Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Editorial Swen Vincke reflects on the development of Div:OS, reveals that it's sold over half a million copies

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    85,717
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Divinity: Original Sin; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

    Larian CEO Swen Vincke updated his blog today, for the first time since the release of Divinity: Original Sin back in June. His new post is a long and dense rumination on various aspects of the game's development and reception. Swen talks about the game's success, about the lengths he had to go in order to achieve that success, and also reveals a little bit of what Larian has planned for the future. And, yes, there are sales figures. I'll quote the most interesting bits:

    Divinity: Original Sin did pretty well. At the time of this writing its Metacritic critic rating is at 87%, it’s user rating at 89% and it’s been at the top of the Steam charts for most of the summer, occupying the nr. 1 spot for around a month.

    It has sold well over half a million units by now– mostly from Steam, with 10% from retail. ”Break even” has been reached, our debts have been paid and we are now in the profitable zone. While not all of the money is for us as we had private investors on board, the game did sufficiently well for us to envision funding our next endeavors with it, meaning we’re pretty happy about its performance.

    So much for turn-based fantasy RPGs not selling, crowdfunding not working and a developer like us not being capable of bringing a game to market without the help of seasoned publishers!

    [...] The release of D: OS was one big crunch period with all the good and bad that come with it. If the game ultimately did well, it’s because of the outstanding performance of the team when “the going got tough and the tough got going”.

    A lot of the crunch was caused by our decision to listen to the feedback we received through our Kickstarter and Steam Early Access communities. While it often was tough to read through all of the criticism, it was clear that integrating the best parts of the feedback would be well worth the effort and improve the game massively. We didn’t hesitate for a minute.

    This meant extra delays however, which in turn meant a need for extra budget. Steam Early Access was getting us some money but unfortunately that wasn’t sufficient. We needed to pay back our creditors who were all under the conviction that the game would be out sooner. When, to my surprise, it turned out that they didn’t share our belief that everything was going to be ok and even better if we listened to the feedback, I had to engage in a lot of fun conversations. Between “it’s ready when it’s done” and actually following up on that mantra, there unfortunately lies a big gap that can only be bridged with financial stamina.

    I think we would’ve continued development even longer, but when I had to dash to a far away place where lived the one last bank director who still wanted to give us sufficient credit to pay a part of what we owed to another bank, it was clear that we needed to finish. I wasn’t joking when I said it was all in.

    [...] We worked on D:OS until the very last day before release, and while that in itself isn’t for the meek of heart, it did have some interesting consequences. For one, we didn’t have any review code to share with reviewers prior to release. This meant that it would take several weeks before we’d actually know what the review scores were going to be. It also meant that anybody interested in the game would have to either wait or check what other players were thinking.

    I don’t know if there was any correlation between our ultimate review scores and the user reviews, but the latter were really good and when you went to the Steam page on the day of release, it was loaded with over 1500 user reviews, 93% being thumbs up. I think that fuelled a lot of the initial success of the game and I also think it made some reviewers pay a bit more attention to the game.

    [...] Our plan is to continue supporting D: OS for quite some time as this is the RPG framework on which we’ll build our next games. We’re fooling around with controller support to see if a big screen version with cooperative play would work well, something I’m silently hoping for as I think it’ll be a lot of fun, more so perhaps than playing coop in LAN with a friend sitting next to you. We’re also improving the engine itself as well as adding a bunch of extra features that not only make D: OS more fun and more friendly to players, but that will also improve whatever our next offering will be. We’re also adding extra content, like for instance the big companion patch, voiced et al, and I imagine that won’t be the last of what we’ll add.

    The foreseeable future for Larian (i.e. the next couple of years) is going to see us making further progress in improving our RPG craft and creating dense game worlds with hopefully new and innovative gameplay systems based on old school values. These last months I’ve been very busy expanding our development force so that we can continue to compete in tomorrow’s market.

    As I mentioned in this interview, the current thinking is that we shouldn’t go back to Kickstarter. That’s not because we’re ungrateful of the support we received through our Kickstarter community or because all those rewards caused a bit of extra work, but because I think the crowdfunding pool is limited and it should be fished in by those who really need it. Since we now can, I think we should first invest ourselves and then see if we need extra funds to fuel our ambitions. Only then it makes sense to look at crowd funding. I know several of our backers will be displeased by this, so it could be that we still change our minds, but if that is the case, I do think the the format we’ll use or the way we’ll do it will be different than how we did it for Divinity: Original Sin.
    Swen ends the post with a recap of the lessons he's learned over the course of Original Sin's development, with regard to content creation and the solicitation of community feedback. His maxim about content is something I can definitely get behind.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 24
    ^ Top  
  2. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    6,653
    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    Swen is so bro. I'm really glad things worked out for them, and for us.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 20
    ^ Top  
  3. Fry Arcane

    Fry
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,922
    I find the idea that crowd funding is a limited pool of cash with developers patiently lining up for their turn at the trough and then never going back a bit bizarre. Crowd funding is just an alternative funding source. If a studio can fund a game entirely with cash on hand, great, but given the choice between signing on with a publishers or going back to the crowd, I don't see a moral problem with the latter.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. Morkar Left Guest

    Morkar Left
    This. Actually, I thought Larian did this on purpose because I suspected that players would be far more enjoying the game than your usual professional reviewer theses days.
    Personally I think gamedevelopers don't need to rely on "professional" reviewers any longer. An intereseted player base is a far better marketing tool these days, at least for "indies" and "niche" games.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 9
    ^ Top  
  5. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,167
    Location:
    Dragodol
    in a short is 500.000 good or bad??.. or not good or bad???
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Palikka Arcane

    Palikka
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    585
    Location:
    SubSpace
    MELON OR BUST!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
    ^ Top  
  7. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    85,717
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Jay Barnson comments: http://rampantgames.com/blog/?p=7883

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  8. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    5,111
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Good, though between retail and taxes and with debts and investments to pay off, its hard to make a buck. For themselves, I doubt they'll keep much more than Divinity: Original Sin's total budget.

    Which is basically what Sven said. On the plus side, they have all the tools they developed to make Original Sin, so they won't need as much money to make their next game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
    ^ Top  
  9. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

    HiddenX
    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,636
    Location:
    Germany
    Divinity: Original Sin Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    This game will sell over a million when time goes by.
    A good addon would speed up sells even more :)
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
    ^ Top  
  10. InspectorRumpole Prophet

    InspectorRumpole
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,032
    Really happy for Larian and Swen, and i can't wait to play future games using the D:OS engine
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  11. Paul_cz Arcane

    Paul_cz
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,643
    Seriously, this 500K is just the start. Roll on the first steam sale it will do another few hundred Ks. Within two years it will be at two million. RPGs sell for years, sometimes decades.
    And it is super awesome.
    Even if personally, I would like if Larian made 3D (third person or first) RPG again, I enjoy that perspective more for exploration. And that is probably not going to happen anytime soon.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  12. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    21,760
    Not a million? BUST.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  13. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    11,353
    Location:
    Mars
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I guess 500k sold is good, but I actually thought it would sell more. Considering how long it was on top sales. Maybe I overestimate steam.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  14. buzz Arcane

    buzz
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Messages:
    4,234
    Yeah, same here. For the millions and tens of millions that Steam keeps bragging about having, they don't seem to move an extremely impressive amount of initial sales.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Shit Shit x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Eddard Stark Educated

    Eddard Stark
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    47
    Hmmm... it may be wishful thinking on my part but Sven's choice of phrasing aka "well over half a million units" might imply that the sales are actually in the range of 600-700k. That would be nice. A million should be reachable in a sale or two in any case.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    85,717
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Adjust your expectations. Steam doesn't change the fact that this is a niche turn-based RPG we're talking about here.

    A game at #1 on Steam can be selling just a bit more than the games beneath it, or it can be selling tens or hundreds of times more. In D:OS's case, it was at one point being outsold by a newly released Payday DLC for a few hours, so we know it wasn't much more successful than the games below it.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  17. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    11,399
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    The number of units that move through steam vary wildly depending on conditions. If there is not a big AAA release, crazy indie fad, or crazy sale going on, chances are you're selling good not great.

    I expect ~1 million copies sold ~12 months after release. A million copies in 1 year is not bad at all.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,865,663
    For a budget of around EUR 4m to have sold over 500k, before even reducing the price and hitting the sales, is pretty sweet. Steam may take 30% but compare that to what Larian would be getting if a publisher was involved. As Tuluse and others have said it'll surely hit a million over time, but now that all debts are paid everything can just go straight into the bank account to keep the company in good health for (hopefully) some time.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Perkel Arcane

    Perkel
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    11,911
    Mind you that steam bestseller top10 is based not on coppies sold but revenue.

    DOS for a month generated better revenue than any other game in that timeframe
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  20. SausageInYourFace Angelic Reinforcement Patron

    SausageInYourFace
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,767
    Location:
    In your face
    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I am very happy for Larian that the game sells so well.

    I was wondering if we know anything similar about the success (or failiure) of Divinity: Dragon Commander. I fucking loved that game but I assume it sold much worse? (Any possibilty of a sequel?)
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. Abu Antar Tweet, tweet Patron

    Abu Antar
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8,272
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Volourn has spoken. Larian should lay off everyone and close their office. They are doomed.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  22. TheGreatOne Arcane

    TheGreatOne
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,214
    The most beautiful sentence I've ever read. This needs to happen to all genres, and it kind of is happening, though it's too early to celebrate the dawn of a renaissance era yet
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 10
    ^ Top  
  23. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    28,508
    Vincke and Barnson are boasting a bit prematurely, half-a-mil isn't going to make most publishers turn their heads, do a double-take, and give their best impression of the Tex Avery wolf in Red Hot Riding Hood. The return of the mid-budget single-A is welcome of course.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  24. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,268
    Hmm around 600k not bad. So i can be even more arrogant about my guesses of numbers. DOS has perhaps generated around 6%-10% of the sales revenues of all games on steam for the first month of its release, selling around 6k-10k per day.
    Naturally it will sell over a million times, but i do not believe that it will be for this price, and only the Xmas sales can have the necessary impact to raise it higher, and prove this wrong.
    Nevertheless, this is very good for all.
    And as HiddenX has stated an addon would be not a bad move. (From my limited perspective.)

    Roguey
    You have more and more sawyer tags every time i check hier in. How are you doing this?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  25. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    28,508
    They're doing it, I have no input. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.