We've never missed our forecast on any significant product before, so the fact that that product under performed by somewhere between the factor of two to three was really surprising to us. We still haven't figured out what the hell that meant.My first thought is "they thought it'd sell 2 million copies and it only sold 600,000", which is clearly a case of ridiculous expectations. On second thought, I suppose Valve expected 600,000 and only got 200,000, or fewer.
Regardless, given what we know today, why are they still trying to puzzle this out? Look:
- Everybody is suffering! The whole flippin' industry is down, you idiots. Apparently sales of games for older systems like the Xbox are down 33% from last year, and guess what system Valve chose for Half-life 2?
- Last year's game...today! Next time, release it close to the climax of all your hype for the Windows version. There's no good reason to wait a whole year to publish a Windows game on the Xbox.
- On an effectively dead system! It's just stupid to expect to do well on the Xbox the same month that the Xbox 360 comes out. Nothing says "success" quite like putting a game out for the aging console Microsoft can't run away from fast enough.
- Incompatible with Xbox 360! Despite being a Microsoft groupie all these years, Valve just couldn't manage to work out how to make the game compatible with Xbox 360. (See here.) Don't handicap yourself or anything, ok?
- Doesn't play to the system's strengths! Cut multiplayer on the one console that has a decent network. Brilliant!
- Didn't release a Linux client! Next time don't make us angry, or we'll write more
It also looks remarkably terrible for an Xbox game, which is surprising because the PC version looked great. That, and there was almost no advertising for it, so I can see why the mainstream passed it up.
The funny thing is...I didn't even realize they had released HL2 for the XBox. Either I managed to miss their marketing campaign, or there wasn't one.
Either way, all good points. What were they really expecting?
Valve has nothing to do with making the game compatable with the 360's xbox 1 emulation. Microsoft has a team of developers, and publishers/developers of xbox 1 games have no say whatsoever in what is emulated well.
This just happened with, for instance, Black.
Critereon (the developers of Black), asked MS repeatedly to make it so the xbox 1 version of the game would emulate on the 360, and it never happened.
I also don't think it helped to release it on a system that practically has nothing BUT fps games.
Black emulation works fine now.