Sinner's Digest: February 20, 2008

Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 By Brad Wardell In Sins News

imageWe're in week 2 since the release of Sins of a Solar Empire and it's been quite an adventure. We've got a lot going on, here's some highlights...

  • In the first week or so, it sold more copies than Galactic Civilizations II sold in its first month which is saying a lot.  I don't know its relative sales ranking but it's in the top 3 best sellers at Gamestop, EB Games, Best Buy, and I know it's doing well at Walmart and Target since they've gone through their entire initial stockings entirely a couple of times.

  • We're working on v1.03. We want to get it out sooner rather than later and then focus on v1.04 which will be a bit more in-depth of an update. 1.03 will have AI updates, AI replacing dropped players in multplayer, smart AI surrendering, some updates to Ironclad Online and a number of other tweaks. We're going to start putting it through QA tomorrow but we don't have a definitive release date other than hopefully in the next week or two.

  • We're having a Game Night this Friday starting at 6pm EST on Ironclad Online. There will be Stardock people and Ironclad people playing online that night. We'll be helping show people how to play the game, give tips, help people work through any connection issues and of course, playing.

  • I saw an article at IGN about how PC developers are blaming piracy as the reason some high profile games aren't selling in the quantities they should.  As some of you know, Stardock's "main" business is in the PC software realm so we have a bit different outlook on market dynamics.  Here's the deal: Piracy is a problem, no doubt about it. It does cost sales. But it isn't the driving reason for lost sales, it's the size of the market.  Sins of a Solar Empire is outselling some higher profile games not just because it's a "great game" but because it runs on a vastly larger number of PCs. 

    For console advocates out there, ask yourself how well a given game would sell if it required players to run out and buy a $300 upgrade to their console to play the game?  That's essentially what a lot of high profile PC game developers expect.  When Ironclad and Stardock were working on Sins, we made a conscious decision that the game would not require potential gamers to upgrade their systems.  That meant we couldn't have things like moving turrets or whatever but it means that the size of the market was much larger.  No matter how good your game is, if people can't play it, you will always be limited.  The number of people willing to upgrade PCs for games is not that large.  If you want to sell lots of copies of your PC game, make sure it runs on a lot of machines. 

  • And lastly, the Sins of a Solar Empire MyColors theme is now available. If you bought the Collector's Edition (which is the only version we sell direct digitally or box-wise) then you get the MyColors theme for free. Click on the update game button to get it (it's one of the reasons why the direct download version is $5 more than the retail).  To learn more, see this post.

That's all for now! Cheers!