Tag Archives: video game sales

How Do You Sell An Immersive Sim?

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Don’t treat this blog post by itself as an iron-clad source on the sales of these games, but the general feeling I’ve gotten from reports on Steamspy numbers, NPD data, and other sales reports is that the singleplayer games Bethesda published in the last couple years haven’t met expectations. Mainly right now I’m talking about PreyDishonored 2, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Coming on top of news about lootboxes and multiplayer taking over AAA games along with uncertainty about the future of Deus Ex, this just paints more bad news about singleplayer-only AAA games that aren’t open-world. In particular it seems to be bad news for immersive sims. Continue reading

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Loot Boxes Are Just A Symptom, Not The Problem

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So basically every big game coming out this fall is going to have loot boxes. Star Wars Battlefront IICall of Duty: World War IIAssassin’s Creed OriginsForza Motorsport 7Middle Earth: Shadow of War, what did I miss? Judging from the reactions I’m seeing, loot boxes are just the next recipient of the ire that before gamers had towards DLC, online passes, season passes, and microtransactions. They’re all attempts by publishers to solve the same problem — the problem of keeping console games profitable. Continue reading

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The Real Situation With JRPGs In The West

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During a discussion on GAF stemming from Square Enix’s comments about the popularity of the Dragon Quest games outside Japan, someone posted a chart that, if legit, proves something about the Japanese RPG market in general I think a lot of people may miss. This has to do with the actual size of that market which has colored conversations on the shifting fortunes of JRPGs in western territories over the years. Continue reading

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Is Steam More Of A Platform Or A Store?

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A recent episode of The Jimquisition has levied more criticism at the way Valve currently lets just about anything onto Steam these days. Last year I put up a blog post about why I think Steam’s shovelware probably deserves to be there, but since then a bit more information has become available about the effect Valve’s shift in curation has had. Continue reading

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Are Fewer, Longer-Lived AAA Games Really A Bad Thing?

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News has been coming out that October 2016 was a bit of a disappointment for sales expectations of some blockbuster video games. One narrative trying to explain why suggests that the transition to games-as-a-service is giving some older games longer tails, cannibalizing new ones. If this is what’s happening (there are other explanations), I’m honestly not sure whether it’s a bad thing or a correction I’ve been waiting to see for years.

US retail and UK retail are reporting disappointing numbers for games like Dishonored 2Watch Dogs 2Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, or Titanfall 2, despite critics receiving those games quite positively. There could be a lot of explanations: particular things going on with each individual game (like Titanfall 2 coming out in-between Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare), or particular things going on in the UK retail market or the US retail market. A convenient one however has been that the push to present blockbuster games as services people play and pay into for longer periods of time is giving those people less time to play every new big game that comes out. Continue reading

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Are PC Game Discs In North America Really Dead?

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I’ve made a couple posts in the past year or so complaining about the state of physical PC games in North America. Most people seem assume it completely died out years ago, or are on the opposite end of the spectrum and get surprised by recent revelations like Titanfall 2 on PC no longer being shipped on a physical disc. I think I can at least clarify most of the current status of North American physical PC game distribution for anyone still trying to shop for PC games at a store. I’ve been paying fairly close attention to it for the last several years. Continue reading

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How Much Can Final Fantasy XV Really Rebuild The Franchise?

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So Square Enix is finally confident enough about Final Fantasy XV to go big with the marketing. Everyone’s talking about the recovery of the franchise. With all the progress we’ve seen so far on the game and the legitimate hype surrounding it, to me this still feels like only the first step on the road to recovery, a recovery that could still be a fragile one. Continue reading

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Pre-Order Culture And Game Development

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It seems the “downgrade” controversy surrounding The Witcher 3 has heated up even more now that the game is out and CDProjekt RED has given Eurogamer a detailed explanation. It’s also gotten people talking about the general problem of games looking different between initial reveals and release and why people have gotten so up in arms about it recently. Kotaku has blamed pre-order culture and how bloated it’s become, encouraging developers and publishers to oversell their games two years before launch.

For the record, as you can read in my previous post about the game, I still believe almost all the complaining about how Witcher 3’s graphics turned out is gross hyperbole. But enough about that. Last July I went over how I see pre-orders these days and my position hasn’t changed much except for one big realization: I’ve become almost completely disconnected from the latest game releases, which has put me off pre-orders even more. Continue reading

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My Detachment Form An Expanding Black Friday

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Retailers are really trying to turn Black Friday into, like, “Black Month” or something this year. Maybe the merging of events into this one big sales season was inevitable. In any case, I really couldn’t tell you how involved in it I’ll be this time around. Maybe if I had more money things would be different, but my involvement in the holiday American capitalism proceedings of 2014 is looking different primarily due to changes in how I buy games and what games I buy. Continue reading

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