Alien: Isolation Has Sold 2.1 Million Horrible Stalking Aliens

According to Sega’s latest financial report, space stealth-em-up Alien: Isolation [official site] had sold 2.1 million units across all platforms at the end of March. It comfortably outsold the publisher’s other new releases during the same year, such as Football Manager 2015 (810k sales) and the two Sonic Boom games (620k total sales).

Alien: Isolation represents a high point in an otherwise weak year for Sega’s packaged games in the 2015 fiscal year (which ended on March 31st), despite what some would call relatively low sales for a AAA title. Considering the game was in development for four years, I wonder whether Sega made back development costs.

The plan is now to “improve profitability by streamlining centering on overseas businesses” and create profit with the help of “mainstay IPs” like Persona 5. Other major titles for the next fiscal year include Hortensia Saga, Chaos Dragon and Monster Gear. Which all sound very Japanese and very non-PC.

We’ll have to wait and see what Sega will do with the Alien franchise next. Alien: Isolation was an actual Good Game and was well received, critically. Hopefully the improved sales over Alien: Colonial Marines (1.3million) will push them towards an Isolation sequel. Or perhaps a game like that works best in a vacuum.

From this site

36 Comments

  1. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Wow, never stopped to notice Football Manager is no longer the biggest selling game every year. Back in the day it just sat at the top of that page in PC Gamer with the monthly sales charts. Or was that just UK?

    And much as I loved A:I, favourite game of last year, I just don’t think a straight up sequel would work. It was such a complete package. Would rather see them tackle another classic franchise with the same skill and brave design decisions. Blade Runner, maybe?? Realise that’s probably 10 times more expensive and time consuming than carrying on with a sequel, but one can dream.

    • WhatKateDoes says:

      zomg 1000 times this. A Blade Runner game developed by that studio with that same level of attention to detail and mythology ought to be tremendous.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        You know there was a Blade Runner game released back in ’97? It was pretty bloody good apparently.

        • whoelse says:

          It was a cracker of a game

          • ananachaphobiac says:

            Plus the antagonist was voiced by Mark Rolston, who played Drake; the smart-gun operator. I realise that’s actually a character from “Aliens” but it was close enough to be worth mentioning.

    • Vandelay says:

      Potentially controversial comment : isolation was the best sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien. I thought it showed why the Alien say so iconic, whilst never demonishing the horror of it, as all the cinematic sequels have.

      But, I agree. I don’t think the lightning can strike twice with this one without it just being more of the same. I do hope they use a similar style elsewhere though.

      • Unclepauly says:

        not controversial at all, people have been saying that for months.

    • whoelse says:

      Economics of it don’t agree. A sequel is easier, the design elements and much of the code are already in place. To take on a whole new future world would be another expensive four years.
      And the clever design of AI doesn’t translate automatically to bladerunner. It could be fps, but with piloting car mechanics, fast replicant chases, it’s a different animal and may not have the same hook.

      Sad to say, I’m loving alien isolation, although I play it in short bursts because the stress gets to me! ;) I would still happily buy a sequel, while part of me grits my teeth and thinks why am I doing this to myself

  2. Skeletor68 says:

    I guess the game mechanics don’t suit the size of the corresponding market needed for a AAA dev budget.

    Getting the visual fidelity and alien AI was probably the hard part. They must have needed to bloat the experience out to a longer game to justify a higher price tag. It’s a pity that a generally good game still won’t do the business for SEGA now. A shorter experience with a lower price point might have done more for them. Game dev is hard man.

    • montorsi says:

      Am I missing something here? 2.1 million is a lot of sales, man.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Across all platforms its not. It’s on the low side of being a big seller. 3.5 to 4 million would have been seen as a success.

      • Skeletor68 says:

        Speaking to people in SEGA I know that it definitely didn’t do as much as they would have liked.

  3. Cross says:

    “…will push them towards an Isolation sequel. Or perhaps a game like that works best in a vacuum.”

    Oh you.

  4. GallonOfAlan says:

    If they do an Isolation sequel I hope they rethink the save mechanics as the current one will either add massively to the tension for you, or as with me annoy to the extent that I shelved it when I got to the med bay. I don’t regret buying it, but I will pass on a sequel if it’s the same.

  5. Not_Id says:

    We need more Alien games and films.

    I’d also like Ridley Scott to add an alien to Gladiator. It would be great! Also, Thelma & Louise could do with an alien inclusion. But if Ridley “I will put an alien in my films if I like” Scott adds an alien to The Martian, then the Alien franchise is dead to me. Saying that, Prometheus was better as a result of an alien inclusion so….?

    Hey Jem, what if, in the sequel to Alien Isolation, Ripley’s daughter, has a daughter that we get to play as?

  6. Hillbert says:

    Rather than a sequel to Alien Isolation, I have one word.

    Thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Yeah, a game where you’re just a hand scuttling around sounds interesting.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      The PC game from 2002 got quite good reviews or amazingly great reviews for a movie-to-game adaptation. Still, that one was released almost 13 years ago, so perhaps it’s time for another thing or anyThing like it.

      • dethtoll says:

        I have the PS2 version of that game and I can tell you it’s not that great. It’s so tightly scripted (like many games that came out in the immediate era following Half-Life 1) that you can accurately predict when one of your squadmates will transform, despite them not showing up on tests 2 minutes prior.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        It was OK. The “anybody could be an alien!” thing didn’t really work because there was no disadvantage to having aliens in your squad until they took enough damage and turned on you. Even then, you would usually wind up killing it before it had a chance to do anything.

        The ending was also shite.

        I liked it at the time though, it was sort of like a 3rd person Half-Life.

  7. wondermoth says:

    I am one of those 2.1 million people. And I absolutely despise this game. Possibly the most tedious videogame I have ever played.

    “But it’s so atmospheric!”. Yeah, well, so’s your mum, but I wouldn’t pay £30 for her.

    • Unclepauly says:

      but everyone knew what kind of game it was before buying. I don’t get how anyone could buy this expecting anything else than stalking around in the dark.

      • GallonOfAlan says:

        It’s not the stalking around in the dark. I played all the Thief games from back to front for years. The stalking around in the dark is expertly done. The problem is it then pits you against an alien with non-deterministic AI, with no real way to fight it, and then a save system that is almost useless. So stalking around in the dark is reduced to a lot of hiding in cupboards and replaying the same section over and over and over, often through no real fault of your own. All it needed was one ‘save anywhere’ slot on the ‘lamer’ skill level.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Nearly every negative critisism of Isolation I have seen complains that the game is “all hiding in cupboards”. If you are constantly in cupboards you are playing the game wrong. You should be putting putting objects between yourself and the alien. The game does a very good job of putting you behind cover but still allowing you to keep an eye on your opponent.

          • Memph says:

            Must agree. Clichéd and cockendish as it may sound, if saves and encounters were the real problem, you were seriously doing it wrong.

            Pick up the maps. Follow that tracker. On normal difficulty, you can pretty much make a direct bee-line for anything of importance, with a simple noisemaker and saves are never more than a few rooms away – and you can abuse them all you like to go looking for goodies, prior to completing objectives.

      • wondermoth says:

        Yeah, I didn’t buy it expecting a fast paced shooter. But the thing is *ridiculous*.

        The worst aspect is the movement speed. How did Ripley Jnr get employed, considering she moves at the speed of a geriatric tortoise on ketamine? And I like walking simulators, but I find they work best when there’s something to walk towards. Gone Home understood that if you’re going to make someone explore an environment very, very slowly, that environment needs to be fascinating. Granted, I’ve only managed two hours on Alien Isolation (I got as far as the first vaguely difficult stealth bit, and then quit in disgust after several attempts to hobble from one piece of cover to another), but as far as I can tell, it’s just a load of really big, boring corridors.

        And yes, that’s probably what *real* spaceships are like, I guess. But real *spacemen* can move faster than my grandfather.

        • whoelse says:

          The flamethrower evens the odds. A little. The alien runs away, but doesn’t take long to lick its wounds

  8. Banks says:

    I loved the first half of Isolation, It’s the best horror game ever.

    The second half, tough…

  9. Vayra says:

    They should have gone the original Silent Hill direction with this game and it would have been f*cking awesome. Give the player very limited resources, and let them actually do some damage when in dire straits. Isolation already had SO many great components that convey that typical eerie atmosphere, but lacked in ways to fight back. Sure that was the game concept, but giving the player some very limited tools would have opened thousands of gameplay possibilities.

    • Horg says:

      You did have some very limited tools in Alien Isolation. You couldn’t kill the Alien through normal means, but crafted explosives and fire weapons would force it to retreat. You could also use the Alien as a weapon by making noise and luring it into specific areas to fight hostile humans for you. Everything but the Alien could be fought and killed with the risk of drawing attention to yourself.

  10. Synesthesia says:

    Proof that bravely designed, properly directed games are still relevant, and can make money. But of course, suits being suits, they will completely fail to grasp this, and just make a sequel.

  11. silentdan says:

    I didn’t like Isolation, but I didn’t play much of it. I should give it another go. I remember it felt like a boring chore to play, and then *finally* I got to see the alien, and I hid behind tables as it stalked about, every bit as frightened as I’d been promised I’d be.

    Then it wandered off, and I was left to deal with a bunch of androids for a while. A long while. I’d sneak up behind ’em, hit ’em with a wrench, run away, hide, wait for it to reset, and then do that again. Repeat that a dozen times, and you’ve taken out an android! And you get to just keep on doing that! Hit and reset! Hit and reset. Hit and reset. Hit and … say, wasn’t there supposed to be an alien? I thought I’d encountered it a while back, but to be honest, it could’ve been an android in a costume. Maybe he’d seen me hit-and-reset kill his colleagues, realized how vulnerable he was, and figured, “I’m next if I don’t head this off; maybe I should swing by wardrobe.”

    I should give this one another try. If I’m not fully convinced that the alien is even in the game, I probably didn’t get to the meat of the experience.

  12. DanMan says:

    I think the Alien moves too much like a human, not like an animal. Looks too much like a rubber suit, too. Not impressed.

  13. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Bloody Colonial Marines sold 1,3m?? How? Why? Will people just buy anything?