Freespace 2 Sales Numbers
by: Orange - April 14, 2000 for Freespace Watch
Back on Sunday, March 12, 2000, I wrote this in a news post titled "Freespace 2 Sales Numbers". It explains about the lack of sales and some things that I believe Interplay could definitely improve upon. I figured this would be helpful someday, so I released this along with Chucker's editorial.
I was looking through my latest issue of PC Gamer and I noticed that they had the sales numbers from all of the games that won editors choice in 1999. Now here is some data that I gathered: Freespace 2 has sold 26,983 copies earning Volition and Interplay $1,349,150 (box price estimated at $50), Descent 3 did about double that with 52,294 making Outrage and Interplay about $2,614,700 (also at a $50 estimated box price). I think these sales numbers could have been much better for FS2 if Interplay would have actually marketed the game which they OBVIOUSLY didn't.
Now here's the thing that bugs me the most, games that were marketed very well, but aren't that good. Two games that I own myself (due to free copies, trust me, I wouldn't buy them myself) are: Who Wants to be a Millionare and C&C2: Tiberian Sun! Both those games were marketed awesome, but were really poor games. I mean, C&C2 was nothing new from Red Alert and Who Wants to be a Millionare could not have had anything over 100 questions in the game. I remember playing through it three times and on the fourth game I had the same loop of questions again.
Now, I would like to put in comparison of what Freespace 2 could have done with satisfactory marketing and hype. I am going to compare it to Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. In PC Gamer the game was reviewed in the same month as FS2 was, beating FS2 by 1% (FS2 got a 93%, Age got 94%). If you take Age of Kings' sales numbers (469,376 copies sold, earning: $23,468,800) and account that 1% of game differential in there, FS2 could have earned about $23,234,112. Yeah.. that's what I thought too. I mean, look at those numbers.. it's a twenty two million dollar price differential due to bad marketing. All I have to say now is: thanks for your time.