Spooked by disappointing reviews of THQ Inc.'s newest big-budget action video game, Homefront, investors pummeled the game publisher's stock Tuesday, pushing it down $1.25, or 21%, to $4.69.
Homefront, the most expensive project undertaken by the Agoura Hills company, takes place in a dystopian future in which North Korean forces occupy the United States. The game, based on a script by John Milius, puts players in the shoes of a civilian resistance fighter.
The game garnered a relatively weak average score of 72 out of 100 from 28 reviews by Tuesday afternoon, according to Metacritic, a site that aggregates reviews. A score of 80 is considered the minimum required for a "shooter" game such as Homefront to be commercially successful.
So far, players seem eager to see for themselves. On Amazon, Homefront was the No. 1 selling game, trailed by Pokemon Black Version and Pokemon White Version, two popular titles from Nintendo. Strong preorders, or customers who paid in advance to have a copy of the game sent to them on the day it is released, have put Homefront on Amazon's top 100 list for 28 days. THQ has said it needs to sell 2 million copies to break even.