VELOCITY 2XNINTENDO SWITCH
FuturLab’s 2D shmup and side-scrolling hybrid Velocity 2X originally launched to rave reviews when it premiered on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in September, 2014. This praise continued in 2015 when it was ported to Xbox One and PC. Three years later, FuturLab and publisher Curve Digital partnered with Plan of Attack to promote its Nintendo Switch port, which launched September 20th, 2018.
Being fans of Velocity 2X (and FuturLab’s work in general), we were thrilled to take on the account. Four years on and the swift, arcade gameplay holds up immaculately. Not only that but the Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform for it, with the console’s portability lending to quick plays in transit. The Switch’s larger screen size and higher resolution also undoubtedly make it the successor to the PlayStation Vita.
The Velocity 2X campaign began in earnest in early July (the 4th in Europe and the 5th in North America, the 4th being a major US holiday) when it shared a joint press release with the announcement of another Curve Digital Switch release, Manual Samuel. This initial reveal teased a Switch port coming in September, though we saved the exact release date for a later PR beat. Just this announcement alone inspired 158 news stories from the likes of Eurogamer, Nintendo Life, Jeux Video, Go Nintendo, and more.
Following this, we invited media to check out Curve Digital’s upcoming content at Gamescom from August 21st-23rd. Admittedly Gamescom coverage for Velocity 2X was thin on the ground, which was to be expected given that it’s a port of a four year old game and would be launching shortly after the show. Still, we managed to book 15 appointments in total, securing written previews from the likes of N1ntendo, CTRL Blog and One FM.
We then secured another 16 news stories when FuturLabs’ James Marsden explained over Twitter that FuturLab was unable to find a publisher to fund a third Velocity game due to poor sales of Velocity 2X. This surprised many, as it was downloaded by millions and received rave reviews (90 MetaCritic on Vita, and 86 on PS4). The reason for this “downloads to sales” discrepancy was because a whopping majority of Velocity 2X players received the game as part of a PlayStation Plus promotion where it launched as a free title. News of FuturLab’s difficulties securing funding for a sequel spread far and wide, and GamesIndustry even interviewed Marsden about the studio’s situation.
We believe that Marsden’s blunt honestly generated more interest in the Switch port as he explained, quite clearly, that sales of Velocity 2X on Switch would be the last shot the studio would have to get a sequel greenlit.
Next up, we announced Velocity 2X’s September 20th release date just over a week in advance on September 12th. This generated another 141 news stories from such sites as Nintendo Life, Nintendo Everything, Vida Extra, and more.
The Out Now announcement didn’t produce as much coverage, as the release date announcement was only a week earlier and contained all the same information. Still, we managed to snag another 18 news stories, with IGN hosting its Launch trailer.
More importantly, we generated 86 reviews for Velocity 2X on Switch. The Switch release currently has 12 reviews on Metacritic with an aggregated score of 87. Not too shabby! Notable reviews include The Sixth Axis (10/10), Nintendojo (9.1/10), Nintendo Life (9/10), Nintendo Insider (8/10), DualShockers (9/10) and Nintendo World Report (9/10), and IGN Spain (8.2/10). It’s worth noting that as of publishing, Velocity 2X is the 23rd highest rated Switch game of all-time on Metacritic.
And that’s just Metacritic! Outside of traditional scored reviews, Velocity 2X on Switch was covered by GameXplain (1,020,663 subscribers), arguably YouTube’s leading Nintendo streamer. Beyond reviews and Let’s Plays, we secured six interviews from God Is A Geek, Nintendo Life, Nintendo World Report, Eurogamer Germany, Dualshockers and Gamereactor.
For an indie game being re-released just after its four-year anniversary, Velocity 2X received tremendous interest thanks to its high quality, our persistent outreach, and FuturLab’s openness to discuss its struggles as an indie developer.