Ubisoft’s digital release, From Dust, has racked up over half a million sales on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. This figure doesn’t count PC sales, but that was probably all pirated anyway.
Ubisoft is chuffed, saying that the good figures are down to the launch on a digital platform rather than the traditional full retail release.
“There is less risk releasing a new game digitally,” digital publishing manager Thomas Paincon told MCV.
“At retail, if you don’t have a 90 Metacritic score and millions of fans, it’s very risky to launch a new game.
“Look at From Dust, we sold half a million units on XBLA and PSN. Why? Because the prices were lower, but also because it was a new experience and people using digital platforms are more willing to test a new IP.”
Paincon also emphasized the importance of timing, saying that digital games benefit greatly from being released outside of the AAA-flood in the holiday season.
“It’s more strategic to launch downloadable games in the first half of the year or around September before the boxed blockbusters arrive,” he added. “It’s harder to compete for gamers’ money when there are lots of new triple-A games out.
“Microsoft‘s Summer of Arcade Xbox Live promotion is a good new market that people are getting used to. And now digital is a great business for retailers as online games are part of the revenue stream for them.”