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Microsoft's Big Gamble

Joanna DarkI'll say this for Microsoft: they're optimistically cocky.  Next Generation has word that Microsoft and Rareware decided to go ahead and print up 700,000 copies of Perfect Dark Zero before the game had completed certification.  If the companies had waited for the game to be declared 100% working and complete then they would have missed the launch date for the Microsoft Xbox 360.

Having ordered replication of the disks, Microsoft and Rare had to cross their fingers for a positive certification. If Microsoft's notoriously strict procedure - which we understand was not eased for PDZ in any way - had failed, the disks would have been trashed and the game would have been late.

Can you imagine the anticipatory stress that the Dark team must have experienced during the window between sending the game to manufacturing and the completion of certification?  How many bottles of Pepto-Bismol and Xanax did those guys and gals down during that week?  I can understand why Microsoft decided to take such a chance.  After all the hype and hoopla of acquiring Rareware nearly five years ago, the company has to finally release something that equals or exceeds the Nintendo 64 glory days of Banjo-Kazooie and Goldeneye 007.  As Next Generation says, missing the launch date in this case would have been a sales and publicity disaster.  Microsoft has invested a lot of money in the company and they have to start bringing in profit and prestige before too much longer, I'd think.  Otherwise... well, maybe Sony would be interested in acquiring a twice-sold developer.

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