Twice As Many People Played Dead Space As Bought It

July 7, 2009 Written by Dan Massi

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Used games have been a hot topic for a while now. Many believe that used games are nothing more than an excuse by retailers to boost profit margins. And it’s widely known that developers have lost a lot of money over used games, with overall sales figures taking a big hit. But now, Visceral Games has revealed something regarding used games in relation to their title that will shock the gaming community.

EA’s Glen Schofield, also studio manager for the the Dead Space team at Visceral Games, has revealed some surprising new data. According to Schofield, twice as many people have played Dead Space as bought it. What we mean by that is despite selling approximately 1.5 million copies, over 3 million unique users have played the game according to data collected from 360 and PS3 owners who have logged online. Those who never take their consoles online are impossible to count. Schofield explains it in more detail:

“We looked at how many we sold. We also looked at — we didn’t have online which is one of the big features that you need to have to kind of keep it in the house a little bit longer these days. But then we also did studies on sort of how many unique users there were on the PSN network and Xbox Live. And realized, you know what, there’s over three million people that have played Dead Space.

Maybe we’ve only sold 1.5 million or whatever the number is. But there’s something there because that means that, ok, there were a lot of used sales. So there’s a lot of people when I go out and talk to [them]… it seems that everybody has played it or heard about it or whatever.”

The number of used copies of Dead Space may be due to limited replayability, as the title had no multiplayer or co-operative mode. One of the hosts for EA’s official podcast asked the question if adding online was key. Schofield responded with the following:

“I think it’s bang for the buck is really what we’re looking at right now these days and going: ‘OK, we came out at 60 bucks and so did some of these other games that had online that maybe people could play for 50 hours, right? Or they had tons and tons of PDLC [paid downloadable content] so they could play it for 40, 50 hours again. Or we were up against Fallout, which was a 50-hour game to begin with. So, we didn’t look at it and say we have to have online. What we said we’ve got to be bang for the buck. Some people could get through our game in 10 hours or so, so we learned.”

Do you believe if Dead Space had either co-op or multiplayer, that new sales would have been much higher than used sales? Let us know in the comment section below.

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