Friday December 30, 2016

2017 Tech Company Deathwatch

Ars Technica has posted what they call a "short list of dead companies walking" today. Aside from the obvious ones on the list like Yahoo and Blackberry, there were some not so obvious companies like Gearbox Software on there as well.

Given the flat-lined response to Battleborn, Gearbox needed a good product to follow it up. Instead, the company pushed out two lackluster remasters. The first, a 20th anniversary edition of Duke Nukem 3D, may not have cracked the 50,000 unit-sales mark since launching in October on consoles and PC (this conservative estimate relies on a SteamSpy estimate of 10,000 sales on PC, so its total sales could be even lower). That will be followed in January with a remaster of the 2011 shooter Bulletstormآ—to be sold at a crazy-high price point of $60 with very little in the way of new content. Unless Gearbox knows something that I don’t about this pricing strategy, I expect anemic Bulletstorm sales to force some tough decisions at Gearbox HQ. These will rattle the company through the rest of 2017, especially if 2K Games decides to cut its losses in terms of its Gearbox publishing arrangement.