PlayStation All Stars Battle Royal developer Superbot Entertainment is going through a bit of a rough patch. They were hit with some serious layoffs last week, plus Sony has cut ties with the company for sure. I hate it when people lose their jobs but Sony has some of the most dedicated and loyal fans out there. Why did this game under perform? There are many theories I have to why PlayStation All Stars didn’t do well. I managed to narrow it down to three reasons for the sake of keeping this article short and sweet.
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3. The Small and Lacking Roster
When PlayStation All Stars was first being marketed, many thought it would have a sprawling cast of characters from Sony’s past, present, and future. Instead, we got weird third-party characters like Big Daddy and Raiden, and a roster that sat around twenty. For a full retail release on a powerful system like the PlayStation 3, players were expecting a lot more than twenty characters. There were also some noticeable no shows: Cloud, Crash, Serge from Chrono Cross, PS1 Snake, and Joel from the Last of Us. Not to mention, Superbot and Sony screwed themselves with adding the new Dante instead of the old Dante. I know crazy DMC fans who didn’t buy the game on that reason alone. I don’t agree with it, but you know how DMC fans are.
2. Price Point
The price point for this game might have been a little high when you consider how many characters and modes the game offers. It has far less characters than Smash Bros Brawl, the online play is somewhat lacking in options compared to other fighting games like Tekken, and the graphics are not top-notch or anywhere near other PS3 exclusives. Now I understand it’s a new IP, so they may have not had time to implement a huge roster. However, twenty characters does not justify a full $60 purchase in many consumers eyes. Especially in the ultra competitive market today. I don’t care about PlayStation All Stars graphics, because the game runs at a good frame rate, but for many PS3 gamers, graphics are just as important as gameplay.
1. PS All Stars should have been an Actual Smash Bros Clone
When I first saw PlayStation All Stars, I remember saying, “sweet Sony Smash Bros.” I thought it was going to be a straight-shameless clone of Nintendo’s popular brawler. As the weeks went on and I learned more about the game, I started to realize this is not a Smash Bros clone. They play very differently. When I finally got to play it at the GT Film Feast in LA last year my anticipation for the game sunk. I was prepared for this game to be a clone, and it wasn’t. PS All Stars also didn’t copy some of the elements that make Smash Bros fun. Having to fight back on to the screen after getting smashed, and the percentage health bar should have been included as an alternate game mode. I talked to multiple people who played the game and were a bit confused. A large majority of gamers I spoke with thought it was going to be Smash Bros, with Sony characters. It wasn’t, and I think the game suffered because of it. I wanted a shameless clone. Who cares if PlayStation All Stars copies Smash Bros to the tee? There aren’t many games like Smash Bros anyway.
Honorable Mentions Reasons: Giving away Vita copies hurt sales, Marketing could have been better, PS3 gamers don’t like these type of games much.
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