1.5 Million Bought Dead Space, 3 Million Played It

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1.5 Million Bought Dead Space, 3 Million Played It

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Visceral Games lead Glen Schofield says that for every gamer that bought Dead Space new, two were playing it while logged into Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network.

As a guest on last month's official EA podcast, Glen Schofield - the head of EA's Visceral Games division - talked about how the Visceral team had examined the sci-fi horror game's sales after launch. Interestingly enough, they discovered that while there had been approximately 3 million unique PSN and XBL users who had been recorded playing the game, Dead Space had only shipped a combined 1.5 million copies.

Interestingly enough, Schofield wasn't immediately pointing the finger at pirates like one might expect. Instead, the team's first thought seems to have been another hot-button topic in the industry lately: "But there's something there because that means that, ok, there were a lot of used sales. So there's a lot of people when I go out and talk to [them]... it seems that everybody has played it or heard about it or whatever."

Of course, there are other potential factors - people could have rented the game, borrowed it from a friend, or, of course, pirated it. Even so, one has to imagine that it's frustrating knowing that you could have earned roughly twice as much money on a released game than you actually did, especially in this era of sky-high development costs.

Schofield doesn't think that it was a lack of online multiplayer that hurt Dead Space's sales, either:

I think it's bang for the buck is really what we're looking at right now these days and going: 'OK, we came out at 60 bucks and so did some of these other games that had online that maybe people could play for 50 hours, right? Or they had tons and tons of PDLC [paid downloadable content] so they could play it for 40, 50 hours again. Or we were up against Fallout, which was a 50-hour game to begin with. So, we didn't look at it and say we have to have online. What we said we've got to be bang for the buck. Some people could get through our game in 10 hours or so, so we learned.

Well, there you go, Glen. People like getting more content for their money. Lesson learned, I hope?

(Via Kotaku)

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Dead Space wasn't a bad game, it was short though compared to most other games.

The real miracle is that there NOT blaiming piratcy (I think)

Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

I beat the game, never bought it.. I borrowed it from my neighbor. At 60 bucks and no replay value you can't prevent this sort of thing. Really, after you play through Dead Space, there is very little incentive to play through it again, and it can be beat in a couple days of small play sessions.

VincentX3:
Dead Space wasn't a bad game, it was short though compared to most other games.

The real miracle is that there NOT blaiming piratcy (I think)

Agreed. I immediately assumed that this was going to be the work of Piracy. Too quick to jump to conclusions here I suppose.

VincentX3:
Dead Space wasn't a bad game, it was short though compared to most other games.

The real miracle is that there NOT blaiming piratcy (I think)

Uh-uh. Even though they're a game company, they're still adults, so the real miracle is that they aren't blaming video games :P

Lexodus:

VincentX3:
Dead Space wasn't a bad game, it was short though compared to most other games.

The real miracle is that there NOT blaiming piratcy (I think)

Uh-uh. Even though they're a game company, they're still adults, so the real miracle is that they aren't blaming video games :P

So what your saying is there not blaiming video games for the "lack of sales" on one of there own video games?

Explain how does that make sense, since everyone seems to know that most companys go to directly blaiming piracty on occasions like these.

God remember when PS1 and N64 games were 20-30 quid and provided hours of lulz? Nowadays if I'm going to buy a game it needs to keep me entertained for a long time.

VincentX3:

Lexodus:

VincentX3:
Dead Space wasn't a bad game, it was short though compared to most other games.

The real miracle is that there NOT blaiming piratcy (I think)

Uh-uh. Even though they're a game company, they're still adults, so the real miracle is that they aren't blaming video games :P

So what your saying is there not blaiming video games for the "lack of sales" on one of there own video games?

Explain how does that make sense, since everyone seems to know that most companys go to directly blaiming piracty on occasions like these.

I think he's making a joke about the fact that people like to blame video games for society's problems.

I hope they take from this a lesson that when you charge 60 dollars for a product, there had better be 60 dollars worth of gameplay. For that same price, I was able to get GTA IV, which I've played for a lot longer than 10 hours. That's not counting the DLC. For the amount of content Dead Space delivered, the price should have been about half of what it was. I'm glad to see it seems they are realizing this might be the problem, and not piracy.

Sevre90210:
God remember when PS1 and N64 games were 20-30 quid and provided hours of lulz? Nowadays if I'm going to buy a game it needs to keep me entertained for a long time.

No, actually. I seem to recall plenty of N64 games going for 70-80 USD. :P

Wait isn't 1.5 Million copies pretty good? I'm confused...

scnj:

VincentX3:

Lexodus:

VincentX3:
Dead Space wasn't a bad game, it was short though compared to most other games.

The real miracle is that there NOT blaiming piratcy (I think)

Uh-uh. Even though they're a game company, they're still adults, so the real miracle is that they aren't blaming video games :P

So what your saying is there not blaiming video games for the "lack of sales" on one of there own video games?

Explain how does that make sense, since everyone seems to know that most companys go to directly blaiming piracty on occasions like these.

I think he's making a joke about the fact that people like to blame video games for society's problems.

Oh sorry, my bad then.
I thought he was actually serious about "blaming videos games" for something like this.

scnj:
Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

Enough to get extraction.

I was interested in Dead Space but for various reasons didn't pick it up when it was first released. Saw it a couple months ago at a drastically reduced price - 20 bucks, as I recall - and decided to give it a go. It would've been a solid game at full price but based on what I actually paid it was absolutely fantastic.

Schofield is right, even though it's hardly a groundbreaking idea. Dead Space was a blast but am I going to be happy paying the same price for it as I did for Fallout 3? Very, very few games are so stunningly good that they can get away with charging full pop for eight hours of play.

I've begun to make a habit of waiting to buy most new games unless it's something I absolutely gotta have on launch day. Picked up Mirror's Edge for 17 bucks a couple weeks ago; paid the same price for Mass Effect a few months back. I missed out on the original wave of excitement, sure, but I also paid a quarter of the price, ultimately got to enjoy the same experience as everyone else, and by the time I got around to them most of the bugs and glitches had been patched out.

It's getting harder and harder to justify paying launch prices for games. The cost of producing "AAA" titles keeps skyrocketing but the games themselves, while prettier than ever before, just don't justify the resulting high retail prices.

Dead Space was still a fantastic game, IMHO. I really hope they end up making Dead Space 2.

And there is the question... Why the hell would you play a pirated game in an online comunity? No decency? If you really have to pirate a game, you do not advertise that when you connect to whatever. Or is it that different with you console-guys?

Do they do not fear, that they record it for the day, when they are allowed to use it against you?

Also it is just rude: "HERE LOOK I AM PLAYING YOUR GAMES WITHOUT PAYING!!!"

P.S. Also. Dead Space wasn't so good, in my opinion.

scnj:
Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

No, but it is enough for a dead space on wii.

Royas:
I hope they take from this a lesson that when you charge 60 dollars for a product, there had better be 60 dollars worth of gameplay. For that same price, I was able to get GTA IV, which I've played for a lot longer than 10 hours. That's not counting the DLC. For the amount of content Dead Space delivered, the price should have been about half of what it was. I'm glad to see it seems they are realizing this might be the problem, and not piracy.

Sure, but what you consider $60 worth of gameplay and what I consider $60 worth may be two vastly different things. I, personally, wouldn't consider the addition of online play an increase to Dead Space's value, ergo it wouldn't help justify the price tag. You may feel differently. The trouble with horror games is that they tend not to stand up to replays -- part of their intrinsic value comes from their ability to scare you, and the more you play the game, the less likely you are to be scared.

I personally find Dead Space to be worth the full asking price, but I also don't mind short games and have a particular penchant for horror. I do think that knocking off $10 as an acknowledgment that the player's time with the game was going to be relatively brief would've helped EA earn a few more sales, but when a game is short, folks are going to rent them or borrow from friends -- no matter what the price is. I mean, why wouldn't they? If you can be done with a game in a weekend, what incentive is there to not just use a loaner?

PedroSteckecilo:
Wait isn't 1.5 Million copies pretty good? I'm confused...

Sure, but when you could have sold twice that?

CantFaketheFunk:

Sevre90210:
God remember when PS1 and N64 games were 20-30 quid and provided hours of lulz? Nowadays if I'm going to buy a game it needs to keep me entertained for a long time.

No, actually. I seem to recall plenty of N64 games going for 70-80 USD. :P

O.o, That is the only smiley to express what I'm feeling right now. Here in Ireland we never had anything near that expensive, I remember picking up Crash Bandicoot 2 for 30 pounds on release.

scnj:
Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

a prequel would be awesome.
and would make up for that complete crap for a movie they put out.

la-le-lu-li-lo:

scnj:
Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

a prequel would be awesome.

Like a game adaptation of Dead Space:Downfall?

I never got round to buying Dead Space, i just went and watched Event Horizon for free.

In all seriousness though i've seen it in action round a friends house and it does look quite good, i may pick it up pre-owned one day, or just borrow it off a friend who has it on the same console.

See, the problem is that the publishers are thinking "We could have made TWICE as much money!". However, the fact is they couldn't have. If there were no rentals, piracy or second hand sales only a fraction of the "missed" customers would actually buy the game at its full price. However, I don't expect corporate execs to realize that. It's not like customers are real people, they are just walking bags of money...

Sevre90210:

la-le-lu-li-lo:

scnj:
Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

a prequel would be awesome.

Like a game adaptation of Dead Space:Downfall?

Exactly, as long as the game doesn't last an hour and a half.

I actually just bought it yesterday... Pretty fun game... The new one coming to Wii looks awesome...

la-le-lu-li-lo:
a prequel would be awesome.

I think the Wii one is a prequel actually...

The problem with their conclusions is that they are assuming that they could have sold more copies than that at $60 a pop. A lot of those people buying used or renting the game are probably doing so because they couldn't afford the full $60 price tag.

I also see this as touching on the issue of the $60 price tag itself, since your looking at the fact that ALL games have the same price tag when released. This comes down to industry corruption and price fixing (which is illegal in the US, as many of us should know from the gas scandals).

Okay granted, the dev costs are huge, but honestly I do not think that Dead Space cost as much to develop as other games with a lot more content, like say Fallout 3 (or pick any other longer title that also had a lot of unique art designs and such to it). Thus when looking at a relatively short game I don't think developers should be wondering why they sold so few overpriced copies at $60 a pop rather than other products that provided much more game play and content (and let's be honest Fallout 3 is a game in which you can invest hundreds of hours even without the DLC).

So basically if I was them I'd consider pricing games like Dead Space for like $30 a pop (which is what many people will probably spend to buy it used).

Plus consider that Dead Space was also very easy to program comparitively speaking. In general it's a very linear third person shooter (albeit a very atmospheric one). It recycled an existing engine that was purchused to use rather than being developed from the ground up (in general I feel there is no excuse to charge top dollar for game using an engine like GRAW, Havok, Unreal, or anything else since the majority of the work comes from those products and people recycle and modify that code specifically because it's cheaper and easier than making one's own engine totally from scratch). Of course this same thing can be said about games like Fallout 3.

But basically if you churn out a linear shooter that is primarily an art project using someone else's engine, and which can last as little as 12 hours for many players, don't be surprised if people don't go running to spend $60 for instead of waiting for it to drop in price or get it used. As cool as a game might look, people aren't stupid.

See, I think that video game companies are not only corrupt, greedy, and lazy nowadays, but have also gotten too corperate and listen to marketing people a bit much. Thus the players are being handled like a group of sheep-like consumers far more than they used to be. Truthfully it isn't working quite as well as many people might think on paper (with marketing guys justifying their jobs). By all means, spend $10 million on advertising, but in the end no matter how awesome your game looks, I'm still going to generally wait for it to drop in price (or get it used) if it's only 12 hours long.

There is no way anyone should have expected Dead Space to be accepted at the same entry price as a Grand Theft Auto IV or Fallout 3.

>>>----Therumancer--->

Sevre90210:

la-le-lu-li-lo:

scnj:
Is 1.5 million enough for us to get Dead Space 2 or not?

a prequel would be awesome.

Like a game adaptation of Dead Space:Downfall?

aww you quoted me before i finished my edit of the post.

mew. and yes. but good. decent even, would be an improvement.

Assassin Xaero:
I actually just bought it yesterday... Pretty fun game... The new one coming to Wii looks awesome...

la-le-lu-li-lo:
a prequel would be awesome.

I think the Wii one is a prequel actually...

is it?? /:

Yeah sounds about right Dead Space was pretty good, it wasn't the greatest game ever, but does that really matter? The game was fun to play and had a enemy concept and story that was interesting enough to get me to play it to the end, and sometimes that's enough.

Dead Space was fantastic, in my opinion. The thing is that a game like Dead Space, where its a great single player experience with little to no reason to re-experience and can be finished in a weekend or two, is a perfect rental or buy-then-sell used game.

It is a shame that they can't see more profit (for them) but RPGs like Fallout 3 with must-play DLC or COD4/Halo3 with multiplayer will have people holding onto the games longer, thus not making such a large used market.

I think that sales are also affected by the fact that there are so many gamers keeping up with online reviews now that they know exactly how much play they're getting for their $60. Dead Space was awesome but all the reviewers mention that the experience will last 10-12 hours. That immediately makes me think 'rental'.

Even now, I want to play Ghostbusters and [PROTOTYPE], but I know that it will be used at a reduced price soon enough on the used market. Trained myself to wait :|.

Fifty percent is a smashing success, even if the remaining fifty percent have all been pirated copies.

I loved the game, but the ending ruined it for me.

la-le-lu-li-lo:

Assassin Xaero:
I actually just bought it yesterday... Pretty fun game... The new one coming to Wii looks awesome...

la-le-lu-li-lo:
a prequel would be awesome.

I think the Wii one is a prequel actually...

is it?? /:

Yeah... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Space:_Extraction
And a rail shooter, but ehh... I like rail shooters...

If that doesn't prove the anti-piracy systems don't work I don't know what will, just stop wasting money on piracy protection and the world will be a happier, cheaper and more profitable place.

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