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From Dust sells half a million on XBL, PSN thanks to new IP strategy

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Ubisoft says they've figured out how to sell new intellectual properties: the digital marketplace. That must explain why From Dust, the download-only "god game" the publisher released this past summer, is a success. The title has been downloaded 500,000 times on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network.

Ubisoft says they've figured out where to sell new intellectual properties: the digital marketplace. That must explain why From Dust, the download-only "god game" the publisher released this past summer, is a success. The title has been downloaded 500,000 times on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network, according an MCV report.

Thomas Paincon, a Ubisoft digital publishing manager who spoke to MCV, says the key is knowing when and how to compete for gamers' attentions.

“There is less risk releasing a new game digitally,” he said. “At retail, if you don’t have a 90 Metacritic score and millions of fans, it’s very risky to launch a new game."

Gamers, he added, are more willing to try out a new experiences on digital platforms -- and the cheaper prices definitely help too. From Dust was his example for that belief.

But the timing of a game's release is also key.

“It’s more strategic to launch downloadable games in the first half of the year or around September before the boxed blockbusters arrive,” said Paincon. “It’s harder to compete for gamers’ money when there are lots of new triple-A games out. Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade Xbox Live promotion is a good new market that people are getting used to."

I somewhat agree with Mr. Paincon, as that's exactly how Ubisoft pulled me in with From Dust this past summer. There weren't too many triple-A titles making their way to shelves, and Ubisoft Montpelier's god simulator not only looked interesting, but it was cheap. So I dove in. But I'm pretty sure being a part of Microsoft's Summer of Arcade promotion might have had something to do with From Dust's success too.



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Staff article by Jonathan Davila (December 02, 2011)

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