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?