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Topic: Dead Space 2's 4 Million Copies Sold Wasn't Enough
Posts: 2918
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

In a follow-up to yesterday's story about EA closing down Visceral Games, one of the leads on the studio's classic survival horror sci-fi game Dead Space 2 noted that development cost upwards of 60 million and having sold 4 million copies sold wasn't enough to turn a profit. Or, make it a financial success. Which adds weight to the idea that strong single-player big budget titles might be a gamble for a number of publishers.

Zach Wilson went on to state that the reason big publishers have created their own digital distribution services like Origin, and Uplay, is to maximize profit share. Noting that even though something might sell well it could still be a financial failure after all is said and done.

Also, and on a completely separate note EA's recent forays into single-player territory Mass Effect Andromeda and Mirror's Edge Part 2.0 got mixed reviews which makes us wonder how well they sold. And if that factored into the decision at all.

Posts: 3322
Location: Other International

I'd be interested in understanding the model economics of it all, seems strange to me.
Posts: 2792
Location: Queensland

If we assume that each copy sold for $50 USD or equivalent, that would mean they made 200 million. So seems like an alright profit to me.
Posts: 184
Location: New South Wales

If we assume that each copy sold for $50 USD or equivalent, that would mean they made 200 million. So seems like an alright profit to me.

$50 US or equivalent in first world countries. Secondary markets usually see them pricing much more aggressively so that people don't need to bust a month's rent to buy an AAA game (and therefore never sell any in those countries.) Add to that the key resellers who buy from those cheaper markets then undercut the primary market price and you have an idea of some of the reasons big sales numbers don't always mean big profits.
Posts: 2923
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Plus retailers and stores get their cut...
Posts: 3323
Location: Other International

$200m less the cost of sale and then the overheads.

They don't really sell much of that 4 million directly right? So what's the average margin Visceral would take for each copy sold after the distributors/sellers cut?

Likewise the 60 million budget to make it might not include marketing and other cost of sale or what have you.
Posts: 23924
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Also, I doubt all 4 million of those sales were at full price, if that's lifetime sales then a chunk of them would be people buying it when it was cheap or on sale
Posts: 21382
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

If we assume that each copy sold for $50 USD or equivalent, that would mean they made 200 million. So seems like an alright profit to me.

how naive lol
Steve Farrelly
AusGamers Editor
Posts: 7516
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

That 60 million would have likely included marketing and PR spend, as well as advertising. I'm not wholly convinced it was all on dev. I mean, they had their engine and pipeline and an in-house team. Probably spent too much money voicing Isaac too :P

But seriously, EA didn't do enough with Dead Space 2 from a priority push standpoint, and a lot of the media was aware of it at the time. They tried to use E3 as their only really big marketing platform for it, but that just wasn't enough.

It's such a shame because I f***ing love the first two games, and the transmedia that came from the IP
Posts: 838
Location: Other International

Sounds like bulls***... Zach Wilson didn't even work on Dead Space and he's a level designer. I thought this comment was from a lead developer or one of the producers or a head at Visceral. I'd take it with a grain salt
Posts: 3325
Location: Other International

Dead Space was awesome though, I'm pretty sad I'll never get to play a fourth!

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