Guild Wars 2 At 2 Million Sold In Two Weeks

Guild Wars 2 has sold over 2 million copies in its first two weeks of availability, despite a brief halt in first party sales to ensure an optimal player experience. Peak concurrency regularly exceeds 400,000 players for the game.

“Reactions from around the world justified the time and care we put into developing Guild Wars 2 and making it into the game it is today,” said Mike O’Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet. “And this is only the beginning. We’re continually fine-tuning the game to deliver the polished experience that our players expect, and we’re already working on new adventures and experiences to introduce into this truly dynamic online world.”

For more information about the game, visit


IPhone 5 Might Boost U.S. GDP

Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase estimated that the iPhone 5 might add “one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point to the growth rate of U.S. gross domestic product in the final quarter of the year.” This assumes a price point of $600, where about $400 is captured by the U.S., and assuming sales of about 8 million, you have $3.2 billion generated.

“This estimate seems fairly large, and for that reason should be treated skeptically,” writes Feroli in a research brief titled “Can one little phone impact GDP ”

He notes that the projection fits with what happened when the iPhone 4S, a less hyped product, that was released last October. “Overall retail sales that month significantly outperformed expectations and online sales and computer and software sales . . . had their largest monthly increase on record.”



Amnesia Sales Pinned At Over 1 Million

Frictional Games was officially put on the map when the 11-person development team made the horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip has revealed that the game cost $360,000 during three years of development and has now made back ten times that.

“As always, let’s start with the sales and some numbers. The first thing will be to figure out how many units we have sold in total, which is actually really hard to pin down. The biggest reasons for the uncertainty is that Amnesia was part of the Humble Indie Bundle (HIB) earlier this year and Potato Bundle last year. Both of these account for quite a lot of sales. Without counting the units bought there our total lands at 710,000 units,” wrote Grip. “Adding all HIB and Potato Sack sales gets us to 1,360,000 units in total, which can be called the optimistic figure. This means that, optimistically speaking, Amnesia has sold almost 1.4 million units! This reasoning is not strictly speaking invalid, but I think that one should not really count anyone that bought the bundle and already owned Amnesia as a proper unit. A slightly pessimistic guess (not far from reality I think) is that 2/3 of every bundle and pack buyer already owned Amnesia. This gives us about 920 000 units in total, pessimistically speaking. So saying that we have sold a million units seems fair. Wait… a million units! Oh s***!!”

“Despite that huge number of sales, what I think is more interesting is how good the monthly sales still are,” he continued. “Not counting any discounts, the monthly full price sales lie at over 10 000 units. This means that less then every 5th minute someone in the world is buying a copy of Amnesia. This is totally insane to me. The figures themselves are far beyond any guesses we would have made two years ago. It is also insane, because this number is actually higher than it was around three months after initial launch. That a game can still be going this good two years after is truly remarkable. This success is due to many factors, some of which are the uniqueness of the game (horror games without combat do not really exist on PC), the large modding community (more on this later) and the steady flood of YouTube clips (which is in turn is fueled by the modding community output).”



Obsidian Teases ‘Project X’

Obsidian is teasing a a new project called Project X. First appearing as a four surrounded by an Ouroborous (a serpent consuming itself), the text accompanying it read: “What do the words mean “

“Nothing. The Dirge of Eir Glanfath is sound without form, a lone voice crying out in mourning because it must.”

The page has since shifted to a three, implying a daily countdown, and the text now reads: “The book unread is unwritten. The reason we don’t explain it is the reason we use it. Its power is in its mystery. That is the Leaden Key, in part, in whole. Is it clear “

“Digging for truth buries the seeker.”



Darksiders II, Sleeping Dogs Sell Under 250k First Month

Reports are that Darksiders II managed 247,000 units for the August reporting period for the NPD, making it the best selling game during that month. Sleeping Dogs saw only 172,000 copies sold at retail; both games had PC versions, though those numbers were not tracked as they were digital releases and not at retail.

“I think that the sales are below what they had hoped for. I presume it sold around 500,000 globally in the first two weeks (the NPD cutoff was Aug 25), so it’s probably over 1 million now, but my understanding is that breakeven is greater than 2 million units, so it’s not likely to get much higher than that,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter of Darksiders II. “We should probably give it another month and see if it’s tracking better.”

This demonstrates the current difficulties with original IP in the AAA sphere these days. Despite generally favorable reviews and Metacritic scores in the mid-80s for both titles, they may not sell well enough to see sequels.


Steam Greenlight Announces First Approved Games

Valve has announced the first ten titles that have been approved via the Steam Greenlight submission program. The games are Black Mesa, Cry of Fear, Dream, Heroes & Generals, Kenshi, McPixel, No More Room in Hell, Project Zomboid, Routine and Towns; these games were the ten most popular on the Greenlight charts.

“The Steam community rallied around these titles and made them the clear choice for the first set of titles to launch out of Greenlight,” said Valve’s Anna Sweet. “Since launch, hundreds of titles have been submitted, with more coming in every day. We expect to be announcing more titles coming to Steam via Greenlight soon.”


Social Casino Games Booming Worldwide

According to a report by SuperData, social casino games are expected to hit $1.6 billion in worldwide revenue this year with the number of players doubling since 2010. Furthermore, the online games research firm expects the market to grow wildly on Facebook and increase to $2.4 billion by 2015.

“Both small social game developers and large land-based casino operators are looking at this new space,” said Janelle Benjamin, SuperData’s vice president of research, “With declining margins in the overall social games segment, casino-style games offer a healthy growth potential.”

SuperData estimates that the average social casino gamer spent $78 in July or nearly double the amount the average social gamer spent ($43). Those numbers refer to the average revenue per paying user, since most users in free-to-play games pay nothing at all.

The U.S. is the largest market for social casino games with $660 million in annual spending from 35.4 million monthly users, followed by Europe ($446 million) and Asia ($311 million). Latin America spends $180.7 million on social games, while Australia spends $59.8 million.



Microsoft Patents 3D Projection Gaming

Microsoft is at least thinking about a sort of “Immersive Display Experience” that could change gaming. The idea seems to involve using something like a Kinect to read the details of a room and project game images using wide-angle RGB projectors with a combined 360-degree field.

There are adjustments in the technology to account for a player’s peripheral vision and when they look to either side. The 360-degree display unit could also work with the depth camera to avoid shining light in users’ eyes or distracting them with moving images projected onto their bodies.


Game Connection Rolling Out Marketing Awards

Game Connection Europe has announced that it will be launching the Game Connection Marketing Awards. The awards are designed to recognize outstanding work in marketing and communications from across the breadth of the video game industry worldwide, from PR and advertising, to community and digital.

“The Marketing Awards are comprised of seven main categories, with all submissions automatically entered for the eighth category of ‘Best Videogame Marketing Team 2012,'” said Game Connection Europe. “The awards are open to anyone working in video game marketing and communications, whether in-house with a publisher or developer, at an agency, or independent. Those wishing to submit campaigns for consideration can do so as many times as they like and across as many different categories as are applicable.”

Game Connection is accepting submissions for the Marketing Awards from until October 11 with more information at Game Connection Europe 2012 will take place this November 28-30 at Porte de Versailles in Paris, France.