TheDigitalDynasty // Why Mirror’s Edge 2 is great for the Gaming Industry
Why Mirror’s Edge 2 is great for the Gaming Industry
Mirror’s Edge is a game which not many people have heard of. The flawed yet intrinsically brilliant parkour based first person shooter released back in 2008 wasn’t commercially well received at all despite the overwhelming positive reception of the game critically. Since its release, the game has sold a mere 2.5 million copies. When compared to say Borderlands in a similar time frame, it is shadowed with Borderlands achieving around 4.5 million units sold. Perhaps more damaging is the fact that a significant proportion of the units sold were at heavily lower prices than the RRP. Steam sales in particular have got the game into more consumers’ hands but at the cost of lower potential returns to the developers. As we all know too well, when a game commercially flops, the chances of a publisher supporting the same IP a second time around is minute.
The announcement of the game at E3 this year then perhaps was one of the best pieces of news to arise from the LA based conference, particularly for me as a huge fan of the original game. The graphical prowess allowed by a new console generation (as let’s face it, the game isn’t targeted for PC gamers) certainly is appealing but that isn’t what I was excited about most. The sheer fact that this game exists is a testament to something not only great for us as gamers, but great for the industry as a whole.
Now this may sound a bit overreaching and hyperbolic for just another video game out of the hundreds that are already set to launch in the coming years, but the implications of such a game coming out haven’t been properly identified yet. Mirror’s Edge is a project of passion and love for a game. The premise for the game itself isn’t even remotely commercially viable in today’s world of set piece based shooters and spanning open world RPGs as proved by the disappointing sales of the first entry in the series. EA however have given the funding and dedication for this project to take place. This movement from publishers sticking to safe territory in terms of games they fund to giving developers the backing necessary to make games they are passionate about and love is something that has been missing from gaming for the past few years. A revitalisation of gaming is what I’ve been dying for and I’m sure I’m not alone here.
Perhaps what is even more astounding is who is actually developing the game. DICE, the company known best for the Battlefield series has reprised its role as developer for the series once more. In comparison to the other games DICE is working on such as the Battlefield series, this is not as finically lucrative. In Battlefield 3’s first week alone, it sold twice as many copies as Mirror’s Edge has so far. The development time and resources that are being funnelled through DICE for Mirror’s Edge 2 could be spent on a much safer financial endeavour. The fact EA has allowed this to happen maybe suggests the potential future backing for more risky projects in the future with game development exploring new places previously unexplored.
Of course, possibly the most exciting part of the game’s announcement is actually playing the game itself which is a joy hopefully more people will experience than people did for the game’s predecessor. With an unknown release date though, it may still be a long way off yet.