Can Darksiders II perform well enough on store shelves to warrant a third game in a trilogy arc? According to new THQ president Jason Rubin, that probably won’t happen unless the upcoming action title hits “four or five million” copies in total sales.
Vigil Games’ lead designer Haydn Dalton was quite frank about it when talking to VideoGamer about a potential future for the Darksiders franchise, noting that a third game in the series would effectively shrink its scope in order to have a more polished game experience at its core.
According to Dalton, a potential Darksiders 3 title is also up to the public, as he noted that Darksiders 2 would have to do a remarkable sales number in order to continue justifying itself as a core property in THQ’s smaller gaming portfolio:
“If we come out and it does really well then I think it’s really compelling; we can’t not come out and maybe do something else in the Darksiders franchise.
“If Jason’s [Rubin, President, THQ] sat there and we go and sell 4 or 5 million units, I’m pretty sure he won’t say, ‘Let’s go and do something different now’. Maybe what he might do is turn around and say, ‘We’ll do another Darksiders game, but we’ll try and reduce the scope so that we can make it even higher polished’. Because our scope is huge. Maybe he says, ‘Bring the scope down a little bit, we’ll still do another game but it’s a lot more focused’. That’s not such a bad thing to do either.”
Four million units would be a fantastic victory for the cash-strapped THQ, but the real question is, does that seem like realistic demand from the new president? At first glance, it seems like a longshot.
After Darksiders released in 2010, the game reached 1.2 million in sales during its first four weeks, according to THQ’s own internal reports. According to VGChartz, the Xbox 360 sales alone totaled a little less than half of that number, with roughly 425,000 copies selling for Microsoft’s console.
Regardless of its sales, I can’t imagine that THQ would drop Darksiders if it doesn’t hit four million. Aside from WWE ’13, it’s their only big release left in 2012, and can probably pull more numbers with the Wii U port later this holiday or early 2013 season.