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Little Big Planet sales flop - a cause for concern for Sony?

Sony couldn't have hyped its community platform game, Little Big Planet, any more than it has, yet it doesn't seem to have quite had the desired effect.

Despite high review scores on Metacritic, including many sites and publications (of course the Official Playstation Magazine included) awarding it with a suspiciously generous 100%, it has failed to commercially perform as expected.

A quick glance at this week's videogame charts, which sees Call of Duty World At War, World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King and Football Manager 2009 sitting in 1st,2nd and 3rd places respectively, reveals that Little Big Planet has dropped dramatically from 4th position, where it debuted on its release, right down to 19th.

So what's gone wrong?

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Darkseider4247d ago

Dunno. I enjoy it as do my kids. The only thing I can think of is the ADHD society video gaming has become and people want quick fixes for consoles not something that takes time. Also WoW should not be included in this list as it is an enigma to begin with. WoW is the Wii of the PC game world. It's a game that shouldn't be as popular as it is but somehow has become the "IN" thing.

The Matrix4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's hard to get sales on a BRAND NEW IP (and at the time, not yet proven ) when you release a game in the middle of: Fallout 3, Gears 2, Resistance 2, Dead Space, Fable 2, Spiderman Web of Shadows, Tomb Raider Underworld, Endwar, Quantam of Solace, Guitar Hero 4, Rock Band 2, WWE 09, Saints Row 2, NBA 2k9, NBA Live 09, FiFA 09, Socom Confrontation, Midnight Club, Far Cry 2, Bioshock PS3 and Motorstorm just to name a few. All within a few weeks of littlebigplanet.

Muppetmeat4247d ago

Didn't we just have an article passing through here about how Sony DIDN'T hype LBP nearly enough? Or hasn't hyped any game enough for that matter?

How come anyone with a web addy can write their own biased opinions, call themselves a 'game critic' or a 'journalist', and then put their own semi-literate crap up here like it's some sort of earth-shattering news? Can't this site have some sort of standards before tripe like this is approved?

Milky Joe4247d ago

Bad news for Sony? Bad news for the gaming industry in general, me thinks. If the only games that succeed are the ones that are sequels or borrow heavily from The Book of Video Game Cliche, this industry will just grind to a halt as new, innovative developers get pushed out by people like EA and Ubisoft, and people realise that Dead Space 2012 has nothing new over Dead Space 2011 and that there really is no reason to buy it.

And it seems the world of marketing really has us by the balls when we will only buy a game if it is marketed to us as the second coming. What the hell happened to making up your own mind instead of being told which games you'll enjoy?

The system's broken...

Milky Joe4247d ago

And that right there proves my argument. Alien filled FPS that had a marketing budget greater than the gross income of a small country outsells a game that actually shows a bit of imagination...

Although I do think you're taking this all a bit personally fakeplasticlung, you probably oughta have a think about your priorities in life.

jaysquared4247d ago

LBP never had the hype other than on this site! Seriously did anybody other than the PS3 fans on this site ever think that this game will sell to its target audience when its target audience already own or want a wii?

stevenhiggster4247d ago

I'll tell you exactly what the problem is, Sony's marketing department suck! I work in sales and one thing I know for sure is that no one will buy something they don't even know exists!! I personally have seen 1 tv commercial for this game, and it was on late at night. When Microsoft release a game they throw everyhing into marketing it, it doesn't matter how good a game is if you don't shout about it, no one's gonna buy it!!!! Please Sony, get your act together, SACK the marketing department!

f7897904247d ago

I'm guessing that's why you dont like LBP. It doesnt have shooting.

witchking4247d ago

While I agree that new IPs are tough to get into the market, let's not start on this "cliches are ruining the video game industry." Because they're not.

The old space marines encounter deadly foe cliche, the old princess kidnapped by end game boss cliche, the old "enter your cliche here" cliche... guess what? They're still selling. A LOT. You might think this is stifling, but when video games continue to grow in revenue at a 20%+ clip, when the rest of the world appears to be in a downward spiral economically... well, I'd say "tried and true" is quite successful right now. And it's not going to grind to a halt.

In fact, given the current economy, I suspect that we'll see MORE sequels to successful franchises and fewer new IPs, as publishers attempt to ride this economic wave by ensuring franchise products get to the market. Maybe that sucks for those of you looking for innovation around every corner. But for others, who enjoy something comfortable and known to sit down in front of and play, well, it appears those games are here to stay.

So why is LBP not selling well? Maybe because the PS3 isn't selling well, for one, and maybe because, quite frankly, MOST people -- not all, but most -- want to play a video game, and this game was hyped quite a bit as being something you can build yourself. I don't think there's enough people out there who realize that LBP is its own game in addition to having level building.

Liquid Dust4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

You guys have some real great points, bubbles. I would have hoped that Sony would have foreseen the extreme overexposure of games during the holiday season.

It seems like Sony's reasoning for the late 6 figure advertisement push might be that since all the major titles have been released and ad campaigns for other major titles have cooled down a bit, it would be an opportune moment for large amounts of LBP ads to hit the airwaves and catch some more attention? Reasonable assumption? I dunno. I just know that LBP deserves some much needed attention and I know there are many consumers that would snatch the game right up if they had just a little exposure to it.

We'll just have to see what they have laid out for December when it gets here I guess.

Homicide4247d ago

I knew this game was going to flop. The PS3 is still too expensive for the casuals. It is also difficult. They don't have the time to create levels.

RememberThe3574247d ago

The more rational people on this site had already pointed out the problem LBP bad with target audience.

The PS3 is $400, that a gamer price, not a casual price. This game is being advertised toward the casual audience, when most of the people who own a PS3 are a little more hardcore.

From the comments I've read around, I seems that most of the people who picked this game up were either hardcore PS3 fans, or bought it because they have kid, or other family members, they thought would like it.

In most of these cases the people who picked it up for someone else ended up playing it the most.

Sony needs to promote the community and creation features. At the moment all I've been hearing from them is that it's fun. There is a lot that sets this game apart from anything else out there, not just that it's fun.

littletad4247d ago

I love how some people pull some serious twist on these things. Especially with a game like LBP. So sequels and "game cliches" aren't your cup of tea? Last I check, Mario has had a 100+ games and Metal Gear Solid 4 came out this year, with what I'm sure there will be a fifth. Then the ps2 Era consisted of just that, 3 Gta's and 3 Devil May Cry's and I'm sure I can go on. Now innovation is the norm? No, it's happening exactly as it should. Littlebigplanet is selling as well as it should, and it possibly can. Shadow of Colossus didn't sell all that well either in it's initial release. So Sony NOW tries to make something completely original and the game industry is broken? Please, don't put a spin defense on that. Blame it on the people who continue to support sequels, which is just about everyone. A brand new IP won't always do well, but if the critics and core games love it, it will do well eventually. And judging by your past comments, would you be so inclined to defend this IP if it was marketed and developed by Microsoft? I seriously doubt it. How's that for priorities. ;)

Milky Joe4247d ago

You make some good points (bet you didn't expect me to say that...), I guess I'm just a bit miffed that a game that I absolutely adore isn't doing as well as I'd hoped.

I probably did go a bit overboard with my comments there, and yes, there has always been the problem where critically acclaimed, unproven games sell less than average, established games, but that can only go on for so long before people realise that without a huge marketing budget, your new IP isn't going to be selling by the million. Also, increasing costs of development are going to play a big factor in all of this. But then I suppose that's where your online distribution networks come in. Lower costs, less risk, hence more freedom.

I'm going to ignore your little attempt at calling me a fanboy there because I feel that even if I was slightly more biased towards one side (which tbh I am) it still wouldn't affect the validity of my points. It would just mean I have an irrational sense of loyalty which is only hurting myself.

littletad4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

I understand completely, I'm a bit hurt too LBP didn't do so well. Well actually the sales isn't what's been bothering me, but rather the moderation of levels and the advertising. I just feel this is hurting so much of the games potential. *note I didn't hit the disagree ;).

acedoh4247d ago

So let me start off by saying the Christmas season has not begun. So while some of you get disappointed by early sales I must point out this game fits all the standards of doing well during the Holiday season. With new SONY ad's coming out I believe this game will do fairly well. Most mainstream consumers aren't waiting on game release dates like many of us do. Little Big Planet is a game that will pick up momentum over the next several weeks and eclispe at least a million.

Secondly I don't know what SONY officials predicted this game to sell millions. This game was a risk from the beginning over whether it would have a large audience. Just because it doesn't sell to the standards of other franchises like Call of Duty doesn't mean it will be pushed adside. There are numerous game franchises that had only average sales and still have hardcore fan bases.

In the end I expect Little Big Planet to sell over one million are probably closer to two million in a years time. Game fans please be patient with this title. I remember Uncharted starting off poorly last year and picking up a lot of steam...

shawnsl654247d ago

that idiot anti-ps3 bomboclatt again. who approves these thing?

Danja4247d ago

HAHA dude bubbles...in actually laughed when I read that..haven't seen that word on N4G in over a year...

godofthunder104247d ago

I have a 360 and love it.I'm no childish fanboy of any system.I don't think that LBP hurt the game industry.The fact is that the ps3 fanboys are claiming that LBP didn't sell well because sony didn't promote it well or it's a new IP.If LBP was on the 360 the same ps3 fanboys would be saying that the game sux.The 360 fanboys would be saying the opposite to.They would be saying the the game is great.The reason that LBP didn't sell well was because it's a childish game and the ps3 is a system more for grownups.LBP wouldn't have sold well on the 360 either.If it was on the wii it would have sold over a million in the first 2 days it was out.I will also admitt that the new avitars on the 360 are childish.

Fanboys of the ps3 claim that LBP wasn't promoted but the fact is that it was. The fact is that i've seen commercials of LBP,i've also seen posters to advertize the game at best buy,circuit city,game stop,walmart and other game places.I've also seen it on covers of game magazines and every website that has to do with games they had articles on it.Ps3 fanboys claim that the reason it didn't sell was because it'a new Ip and that isn't true.They had lots of new IP that sold well when they came out.

The problem with fanboys is that they want give credit where credit is due.I'll admitt that i don't like games like LBP.I will also admitt that i don't like the MGS series.Whem i sit down to play a game i want to play more then i watch.If i wanted to watch something that was almost 3hrs long i would watch a movie.

On the other hand i like some games that's on the ps3.I wish that R1 and 2 was on the 360.I also wish that KZ2 would be on the 360.KZ2 look like it will be a great game,maybe even game of the year,if it is like they claim.The fact is that i would have bought all 3 on launch day.

The problem is that fanboys are hypercrits.They will never admitt that the other system have good games on them.They also act like ever game on the system they have is great even if it's the worse game ever made.They will always agree about negative news about the other system even if they know it's not true.They will also disagree with every positive news about the other system even when they know it's true.They do the exact opposit when it come to the system they.

The fact is that ps3 fanboys like some games and things about the 360.The 360 fanboys like some game and things about the ps3.The problem is that they are so childish they want admit it and it's ridiculious.There is no way in h*ll that every ps3 fanboy hate halo,fable and other games on the 360 like they claim.The same thing for 360 fanboys.There is no way in h*ll that every one of them hate R and MGS like they claim.If the same games they claim they hate was on the system they have they would all be saying the exact opposite they are saying now.

It's about time every fanboy grow up.They need to face the fact that the 360 and ps3 are both good systems with great games on both of them.They should also stop saying that the 360 or ps3 is the last time that company will make a gameing system.The fact is that they both will be around a long time.I'm also tired of hearing the ps3 and 360 fanboy claiming that the system they have will win this generation.I have a 360 but i'm not afraid to admit that the wii will win this generation and i don't even like the wii.

Fanboys should just play and enjoy the system they have.They shouldn't even worry about the other system because it doesn't concern them one bit.They should also realize that it's not doing anything for them.The fact is that sony and microsoft doesn't give a sh*t about them.They should ask themself what sony or microsoft give them for makeing an a** out of themself by acting childish like they are.The answer is not a damn thing and they never will.

YouNoob4247d ago

gotta say it first this time: NOOB! Halo had a hard time selling on the Xbox? Gears hard a hard time selling on the 360? both new IP's and million sellers if not to say absolute blockbusters.

think b4 you talk out of your arse.

cRaZyLeGs 934247d ago

I think the beta killed all the hype. I felt disappointed with the game. Gears is better for the 360/ps3 owner.

KRUSSIDULL4247d ago

LPB + Viva Pinata = Both flops

barom4247d ago

Let's face it. A game like LBP is hard to sell. If you just watch the trailers you won't get as excited. However once you get to play it, thats when you truly understand how fun this game is. In other words, a game like this need to spread by people rather than advertising. So give it some time. It'll blow up like Guitar Hero.

Fallen_Angel4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

Its funny that sony fanboys hyped lil big flop as a system seller and kept saying wait till lil big flop comes out. It was suppose to destroy anything the 360 had to offer. Yet GoW2 sold almost 3 times the amount as sony 4 best so called AAA games (lil big flop, glitchcom, motorcrap 2 and r3 aka generic fps 2)

As for New IP being hard to sell that a load of crap lot of new IP sell millions. Look at the 1st gears sold over 5 million copies, look at Halo 1 over 6m , Fable 1 over 2.5m , how able rockband , CoD1 ? Could look at some ps titles DMC1 almost 3m sold God of war over 3m sold, Gran Turismo almost 11m sold and RE1 over 5m. Wow that 10 new IP that all sold extremely well

ofx3604247d ago

WTF. Sony needs to low the price this christmas. Having sales like sony is having is definitly not good. I hope sony doesnt loose these great 2nd party devs

pavarotti4247d ago

soon all the n4g fanboys will be saying that it's gonna be 09 instead. but take some reassurance sdf in the fact that killzone2 and gt5(if it's out) are gonna sell like hot-cakes, and are gonna shift hardware aswell.

but, you all like to hype sonys new i.p's and like to say stupid stuff like sony doesn't need third party devs when they have some many studios..blah blah. the massive problem which is already a reality is the fact that new i.p's dont have an existing fanbase, and are not guaranteed system sellers!

a load fanboys sitting on a gutter web-site hyping things into the stratosphere doesn't do anything either(just like 3 rrod, should live be free? and 360 disc scratching threads a day hasn't stopped people buying 360s!! a valiant try by the sony faithful though!).

without mass marketing sony are having a difficult time, only a sequel, mgs4 has really made an impression. without huge ad campaigns, i can see a few games not doing so well next year aswell. sony needs toleave a bit of money in each pot to cover the advertising and building the hype.

here's my tip sdf, stop hyping games and claiming each is gonna be this and that. the next big sony flop is gonna be heavy rain! let this one slip under the radar people. because after way some of you lot have been hyping it, when it bombs critically and commercially, it's gonna be too human all over again but for the sdf instead.

Kill Crow4247d ago

it appears both target audiences are enjoying wii sports

Milky Joe4246d ago

Thanks for understanding. You're right about the moderation as well, it really needs sorting out.

sukru4246d ago

"It's hard to get sales on a BRAND NEW IP"

But from your listing, Dead Space is a new IP too, but it had very very good reception. I know they do not appeal to the same audience, but Dead Space satisfied the audience (me!), but LBP had not generated enough intensive to buy.

wallace10004246d ago

I think the biggest problem is that the target audience for the game isn't that large on the PS3. The quality is there but the crowds aren't. If LBP was released on the Wii sales would be through the roof.

locos854246d ago

I bet this game will be a huge sell for Christmas. Since its a new IP, I bet that people would rather gift it that to purchase it for themselves. I predict huge Holiday numbers.

Tarasque4246d ago

This is truly funny how, Sony fanboys are worried about how many copies it sells. If you bought the game and enjoy it, then why do you really care how many copies it sells? I new it wouldn't sell well after playing the beta, sure some can argue like 1 mill is a flop. But going by what everyone said it was the next coming it is a flop.

+ Show (29) more repliesLast reply 4246d ago
chasegamez4247d ago

it will sell over 2million in the long run

cRaZyLeGs 934247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

Thats still very little. Fable2 has already sold 1.5mil

Jamie Foxx4247d ago

and become not so much a new IP but a franchise for sony and mm

bomboclaat_gamer4247d ago

"LBP WILL GROSS HUGE NUMBERS OVER ITS LIFETIME"

maybe in the next 10 years

happyface4247d ago

LOL, dumb posters make me laugh

LBP was supposed to sell ps3s to casuals and turn the ps3 around from last place to beating 360

It hasn't done anything close to that, its just another weak to average selling game, so it hasn't made any difference in the console war

Jamie Foxx4247d ago

locked and loaded, the real war is where brave people have died in iraq, this is a video game (a very good one at that) which i hope many people get to play

i suggest you look at whats going on the world and grow up

cayal4247d ago

average to weak games don't sell a million which LBP already has or is close to doing.

I am amused at the lack of free thinking people show around here. You just read something and take it as gospel.

Maxned4247d ago

Funny how I have 22 disagrees yet no one actually counterpoints my argument. Fail.

INehalemEXI4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

The game didnt flop peoples expectations and hype did though. The game is a game nothing more nothing less, It's a new ip and its not in the bargain bins..... Those that where posing sackboy as the PS Messiah are hilarious. PS3 is selling suprisingly well at its price point and needs no messiah. Though if were naming one grampy snake ftw.

Fallen_Angel4247d ago

OMFG to funny 1st JF post an extremely stupid fanboy comment then when someone points out the truth goes in to a rant about iraq.

Sharpshell4246d ago

Sackboy wasn't supposed to be Sony's Masterchief and sell millions of games in a week, (they have nathan hale for that lol) sackboy is Sony's Mario, and like Mario and all Nintendo games (at least the good ones from the good ol days before this wiifit crap) they sell well and over a long period of time. I can't tel lyou how many of my friends who don't know a who lot about vgs i talk to and im like try lbp and they say "oh ive heard really good things i think i will get it eventually" for them its nopt about 1st week purchase. No one who has tried LBP out has ever not enjoyed it either, every person I introduce is instantly in love with the game, the less of a gamer the more they love it. Hell even my girlfriend likes it, so no... no cause for concern, at all...LBP will be selling copies for a long time coming, with sales growing exponentially, in the meantime its sold more than well enough to earn profit so calm down.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 4246d ago
Omega44247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

Considering Sony claimed Sackboy as their mascot for the PS Brand like MS's Master Cheif and Nintendo's Mario its a HUGE concern, especially when LBP's sales figures dont come close to Halo and Mario games

Fair enough Sony are still making a loss on their hardware so they dont have too much cash to spend on marketing but if they dont up the anti soon they may never make any money

You gotta spend money to make money and Sony isnt doing either

TheColbertinator4247d ago

"You gotta spend money to make money and Sony isnt doing either"-Omega4

Thats a very good point

titntin4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

No suprise that someone with your posting record doesn't bother to read a story before commenting.

Sony have spent a lot of money on a big marketing campaign thats due to start in December. I'm not stating weather thats the right approach, or even if I think it will succeed, but if you bothered to read you would see that they are spending on it.

happyface4247d ago

Sackboy failed

Master Chief and Mario are icons, no one outside of messageboard fanboys know wtf a sack boy is

jerethdagryphon4247d ago

is not nesscarly your best (thats a flagship)

a mascot is something that ban become interchangable when tinging about a console team or producti sony had a thanksgiving flaot you put your mascots on it
by naming sackboy as mascot it just means they havent given up on him and they thingk he can hold te title for sony,

siny events in yeas to some may have sackboys handiong outgifts or something its all there they just need to put it together

Bob Dole4247d ago

Sackboy's game is more innovative than the other mascots latest games.

Kill Crow4246d ago

are you saying the mario simulator is innovative?

wallace10004246d ago

I have to agree with happyface. There was a LBP commercial on last night during Heroes and my girlfriend and her brother were wondering who the little man with the zipper was. As happyface said, they both know who mario and master chief are. More marketing would have helped but i honestly don't believe that the audience is there.

Tarasque4246d ago

@jerethdagryphon
Seriously use spell check or something.

Bob Dole4246d ago

Mario simulator huh? Yeah, mario has been 3d since N64. LBP is 2d(ish) with three plains. Still a side scroller though. You obviously have never played it or you would know that it has nothing to do with Mario at ALL besides the fact that it is a side scroller.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 4246d ago
Lucas224247d ago

Sony did a poor job of adverting lbp, let hope killzone 2 doesn't have the same fate. You know LBP and KILLZONE 2 would sold like crazy on xbox 360.

Fishy Fingers4247d ago (Edited 4247d ago )

Perhaps, but would they have been better games on the 360? Probably not, and it's the games I care about, not the figures.

As long as they're people to play online and full servers, I'm pretty much content.

Moto134247d ago

Honestly, LBP has been advertised and reviewed greatly by gaming sites. The problem is that the game does not apeal to that many gamers. I am a serious gamer and don't find myself hyped about it at all. I own a PS3, xbox 360, and a gaming PC. This game does not apeal to that many gamers. I would never pick it up in all honesty even if it was priced at 19.99!! Who cares about sackboy running around on platforms. I certainly don't.

Tarasque4246d ago

@Lucas22

Why do you care how many copies are sold? Are you getting a kickback? I mean if you get your copy and love the game then who cares right?