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Selling 1 million units is no longer enough

There was a time, not so long ago, that selling a million of pretty much anything was deemed a huge success. In these days of big budgets and even bigger expectations though, games that don't do considerably better are deemed failures.

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Tinted Eyes2796d ago

No it still is, its only certain fanboys that try and downplay a good games success just because it didn't do 5 million in one day.

You all know who I am talking about....

Saaking2796d ago

Sales is the only thing a certain group has and therefore they have created the myth that if a game doesn't sell 2 million on day one it's a flop. What these people fail to remember is that the LARGE majority of games never even reach 1 million and if they do it's considered a success. Most Sony exclusive reach 1 million and a lot reach 2 million. That is amazing sales and should not be looked down upon. Besides, sales =/= quality.

deadreckoning6662796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

"Sales is the only thing a certain group has and therefore they have created the myth that if a game doesn't sell 2 million on day one it's a flop."

Some 360 fanboys use sales to determine that 360 exclusives are "better" than PS3 exclusives. However, PS3 fanboys consider any multiplat thats scores under a 9 as a flop.

ALL fanboys create dumb myths..
360 fanboys use sales to determine which game is better
PS3 fanboys use reviews

Kevin ButIer2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

Its all about quality and sustainability,

I decide on Quality

Bandwagon or follow sales trends is just feeding crappy products, and thats not the message that we should send as consumers.

SilentNegotiator2796d ago

Take Two's game budgets aren't necessarily the same as everyone else's.
What they need to profit, isn't the same for the next guy.

Title SHOULD read (But doesn't, being yet another sensationalist headline):
"Selling 1 million units isn't enough for Take Two Interactive"

IdleLeeSiuLung2796d ago

it is clear that the cost of video game development has gone up drastically. As computing power increases by leaps and bounds, it is the software development that cost the most to create.

With a factor of 10x more power with each new console generation, it isn't surprising then that video game market is a huge risk. A million copies sold used to be a success, now it is probably closer to the break even point.

That is why two of the three console manufacturer strives to make software development cheaper and not more complicated so they can enjoy a ten year life cycle!

Kaz Hirai (CEO of SCEA) had this to say:

"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" explained Hirai.

source: http://www.offworld.com/200...

Say thank you for prolonging your console life-cycle at consumers expense of raised video game prices!!!

Saaking2796d ago

so wait, it's better to go by sales than to go by reviews? WTF kind of twisted world is this? UC2 is infinitely better than MW2 yet MW2 sold more. Why? One word: casuals.

TheBand1t2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

Thanks M$ and $ony for jacking up the prices.

Obama2796d ago

"360 fanboys use sales to determine which game is better
--->PS3 fanboys use reviews "<----

Using reviews to judge a game is a myth?
Logic failed.

rezenu2796d ago

What are you talking about, it's always about the sales.

/s

dirthurts2796d ago

Modern warfare sold better for two reasons.
It's mulitiplatform, and it's just more fun to most people.
Now Uncharted was amazing, I loved it. But the multiplayer is where people are having the most fun. And MW2 is just more fun. Even if it's not better.

deadreckoning6662796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

"UC2 is infinitely better than MW2 yet MW2 sold more."

Yep, thats the problem right there.

Ur passing OPINION of as a FACT. Ur saying that EVERYONE has to believe that UC2 is better than MW2 or else their "irrational"?
Are u kidding me? If UC2 is the end all be all of gaming then thats YOUR opinion. But you can't say that its better because whats "better" is SUBJECTIVE.

Also, whats wrong with enjoying MW2? Many people LOVE the game. If more people bought it then thats because more people wanted it over UC2. So what?!

That fact that you need to make fun of another game to bring up another just shows that you are CLEARLY a fanboy. In fact, if you LOVE Uncharted 2 so much, why do you even find the need to MENTION MW2???

"so wait, it's better to go by sales than to go by reviews? WTF kind of twisted world is this?"

LOL, its better to go by your PERSONAL OPINION
Not by sales
Not by reviews
Not by awards
Not by advertisements

You determine what game is better by your own SUBJECTIVE OPINION. I know this may seem crazy to you, but most people actually do this :)

sikbeta2796d ago

Maybe not in the beginning for the whole Development Cost and all, but after finishing an Engine or bought UE3 to Epic (lol and truth), development costs decrease, since they have the Engine and then they just tweak it and squeeze for a better performance, is not like Devs are creating a new engine for every game they make

@IdleLeeSiuLung

What's your complain?

Multiplats are made with PC/xbox in mind and then ported, is not like a Dev make an Exclusive Engine for PS3 and another for PC/xbox

Examples:

Square Enix made the "Crystal Tools" Engine that let them create a game for PS3 and then port it to other platforms, again is just 1 Engine that will be used for all the games of this generation

IW used a proprietary engine one time with MW, then they used the same Engine tweaked for better performance

Think about an "easy to program for" Hardware, you have the best games just from the GO and the console Maxed Out, so the life cycle need to decrease because it's not going to be any difference between the firsts games and the future games and at the end a new Console with more powerful Hardware will need to come out, that's means you'll need to buy another Console

IdleLeeSiuLung2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

I agree with you and think that game sales is actually the best measure of how good a game is TO THE MAJORITY of the people. If a consumer is willing to buy it over another product, doesn't that suggest that to most consumers that is a better game?

Because Wii Fit sold millions, many put it down, but what they don't realize is that to millions of people this game is much more pleasurable to play than the latest Forza 3 or KillZone 2.

A review, is frankly an opinion from a specific audience, most likely a hardcore gamer that doesn't represent the gaming market anymore. In my opinion, sales is the number one measure of game quality relative to price.

I never played Wii fit and don't really like the Wii, but got to recognize that it has great games just not for me!!!

@sikbeta
It is the initial investment that make it risky and even then, games like GeoW cost $10-20 million to make excluding the engine. It is ridiculous to intentionally make something more difficult to do, just to extend it's life. If anything, it is decreasing it's life due to lower support if there is a better alternative.

PS2 is selling well still, surely it isn't because of it's current high-tech.

Because it is easy to program for doesn't mean that you can't unlock more power and because it is hard to use or more complex doesn't mean it is more powerful. It just means it is harder to get that power!!!

Elven62796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

The cost of making videogames is rising especially when tech is made from the ground up, that's why many developers opted for U3 this generation. The article isn't the only time this was stated, CEO's and other people from Ubisoft, EA, Midway, etc have said similar things in the past.

Keep in mind, once the tech is in place the cost goes down. For Midway for instance they put all this money in the Unreal engine yet they had to build up on it to make the engine worthwhile for their studios. The engine wouldn't accept the changes they wanted so a lot of resources had to go into getting things to work. Because of this the amount of games they had to sell to break even would increase. If Stranglehold failed to meet expectations a game like MK vs. DC would have had to sell 500k more to make up for it. Unfortunately the money especially in this economy never delivered and Midway is essentially gone now. (this was all revealed on the Giant Bomb podcast a few weeks ago for those who want more info)

http://www.giantbomb.com/po...

That is one extreme example of this but similar examples can be seen in the industry.

pippoppow2796d ago

Everyone knows this. Popularity is not always justified. Many inferior games movies and songs sell better than superior products due to a number of different factors. If you believe following the masses blindly because you trust in their habits then good luck to you.

Phantom Menace is number 5 on the top money makers list. Mediocre movie, average at best.

Lil Wayne. Top selling Rapper. Garbage lyrics but his popularity must mean he is great regardless huh.

Ford F series #1 seller. Must be better than Lexus, Mercedes and BMW to name a few.

Sales are not a good indication of quality at all. Only the nieve believe this.

snp2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

I agree with you and think that game sales is actually the best measure of how good a game is TO THE MAJORITY of the people. If a consumer is willing to buy it over another product, doesn't that suggest that to most consumers that is a better game?
--------

Higher sales indicate a game is more 'desired'. I wouldn't say it means something is considered 'better'.

Desire for a game, which usually translates to large upfront sales/pre-orders comes from a number of factors - legacy (if it's a sequal), marketing, popularity of the genre, competition, release date; you name it, really.

It doesn't make much sense to say anything beyond the higher selling game has caught consumers interest more at that point in time (and it should be noted up front higher sellers often taper off much more quickly). After all, it's a bit odd to suggest people who buy one game over another game can have any kind of informed opinion on the game they didn't buy and have never played. They can have a preference/prejudice which pushed them towards the higher selling game (and hype, indeed, once it meets a critical mass tends to create another set of roll on sales), but not an informed hands on opinion on the objective quality of a game they've never played.

DelbertGrady2796d ago

Isn't it extremely subjective?

For example, I think Bayonetta is a quality game because it's fun to play. I actually think it's so much fun that I will replay it as soon as I'm done.

Someone else might argue that it's not a quality title because it has no multiplayer component. And the graphics don't look like Uncharted 2.

And what if you are more of an action/adventure gamer than a japanese action gamer? Is one of you more quality aware than the other?

See how transparent? this is becoming?

JokesOnYou2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

If you go back not too long ago, around the ps3 launch and for the next year or so, right here on this site, MANY, MANY sony extremists SWORE OFF REVIEWS as UNFAIR, BIAS, A CONSPIRACY AGAINST PS3, truth was most of sony's launch games just weren't that good. Remember the Lair fiasco. lol SONY FOLLOWERS SAID REVIEWS DONT MATTER AT THAT TIME, its funny 'cause just like now I have always maintained that reviews are good, but just one aspect of a games worth, I didn't hate on reviewers then and I dont hate on them now, I never made them about anything more than what they are an OPINION, but generally speaking, if a game consistently scores highly, I'm willing to accept it must be a great game, no matter if *I* personaly like it or not. Now its quite ironic ps3 has had some really good games as of late and the reviews reflect this accordingly AND NOW SUDDENLY REVIEWS MATTER, not surprised, remember when they use to FLIP FLOP on which sites to hate(they still do this), depending on the score of the latest ps3 exclusive, seriously you would see the same fanboy that was ranting about a particular site being bias, next month now praising the same site for a good review, or worst actually complimenting them for "accurately" scoring a 360 game low, sony loyalists are by far the biggest hypocrites in gaming, hands down.

Don't drink the kool-aid, in the real world just because there are a few examples of something that does not go in line with a common rule does not change the premise. Yes Reviews are just part of the overall consensus of what is suppose to be quality. Quality/Value has always been and will always be ultimately determined by the mass public. The vast majority of quality products generally sell better than lower quality products, to be truly considered quality by the majority(consensus opinion) a product must be BOTH HIGHLY REGARDED(reviews) and be financialy successful(sales). High praise without high sales= niche product. High sales without high praise= FAD(no lasting appeal/a few will always sware its the greatest invention since water).

Bottom line; Sales do matter alot, and have a great deal to do with quality.

Great Reviews, High Sales, Longevity= Quality/Blockbuster hit
Great Reviews, Low Sales, No lasting appeal= Flop/Niche game
Mediocore/Low Reviews, Avg/High Sales= FAD

JOY

vhero2796d ago

sorry but 1 million not a success anymore?? Somebody really needs to go home and try write a real article. it might not make your game AAA but it certinaly makes it AAA. I think somebody jealous that FF13 sold more than 1 million on launch day and its not even on 360 yet!

snp2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

Don't drink the kool-aid, in the real world just because there are a few examples of something that does not go in line with a common rule does not change the premise. Yes Reviews are just part of the overall consensus of what is suppose to be quality. Quality/Value has always been and will always be ultimately determined by the mass public. The vast majority of quality products generally sell better than lower quality products, to be truly considered quality by the majority(consensus opinion) a product must be BOTH HIGHLY REGARDED(reviews) and be financialy successful(sales). High praise without high sales= niche product. High sales without high praise= FAD(no lasting appeal/a few will always sware its the greatest invention since water).

Bottom line; Sales do matter alot, and have a great deal to do with quality.

Great Reviews, High Sales, Longevity= Quality/Blockbuster hit
Great Reviews, Low Sales, No lasting appeal= Flop/Niche game
Mediocore/Low Reviews, Avg/High Sales= FAD

JOY

-----

I don't disagree, but i think you're overstating and oversimplifying it a bit.

For example, what's longevity? In literature, it's say, 150 years plus (even Hemingway etc. are starting to crumble a bit to time and are seen as somewhat too much 'period pieces'). In video games it's...? Is it Halo - less than a decade? Is it Tetris - a few decades? Early Lucasarts games at a bit more than couple of decades (still regarded as the benchmark for dialogue etc in gaming, and making somewhat of a comeback, though never ever selling anywhere near what would be regarded as a modern 'blockbuster' - where do they fit in 'quality/flop/fad' triad?).

What about things that feed into other success - emulation being the best form of flattery and all that. Ulysses (James Joyce) is found to be unreadable by a pretty large segment of the 'mass public', but his techniques are used by writers for books that have sold tens of millions to the mass public. Does any credit for dissemination of these new ways of writing belong to Joyce? Relayed to video games, since the elephant in the room i suspect is Uncharted 2 - if the next revolution/trend in video game pretty clearly lifts from this game, and (however you regard it's sales) those games that are more or less 'born' of it sell whatever numbers are considered 'blockbuster', does Uncharted 2 deserve any credit? There's already been a number of comments from other developers - Bungie etc included - that suggest this game has inspired/is inspiring their own take on new potential video games; should this be regarded as part of that games 'legacy' or does it start and end with 'mass public' and hired reviewers of one particular time or another?

Seems to me success in life in general and all these things seperated here tend to 'bleed' into one another. You can set up boxes to say what works/doesn't, but they'll be pretty flimsy - and generally constructed for/with alterior motives (to give artificial weight to denouncing/celebrating one thing or another in my experience).

gaffyh2796d ago

A game doesn't need millions of sales to be considered a great game, 1 million sales may not have been enough at the start of this gen, but it is now as developers have gotten used to the PS3.

And those who say Sales = Quality are stupid, Shadow of The Colossus, Ico, Okami and Psychonauts are some of the best games ever made, despite not selling too many copies. however, SOTC and ICO did sell about 2.5 million in total, so obviously it was "enough" because they are making a third game.

You can talk all you want of quality being "subjective" or whatever, but when this generation is over, mark my words, Heavy Rain, The Last Guardian and Uncharted 2 will be called the best games last gen.

callahan092796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

@ IdleLeeSiuLung

I love how you blame the 60 dollar price tag for videogames on Sony and completely neglect to mention that the 360 started that precedent in 2005.

JokesOnYou2795d ago (Edited 2795d ago )

Yes you are correct my analysis is an oversimplification of what Qaulity is suppose to be....however, as you know its a very subjective and complex topic as your examples point out and this is n4g afterall so without writing a "book-like" post you can hardly blame me for trying to keep such a broad topic simple.

I make no judgement about UC2's quality, other than on a personal level I believe its a great game, and if it inspires other dev's as you say, I definitely agree that a game which infuences future games is another sign of quality, imitation afterall is the highest form of flattery for a reason. So time will tell where UC2 fits into gaming history. Your post just points out a few finer details that all have something to do with quality and of course as with most ideas/thinking in life the parameters change overtime, but the general concept again has never changed, High Praise from the public+Commercial Success(Sales)+Longevity= Is the closest consensus we will ever have in determining/measuring quality. That will NOT change just because a few people swear their favorite game was the best ever but didn't sale= niche market.

The other part to my analysis is HOW much does a game need to sale?, HOW well does it have to be praised/regarded(reviews)? HOW long does it have to remain revelant(longevity)?= To be considered QUALITY, that is something no one right now has the answer to, but again only time will tell where all these games fit in this period of gaming....lol and even then when were playing on our Holographic Digital Distribution Gaming Systems the whole world will remember _____ game as one of those ground breaking genre defining games, and some asshole will scream out that game sucked! lmfao

JOY

edit: (lol 2 bubbles) Anyway @Sarcasm vvvvv yes micro IS aiming to have greater WW sales, their actually doing pretty well or decent everywhere except Japan, they wouldn't be still TRYING in Japan if they were not aiming at making xbox a WW brand, but micro's failings in Japan have little to do with quality given that the Japanese demographic are highly culturaly sensitive/loyal to homegrown gaming, which puts the xbox brand at a great disadvantage in that territory, its quite evident since even everything western made related to gaming does poorly there, even games like UC2 and so many others do not sale particularly well there, that clearly suggests that micro's success in Japan isn't an arguement of quality its a statement by the Japanese in general that they prefer traditional Japanese gaming.

Ask any connoisseur of Cigars, there are many quality to brands that are just as good or better than a "Cuban" but don't dare go to downtown Havanna trying to sell a damm "Diesel"(top rated brand cigar) to Cuban natives, not unless you like fighting. lol

Sarcasm2795d ago

A company should always aim to have greater world wide sales instead of just a few regions. Except MS in Japan.

pixelsword2795d ago (Edited 2795d ago )

While the computing power goes up, and the tools get more powerful, the production time goes down because of the more powerful tools. In one of the self-made interviews for Guerrilla Games, one of the developers was talking about how they used to have to do everything by hand, but now the computer does most of it; lowering production time, but raising the production time simultaneously because now more can go into a game. Once an engine is created, though, anything that comes afterwords will happen quickly and more time can be used to push the technology within the engine instead of creating it.

That's why Killzone 2 took over five years to make, but the next one may be out next year.

That's why Bungie's been pumping out Halo games but is taking their time with their masterpiece on a whole new engine: Halo Reach.

That's why Gran Turismo will take a long time, but the next one will be out much sooner.

Same thing happened with:

Gears of War (GeOW2, UT III, many other games), Little Big Planet (MNR), and others.

Once the tech is present, the game will be quicker. If the tech is not present, then the opposite happens. After the first one(s), it will take a little while for the second game to surface:

Army of two, Bioshock, Dead Space, and others

if the tech isn't invested in, the game will suffer somewhat larger delays because the tech will change:

Too Human, Duke Nukem Forever, Alan Wake, and others.

It's a little more complicated than "1 million units is no longer enough".

Do better Gamepro.

Anon19742795d ago

Consider this, though. Almost 90% of games never break the one million mark their entire life. If you needed 1 million to be successful, wouldn't that mean that 90% of games don't make money?

I highly doubt that. If 90% of games weren't successful, no one would be making them and that's clearly not the case. There's a bit of a disconnect between this article and reality, methinks.

Enigma_20992795d ago

Oh hell, kid... this is nothing... I was paying $64 for Genesis and SNES games... GENESIS AND SNES GAMES. So this is nothing...

@IdleLeeSiuLung
"That is why two of the three console manufacturer strives to make software development cheaper and not more complicated so they can enjoy a ten year life cycle!

Kaz Hirai (CEO of SCEA) had this to say:

"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" explained Hirai.

source: http://www.offworld.com/200...

Say thank you for prolonging your console life-cycle at consumers expense of raised video game prices!!!"

So what are you saying... that gaming console tech has been sitting idle, spinning it's wheels all these years? Technology advances, regardless of what you want to think. And suprisingly, MANY game devs adapt just fine. My library of PS3 games is proof of that.

As for that last comment, well... let's just say I wasn't aware we PS3 owners were paying more for our games than 360 owners. Other than exclusives and collector's editions... exactly what multi-platform ports cost more on PS3?

edgeofblade2795d ago

Profit should still be the defining factor. If you would allow me to oversimplify, you spend $60 million on making the game, and you sell a million (at $60 each), you break even. That's not a success. If you spend $500,000 and you sell a million, that's a huge success.

We have this concept of best that only serves the backwards logic of fanboys, but the reality of the situation is very different. We don't need to inflate the "success number" to exclude deserving games.

I've said this before: the problem with the game industry is NOT fanboys. It's hateboys.

Immortal3212795d ago

all these disagreements already mess up xmas

+ Show (26) more repliesLast reply 2795d ago
randomwiz2796d ago (Edited 2796d ago )

lets say a game was set to sell one million.

It costs 20m to develop.
The publisher pays 30m for the game.

In each $60 copy, $10-12 goes to retailer, $8-$15 royalties, $33-$42 for the publisher. 1m copies = 33m to 42m for the publisher.

So the publisher ends up profiting 3m to 12m if the game sells 1m.

Sounds pretty good to me

Pandamobile2796d ago

Digital PC publishers profit even more because they cut out the middle man (the retailers)

Say EA sells 500,000 copies of Mass Effect 2 on Steam in its first week. That's 25 million made in total, and then EA just gives Valve what ever distribution fee (let's assume that Valve gets about 30-40%) and EA walks away with the rest, or about 14 million. Not bad.

haqshot2796d ago

Right now, Activision Blizzard is valued at $14.4 BILLION. You think shareholders want to see net income of $3 million? That's virtually insignificant.