Paleo-Sales-Age: Infocom sales (Zork > 400K, HHGTTG > 300K)

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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cgmr.net
#1
Edit: Let's make with the graphs already!




Original post:

Seeing this data brought out an incredible desire to make graphs, but so far I've resisted. Since I've got the kids all day, I won't have time to do anything until later, but maybe someone else will feel the desire.

Here you go:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/textfiles/2419969220/sizes/l/in/set-72157604579363487/

And here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/textfiles/2419990922/sizes/l/in/set-72157604579363487/

How about that Fooblitzky with negative sales!

Looks like Zork I hit over 400K in the LTD sales shown here... :^)

Others:
Suspended = 100K
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy = 340K

Neat!

Source: GSW
 
Oct 3, 2006
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#6
Prime crotch said:
Wow Zork must have brought an insane ammount of revenue back then, what happened to Infocom anyway? Couldn't keep up with the changing market or something?
didn't games at the time cost like 10-20$ ?

granted each game could be done by a single person or two instead of hundreds...
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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#11
DavidDayton said:
What's with the Commodore columns? I take it there was a special deal in place?
Commodore sold Commodore-branded copies of the games. In the case of Zork, these are the originals I owned. They came on Commodore-branded floppies in Commodore-branded floppy sleeves. I'm not even sure they came with manuals. When I bought my copies (maybe 1986 or so, and yes, my mother bought them for me, since I was only 13) they were fairly cheap. Maybe $10-12 each?
 

DDayton

(more a nerd than a geek)
Jun 8, 2004
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#14
jvm said:
Commodore sold Commodore-branded copies of the games. In the case of Zork, these are the originals I owned. They came on Commodore-branded floppies in Commodore-branded floppy sleeves. I'm not even sure they came with manuals. When I bought my copies (maybe 1986 or so, and yes, my mother bought them for me, since I was only 13) they were fairly cheap. Maybe $10-12 each?
I had forgotten about that... I figured it must be something like that, but I wasn't entirely sure. Commodore had done the same thing with some of Scott Adams's text adventures... I think there are VIC-20 Adventureland carts out there.

I have a couple of old Infocom boxed games, all obtained from thrift stores in the late 80s or early 90s. Generally, though, my Infocom ownership stems from the Masterpieces of Infocom CD they released at some point in the late 90s. It got it around the same time I purchased my $10 copy of Earthbound from a local Best Buy.
 
May 6, 2007
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#22
What these Zork sales tell me is that nowhere near the number of people who have at some point said or written anything about grues actually purchased the game. Not that it was ever really in doubt.
 

Gadfly

While flying into a tree he exclaimed "Egad!"
Apr 16, 2007
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#24
soco said:
didn't games at the time cost like 10-20$ ?

granted each game could be done by a single person or two instead of hundreds...
No, actually I remember Zork I was $50 or $60 CDN.

Believe it or not, PC software and games were just as expensive (or even more) back then. WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 were going for close to $500. Games were $40-$50. Taking inflation into account, games are not that more expensive these days (and are a lot more expensive to develop). But successful ones sell more.

Zork I was the first PC game I played. it is an excellent game.
 
Dec 28, 2004
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#26
Is there a way to obtain/play any of the more obscure Infocom games legally? Someone at work is looking for two specific mystery games - Suspect and Deadline - and can't find them anywhere.
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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#27
gkrykewy said:
Is there a way to obtain/play any of the more obscure Infocom games legally? Someone at work is looking for two specific mystery games - Suspect and Deadline - and can't find them anywhere.
I'm fairly certain I saw several Commodore 64 versions on eBay recently.

Or you could look for one of the Infocom CD collections. They're decent, but the scanned manuals in PDF are crap. Ah well.
 

DDayton

(more a nerd than a geek)
Jun 8, 2004
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#28
gkrykewy said:
Is there a way to obtain/play any of the more obscure Infocom games legally? Someone at work is looking for two specific mystery games - Suspect and Deadline - and can't find them anywhere.
Your best chance would be to get a copy of the last CD release of all the Infocom stuff -- The Masterpieces of Infocom. Sadly, as best as I can tell that was last sold around 1998.

I feel old now.
 
Dec 28, 2004
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#29
DavidDayton said:
Your best chance would be to get a copy of the last CD release of all the Infocom stuff -- The Masterpieces of Infocom. Sadly, as best as I can tell that was last sold around 1998.

I feel old now.
Wow, ridiculous. These things should be available on some download service, or let loose as public domain if no one's going to bother.
 

Pneophen

Neo Member
Oct 14, 2008
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#32
I remember playing Wishbringer on the C64. I remember it came with a glowing stone and the letter you were suppose to deliver. I think I may still have the stone somewhere.