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Penny Arcade Game Sees Record Breaking Numbers 124

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hooray-for-payday dept.
Kotaku is reporting that the new Penny Arcade game is showing record breaking numbers, earning $330,000 in the first three days, surpassing previous record holder Worms HD. Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik was very pleased with the result saying: "Given that our price point was double the other games on that list I'm pretty f***ing happy. We fully expected some people to complain about the $20 price tag but we honestly felt like our game was worth it. Pricing something like this is tricky. Obviously you have to look at the length of time it will take someone to complete the game but you also need to factor in the quality of the experience."
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Penny Arcade Game Sees Record Breaking Numbers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:09PM (#23575523)
    The game is cool. I think it's cool, anyway. My mouse pointer disappears when I try getting back into the game from the Options menu, for some reason. And I'm not the only one.

    Sigh. Maybe I'll actually play more than 10 minutes of it when the first patch is released.
  • Oblig. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:12PM (#23575579)
  • An excellent example (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:27PM (#23575821)
    It's great that an indie game can be developed in a relatively short time with relatively small costs and released to a wide for a meaningful profit. Penny Arcade shouldn't just be proud of making a good and financially successful title; they also proved the viability of the business model.

    Will their example inspire less visible developers to explore distribution? I hope so.
  • Nice game (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NonSequor (230139) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @06:13PM (#23577583) Journal
    I really liked the battle system. It's kind of a cross between Paper Mario's timing based mechanics and Final Fantasy's active time battle system.

    It shows some symptoms of fetch quest syndrome, but the combat, art style, and shear volume of amusing things to see kept it from dragging.

    Overall it's a very enjoyable game and I'm looking forward to the next episode.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @06:25PM (#23577795) Journal
    I thought that with Escape Velocity Nova. Then I replaced my laptop, moved my applications to the new one, went to visit my mother (who has no Internet connection) and tried to play it. Ooops, apparently it noticed that it was on a new computer and refused to work until I'd connected again. If they want my money, then they should consider treating my like a customer, not a criminal.
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:19PM (#23578489) Journal

    5 hours of gameplay != $20
    Heard of Portal?

    People bitched that Gears of War was 15-20 hours at $60. Not to mention Mass Effect around the same amount of time. So the PA game is the same 'quality' as GoW and Mass Effect?
    Having played some Gears of War, I had a lot more fun with this. GoW was without meaningful plot and had kind of OK gameplay -- but really, it was all about the graphics. I'd rather watch a tech demo.

    Let's not forget this runs off of the Torque gaming engine with the whopping price of $750 to use the engine commercially...
    And what does that have to do with anything? At all?

    Do yourself a favor -- download the demo. It's at least a third of the game, anyway. Then tell me it's not worth $20.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:40PM (#23578753)
    How exactly does the visual style benefit from using less of the available screen?

    I'm about to tell you...

    Remember, this isn't a movie where there's One True Aspect Ratio

    No, it's not a movie. But chances are you may have seen a movie. And having seen a movie, in that aspect ratio, helps provide previous visual context and helps the format feel more comfortable.

    Beyond that, framing is totally up to the artist - in photography, some things look better totally square, others look better wide. It all depends on the content. And because the game is heavily built around art by artists, it simply would not look or feel the same if you simply arbitrarily hacked the thing to fill your ancient screen.

    And that brings me to me last point, is that basically Penny Arcade would say you are a wanker for using such an ancient display device with modern consoles. Get with the program, it's not like small 720p sets cost that much at this point. It's not like the Penny Arcade game is the first or last game that is going to give you issues with your weak display.

  • by Rurik (113882) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:49PM (#23578871)
    I just purchased it today... with a Xbox Live Points card from Target. Until Saturday, Target is selling $20 Point cards for $15. So, in essence, you can purchase Precipice for only $15 - 25% off!
  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:34PM (#23579391) Homepage Journal

    I'm about to tell you...

    Remember, this isn't a movie where there's One True Aspect Ratio

    No, it's not a movie. But chances are you may have seen a movie. And having seen a movie, in that aspect ratio, helps provide previous visual context and helps the format feel more comfortable.
    You're right, I have seen a movie. What an astute deduction, good sir.

    But I've also seen TV. Lots more TV than movies, in fact. And I've seen games, every one of which (that I've seen) manages to fill the entire screen. So on the context and comfort scale, 4:3 wins out.

    Beyond that, framing is totally up to the artist - in photography, some things look better totally square, others look better wide. It all depends on the content. And because the game is heavily built around art by artists, it simply would not look or feel the same if you simply arbitrarily hacked the thing to fill your ancient screen.
    Gee, maybe they should've thought about that when they were coming up with the design. But it's funny - this sort of thing doesn't seem to stop everyone else from designing games that work equally well on 4:3 and 16:9 screens.

    And that brings me to me last point, is that basically Penny Arcade would say you are a wanker for using such an ancient display device with modern consoles. Get with the program, it's not like small 720p sets cost that much at this point.
    Why would I buy a new TV that's smaller than the one I already have? That's a step down, not up; I'm not about to shrink everything else I watch just to make the Penny Arcade game more readable.

    On the other hand, if I want to get a TV of equal or greater size than the one I have now, then yes, they do cost that much. I'm not spending $800 on a TV when I have a perfectly good one that cost less than half that much.

    Furthermore, it's not like I'm the only guy out there who has better things to spend his money on than new TVs. One third of Xbox 360 owners are using a standard TV. That means one third of the potential buyers of this game are left in the cold, simply because the developers were too lazy to do what every other studio does and make the game playable on a 4:3 screen.

    It's not like the Penny Arcade game is the first or last game that is going to give you issues with your weak display.
    You're right, it's not the first. It's the second. Carcassonne is also fairly unplayable on a standard TV, but (1) at least it's not letterboxed, and (2) it costs half as much as the P-A game. Every other game I've played manages to fill the entire screen and uses reasonably sized fonts.

    As for whether it's the last... hopefully by the time a majority of games are only playable on HD, the sets will have become affordable.
  • by patio11 (857072) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @01:48AM (#23582139)
    ... are purchase copies of low-budget games developed in relatively short time frames which were released by someone without a pre-existing audience of millions of rabid fans?

    Its not like Penny Arcade descended down from heaven yesterday and declared "And let it be possible to sell video games, for money, over the Internet! So it is written, so shall it be done!" Its been done. The overwhelming majority of folks who do it fail to make any significant amount of money relative to the fair-market value of the time invested.

    http://www.gameproducer.net/category/sales-statistics/ [gameproducer.net]

    Those statistics aren't representative -- everyone likes hearing about the success stories (hint: most of the ones with numbers in the title). Vastly more numerous are results like these folks:

    http://www.gameproducer.net/2006/09/20/sales-statistics-pharaohs-curse-gold-2000-yearly-sales/ [gameproducer.net]

    Several man months of labor. $2,000 worth of sales.

    Games are just a tough, tough market to make money in. Your core customers don't want to spend money and fly the Jolly Roger by default. Your product will be obsolete in 3 to 6 months, even for "casual" gaming. You have enormous expenditures for assets to remain competitive. Your customers have rather little loyalty and it is difficult to turn them into ongoing revenue streams.

    Compare this to selling software on the shareware model: your core customers have problems and are willign to pay to solve them. Your core customers don't have LimeWire installed. Your product will last for years. Your expenditures on assets may cost less than a date (I started my software business with $60... working on hitting $20k this year, on about 2 hours a week). Your customers provide a built-in base of people to sell upgrades and new related products to, and they are often fanatically loyal to you.

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