One of the former employees at the recently closed Visceral Games revealed a few things on Twitter.
Yesterday, it was shocking to hear about Electronic Arts locking Visceral after previously doing a downgrade on BioWare Montreal as well. A former designer, Zach Wilson revealed how Dead Space 2, which was a quite good game with four million sales, ended up flopping!
„Dead Space 2 cost 60 million dollars to make, and they [Electronic Arts] were merciless with their budget. They only sold four million copies, and that wasn’t enough, because you have got to spend 60 million dollars marketing it, and you take a huge hit from Microsoft and retailers taking their cut. I don’t know if it turned a profit. But it underperformed, and meeting expectations are as important. This also, by the way, is why you’re seeing every publisher make their digital marketplace. Do you hate uPlay? Well, the publisher gets 90% of the money.”
All he needed were just four tweets to drop a bomb. If you see a game getting marketed heavily, remember that it takes a significant chunk of the budget, and the developer has to make up the promotion with good sales. Otherwise, the game will be considered a failure. Four million copies were not enough to succeed… and remember, it happened six years ago! What a shame.