Dev Wants Digital Download ‘Charts’

We like sales charts.  You like sales charts.  We are not the only ones.  Development studios would like to be able to get access to sales data for games released over digital platforms like PSN and XBLA.  James Brooksby, head of Burn Zombie Burn developer Doublesix does not like being “left in the dark” on sales data.

Talking to GI.biz he claims that the “lack of transparency” regarding information on digital sales data is harming the industry.  He wants the owners of the digital platforms, Sony, Microsoft, etc., to make their sales data public.

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Brooksby remarks that the lack of that sales information “is hindering the development of [digital] channels” before going on to explain why that is the case.  “As a developer trying to decide which platforms to develop for, as well as what type of games to make, we’re currently inthe dark regarding real sales performance for digital platforms and that makes it increasingly difficult to make realistic plans.”

He says that he would “like to see some kind of verified sales charts on all digital systems to encourage more developers to support these channels and to help make sensible investment decisions.”

If you regularly read as much gaming press as we do you will know how infrequently you will come across anything related to cold hard numbers of sales of titles on the various digital stores.  All you are likely to hear about regarding the digital stores is the occasional top ten devoid of actual numbers or when the platform holder wants to make some noise about something positive such as Sony’s ‘pub fund‘ which Doublesix themselves took advantage of.

With the sales information not being available it would be easy to conclude that one of the key reasons is because it is not very flattering.  For instance, if I was correct with my assessment following Sony’s analyst call yesterday that PSN sales for Sony’s last financial year were around £100 million, that is not a great deal of money when spread amongst the hundreds of games and thousands of TV and film downloads available on the store.

The source of his comments on the lack of sales data was actually a press release that Doublesix put out to announce that Burn Zombie Burn! had reached the studios internal benchmark for success with sales of 70,000 copies.

There is plenty more zombie burning to come too as we can look forward to “the upcoming expansion packs, bundles, comic, player guide, Home space, competitions, Asian release etc”.  Of course the Home space landed yesterday and the first DLC is supposedly not far behind.

One final little snippet of info for your consumption.  Brooksby popped up in the comments section of Develop’s coverage of this story to say:

I do understand some reasons why the numbers are not out there from the standpoint of platform. However this is causing a great deal of pain in the digital sector. (PS) we are now near 80k!

The emphasis is my own.

Thanks: LycanGav

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