Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3 See Low Sales Debuts

By Chris Remo, Dec 14, 2007 11:40pm PST When November industry sales data was released this week by tracking firm NPD, the PC platform was notably absent from the list of top ten best-selling games despite the release of high-profile titles such as Epic Games' Unreal Tournament III and Crytek's Crysis. Now, according to NPD data released by market tracking site the simExchange, it seems both games kicked off with disappointing initial sales--neither approached 100,000 units.

The report shows Crysis as selling 86,633 units at retail since its November 13 release; the game's potential audience has no doubt been limited by the game's notoriously steep system requirements. Meanwhile, Unreal Tournament III saw considerably flatter sales, tallying 33,995 since its November 19 release. Prior to the release of this data, many gamers had predicted low sales based on the game's sparse player count; at the time of writing, its current online player count is actually below the single-player-oriented Crysis.

It should be noted that Unreal Tournament III in particular released about halfway into the month, with only two full business weeks of availability, though the numbers are undoubtedly lower than publisher Midway and developer Epic expected.

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  • Stop pushing the same formulas into new boxes and sales will reflect it. Yer gonna drop your prices soon enough and fyi I'll just hang out till you patch it right and snag it then... maybe. To me, the thing all these JAS (just another shooter) titles just don't get is : why the hell should I care if this team member or that went down in a firefight? Games in too many cases just utterly miss that the reasons the greats are aptly called that (Starcraft, for example) is that they tell A COMPELLING STORY WITH CHARACTERS YOU WANT TO CARE ABOUT AND HELP. And they didn't need the world's best graphics to do that. In fact, they were terribly limited in what they had to work with, but saw that a great story could and did carry the day. I still remember that game moment when I couldn't stop Kerrigan from being overrun by the Zerg. It's storytelling when I actually care about what is going on in the story.
    Developers need to stop with the uber team approach of how many people can we stuff on the payroll to make cooler water animations and ask themselves: If there were only four of us, with not very good computers and a damn small budget, what is the coolest stuff we could pull of with just that. When you've got that and you actually want to play it and get a kick out of it, that's when you slap on the graphics.