Perhaps one of the saddest stories this year was the lack of commercial success
for Child of Eden
. The game was very well received critically -- our own review called it a "momentary masterpiece
." And at a Kinect event being held at Ubisoft's San Francisco headquarters today, I once again
cornered senior VP of sales and marketing, Tony Key, to talk about Miziguchi's latest.
"Can you tell we like Kinect?" Tony joked at the outset of our interview. "Child of Eden
went to retail, it got great reviews," he said, as I steered us back onto the subject at hand, "it's a great product, but we didn't sell as many copies as we hoped, obviously. And that's a shame, because the game is great and deserves recognition. I just think your more mainstream consumer -- a lot of the Kinect people are -- haven't quite figured out what that experience is, so we continue to get great reviews and not a lot of sales at retail, but Microsoft saw that as an opportunity, took it and put it in with Kinect."
But that brings up an interesting question: the copy of Child of Eden
included in the limited quantity Kinect bundle
is a downloadable version, accessed via a code in the box. Could we see a downloadable version of Child of Eden
offered via Xbox Live to all consumers? "Potentially," Tony said. "We don't use that model right now for any of our games -- we sell new retail games. It's not something we have in the plan at the moment, but if that model is coming, I don't see why Child of Eden
couldn't fit in there."
As for more Child of Eden
games, don't hold your breath. While Tony says Ubisoft is "still holding out hope this game will find its audience," the potential for other games right now is hopeful at best. "We think the renewed interest generated from this new bundle could be a tipping point for Child of Eden
to become a bigger brand for us. We would love to have that happen."