HULIQ has found it difficult to analyze the sales potential for Crysis 2, so much that despite pointed comments about the game's lagging pre-orders and seemingly rushed release schedule, we have abstained from offering a sales projection for the title. Early indicators suggest it will lag behind even the flawed Homefront, but the heavily digital nature of its core PC fanbase may make it impossible to ever verify that claim. Nevertheless, it is a high-profile multi-platform release with a strong emphasis on competitive multiplayer, and it represents a massive tech demo for a graphics engine which hopes to one day compete with Unreal Engine as a major middleware solution for game development.
At the same time, it would be no surprise if two other titles releasing on March 22nd outsell Crysis 2 in the long run. Lego Stars Wars 3: The Clone Wars is the latest in a highly regarded series of all-ages action-adventure games set in the combined LEGO and Star Wars universes. Though other LEGO games (including the MMO Lego Universe) have met with decidedly mixed reaction, past entries in this franchise have met with acclaim. Helping it sell a number of copies will be the fact that it appears on every major game platform (Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, PSP, and DS). EA's The Sims Medieval marks an interesting departure to its long-running Sims franchise but is seeing relatively strong pre-order interest. In moving to a historical time period, fans who liked to model sims after people they knew may be alienated, but light RPG elements like questing may attract an audience not previously enamored with the core gameplay of the main series (I, for one, am mildly interested in the game - something I could not say about the previous game). The Sims 3 continues to be one of the consistently strongest sellers for PC games at physical retail, so it will be interesting to see if Medieval sees anywhere close to the sales of the previous entry.
Also worth noting this week is the release of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy for the PSP, broadly conceived as a fighting game featuring characters from Square Enix's long-running Final Fantasy franchise. Fans of Tecmo Koei get the release of Dynasty Warriors 7, one of the best extant examples of a "B" game. Fans of Lara Croft get the PS3 re-release of the Tomb Raider Trilogy.