Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why Action 52 was the disaster it was

I think everything's been said on the subject... Action 52 blows chunks. I'd say 52 kinds of chunks, but since half of these are space shooters I'll settle for half as many chunks. Nonetheless, the newest episode of GameTrailers' Pop Fiction, which, since we're dealing with the bottom of the barrel, was also an AVGN crossover, taught me some interesting stuff about this holocaust of garbage.

While the episode itself was about a way to bypass a gamebreaking glitch in Cheetahmen 2 that stopped the game from progressing past the fourth stage's boss, it also brought up Action 52's sordid backstory. As it turns out, the owner of Active Enterprises wanted all 52 games completed in three months. Let that sink in for a moment. This asshole wanted 52 games done within THREE MONTHS. On a single NES cartridge to boot. Even with dozens of highly qualified people this would be an impossible endeavor, but Scrooge McDuck here decided he was going to entrust three college students with that task.

Three months. Three people. And college students to boot. Is it such a surprise it was one of the biggest flops in gaming history? And mister almighty owner thought the Cheetahmen would be able to compete with TMNT? GENIUS.


  1. I don't have any data on the sales of the game, but he probably multiplied his expenses by dozens of times in profits anyway.

    I mean, with only three employees, he couldn't have spent very much on the game, but it's price tag was far higher than normal NES games, right? If only a few people bought the game, he likely would have made his money back.