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Penny Arcade Game Sees Record Breaking Numbers 124

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 stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:06PM (#23575467) Homepage Journal
    The way the Kotaku article is worded - and it comes through on the summary is a bit confusing. Basically if the VGChartz esitmate is right they broke a record for earnings. They came in third for number of downloads- and that is what Gabe is talking about when he says "Given that our price point was double..." He means that he is happy they had the third most downloads since their game cost so much more than the others that came before it. He does not say anything about how much they made or make any comparisons regarding income to the other games. In a screencast they did for the game, he even jokes that due to the large initial cost of creating the game, they aren't making any money yet. You can see that video if you scroll to the bottom of this post. []
    • by g051051 ( 71145 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:17PM (#23575665)
      This is only for XBox Live Arcade, not a total sales record against all the platforms the game is available on.
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:45PM (#23576143)
      In a screencast they did for the game, he even jokes that due to the large initial cost of creating the game, they aren't making any money yet.

      Actually what they said is rather funnier than that - he said that at first they were doing it for the money, but then it turned out there really wasn't any money, so now they are just doing it.

      He did say they are hoping to actually see some profit around episode three, hopefully good sales of the first one moves up that timeframe for them. It's obvious they, and the game studio, put a lot of work into the title.

  • Port it to WiiWare (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gr33nNight ( 679837 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:06PM (#23575473)
    I'll purchase it in a heartbeat.
    • It also runs on Linux and Mac. I played the Xbox Live trial version, and I'll be buying it this weekend after I've paid the bills. The fruit fuckers alone justify the price.
    • I don't think that would be possible, the game is over 200 MB, much larger than Nintendo's 43 MB limit.

      Which is pretty sad because otherwise this game would have no problem running on the Wii.

      You can still hope they'll release the whole game once all episodes are completed though. That's what they're doing for Sam & Max Season 1.
    • The Wii doesn't have enough storage. They initially planned on a WiiWare release, but its just no capable of fitting it all in there. They seriously need a Wii update to allow the use of USB storage for WiiWare and other downloadables.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cicatrix1 ( 123440 )
      There's a patch, or at least a new build, out already. Check out the greenhouse site again.
  • by bigdady92 ( 635263 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:12PM (#23575575) Homepage
    I laughed, I rolled my eyes, I kicked mime and clown ass up and down the street. Could've blown it on booze and strippers but this was by far a better way of spending 5hrs of my life.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      $20 doesn't buy much booze, and we won't even talk about what kind of stripper you can get for $20.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        How is your mother doing?
    • Yes, it was pretty damned good, but I still assert that Portal is the best $20 ever spent on a game.
      • Not even close. Portal was a brilliant game, but it was about half as long as this one. $20 was an extreme rip-off for how short of a game Portal is. $20 for the Penny Arcade game is pushing it, but is at least still within the realm of reasonable.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Portal was replayable. And I have, at least some ten times, maybe more.

          This really isn't.

          Oh, and Portal was a better game. Quality over quantity.
        • by OAB_X ( 818333 )
          Wired said the playtime on the PA game was about 5 hours or so. I finished the Portal story in about 6, so for me, it's all equal.

          Portal does have all the challenge levels too, you can easily double your playtime trying to beat those, excluding those 3rd party maps Bethesda made.
  • Oblig. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • I'm not suprised. (Score:5, Informative)

    by pwnies ( 1034518 ) * <> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:15PM (#23575631) Homepage Journal
    The game was amazingly done, and it has many qualities that would bring me to expect it to do well. Mainly:

    -It is for more platforms that most mainstream games (Mac/Windows/Linux/Xbox360).
    -The animated cutscenes were brilliantly done, especially how they used an animated version of the character you created at the start.
    -The script was hilarious.
    -The popularity of penny-arcade lent to easy advertising.
    -It was only $20
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:43PM (#23576097)
      The game was amazingly done, and it has many qualities that would bring me to expect it to do well. Mainly:

      -It is for more platforms that most mainstream games (Mac/Windows/Linux/Xbox360)...

      I agree with the game being amazingly well done, and a lot of fun to play. But the reported figures are from one platform only (the 360) so they don't even really go so far as to show the benefits of the multi-platform release...

      One thing it does go to show is that the value of the game lies in the artistry and storytelling, and since (in my opinion) the Penny Arcade guys are great at both it was a natural the game would be good - not to mention that as gamers they would know if the control scheme sucked and make them fix it.

      • I agree with the game being amazingly well done, and a lot of fun to play. But the reported figures are from one platform only (the 360) so they don't even really go so far as to show the benefits of the multi-platform release...
        I don't matter, but for the record, they got at least one more sale from the Linux port -- I doubt I'd have bought it if it was only Windows/360, and I'd definitely have skipped it if it was 360 only.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

      -The script was hilarious.

      And that is why this game rocks. Without the writing it's just a fairly well-thought-out stereotypical RPG game, one that I would bore of within a half-hour of play. The writing is something else though, just enough intrigue to keep you going, and many bust-out-loud laughing moments.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Jack9 ( 11421 )
      -The script was hilarious.


      It was sub-par writing. " in Poop?" Seriously now. The plot was typical PA, but without the writing, it almost felt dull since we have seen most of the scenarios in PA comics already. The cutscenes kept up the tempo, and the way your customized character got included in the cutscenes (exactly as the character was designed) was a technically interesting exercise. The dialog never really picks up until the last "zone" with the intro the NPC gives, completely outshining t
      • You wanna know what's really funny? People arguing about humor as if it is objectively determinable.
  • Where? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @04:16PM (#23575647) Homepage Journal
    Important data left out of summary... This record is for XBox Live Arcade downloads. Has nothing to do with actual total sales.
  • Love it, but buyer beware, if you don't have a High-def to hook up to (for the Xbox 360 version), the dialog is nigh unreadable. I don't have a high-definition TV, and I found myself squinting constantly to make out the dialog.
  • I loved the game. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Especially the goatse on the carpet in the bedroom.
  • 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.
    • Well, it was announced almost two years ago, so I guess it's a matter of opinion if that's a short time or not. But I agree with everything else.

      And obviously since this is episodic the next episode is not two years away (I hope).
    • They not only created the game, but also are trying to get into distributing other works as well. It's called Greenhouse [].
      • I like it, so far. BitTorrent might be better, but other than that, it's the anti-Steam of online distribution.

        And it supports Linux!
        • by OAB_X ( 818333 )
          Don't forget EA's stor.... oh wait, forget that.

          In all seriousness, there is Gametap and as Steam alternatives. TotalGaming (the stardock thing) has no DRM too, which is quite nice.

          [yes, I know with Gametap you only rent games, but it is an alternative]
    • 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. []

      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: []

      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.
  • Seriously, it's a game where you can beat evil mimes to death with a rake. Who wouldn't pay $20 for that?
  • to support their anti-drm practices.
    • What anti-DRM practices? The PC version uses a online activation system almost exactly like Mass Effect's (after EA scaled it back a bit), which they were panning just a few weeks earlier. When their little anti-Steam service goes broke (it wouldn't be the first, see: Triton []) there goes the game.
  • I bought it. It's plenty of fun. Reminds me a bit of the old Ultima click-n-fight fun, but with much better story and graphics.

    I'm glad that they're letting me transfer the key between my desktop and my laptop and my work computer. I'll gladly drop a few gold shekels for that.
  • 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 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!
  • Why is it not available on the two currently fastest selling games consoles - the Wii and PS3?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chrish ( 4714 )
      The port from Windows to 360 was probably pretty trivial, and can be done with freely-available "professional" tools (XNA from MS)... so development would've been able to proceed in parallel without laying out any additional money or developer expertise.
    • I think the game is a bit too large for WiiWare. The download was well over 100MB, if I recall correctly.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan