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

By William Usher 2012-06-15 15:16:54 discussion comments
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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 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?

Dead Space was supposed to be a niche title, much like Silent Hill, Condemned, Amnesia and originally Resident Evil. This need to pander every game to a "casual" audience to try to hit those Call of Duty numbers is somewhat nauseating. It feels like it's less about gaming and more about buying a generic product just to keep billion dollar companies making billions more.

I also find it interesting that EA has yet to say what the budget is of Dead Space 3. While the proverbial "games are getting more expensive to make" line is always tossed out there, how about they say just how expensive?

Middleware tools have become cheaper and games are getting easier and cheaper to make in the indie circles and they're coming out at a higher and higher quality thanks to things like Mixamo, iPi Soft, Unity, UDK and xaitment. So what is it that AAA publishers are doing where somehow already using pre-established engines, assets and tool-sets make sequels more expensive than their predecessors? Last I checked, you don't need to do expansive R&D for a threequal when you haven't changed to a new engine and it's still running on the same hardware. And in EA's case, they're using their own in-house engine, so there's no royalty/licensing fees from third-party engine developers.

Anyways, Dead Space 3 is set for release next year for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. You can visit the Official Website to learn more.
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