In an interview with Eurogamer High Voltage chief creative officer, Eric Nofsigner, has said the one million sales benchmark is a “misnomer in our industry.” As the Conduit developer pointed out, there is many a gamer who has little insight as to how the industry is run, claiming that if a game doesn’t manage to scratch past the target, it is therefore a failure.
If I make this bottle of Coke, and let’s say there’s 10 pence of materials here – coloured water, sugar and a glass bottle – if I sell this for a pound, I’ve just made money… Whatever the product is, if it costs you less to make than you end up making off the thing, you make profit. As long as the profit margin is strong enough, then you get enough of a return and you can make another.
High Voltage is currently working on Conduit 2, a sequel to 2009’s sci-fi shooter for the Wii. Though the original didn’t sell masses, it received generally favourable reviews and is considered one of the most hardcore titles available on the system.
There are thousands of games released that don’t sell a million units. There are like 10 games a year that sell over a million units. But if you can sell a few hundred thousand copies – 300, 400 thousand copies, which is in the range that we did – we made money off that. We did well. Although it was a considerable budget for a Wii title… If we sold the exact same number of units as we sold with Conduit 1, we’d be high-fiving each other. But I think we’ll do better.
Of course we agree with Nofsinger; there are hundreds of games which were never granted the accolade of one million sales, yet they would never be classed as failures, take Enslaved and Vanquish for instance. Despite neither of them selling past the milestone, both received a number of Game of the Year nominations across the web, and there are already talks of sequels being in the pipeline.
After recent delays, Conduit 2 is now set to launch on April 22nd, exclusively for the Wii.