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EA Says Dead Space 3 Has To Sell 5 Million To Survive

the state of the industry

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#1 xg4bx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:21 AM

Remember long ago, far away, in a time when the gaming industry was about cool video games and publishers just had to sell maybe 300,000 copies at $50 to not only break even but also to post profits. That was back when games cost a couple of million to produce and were actually fun. That time is long gone and well over with. Enter the age of EA, where one million copies at $60 a pop is chump change and $20 million worth of marketing is for bums.


In an interview with CVG, EA's Labels president Frank Gibeau talked openly about the state of affairs regarding Visceral Games' Dead Space 3. In the interview he explicitly states that...



"In general we're thinking about how we make this a more broadly appealing franchise, because ultimately you need to get to audience sizes of around five million to really continue to invest in an IP like Dead Space.



"Anything less than that and it becomes quite difficult financially given how expensive it is to make games and market them.



"We feel good about that growth but we have to be very paranoid about making sure we don't change the experience so much that we lose the fanbase."


It's bogus because both Dead Space and Dead Space 2 moved more than two million copies each at retail alone, which is serious business. Yet somehow, two million isn't enough? Really?



I always go back to the fact that Epic Games designed Gears of War and Gears of War 2 on a $10 million dollar budget. I can't get over the fact that games have now ballooned to a point where you can't sell 500,000 copies of a game at $50 or else it's considered a flop and you can't sell more than a million copies at $60 or else it's a flop, instead you have to sell five million copies at $60 with day-one $10 DLC in order to consider it a success. WTF is wrong with the gaming industry?



http://www.cinemable...vive-43629.html


the industry simply can't survive like this.

Edited by xg4bx, Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:25 AM.


#2 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:59 AM

"In general we're thinking about how we make this a more broadly appealing franchise, because ultimately


That right there.

It's utterly sickening.

I've heard this many times before with EA, recently with Dragon Age 2 and as far back as Ultima 8.

I hate EA with a passion.

#3 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:27 AM

Oh boy! I hope they throw in a FarmVille level!!!! Everybody's mom, aunt, and grandmother will want to play! Yippee!!!!

#4 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:28 AM

Oh well.

I didn't need more dead space anyway. Surely not 3 in one generation.
They can either sell ~2 million copies, or zero copies, and I'm not losing sleep over them.

So this is why we don't have more Wing Commander games.

Edited by Reaperman, Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:31 AM.


#5 MagitekAngel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:46 AM

Most of the games I've bought in the last year are the ones that sell well under a million: Raiden IV, Xenoblade, Persona 4 - it seems that for all the criticism the Japanese industry has taken for creative stagnation, that is the only place these lower-key titles are still coming from as far as full retail releases are concerned. On this side of the ocean, it's apparently either 5 million units or XBLA - and on XBLA it still needs to break one million.

#6 HatefulGravey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:50 AM

I'm thankful I don't have to worry about this. I have enough to play games the rest of my life without getting bored of them. There are plunty of old games out there one could get cheap and enjoy a ton more than the modern stuff. It would suck to see modern gaming go away, but at this point we can't help it. Either they get it right and things work out or we watch it burn.

#7 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:13 AM

Franchises shouldn't need the same amount of advertising as something totally new. Cut that cost and suddenly games become more profitable.
Oh, and how about making the game last more than 24hrs... unlike several of the last games I've played.

#8 iswitt OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:04 PM

EA's offices are honestly just a bunch of dead space.

#9 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:18 PM

EA is a big company. I'm sure Dead Space 3 would be profitable with far fewer than 5 million copies sold. But they expect a certain rate of return and because of their size, that's much larger than it would be for a smaller publisher.

That's how studios like Shout Factory survive in the TV on DVD business. They license titles able to turn a profit for them that wouldn't be profitable enough for a CBS or Sony to bother with when there are more lucrative projects to utilize their budgets on. If they think the 10 million or whatever budget for Dead Space 3 can yield a higher rate of return elsewhere, it's going to die out and we won't get a Dead Space 4. But that doesn't mean that those 2 million copies sold didn't yield them a profit.

And with all the complaints about sequels, would it be such a terrible thing if it ended at three (5 if you include the rail shooter and the XBLA/PSN game)? Maybe no Dead Space 4 could open an opportunity for something new with that budget.

Edited by Atariboy, Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:29 PM.


#10 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:56 PM

It's bogus because both Dead Space and Dead Space 2 moved more than two million copies each at retail alone, which is serious business. Yet somehow, two million isn't enough? Really?


Yeah, that puzzles the crap out of me. How could that possibly be the case?

the industry simply can't survive like this.


Luckily, the industry isn't all EA. And if EA can't survive like this, GOOD.

#11 xg4bx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:01 AM

Franchises shouldn't need the same amount of advertising as something totally new. Cut that cost and suddenly games become more profitable.
Oh, and how about making the game last more than 24hrs... unlike several of the last games I've played.


i'm no programmer but shouldn't they have 2 games worth of assets to reuse as well? its not like they're building a new engine for this game. 5 million copies at $60 each=$300 million. this franchise costs 300 million dollars to keep going!? they're playing us and playing us bad.

#12 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:06 AM

Xg4bx, they're in this business to make the most money possible, not to just break even. Expectations of $300 million in revenue doesn't mean this project is costing them $300 million to produce. It's all back to what I've already said, they expect a certain rate of return and if a project fails to generate a certain amount of profit expected out of it, they're going to find something else that will.

Edited by Atariboy, Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:36 AM.


#13 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:58 AM

I have Dead Space, but haven't played it yet. I've heard it's a good so I really do want to try it out, I have in on my HUGE "to play" list. If they don't make a third one I suppose I'll live. I've survived this long not even trying the franchise. I'll use that as proof I have what it takes to make it past this news. I for one am glad EA isn't the only company that makes games. After pulling the cord on Burnout Revenge, I'm wary of investing in their games.

#14 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:42 AM

Xg4bx, they're in this business to make the most money possible, not to just break even. Expectations of $300 million in revenue doesn't mean this project is costing them $300 million to produce. It's all back to what I've already said, they expect a certain rate of return and if a project fails to generate a certain amount of profit expected out of it, they're going to find something else that will.


Of course. But for DS 1&2, that "certain amount" was 2M. Now it's suddenly 5M. If 2M was enough sales to get a sequel each time previously, why 5M now?

#15 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:30 AM

I have Dead Space, but haven't played it yet. I've heard it's a good so I really do want to try it out, I have in on my HUGE "to play" list.


I think you'll like it. Its basically Resident Evil in space except that you can actually move and shoot.
Rather than stop-shoot, lke in the RE games which turned many people off.

It's pretty scary (especially the 1st one) and its fun too. The "things" you combat are kind of hard to kill sometimes making you panic and forcing you to think of ways to defeat them. (Aiming for body parts is really important).

Lately, I've been upset (obviously) with the way they handled current video games like Dragon Age which they "tried to make appealing to everyone" and instead pissed most people off. They don't have a good track record with sequels so reading this I was pretty upset because it IS a pretty good series.

If you do play it check out this for some help:
http://www.gamefaqs....ad-space/cheats

It wont disable achievments and they are one time use.

#16 Mord OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:45 AM

Of course. But for DS 1&2, that "certain amount" was 2M. Now it's suddenly 5M. If 2M was enough sales to get a sequel each time previously, why 5M now?


Well, is this 5 million before or after their eventual massive 80% drop in price that'll probably come along for it like they just did to a lot of their games apparently on origin - a little over a week after trying to call Steam out over cheapening IP by doing that very thing.

http://www.rockpaper...-many-games-er/

http://www.joystiq.c...ctual-property/

#17 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:59 AM

Hah, good point. A five-mil target makes sense considering what this game's likely to cost a few months after release.
Maybe if they didn't twist it into Gears of Lost Planet, people would be more eager to buy it, hmm?

#18 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:02 PM

I'm starting to think we should kill EA now, at any cost, and let it be a cautionary tale to the industry. They already epitomize everything wrong with video games.

#19 VW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:06 PM

Most of the games I've bought in the last year are the ones that sell well under a million: Raiden IV, Xenoblade, Persona 4 - it seems that for all the criticism the Japanese industry has taken for creative stagnation, that is the only place these lower-key titles are still coming from as far as full retail releases are concerned. On this side of the ocean, it's apparently either 5 million units or XBLA - and on XBLA it still needs to break one million.


Agreed, I think some good stuff has come out of Japan in the last few years like the Persona series, Demons Souls and Catherine. Catherine sold over 200,000 here and I forget what it sold in Japan but if games like that can turn a profit and still have high production values (Catherine had a few anime episodes at least of cutscenes that were well done), then EA is either doing it wrong, obscenely greedy, or as you all are probably thinking, both. EA is a cancer on the industry and as Cimerians said, has been since even before the days of Ultima 8.

#20 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:36 AM


Xg4bx, they're in this business to make the most money possible, not to just break even. Expectations of $300 million in revenue doesn't mean this project is costing them $300 million to produce. It's all back to what I've already said, they expect a certain rate of return and if a project fails to generate a certain amount of profit expected out of it, they're going to find something else that will.


Of course. But for DS 1&2, that "certain amount" was 2M. Now it's suddenly 5M. If 2M was enough sales to get a sequel each time previously, why 5M now?


We don't know that it was two million. That's just how the titles performed.

Several factors could possibly be at play here. For instance, the first two titles might've not came close to meeting sales expectations but EA recognized a lot of promise here and decided some patience and letting the franchise grow was worthwhile and now it's time to deliver. Delivering two million units sold doesn't mean they reached sales expectations... all it means is that they sold two million copies.

And to get nitpicky, I read nothing there that says Dead Space 3 has to sell 5 million copies to be considered a success. That sounds more like a target they're hoping that the franchise will eventually meet rather than an expectation that Dead Space 3 has to sell more than twice as many copies as the previous two games combined for things to continue forward.

When you consider that this franchise is successful, quite possibly getting significant increases in its development and marketing budget as it proves itself and grows, and the jump in development cost that they're likey facing in the near future with things like 1080p native graphics and lossless audio, it doesn't strike me as all that unreasonable to expect the franchise with something like Dead Space 4 down the road to start delivering significantly higher sales in the next few years.

I bet if the first two did two million, they'd consider it a very positive step if Dead Space 3 did 3 million.

Edited by Atariboy, Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:46 AM.


#21 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:20 PM

Lets call it a night and move on without EA........after this clip of course:

http://www.destructo...a--229709.phtml


Which pretty much sums it up in one final package.

#22 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:06 PM

Lets call it a night and move on without EA........


I put in Create for the 360 last night. About a dozen of the achievements are impossible to "achieve" now because EA pulled the plug on the servers.
This is a game that came out in 2010.

Screw that.

#23 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:14 PM



Xg4bx, they're in this business to make the most money possible, not to just break even. Expectations of $300 million in revenue doesn't mean this project is costing them $300 million to produce. It's all back to what I've already said, they expect a certain rate of return and if a project fails to generate a certain amount of profit expected out of it, they're going to find something else that will.


Of course. But for DS 1&2, that "certain amount" was 2M. Now it's suddenly 5M. If 2M was enough sales to get a sequel each time previously, why 5M now?


We don't know that it was two million.

Well we know it wasn't five million.

#24 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:27 AM


Lets call it a night and move on without EA........


I put in Create for the 360 last night. About a dozen of the achievements are impossible to "achieve" now because EA pulled the plug on the servers.
This is a game that came out in 2010.

Screw that.


Yeah thats not too far back. Not even 2 years.

Makes me think that I should hurry and play a few EA published games (that I shamefully own).

#25 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:30 AM

high res 2D games on 3D systems = Profit and Fun.

and easy to make.



Western World needs to stop treating games like movies.




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