Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

Retail

Fez sells 105,000 in Steam sale

Fez sells 105,000 in Steam sale

Mon 15 Jul 2013 2:55pm GMT / 10:55am EDT / 7:55am PDT
RetailOnline

Game moves more copies in first day of promotion than in first three months on Valve's service

Valve's Steam summer sale promotion has proven to be a powerful tool for developers who get their games featured. Fez developer Phil Fish provided some evidence of that on his Twitter feed this weekend, declaring the sales spike his game received after the asking price was cut in half to be "bananers."

"We sold more copies in the first 24 hours of the sale than we had on Steam in the first three months since release," Fish said, adding that the two-day price drop yielded more sales than the game drew in its first month on Xbox Live Arcade.

All told, Fez sold 105,000 copies in the 48 hours the game was on sale. He also posted a picture of Fez's Steam sales graph to better illustrate his point.

This is the second look at Steam sales figures the industry has received in as many weeks. Last week, a Sega filing in the THQ bankruptcy court case gave detailed month-by-month preorder figures for Company of Heroes 2, including breakdowns for purchases of the $100 limited edition versus the $60 standard package.

21 Comments

Luis E Alvarado Studying Mobile Development B.S., Full Sail University

7 0 0.0
Good for him. I bought a copy as well :)

Posted:A year ago

#1

Shaun Farol Studying Computer Information Systems, California Polytechnic State University

40 12 0.3
Didn't EA claim that these kind of sales were bad for the industry and they devalued everyone's product?
Not that I ever thought Phil Fish would side with EA, I would never have bought some of the games I did in the last week if they weren't on sale.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,578 1,432 0.9
Didn't EA claim that these kind of sales were bad for the industry and they devalued everyone's product?
They did... In an effort to promote Origin, they squared-off against Steam sales.

Of course, if you look at today's deals on Steam, you'll find 2 EA games on Flash Sales currently (Mirror's Edge -70% Off, KoTOR 2 66% Off), various EA games on sale by less than that, and the Steam Midweek Madness last week was the Need for Speed franchise deep-discounted.

So... Yeahhhhh. That was just EA being EA.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Jack Pochop Studying Telecommunications, Indiana University

27 16 0.6
Fez must have sold less at launch than I originally had thought. Looks pretty stagnant from launch to ''bananers'' on Phil Fish's graph as well.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Shane Sweeney Academic

395 403 1.0
Steam Sales, Indie Bundles, DLC etc
Nice to see a waterfall sales model emerging.

This is just the beginning, future looks pretty bright.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 16th July 2013 1:36am

Posted:A year ago

#5

Eoin Moran Studying Bachelor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

35 32 0.9
@ Luis

Yep I was one of them bananas as well. I had been tossing up on buying this for a little while but had been playing far too many other games to pick it up. The sale pushed me over (as I assume it did the others).

Also important to note that it wasn't even one of the huge discounts of day (relatively speaking)

Posted:A year ago

#6

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
@ Jack - I can't speak for other gamers but I didn't get it when it launched on Steam / PC because it was "old hat". The conversation around the game, its quirks, features and secrets were all done and dusted. It's one of the reasons why I feel exclusives and staggered releases are bad for books, movies, TV series and games... (well, basically all media!) in a hyper-connected world like ours is. I've accidentally read so many spoilers for so much media, seen conversations about things within individual episodes or scenes, that it really curtails my enthusiasm for the product. They go from a "must see, very interested" to "mildly interested, I'll see if I've got nothing else".

This is how I feel about Fez right now. I thought it was a great concept and cool style when it was revealed but lost most of my interest when it was XBLA exclusive and since so much time has passed it's not high on my priority. Obviously, sale prices help in "collectathons" so I'll bet a lot of people picked it up because of that. I actually picked up a copy to gift to someone else but I've not got the time to play it any time soon so I'll probably pick it up if it goes on sale during the Steam Christmas sale.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Andrew Watson Programmer

98 244 2.5
So I guess PCs aren't just for spreadsheets then?

Posted:A year ago

#8

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

527 786 1.5
The thing with the Steam sales is that it seems pointless buying games at full price when you know full well they're going to be sold at a fraction of the price soon anyway. I still haven't played half the games I bought in the last sale, so since then I've not bothered buying many games at launch prices until I've cleared my backlog. Most of the people who bought Fez in the sale have probably just been waiting patiently for the price drop they knew was inevitable anyway. Like James said above, it wasn't a "brand new" game when it came out on Steam, and it's usually that "shiny new" feeling that overpowers the "wait for the sale" urge.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Jack Pochop Studying Telecommunications, Indiana University

27 16 0.6
@James - Besides being ultra non-PC, that was pretty much my reason as well. Especially by now, I've pretty much played the game vicariously through one friend or another. I did end up giving the game a go this year, though, and it was difficult to get past the idea that I'd already seen too much of the game for it to be revealing and new as I went along. Maybe it's just not my cup of tea.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jack Pochop on 16th July 2013 1:01pm

Posted:A year ago

#10

Dave Wolfe Game Developer, Cosmic Games

64 30 0.5
The thing with the Steam sales is that it seems pointless buying games at full price when you know full well they're going to be sold at a fraction of the price soon anyway.
I think it really depends on the game. Most games I'll wait at least a little while to see if the price ever comes down (and this isn't unique to Steam, I've been doing it since the 90's), but some games like Skyrim and Rage I preordered at full price because I didn't want to wait to play them. In hindsight Rage could've waited :) But I don't regret paying full price for Skyrim or most of the other games I buy at full price. There are even some games that I've never heard about until they go on sale, and if I like the concept enough I'll wait until the sale is over so I can buy it at full price to support the developers. Retrovirus is one of those games, I miss those Descent-style shooters and was happy to pay full price for in hopes that if it's successful then more games like it will be made.

Posted:A year ago

#11
I think this proves EA's point however it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad thing unless there's a race to zero.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,578 1,432 0.9
@ John

I think there's a huge difference between financially devaluing a product, and devaluing the perceived quality of a product. EA tried to argue that the one necessitates the other, when in fact the two are, in my mind, tangentially related but not codependent. For example, to use Fez - many people who bought it during the sale are going to play it and at least consider picking up the sequel at full-price. Thus the "Fez Franchise" is as strong as it ever was, because people associate it, and Phil Fish, with quality, regardless of cash paid.

By contrast, an expensive game where the quality is less than one expects can damage the reputation of a developer and harm future sales of a franchise far more than any deep-discount could.

Tl;dr - the consumer places more value on the product than simply the price it is bought at, and both developers and publishers should keep this in mind.

And, yes, as long as there is no "Race to zero" (or, "Race to lowest possible price immediately post-launch") then I think it's all good.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 16th July 2013 8:03pm

Posted:A year ago

#13
There's no way of effectively measuring quality except by what it's worth in monetary terms plus I think he actually talked about cheapening IP and then went on to talk in mostly financial terms rather than some arbitrary view regarding quality.

Due to Steam sales it has become obvious that gamers now see the price of games at the price which they can buy it in the sale. This may lead to more copies being sold and even more revenue but it does "cheapen" each individual copy. There's no arguing about that. How you define quality has nothing to do with it.

It's a bit like the argument a few years ago Iwata made at GDC and quite frankly looking at the App Store I think he's been proved right there as well.

Obviously developers are finding a way round this through F2P and selling many more copies than before which is now possible through digital but it remains to be seen if this will be sustainable in the long term. I think the jury's out but we'll see in the next few years.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 17th July 2013 12:56am

Posted:A year ago

#14

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,578 1,432 0.9
This may lead to more copies being sold and even more revenue but it does "cheapen" each individual copy.
Well, obviously. :p
How you define quality has nothing to do with it.
Well, if you don't think so, fair enough. But, as a parting remark remark, let me ask you this - do you ever think to yourself "Oh, I wouldn't buy such-and-such at that price?" That, right there, is a subjective valuation of the quality (or perceived quality) in relation to what something costs financially.

To be honest, a quick Google for the article in question presents a very vague couple of answers from DeMartini on the subject of Steam sales, where he does just talk about the financial areas, and IP. As I said in my previous comment, though, I don't think the Fez (in this instance) IP is going to be cheapened. As you may have noticed, I think there's more to gamers buying cheap games than just the price. :) (Btw, here's the link for everyon else: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-06-06-david-demartini-origin-wants-to-be-the-hub )

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 17th July 2013 7:18am

Posted:A year ago

#15

Posted:A year ago

#16

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,578 1,432 0.9
True, but that works both ways. Someone who buys Fez during the sale and loves it might say that they'd gladly pay standard retail price for it, or more. So, when the sequel is available to pre-order, they'll jump at it, even if it's more expensive than the first game ever was.

"Learned behaviour" is just a base of experiences, really, and people can adjust their perception of value based on those experiences. They might "learn" that games are only worth X, but if their enjoyment of games is financially quantified in their mind, then they'll accept paying both more and less, depending.

If that makes sense. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 17th July 2013 12:12pm

Posted:A year ago

#17

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tristram Defries on 17th July 2013 1:10pm

Posted:A year ago

#18

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,578 1,432 0.9
Mmm... Point.

Edit:

I wonder aloud how regional pricing variations affect the learned value of IP (or even, if they do at all). For example, people who pay attention to Steam will know how much cheaper games on Steam are in Russia, to combat piracy (Gabe Newell gave an interview about it last year or the year before). C&C 3: Tiberium Wars is currently the equivalent of $3 in Russia. How does this affect the perception of that IP? For sure, people assume that that difference is due to how much the Ruble can buy, but I can vouch (anecdotally speaking) that others will do everything they can to get a Russian to buy games for them and Gift them through Steam, because of that price difference. Is that merely to do with saving money, or is it because they value the IP so low?

It's a hard one to figure out, if only because of the numbers behind it, and the flakiness of the statistics - A smaller aggregate group to try and examine, and more anecdotal evidence to rely upon.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 17th July 2013 5:49pm

Posted:A year ago

#19

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6


Quality and status matter in the human socio-psychology. Good quality games and games that have built or gained a certain status will always be able to command more at retail.

[edit] Some more, less flashy, examples:
- There are plenty of vacuum cleaners on the market but most people agree that Dyson are the best and they are more expensive.
- Ariel and Persil are more expensive than their competitors yet do not fare badly.

- Dolmio et al

Early on, people will always be willing to pay more for a product that provides them with added status within the community and/or that has a high quality. It's only later on, after release that the perceived value will decrease for these products. It's one of the reasons why people who buy buggy or terrible* games defend them even if they themselves think that the game is of poor quality.

*terrible as defined by the consensus of the social zeitgeist.

[edit] Damn typos!

Edited 3 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 18th July 2013 7:01am

Posted:A year ago

#20

Hakki Sahinkaya

43 32 0.7
It's a bit distressing to see his numbers were 0 or so close to it in other times though?

PS: I know the Y scale is on 10000 but still, it looks flat dead after launch died down.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Hakki Sahinkaya on 22nd July 2013 4:46pm

Posted:A year ago

#21

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now