Syndicate Sales "Hurt" By GAME Group's Troubles Says Starbreeze CEO
Written Monday, April 16, 2012 By Richard Walker
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Starbreeze Studios CEO, Mikael Nermark has claimed that sales of its FPS reboot of the 1993 Bullfrog strategy title Syndicate, were adversely affected by GAME Group's recent financial issues that saw the UK retail chain go into administration, closing many of its stores before being acquired by OpCapita.

Syndicate was released at the end of February, before publisher EA pulled support for GAME Group, which saw big titles like Mass Effect 3 failing to make into GAME and Gamestation stores. With GAME seemingly back on track, EA games are now back in its stores. Too little, too late though for Syndicate, which performed well below expectations.

"There's so many reasons why a game succeeds or fails from a commercial point-of-view. We released the game about a month or more ago, and we're doing our post-mortem right now: what did we do right, what did we do wrong, and of course we will look at the commercial side as well," Nermark told

"The numbers are not as high as we would like, and I think if you asked anyone they would say the same thing about any game they made. But [Syndicate] was released in the midst of GAME going under; the retail space is hurting, and I think that hurt us because we were such a retail product."

Syndicate is actually rather good too, and can be snapped up on the cheap. Why not give it a try?


User Comments
Forum Posts: 384
Comment #1 by HuDaFuK
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:06:19 AM
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Well I bought my copy in GAME, although technically I got it for free as I used store credit I got for trading stuff in.

Forum Posts: 508
Comment #2 by TroubleMaker411
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:06:24 AM
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You can't release a truly terrible game, hype it up through the roof, then blame someone else once it turns out that your game is utter SHITE!

Starbreeze, I had such high hopes.
You have brought us some great games, but your newly branded syndicate was a slap in the face to Fans of the name, fans of the genre, and fans of gaming.

The game was fucking terrible!
Stop blaming others and take some fucking responsibility!

Forum Posts: 173
Comment #3 by EmptyFibers
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:11:39 AM
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Why was it so terrible? Can you validate that statement with some type of factual foundation, because your mere opinion is simply personal jargon unless you prove otherwise.

I just finished the game, albeit it is not the best game I played, it was pretty damn good.

Curious to know why you believe such?

Forum Posts: 120
Comment #4 by ryandavison
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:26:00 AM
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I agree that they can't blame others for there games selling bad, it's down to them, there are plenty of other stores to sell the game, not just Game and Gamestation

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #5 by Ziras
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:33:22 AM
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I really liked the game, but the day 1 glitches such as weird framerate lag, freezing systems, etc. didn't help it any. Not to mention maybe the game would've done "better than expected" if they didn't spend bucket loads of money on dubstep licensing so their development:profit margin wasn't so botched(not to mention getting Skrillex to make an entire song for them.. I'm sure that costed a bit).

Forum Posts: 2020
Comment #6 by YurtleTehTurtle
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:42:42 AM
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Just like #1 I bought this game in GAME without a problem as it came out before EA pulled the plug on stock. Had this article been about ME3 I might have believed it, however Syndicate's sales were affected by the piss poor reviews and nothing else.

Oh and in my opinion it was a very good (if not AAA) game and a platinum I'm proud of. The Coop in particular did a very good job of bringing the spirit of the Amiga original to current gen.

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #7 by timewarp
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 07:43:42 AM
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Yeah GAME's problems proberbly did have an impact on Starbreeze's sales but I think Mikael is a little out of order here. Does he not realise what problems Game were having? Does he think it was just a little bit of debt? Because it seems to me that this is one of those times where yeah your right but the person your complaining about didn't do it because they knew it'd effect you.

To be honest I didn't get Syndicate because most FPS games seem to have a short Single-Player campaign in favour of a multiplayer. There are quite a small number of FPS games that focus on the single player and I think for the first Syndicate they should have focused on what they can do with the single player and gone down a Sci-Fi Bioshock route.

Forum Posts: 1019
Comment #8 by nintendo64X
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 08:01:52 AM
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Game ISN'T the blame, just because one retailer can't provided it properly doesn't mean that IS the main reason why it failed to sell.

Nor is the fact it's BANNED in Australia the reason-mortal kombat did well DESPITE the ban.

Excuses excuses, tsk tsk

Lack of interest, people got scared, and for those like me weren't bought with the quality of the demo even though it showed signs of promise.

Forum Posts: 200
Comment #9 by wheatley
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 08:11:04 AM
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If they don't blame second hand sales, then they'll blame Game's administration time.

Forum Posts: 508
Comment #10 by TroubleMaker411
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 08:22:28 AM
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The game was badly written (let's be honest, from the second he appeared, your mate may has well have had "im going to betray you" flashing on his forehead)
There was no emotional attachment in the game at all, to any character.

Starbreeze tried to take an old school game, make it an easily sold FPS, and make it a "cyber-punk" game, without, in my opinion, any actual idea as to what that actually entails.

Whether it's Starbreeze having no grasp on what Syndicate actually was, or EA pushing for the games release, the game felt unfinished, unpolished and just badly executed.

I nexpected a well laid out story, filled with intrigue and espionage, and instead what I got was a 4 hour long corridor shooter with abject and unneeded lessons in circle strafing from it's bossfights and bland personal;ities from each and every character.

Stabreeze made the Riddick games, and the first Darkness game.
With that calibre of games coming from their studio, I expected alot more from them.

While this is simply my "mere opinion" and you believe it to be wrong. I simply cannot agree with your opinion of it being "pretty damn good"

Forum Posts: 1102
Comment #11 by Banacheckfps
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 09:20:36 AM
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Is Game the only shop you can buy games from or something? I never step foot in Game in my view they rip you off as i buy all my games new, the only fact it does so well is because of the trade-in and 2nd hand games. I did see your game and played the demo i did not like it so i didn't buy it simples, did ever think off that before you blamed someone else i think not...

Forum Posts: 778
Comment #12 by Jack
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 09:39:43 AM
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Oh STFU Starbreeze, you tried to bring back an old game as some cyber punk fps. The game failed cause it sucked, not because a retailer recently had troubles. I wonder why only Syndicate failed and not the other games that came out around the same time.

Forum Posts: 212
Comment #13 by randomguy666
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 10:21:15 AM
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yes... GAME's problems were the cause... it certainly wasn't the poor reviews it recieved from both customers and professionals alike now was it?

Forum Posts: 173
Comment #14 by EmptyFibers
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 11:27:10 AM
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Thanks, and nor would I expect you to agree with me. We all like different things. I don't have time to spend on long, intriguing stories and character development.

I just want to be able to drop 30mins on something I like. But utterly terrible seems it bit stretched.

Forum Posts: 1207
Comment #15 by DarkByke
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 12:07:39 PM
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Fail. They thought they could hype it up with dubstep.... "robots having sex" ....

Forum Posts: 89
Comment #16 by Colon_Commando
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 01:34:37 PM
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Personally, I boycott this game because EA can't tolerate a demo being out longer than a couple weeks. I can't always remember or get to play them on time, and if they have such a problem with me trying the demo, then I've got a problem playing your game. At least make demos with 60min trial.

Forum Posts: 2004
Comment #17 by WINAS3
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 02:01:23 PM
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What a load of shit... It's easy to blame your own shortcomings on someone else isn't it...

Forum Posts: 234
Comment #18 by ZACHSP8
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 03:41:59 PM
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When I heard Syndicate was coming out on PS3, I thought yes, a good old skool strat game coming out and then I see screenshots and though WTF FPS shooter, thats not the Syndicate way, If original was the way it would have been a day 1 buy but because it wasn't i'll make it a 2 for £20 buy, which by the reviews and all the bad press the game has got, might be next week.LOL

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #19 by tweedle2012
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 04:59:38 PM
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couldnt agree more with if we havent got enough fps to pick from they go and ruin a old school classic. i was gutted

Forum Posts: 331
Comment #20 by hawknz
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 05:57:05 PM
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It was a good game. Not great but good. As for poor reviews #13, the game is a 75 average on Metacritic with a lot of well known publishers rating it an 80+ which is a fair score. The single player was bland but the co-op was awesome. I'm sure GAME's problems did affect sales somewhat but it was mostly EA releasing the game too early and with little marketing. But above all I think it just comes down to the fact that most people have bad taste.

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #21 by ManlyGenius
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 06:49:00 PM
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Or you know it could be because the game sucked.

Forum Posts: 1896
Comment #22 by dogwitch
Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 09:03:33 PM
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Starbreeze is not the blame. its ea games. funded and publish the game. also remember ea is worst company in America . dev did not have a full say in this

Forum Posts: 41497
Comment #23 by Terminator
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 @ 03:58:31 AM
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That was my thought when this was announced but when they said it going First-Person, My heart sank :(.

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Game Info
Electronic Arts


US February 21, 2012
Europe February 24, 2012

Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1
Online Players : 2-4
ESRB: Mature
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