PDA

View Full Version : Bethesda still claims 90% of their audience is on consoles



thesisko
09-02-2012, 10:25 PM
I had a little chat with Pete Hines on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DCDeacon (https://twitter.com/#%21/DCDeacon)

Me: How does "multiple millions sold on PC" translate to "90% of our audience is on consoles?"
Pete: We sold a lot of console versions

Me: "Multiple" means at least 2 and you didn't sell 20 million console versions
Me: I was just expecting you to acknowledge that Bethesda was wrong about 90% of their fans being on consoles.
Pete: Maybe it's 10. Or 15. Maybe as high as 20. But overall, it's around there. And will be for Skyrim as well

Me: Come on, that's like saying "maybe it sold 1 or 2 million".
Pete: Consoles have a much longer tail for sales. So it changes from launch to 3 mos out to lifetime.

Now, is it just me or is the guy going out of his way to avoid saying that PC sales are good? One almost gets the feeling someone has asked him to downplay the games success on PC. And console games have longer tails? Really?

duff
09-02-2012, 10:28 PM
Between 10 and 20 million? Thats a rather large window!

Plus a lot of the tail sales will be second hand.

Zephro
09-02-2012, 10:28 PM
He's a VP right? He'll probably want to keep in with MS and Sony. I don't think it's possible to piss off a large PC distribution network like them.

Kadayi
09-02-2012, 10:36 PM
What Zaphro says. The reckoning is that there's a new Xbox being announced at E3 so bigging up the PC serves no good purpose for them if they want to be in Microsofts good books.

ZIGS
09-02-2012, 10:37 PM
Good thing you're not allergic to bullshit, otherwise you'd have a pretty nasty rash right now

Mumblerful
09-02-2012, 10:43 PM
Im just surprised how people can play TES on a console, the mods are what make those games.

Althea
09-02-2012, 10:49 PM
Pete Hines is talking out of his arse.

Chevy
09-02-2012, 11:13 PM
Wow, was I annoyed reading this exchange. I hate so much seeing companies clearly lying about their numbers.

Vandelay
09-02-2012, 11:35 PM
Err... Don't PCs have a much longer "tail" then consoles? Can't imagine that the monthly sales of Morrowind on Xbox outsell the figures for PC, whether you include second hand in that or not. (Now that I glance at the twitter exchange, I see you actually make that comment too, which he doesn't respond to with figures, but just tells you he is right and you are wrong.)

Wizardry
09-02-2012, 11:48 PM
You can't trust anything that comes out of Pete Hines' mouth. This is a non-story. Nothing to see here!

Icarus
10-02-2012, 12:13 AM
Pete Hines is talking out of his arse.

Agreed. What a tosser.

Drake Sigar
10-02-2012, 12:17 AM
If he's going to lie, he could at least sell us something believable.

Aradalf
10-02-2012, 12:37 AM
Consoles have a much longer tail for sales. So it changes from launch to 3 mos out to lifetime.

Wait a second here. Console games have a longer tail? Wow.... that's just unbelievable. He should at least make believable lies. Nothing beats Steam and GOG in terms of sales long after a game's original release. Games which were released 10 years ago still regularly top Steam's best sellers charts. As an example, just this week TES 3: Morrowind was #3 or 4 or Steam's top sellers list.

deano2099
10-02-2012, 12:50 AM
Yep. Would love to see how much Oblivion bought in on consoles last year against the PC version.

ezekiel2517
10-02-2012, 01:26 AM
I don't understand what could Microsoft possibly do in retaliation of him saying that PC sells more. Anything they could do, Bethesda could make them regret by suggesting TESVI will be PC/PS4 only.

sabrage
10-02-2012, 04:37 AM
Wait a second here. Console games have a longer tail? Wow.... that's just unbelievable. He should at least make believable lies. Nothing beats Steam and GOG in terms of sales long after a game's original release. Games which were released 10 years ago still regularly top Steam's best sellers charts. As an example, just this week TES 3: Morrowind was #3 or 4 or Steam's top sellers list.
Exactly. When you account for the fact that the big three can't be bothered to integrate backwards compatibility proper anymore, the question of which camp has a longer tail end becomes laughable.

Wizardry
10-02-2012, 05:22 AM
Yeah dudes! Scanning over GOG's current best sellers I can see Space Quest 1+2+3, the first of which came out in 1986! That's 26 years ago!

sockeatsock
10-02-2012, 05:47 AM
Woa boyz. Woa.

It's important to consider the overall shape of the tail. Might I propose the following, with time on the x-axis and profit on the y-axis. Obviously not at all to scale.

793

The steam sale gives it a peak which easily out sells consoles, but it is brief and fails to compare with the slow tapering of the original sales.

I'm just making this up, but it wouldn't shock me if the tail of console games is better. Whilst steam sales can make and break indie titles, I suspect they're a relative drop in the lake for AAA titles selling for a hundred dollars (Australian $100 that is) at launch.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 05:59 AM
I'm just making this up, but

Was any other part of that post necessary?

sockeatsock
10-02-2012, 06:31 AM
Thank you for that valuable post Nalano.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 07:23 AM
Thank you for that valuable post Nalano.

To be fair, the part I quoted wasn't all that necessary, either.

hamster
10-02-2012, 08:32 AM
Seems unlikely console have better tails. For one thing console games are physically distributed so when sales taper it must be tough logistically. That probably means that a solid proportion of these games sold at the tail-end of the game's life cycle are second-hands anyway. Another thing is that because of the cost of physical distribution, console games will never go down in price as much as digitally distributed games.

Lukasz
10-02-2012, 09:25 AM
http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=skyrim

and numbers for PC are under reported cause of steam not releasing data. really don't see that 90% even if we group PS3 and XBOX together (which is misleading anyway)

elephant god
10-02-2012, 09:28 AM
maybe there's a difference in sales and pure money that's coming in.

Digital Distribution on the PC is doubtless a huge market, even still growing, even for older titles. But the price drops are huge compared to console titles. console gamers still pay full price for 2year old games, if I'm not mistaken. the only thing on pc that achieves anything close to that are call of duty games.

So yes, he is lying, and yes, bethesda WILL be selling a lot more PC games than console games atm, but i can imagine the money coming in from consoles is a bit better...

Althea
10-02-2012, 09:45 AM
console gamers still pay full price for 2year old games, if I'm not mistaken.
I think there's very few places where that happens. I'd argue it's probably more likely that you'll pay near-full price on PC.

Lukasz
10-02-2012, 10:05 AM
maybe there's a difference in sales and pure money that's coming in.

Digital Distribution on the PC is doubtless a huge market, even still growing, even for older titles. But the price drops are huge compared to console titles. console gamers still pay full price for 2year old games, if I'm not mistaken. the only thing on pc that achieves anything close to that are call of duty games.

So yes, he is lying, and yes, bethesda WILL be selling a lot more PC games than console games atm, but i can imagine the money coming in from consoles is a bit better...

You are forgetting one thing tough.

Console games are sold via shops. They buy it from wholesale I presume. Then publisher gets a cut but after subtracting costs of physical production and logistic.

so while console players do pay more per game than PC users the income for publisher is not as high as costs are much greater. Steam, on other hand, I believe takes 30% and there are no costs. So for every dollar 70 cents go to publisher (not counting taxes)

If sales are comparable between platforms then PC should be making more money, short-term and definitely long-term wise in my opinion. Consoles need much greater sales to actually compete profit wise with PC.

Yachmenev
10-02-2012, 10:17 AM
They sure are doing an awful lot of work for just 10% of their Skyrim customerbase, considering the creation kit, Steam workshop, special patch fixes and the high res texture pack. :)

Of course the PC version stands for more than 10% of Skyrims sales figures right now, so he might talk about where he thinks the figures will end up when the sales are starting to dry up. The sales in retail stores will of course have "a longer tail", but is that tail longer (is this the way you use that expression) then what the digital distribution tail is? I would have thought it didnīt, but perhaps I overrate digital distribution sales.

baboonanza
10-02-2012, 10:36 AM
The problem with that argument is that it ignores second hand sales. Who the hell buys a console game 6 months after release first hand and at full price? When there is a used copy at a significant discount a few shelves away?

For that matter, what stores still stock 6 month old full-price console releases in meaningful quantities?

Althea
10-02-2012, 11:30 AM
Of course the PC version stands for more than 10% of Skyrims sales figures right now, so he might talk about where he thinks the figures will end up when the sales are starting to dry up. The sales in retail stores will of course have "a longer tail", but is that tail longer (is this the way you use that expression) then what the digital distribution tail is? I would have thought it didnīt, but perhaps I overrate digital distribution sales.
Skyrim will continue to sell over the coming years, but the PC sales will probably remain consistent for longer. The PC will clearly occupy less than a third of the market for the first year or so, but as time goes on it'll just continue to grow. Heck, Skyrim's out and as the Steam sale shows people are still buying Morrowind and Oblivion (and in fairly large quantities considering their age(s)), and they've been out for years.

Partially due to compatibility and partially due to, uh... being PC gamers, games tend to have a much longer shelf life for us. I mean, look at Psychonauts or even Broken Sword - the developers have recently repolished those games for modern PCs. Psychonauts worked anyway, but it's been updated (sort of - I didn't notice much and didn't think they did a particularly brilliant job) to use the 360 controller, Steamworks and so on. Broken Sword 1 and 2 have been remastered and improved (sort of) by Revolution. That rarely happens on consoles, in fact the only game I can really think of that it applied to recently for them was Beyond Good & Evil.

Heck, people are still playing Counter-Strike 1.6, Unreal Tournament and so on - what does that tell you about PC gaming?

Labbes
10-02-2012, 11:30 AM
I think there's very few places where that happens. I'd argue it's probably more likely that you'll pay near-full price on PC.

That depends on whether you buy it new or used. Speaking for Germany, new console games rarely get cheaper than 15-20€, like the Platinum series on the PS3 for instance. PC games can easily available for 10€ one year after launch, or even cheaper than that.
Of course with used games you have the problem with codes, so I guess some games are just not available used for PC, that doesn't mean that PC is generally more expensive.
Still, I don't think it's possible to get any numbers on this, so we will probably have to stay on a theoretical level here :/

mickygor
10-02-2012, 11:31 AM
Heck, people are still playing Counter-Strike 1.6, Unreal Tournament and so on - what does that tell you about PC gaming?

Not to bother releasing games for PC since its userbase is content with the games they already have? :P

buemba
10-02-2012, 12:06 PM
Maybe the 90% figure holds true if you take into account the sales of all Bethesda games released in this generation?

Everything he said sounds like bullshit, but surely he's privy to more information than us and I can't think of any reason why he'd outright lie about any of that. It's not like they're using this to justify putting minimal effort on their PC ports (Skyrim UI notwithstanding) so why would they publicly state false information?

sabrage
10-02-2012, 12:07 PM
Partially due to compatibility and partially due to, uh... being PC gamers, games tend to have a much longer shelf life for us. I mean, look at Psychonauts or even Broken Sword - the developers have recently repolished those games for modern PCs. Psychonauts worked anyway, but it's been updated (sort of - I didn't notice much and didn't think they did a particularly brilliant job) to use the 360 controller, Steamworks and so on. Broken Sword 1 and 2 have been remastered and improved (sort of) by Revolution. That rarely happens on consoles, in fact the only game I can really think of that it applied to recently for them was Beyond Good & Evil.
Console games get the BG&E treatment all the time, especially on the PS3. God of War 1+2, Silent Hill 2+3, Metal Gear Solid 2, 3 and Peace Walker, the Sly Cooper series, the first three Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia games, Jak series, Devil May Cry... But the thing about the PC is that these games are already in HD, so these stupid repackagings (well, stupid if you bought the original version anyways) aren't needed.

Unaco
10-02-2012, 12:25 PM
Agreed. What a tosser.

I disagree. I see the OP here as the tosser... making something of nothing really.

Nothing wrong with what Hines has said. He's not playing down PC sales (he might be bigging up console sales, but that's not the same thing). He even concedes that the 10% PC audience might be as high as 15% or 20%. I seem to recall seeing 2 day sales that had ~6.5 million units being shifted, 15% PC. So it's probably quite accurate what he's saying. Anyway... it's not a f*cking Board meeting. I don't think he has to come out with the exact figures, just the ballpark estimates. 1 month sales were at the 10 million mark... wouldn't be too inconceivable that they shifted another 12 million in two months... at Christmas and into the New Year.

The "90% of our audience is on consoles" again, wasn't to put the PC audience down... it was in response to whether there would be mods for Consoles, and that they would like to do that if they could.

Actions speak louder than words for me... the constant updating, release of the Free High Res Texture Packs, and the timely release of the Construction Kit, the Steamworks Integration, the Wiki the devs have written/provided, the inclusion of community features/demands (4GB RAM aware, no CEG so SKSE can work etc), all show Bethesda's dedication to the PC audience.

Althea
10-02-2012, 12:28 PM
Tosser? No
Talking out of his arse? Yes


Console games get the BG&E treatment all the time, especially on the PS3. God of War 1+2, Silent Hill 2+3, Metal Gear Solid 2, 3 and Peace Walker, the Sly Cooper series, the first three Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia games, Jak series, Devil May Cry... But the thing about the PC is that these games are already in HD, so these stupid repackagings (well, stupid if you bought the original version anyways) aren't needed.
Most of those are PS3 exclusive and from Sony anyway. The 360 - AFAIK - hasn't has the same releases of Splinter Cell, Persia and the other franchises on it, just BG&E. I'm not sure what spurned them to do HD releases beyond simple Making Stuff Accessible And Making Sales Before The Sequel Releases - IIRC, God of War 1+2 HD released around the time of 3.

They still tend to be the exception rather than the rule, though.

Chevy
10-02-2012, 02:43 PM
whoops, didn't see sabrages post. Nevermind!

Wizardry
10-02-2012, 04:51 PM
Tosser? No
Talking out of his arse? Yes
http://i43.tinypic.com/fciixy.jpg

Unaco
10-02-2012, 05:09 PM
What's that picture supposed to be saying Wizardry? What's the point of posting that?

Wizardry
10-02-2012, 05:27 PM
What's that picture supposed to be saying Wizardry? What's the point of posting that?
He's smiling at Althea being rude to him. I thought that was obvious.

Althea
10-02-2012, 05:41 PM
He's smiling at Althea being rude to him. I thought that was obvious.
Being rude? I'd say I was being neutral.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
10-02-2012, 05:41 PM
I think you're coming down too harshly on him. Bethesda is absolutely brilliant when it comes to after-sales support of their games.

Also, Selling ten million copies of a game in a Steam sale for $5 is a hell of a lot less profitable than selling twenty million copies on console for $60.

Tuco
11-02-2012, 10:28 AM
Also, Selling ten million copies of a game in a Steam sale for $5 is a hell of a lot less profitable than selling twenty million copies on console for $60.
Well, except not one single copy of Skyrim was sold for 5$ on Steam, so far.
If anything, I would guess that the profit margin over any digital sale would be greater than over a physical sale.

TailSwallower
11-02-2012, 06:55 PM
http://i43.tinypic.com/fciixy.jpg

I liked him better when he went by the name Rik Mayall.