Need For Speed Underground "as an arcade game" at PAX08, media surprised

Shaggy September 4, 2008 9

[Image via Ars Technica]

If anyone wonders why I often harp on arcade developers for not properly marketing their games then here is a shining example. From the blog Ars Technica comes the headline “Need For Speed as an arcade game at PAX08”. At first I’m thinking ‘GlobalVR must have got into a console event to promote NFS Carbon’ but when I look at the story, that is far from the case. In fact it is quite obvious that the writer has absolutely no idea that there are several NFS arcade titles already (which includes: Need For Speed, Need For Speed GT, and Need For Speed Underground), with the upcoming NFS Carbon just being the latest in that line-up.

Now the writer of this article should have done their research first; if they had done so they would have known that NFS Underground already has been available in arcade form for quite some time and what they are looking at is an EA made ‘psuedo-arcade’ version of the game that differs from the actual arcade versions. But at the same time they can be partially forgiven for not knowing about it because in the console gaming world a vast majority of people have no idea that NFS now has four iterations in the arcade and while in part it’s their own fault for ignoring arcades, I also think that the way most arcade games are marketed to players by arcade companies has to share the blame too since it’s basically some press releases and us here at AH and maybe one or two other sources talking about it to get the word out to the world. I’m sure that GVR could have put an NFS Underground and Carbon at this event but since they didn’t, everyone is going around thinking that EA just did something new at their booth and an opportunity has been missed. But I’m not just meaning to take aim at one arcade developer, I’m talking about all of them which treat their games as products only to be marketed at operators and operators only. As an example let’s compare how many people know about Street Fighter IV and how many know about NFS Carbon or Nicktoons Nitro? Quite a difference, don’t you think? At least all the consumer game media is going to be covering AMOA, and IAAPA right? Just like they did ASI which was well, basically no one except for arcade industry press.

[NFS as an arcade game – Ars Technica] [Discuss on the Forum]


  1. Adam R September 5, 2008 at 4:30 am - Reply

    This post tastes bitter, and rightfully so.

    Arcades are ready to make a comeback in a big way. If the arcade game manufacturers would realize this then maybe we will actually see it happen.

  2. Shaggy September 5, 2008 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Rightfully so indeed. I get tired of seeing arcades treated the way they are but the industry itself has to make some changes to do that and I only see a few headed in that direction – hopefully others will follow soon.

  3. editor September 5, 2008 at 11:48 am - Reply

    If your post is bitter – then this must be pure venom!

    I am seeing a growing momentum in arcade interest – the Wii has fueled player interest in dedicated player interfaces and dedicated cabinets.

    This realization has placed the games media with a BIG problem, as they are unable to cover the market – as they cant do research, have no experience and have no budgets to do this.

    For the amusement trade – they would not know an opportunity now if it bit them! They are about to fragment, and then we will have to support the new scene.

  4. Molloy September 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    The thing you have to remember is most games websites don’t care about anything. If they did they’d cover a particular part of gaming. What they care about is traffic, so they try to cover everything and do a spectacularly half-arsed job of it.

  5. editor September 5, 2008 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Agree that they are focused on traffic, and they are failing getting it.

    You should ask Shaggy on the recent numbers to this site – I can tell you subscription for the Stinger went up 10f-old recently. So I was not surprised when EDGE and others started to ‘report’ arcade release – call it half-arsed would be too kind!

  6. SaraAB87 September 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Send that simulator over here now please!

  7. Smidget September 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    That was honestly one of THE worst demo’s at PAX. The game didn’t look good and all you did was literally drive straight for about 20 seconds and the demo was over. Just plain awful. I wanted to turn to the booth staffer and say “are you serious?.” Really, it was just an awful demo.

  8. Molloy September 7, 2008 at 1:49 am - Reply

    What sort of numbers does this website get anyway? The strange thing is when you try and cover a very niche scene you can end up getting ten times more people than you’d expect. I used to draw a comic specificially aimed at Total Annihilation players, and even then the humour was targeted at a very narrow part of the audience that followed that game. I got upwards of 150,000 unique visitors over a year and a half. Crazy. I actually met two people in real life who knew my characters.

  9. Shaggy September 7, 2008 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    We’ve almost his 400,000 total hits since the site began in Dec. 06. Lately we’ve been hitting almost 40,000 a month with spikes on things like our Rambo and SR3 coverage. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a spike this next week with AMOA though, there is going to be at least one surprise you should look for Wednesday morning that we’ll have a timed exclusive on. 😉

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