NPD Sales Results for February 2016 [Up1: Fire Emblem]

That wasn't a case of shedding fur after a big release? They've since bulked up.
Why would a studio lay off 20-40% of their permanent staff including 10+ year veterans?

Either they have horrendous product managers, or there was a re-evaluation that happened here.

Consider that you don't hear about gigantic layoffs after every game these days. It's actually much rarer than it is common.

We don't see Naughty Dog trashing a huge portion of the studio when a game goes out the door. Are you expecting them to lay off 40-80 staff a few months after Uncharted 4 comes out?

Celebrating selling 1 million units of a AAA game in 2016 is like celebrating getting a $100 check on the 15th of the month when your $2,000 rent is due on the 1st.

"We're getting there!"
Right, it's just not a bar that's meaningful anymore for someone that isn't making an indie game or a budget title.
 
Sep 4, 2015
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Why would a studio lay off 20-40% of their permanent staff including 10+ year veterans?

Either they have horrendous product managers, or there was a re-evaluation that happened here.

Consider that you don't hear about gigantic layoffs after every game these days. It's actually much rarer than it is common.

We don't see Naughty Dog trashing a huge portion of the studio when a game goes out the door. Are you expecting them to lay off 40-80 staff a few months after Uncharted 4 comes out?
No, no. I just remembered the layoffs and the buildup but I forgot about the extent of the layoffs.
 
No, no. I just remembered the layoffs and the buildup but I forgot about the extent of the layoffs.
Sorry if I came across a bit brash. It's just sometimes arguing this topic drives me insane.

But yeah, I suspect what happened is that they determined they would need a long pre-production cycle they weren't originally expecting, likely because they felt just making a very similar game wasn't going to be a huge hit, and so they had to cut back on cost significantly to not have an astronomical budget.

Afterwards they could hire back up slowly to meet the needs of the project as it went into full production again.

Similarly Santa Monica lost a ton of staff when they canceled a project and are hiring up again to meet the needs of actually having games in full production again, but the key is usually the unexpected part that causes the need for layoffs.

It's not impossible that Infamous: Second Son itself was profitable, but borderline enough that they determined just making a straight sequel that went into development immediately wouldn't be. Visceral had notable issues with that and the Dead Space series. EA was implying all three games actually made money, but that the prognosis for the future was looking grim, thus them having layoffs and shifting their focus around.
 
Jul 7, 2015
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Talking about April Software outside Quantum Break, which gonna be First?
Any Chance Dark Souls III outsell The Division?

I believe that's gonna be hard since as for now looks like The Division has very great legs...

Though i think Dark Souls III is gonna Sell Close or even more than Dark Souls II which Sold ~350,000 First month... Doesn't seem impossible.
 
Sep 4, 2015
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Sorry if I came across a bit brash. It's just sometimes arguing this topic drives me insane.

But yeah, I suspect what happened is that they determined they would need a long pre-production cycle they weren't originally expecting, likely because they felt just making a very similar game wasn't going to be a huge hit, and so they had to cut back on cost significantly to not have an astronomical budget.

Afterwards they could hire back up slowly to meet the needs of the project as it went into full production again.

Similarly Santa Monica lost a ton of staff when they canceled a project and are hiring up again to meet the needs of actually having games in full production again, but the key is usually the unexpected part that causes the need for layoffs.

It's not impossible that Infamous: Second Son itself was profitable, but borderline enough that they determined just making a straight sequel that went into development immediately wouldn't be. Visceral had notable issues with that and the Dead Space series. EA was implying all three games actually made money, but that the prognosis for the future was looking grim, thus them having layoffs and shifting their focus around.
I see, I see. *adjusts glasses and rubs chin* Thanks for the perspective.

And yeah, I suspected I unintentionally hit a nerve. :p My bad.
 
Aug 4, 2012
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Why would a studio lay off 20-40% of their permanent staff including 10+ year veterans?

Either they have horrendous product managers, or there was a re-evaluation that happened here.

Consider that you don't hear about gigantic layoffs after every game these days. It's actually much rarer than it is common.

We don't see Naughty Dog trashing a huge portion of the studio when a game goes out the door. Are you expecting them to lay off 40-80 staff a few months after Uncharted 4 comes out?


Right, it's just not a bar that's meaningful anymore for someone that isn't making an indie game or a budget title.

the only point of contention for me is that i don't think the layoffs had much to do with the performance of infamous second son. i personally think it sold well above expectations

i believe priorities may have changed and there was reevaluation like you said. i believe there was a time when there was a lot of talk of sony expanding its studios to accommodate two teams and have two games in development at the same time. sony probably realized that it wasn't working as intended and decided to focus on bigger games but with raised expectations as costs have increased. i believe the new mantra is go big or go home mentality and they have started closing studios with"smaller" AAA games.
 

Fdkn

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Jul 20, 2011
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Infamous SS released 3-4 months into the generation with a worldwide installbase of ~5millions max if I'm not mistaken so selling a million in the first days was a good result. The game should be well over that number at this point as it has been on sale multiple times too. It was a launch window game and both budget and expectations take that into account, that's the reason the game was smaller than Infamous 2 regarding content. First Light was well received too so I don't think they're upset about the performance of the project at all.
 
May 8, 2015
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So as this topic seems to be for more general NPD discussion over the March predictions thread (for now), do people think Dark Souls 3 will be a growth point for the series or is the franchise fatigue some are complaining about going to be seen from the market at large?

Also is Bloodborne going to outsell Dark Souls 3 PS4 SKU? The former did around 300K+ I seem to remember.
 
Sep 8, 2013
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So as this topic seems to be for more general NPD discussion over the March predictions thread (for now), do people think Dark Souls 3 will be a growth point for the series or is the franchise fatigue some are complaining about going to be seen from the market at large?

Also is Bloodborne going to outsell Dark Souls 3 PS4 SKU? The former did around 300K+ I seem to remember.
I think that the delayed western release coupled with XB1 exploit will lead to a disproportionate number of digital purchases relative to previous entries. This could mean a lower NPD debut than prior entries. I do think that, if digital sales are accounted for, it will definitely be the strongest selling entry in the series thus far. But since it died by have the wider market appeal that Bloodborne's setting and art design brought to the table I don't think it will outsell Bloodborne on PS4. Bloodborne brought a lot of new players in due to a wider market appeal that Dark Souls hasnt quite captured yet. It seemed like far more mom souls fans were buying and streaming Bloodborne than we are likely (or are currently) seeing with Dark Souls 3. I think the muted response due to their botched launch window has likely hurt the potential of wider market appeal.

Across all platforms (including digital and PC sales) I'm sure it will top Bloodborne's sales but it'll come up a bit short on PS4 specifically.