Bizarre: Racing games not meeting sales expectations

We're not certain whose expectations Bizarre Creations' communications manager, Ben Ward, was referring to in his recent -- and incredibly vague -- statements about supposedly disappointing sales of (equally unspecified) racing games, but they must belong to someone. "I won't name any names, [but] more recent titles that were really good, critically acclaimed and we all played them, they didn't sell as well as can be expected," Ward posited to

It's difficult to argue against Ward, as he doesn't suggest anything concrete, but racing games have been competitive in the sales charts this generation (if that's recent enough). Console exclusives such as MotorStorm, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (a glorified demo!) and Forza 2 all rank among the top 10 bestselling games to date on their respective platforms, and Burnout Paradise has succeeded both at retail and digitally in its lengthy, multiplatform run. Sure, a niche racer like GRID is never going to gain mass appeal (nor is it intended to) and certain staple franchises, like Need For Speed, have dwindled in popularity and quality (hence the reboots), but the racing genre is right where it should be -- at least, in terms of our expectations.

Perhaps Ward and Bizarre just have greater expectations for their upcoming racer, Blur, which we called "a hyper-realistic Mario Kart." That puts Blur in good company, as Mario Kart Wii -- what Ward calls "the exception rather than the rule" -- has sold in excess of 15.4 million units by last count in May. But, really, there's nothing realistic about expecting those kinda numbers.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.