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The Million Copy Question February 12, 2007

Posted by dpcough in Editorals.

Here at Live Gamer I am pleased to announced starting this Sunday every Sunday there will be an editorial with fact and opinioned based content. Here is the first of a weekly column where I discuss whatever.

In the music industry artists are rewarded when their album sells one million copies and it reaches Platinum status. In the video game industry it is tough to sell a lot of copies of a game no matter how good it is. Game development is expensive, very expensive. Some games don’t have their costs gotten back and in the video game industry that can have huge problems for a developer. So how many Xbox 360 games have sold a million copies?

Viva Pinata is starting to get a cult following but sold very few copies, I don’t know the official number on it but when two of a company’s founders leave you know a game didn’t do too good. Rare is struggling and Viva Pinata was one of the best games for Xbox 360 is 2006, too bad no one ever played it. They’ll still be a sequel as Microsoft will support it as it has a commitment but that is one rare example of a series staying alive.


Condemned was a fantastic Xbox 360 launch title. Haven’t heard anything about a sequel. Shenmue was great, didn’t make it costs back. It lost a lot of money. The list goes on and on. And few Xbox 360 games have sold a million copies so far even though the system has been out about a year and three months.

There are 7 titles that have sold one million copies. Dead Rising, Lost Planet, Gears of War, Call of Duty 2, GRAW, Perfect Dark Zero (didn’t seem like a million did – no one plays on Live but a PR from Microsoft had the fact slipped in), The Elder Scroll’s IV Oblivion did, and um… if you can name one I’ll give you $1,200 bucks as Sony’s president say but the truth is there aren’t any others (Madden may have but it’s Madden – I don’t count it – you know why EA.)

All the titles that sold that many copies are having a sequel (No PDZ sequel announced, but one will come eventually.) They are the golden boys of Xbox 360 and the ones that are always referred to. Over 155 other Xbox 360 games have been released though.

That is where the problem is in video games. They cost to much and not as many sell a lot of copies. Developers need to start to think more mass market. Look at Wii Sports as an example Microsoft! It’s a huge problem that gamers don’t see, if you are reading this blog you are one of the people who think “I buy a lot of games, why don’t they sell a million then?” Well there are only about 5 million Xbox 360s in America and the software is sitting, not selling. Some are but it isn’t mass market.

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Why pay $60 for a game. Older people are completely turned off of video games – until they play them. They are turned off by high price points and long hours required. Xbox live Arcade is for casual gamers!!!! To bad it isn’t marketed to casual gamers because none of them have Xbox Live.

There’s problems in the industry, they need to wake up and realize it so they can sell a million copies of more games and have more successes. The only lock ins for later this year are Halo 3, Crackdown (a.k.a Halo 3 demo), and I have high hopes for Mass Effect but the mainstream won’t play Crackdown or Mass Effect. So industry you know you have a problem , Xbox 360 is in the back of the pack, only to the PS3, for the most hardcore gamers. So it’s time to fix it so we can have more of these being given out…


Gamers? How do we fix this problem and get more people to play games? Comment away and help the industry out – they need it.



1. ANiTOKiD - February 12, 2007

it is not all about pricing concerns. Developers should also account for novel gameplay when they make video games.

2. InvisibleMan - February 12, 2007

I thought the problem had been already solved by Nintendo: Wii and DS games don’t cost nearly as much to develop, and many of them (especially the least costly ones, the ones on DS!) sell pretty well, many even above the 1 million count.

I think right now this is just a MicroSoft and Sony problem, as long as they continue holding on to that Hollywood-imported idea that the more you spend on entertainment, the more people will enjoy it.

3. dpcough - February 12, 2007

Nintendo partially solved it, they just need to have third parties sell games. This is more of a 360 site so I tried to keep focus on it there.

Novel Gameplay is another good aspect in Hotel Dusk Room 215, a Nintendo title.

Good stories need to be in games again, only some are good like Halo – Mario doesn’t even have one other than save the princess.

4. A Million x 52 « Live Gamer - February 13, 2007

[…] 2007 Posted by dpcough in Xbox/ Xbox 360 General. trackback I got a lot of feedback from my post of The Million Copy Question, the editorial based content will […]

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