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MowTin
01-21-08, 03:34 AM
I'm trying to figure out how many copies a AAA PC-only game needs to sell to break even.

I'm googling but not finding many concrete answers. I'm hearing it takes around $15 Million to make a PS3 title. Halo 3 cost $40 mil to make.

Source --> "The runaway costs of game development" (http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/hardware/crossplatform.ars/2)

So I'm guessing maybe it takes only $10 Mil to make a PC game.

Retailer markup of 100%? (I'm guessing) A $50 game sold is $25 bucks for the game company.

So, I'm guessing you need to sell at least 400,000 copies just to break even.

Are PC only games like Crysis making any money when they're selling less than 100,000 copies in the first month?

Any insignts?

LORD-eX-Bu
01-21-08, 03:59 AM
Crytek has made its money off Crysis when it licensed the Cryengine over to EA and other studios. I'm pretty sure EA paid a good sum of money to be the publisher as well.

K007
01-21-08, 04:35 AM
hell yea they did :O

nutcrackr
01-21-08, 05:50 AM
1) 400,000 is a good guess, depending on budget 300 - 500 k is usually good, any lower and you struggle, and higher = publisher go crazy for sequels (see far cry 2)

2) Crysis sold 87k in less than 3 weeks in USA only, translate that up and its probably 130-150k for the year in USA. But there are other countries (not sure if you know?) that I'm pretty cofident would have just about put crysis near break even terms.

Do I have numbers to back those up? No of course, I have sales charts of Germany and Australia that put crysis well in the top 10 pc games for a few weeks. These markets aren't huge, but you add them up and you get a ton. And I have Far Cry, which sold 700k in 3 months, and I don't think Crysis would be behind by much, in fact I'd be reasonably confident that it would be selling quite a bit better. Partial evidence for this would be Crysis selling more than NPD predicted, and I'm sure they would have used Far Cry as a semi benchmark.

Loreman
01-21-08, 06:44 AM
In Australia, pretty much every store around where I live charges $100 AUD for any game. Sometimes more for the collectors edition.

I think Crysis for example was $100 AUD (I got 10 dollars off for pre ordering).

That equates to around $87 American.

agentkay
01-21-08, 01:41 PM
Crysis sales in Germany alone covered the costs.

nekrosoft13
01-21-08, 01:43 PM
1) 400,000 is a good guess, depending on budget 300 - 500 k is usually good, any lower and you struggle, and higher = publisher go crazy for sequels (see far cry 2)

2) Crysis sold 87k in less than 3 weeks in USA only, translate that up and its probably 130-150k for the year in USA. But there are other countries (not sure if you know?) that I'm pretty cofident would have just about put crysis near break even terms.

Do I have numbers to back those up? No of course, I have sales charts of Germany and Australia that put crysis well in the top 10 pc games for a few weeks. These markets aren't huge, but you add them up and you get a ton. And I have Far Cry, which sold 700k in 3 months, and I don't think Crysis would be behind by much, in fact I'd be reasonably confident that it would be selling quite a bit better. Partial evidence for this would be Crysis selling more than NPD predicted, and I'm sure they would have used Far Cry as a semi benchmark.

NPD results/predictions are useless. They only check retail stores and track US sales only.

DRen72
01-21-08, 03:53 PM
I had no idea the costs to make a game where that much. What comes to mind is Duke Nukem Forever. Who's funding this 10+ year old project and paying salaries when there is no product? Whats with that?

nekrosoft13
01-21-08, 04:05 PM
I had no idea the costs to make a game where that much. What comes to mind is Duke Nukem Forever. Who's funding this 10+ year old project and paying salaries when there is no product? Whats with that?

no one said they actually worked on it for 10+ years

toxikneedle
01-21-08, 04:47 PM
This is why publishers exist... They publish numerous titles and not every single one breaks even but the games that sell successfully cover those that don't. I think a game selling well is only going to benefit the developer in that they can now ask for a higher budget for their next title.

Jonelo
01-21-08, 06:22 PM
The cost of a development is not equal in Austin , in Montreal, in Prague, Warsaw or in Kiev .

Maybe in Austin is 20 millons - developement + marketing , in Montreal 15 millons, in Prague or Warsaw 7 millons - like the Witcher for example - or 3 or 4 in Kiev .

JigenD
01-21-08, 06:46 PM
1. It depends on who's making it and how efficiently
2. It depends on how much they're really working on it, how many people for how long, how much outsourced content and many more things
3. It depends on how much they're selling it for

One PC game might cost many millions to make while another might not even cost 1 million (indie dev)...

"NPD results/predictions are useless. They only check retail stores and track US sales only."

Wrong, they track some retailers both online and off, US only, and they estimate the rest. They've never tracked PC game sales data ever at all.

"This is why publishers exist... They publish numerous titles and not every single one breaks even but the games that sell successfully cover those that don't. I think a game selling well is only going to benefit the developer in that they can now ask for a higher budget for their next title."

Yep. For example with Crysis, EA paid for that. We cannot know what the exact arrangements were. EA made some demands, maybe Crytek would get more if Crysis was more successful. Maybe EA will be unsatisfied and simply not publish for them again, who knows.

Anyways, I'd be surprised if Crysis cost less than $20 million to make though.

Jonelo
01-21-08, 06:52 PM
1. It depends on who's making it and how efficiently
2. It depends on how much they're really working on it, how many people for how long, how much outsourced content and many more things
3. It depends on how much they're selling it for

One PC game might cost many millions to make while another might not even cost 1 million (indie dev)...

"NPD results/predictions are useless. They only check retail stores and track US sales only."

Wrong, they track some retailers both online and off, US only, and they estimate the rest. They've never tracked PC game sales data ever at all.
.

Humm this is new

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/thesims2/news.html?sid=6164433

This is in 2006 - maybe in the 2007 is diferent


It should be noted that all these figures are accounting only for boxed, retail sales of PC game software, and do not take into account money generated through subscription fees, micropayments, or digital distribution of games.

"It's refreshing to see an increase in retail sales of PC games after having experienced a few years of declines," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. "With revenues from digital downloads and subscriptions on the rise as well, the PC games segment of the industry remains healthy."

In UK , UK Chart-Track include digital downloads since Feb 2007

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6165673.html

MowTin
01-21-08, 08:21 PM
The cost of a development is not equal in Austin , in Montreal, in Prague, Warsaw or in Kiev .

Maybe in Austin is 20 millons - developement + marketing , in Montreal 15 millons, in Prague or Warsaw 7 millons - like the Witcher for example - or 3 or 4 in Kiev .

I'm surprised India is not on that list.

toxikneedle
01-21-08, 08:47 PM
NPD doesnt even track some major retail chains, such as Wallmart which does tons in sales.

JigenD
01-21-08, 08:58 PM
Humm this is new


Well, they certainly track SOME online retailers now. They didn't use to track WalMart, now they do, however they used to track Toys R Us, which they no longer do. Once again, they just estimate whatever data they don't have. At worst they could be off by quite a bit actually.

And once again, NPD doesn't track PC games.

MowTin
01-22-08, 01:34 AM
Don't large plublic corporations like EA release yearly and quarterly sales numbers?

JigenD
01-22-08, 02:01 AM
Don't large plublic corporations like EA release yearly and quarterly sales numbers?

Something like that at least, here's EA FY07 data (ended in Sept as you can see) :

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/8849/ea3603rdqj4.jpg

nutcrackr
01-22-08, 02:06 AM
publishers would have exact numbers of shipped items for each game, they order the damn copies and have them shipped. They don't release much of the data because its only a need to know basis. They tend to release sales figures for positive selling or higher than expected selling titles in their quarterly or annual reports. Sometimes more likely to report how franchises are doing etc.

MowTin
01-22-08, 10:47 PM
Something like that at least, here's EA FY07 data (ended in Sept as you can see) :
]

The PC numbers don't look that bad. Over the first half of 2007 the sales are slightly better than 2006.

I also notice there are plenty of PC games at Best Buy (Not Gamestop or EB).

I think porting is great for PC gaming because we get the same game sometimes with better textures and AA/AF. Plus we can use any controller we want--m&k, 360 pad, whatever.

I was a little worried when I saw this clip on Tomshardware.

Second Take: The PC gaming Slump (http://www.tomshardware.com/site/flash_videos/second_take_the_pc_gaming_slump.html)

Jonelo
01-22-08, 11:14 PM
.

I was a little worried when I saw this clip on Tomshardware.

Second Take: The PC gaming Slump (http://www.tomshardware.com/site/flash_videos/second_take_the_pc_gaming_slump.html)

Not to leave truth it spoils the good news. A principle of the yellow media :)

Three and six months ended .. I do not understand. They are the last 3 and 6 months?

The PC sales in six months ended are the second platarform ;) , 169 millons, more than the PS3+PS2 . And 10/15 % more than in 2006

crainger
01-22-08, 11:20 PM
As always Jon. I have no idea what you just said. ::wonder::

jAkUp
01-22-08, 11:24 PM
I had no idea the costs to make a game where that much. What comes to mind is Duke Nukem Forever. Who's funding this 10+ year old project and paying salaries when there is no product? Whats with that?

Broussard already said that there is no way they can break even with the production costs.

Jonelo
01-22-08, 11:32 PM
As always Jon. I have no idea what you just said. ::wonder::

That I love you and am gay, but you do not understand me :D

LORD-eX-Bu
01-22-08, 11:46 PM
:headexplode: