

Isn't the UFC game in development theirs as well? With it's ever rising popularity that should be a big hit.

Leick3
Leick3

If i bought a 360, stuntman would be the first game i got

skrat_01
skrat_01

Bad, bad, bad release date.............. And bad bad bad advertising (well here in Australia). If they planted awesome ads on buses or trams, rather than a single TV Ad I have seen - it would be much more effective.....

_AbBaNdOn
_AbBaNdOn

Stuntman is pretty awesome and destroy all humans is turning into a legendary series... atv/wwe/juiced and frontlines are all crap. Why cant THQ make the kind of wrestler that was on the n64??? The GOOD kind. And are you kidding with spongebob, airbender and cars???? Do you guys work for nintendo or something the average gamer is 28+ years old. Why waste time making bullcrap games for like 2% of the gamer population.

WormyTheWorm
WormyTheWorm

Thats a shame, stuntman is a really good game that seems to be misunderstood by most people. Its not hard to pass a scene, only if your'e going for a high score will you be retrying the scene again and again. Would it be better if you always did the scene perfect on your first attempt and successful every time? i dont think so. I will be playing Stuntman for a long time to come.

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

Stuntman on PS2 was pretty good,if they put a demo up on PSN or XBL I'd download it and give it a go.

FMX_Gamer
FMX_Gamer

the only good game there is mx vs atv and mabey juiced 2. wth is fuel of war!? and destoy humans was crap and if they make anthor one it will fail.

ThaSod
ThaSod

A game where you repeat the same scene over and over again trying for perfection does not appeal to me. In fact, the only game mentioned in this article that I would buy full price was Destroy all Humans! Seems like the only way THQ will pull a profit is by tricking people into buying cheaply made liscenced products.

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

Wow, that has to be one of the most craptacular lists of upcoming games that I've seen in a long while. Yikes!!!!!!!! You want to know why there are so many crappy games out there, take a look at this list and it's a prime example of how not to make the game industry stronger.

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

You don't have to buy the concessions, Wakko :P It's not like someone's... (looks left, and then down) er, holding a gun to your head...

Mcrunfast
Mcrunfast

I played Stuntman a little. I'd probably rent it. It's definitely not worth a purchase, but it's fun to mess around with for awhile. The idea is kinda neat and fresh, but there really isn't enough meat in the game to keep me at it. I think the other big problem for this game is that it's walking into a wall of really, really A-list titles. You got Bioshock, Metroid 3, Madden 08, Crysis, and several others either out now, or coming out soon'ish. There's no way I'm gonna pick up Stuntman in the face of all those awesome games. What woulda been a better strategy on THQ's part I think is to try to have stuff like this come out during the summer gaming drought. FInd that sweet spot where folks are getting bored of all the awesome holiday hits, and are looking for some game to play and kill some time with until the next holiday wave. I really don't understand why companies hold so tightly to the holiday release window of about August to January. The more flooded it gets, the more easy it will be to have your game lost in the sea of titles. If you want an average to above average game to stand out, try releasing away from the herd. Stuntman I think is a prime candidate for trying this. It's not a terrible game, but it's not great either, and it certainly won't stand out against competition like Bioshock. As for THQ, I think they have a weird mix of A-class stuff like STALKER, Supreme Commander, CoH, etc, and then a bunch of cash-cow style games like the Disney games, WWE, and other licensed crud. STALKER was one of the best games I played all year, but I'd never think about picking up a Ratatouille game.

wakko19991
wakko19991

gruug hit the nail on the head...i'm going to spend 60 bucks on a so-so game to get a free ticket to see a so-so movie and spend another $20 bucks on concessions. So in the end I spend $80 bucks and waste two hours of my time on a crappy movie and another hour on the toilet ejecting greasy stale popcorn. That analyst is an idiot. We aren't the Sims demographic, clown...

ChancreScolex
ChancreScolex

Only thing THQ has going for them is publishing the Warhammer/Company of Heroes games for Relic, and publishing S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I didnt find the game fun

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Stuntman Ignition wasn't a bad game but for $59.99 and with a ton of great games coming out in a few weeks-months other than the Analyst who didn't know it wasn't going to be a money maker

Gruug
Gruug

I find this statement a little troubling: THQ invests in a more aggressive marketing campaign that includes "a free movie ticket and cable ads targeting a 'mass market' audience,". So, game companies think they can sweet talk us avid gamers into buying junk by tossing in a free movie ticket. Or that we are snuckered by cable mass marketing? Here is a novel idea, just give us a good quality game and then support it. Novel idea wouldn't it be?

Sonicplys
Sonicplys

I knew from the beginning that Stuntman was going to be crap. You want a good game coming up, place your bets on Mario Galaxy and SSBB

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

yeah right, Stuntman will sell a million? Don't hold your breath.

Sonicgod
Sonicgod

The last game sucked and I will not buy it until i play this one and see if it sucks and they prove it does not suck. Most of THQ games suck and they are for people who don't know any better or are rednecks who like fake wrestle matches on TV, and since they have dumb TV names slapped on them they sell to those people. Now even the people who bought there games before are finding out they suck and they can get games that are not copies of good games with a TV show movie stamped on the cover. I own THQ "bust a move" games that's it in the entire time they have been putting out games. I just walked by a big stand of this game Nobody bought any not one copy was taken. and the rest of there games i am sure Juiced 2's and Ratatouille, Avatar: The Last Airbender, WWE RAW, are just "dripping with quality" and deserve to make money people would be crazy not to buy them over a real game. Ratatouille and Avatar: The Last Airbender can almost keep up with "The little mermaid " and "barney's hide and seek game" on the sega genesis in sheer quality of a licensed game. Why would THQ be losing money with line up of games like that? Stuntman igntion is like there best game in months.

vbdevpro
vbdevpro

Whats with Gamespot and these Analyst stories? Every time you turn around, Gamespot is posting a story where some un-important shlub that no one knows predicts crap that usually doesn't turn out to be true. Remember the Analysts saying the Wii would flop? Yeah... they were wrong. Please Gamespot... enough of these stupid Analyst's predictions. It's getting stupid.

ghsacidman
ghsacidman

I could have told them that Stuntman was going to be glitchy and stupid... I dunno... maybe because the last one was ONE OF THE WORST GAMES EVER. If a game ever again tells me "turn left traveling 45 to 60 mph"... I'm going to loose it.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

They need Smackdown to come as soon as possible badly since their other game releases are not high quality games.

Metallicadam379
Metallicadam379

THQ got my money...I liked Stuntman Ignition. Sure it isn't going to be a money-maker but I think it was a better than "average" game. It succeeded at what it was. A sequel to a frustratingly hard and unheard of game. It probably would have gotten more sales if it didn't come out 5 years after the original, either.

blackace
blackace

Well, I liked the original Stuntman on the PS2. I never did finish that game sadly. It was a bit tedious as you had to do the same stunt over and over and over and over and over and over again until you did it perfectly. Then you got to move on to a harder stunt. The game wasn't perfect, but it was still fun. I don't expect any of those titles to reach 1 million sold. The only game that even stands a chance is WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008. no one is buying SpongeBob anymore. The original Juice game wasn't a hit either. THQ used to have some great hit titles, but they've gone downhill over the last 2-3 years.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

I am a bit surprised, but not shocked, that this game isn't selling well.

ocdog45
ocdog45

who wants to play a game where your a stuntman anyway

Delbert84
Delbert84

Wow, like getting a free movie ticket would ever inspire me to buy a game.

nucksfan
nucksfan

I was umimpressed with Stuntman Ignition. I liked the first one, though!

dr-venkman
dr-venkman

Stuntman is NOT a mass appeal game. I just can't see this game selling all that great. I have patience to try over and over again till I get the level finished perfect. Many gamers don't. Thats why run-and-guns are so popular *cough*Halo*cough* J/K I loved Halo CE.

Gaara79
Gaara79

Over the top racer? Stuntman is not a racing game game. Geez.

Icekxg
Icekxg

Number 1: No crap Stuntman wasn't going to do any good. Number 2: I'm "Unimpressed" by any analyst

AngelCage
AngelCage

Stuntman Ignition is an OK-Average game... not a money maker.

Ibanez423
Ibanez423

I only liked one game from THQ. It was Supreme Commander and a damn good game that was.

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

I bought Stuntman and I loved it!

XBASX
XBASX

Who cares about stuntman, not a article to get upset about in my opinion.

gamefreqkc
gamefreqkc

I absolutely love this series. The online matches that I've done might be the most fun.

bossjimbob
bossjimbob

I liked the Stuntman demo, but there are too many better games coming out this holiday. I'll pick it up early next year, hopefully for 30 bucks or less.

cosmothehound
cosmothehound

stuntman cmon no one was excited for that game.