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January 10th, 2012, 02:00
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I always enjoy Lar's posts on how the marketing works as he shows how many hoops you have to go through for idiots who only see numbers.
I wouldn't call them "idiots" but just conservative. The vast majority of games and that includes FPSs and action games are losing money. Making an RPG is like begging to lose money. Unless you're really lucky and hit the right nerve at the right time but that is out of the realm of predictability because we have all seen good games sell terribly and shitty games sell like hot cakes…

I sincerely hope that Lar's plans work out and that Larian will be making money from Dragon Commander and other releases but I remain somewhat skeptical.
Doesn't seem very likely to me that digital distribution is the big money maker. Look at The Witcher 2. CD Projekt sold a mere 35K copies on Good Old Games which is a well established sales platform that is getting a lot of traffic. Larian's own online store is going to perform much worse.
And to ship the game to a considerable number of retail stores across Europe and the US is going to cost lots and lots of money.
Securing shelf space, negotiating the contracts, coming up with incentives etc. etc. etc. is tons of work and it is what the major publishers are really good at. And good luck on convincing them to stock up on a PC game (especially in North America) when the store managers could use the space for something that is likely to yield them more $ per square meter.

If going solo would be easy then a lot more devs would do it, I guess. But they aren't. So there must be some merit to having a (big) publisher that takes care of all the crap and the ground and foot work. Or maybe everyone just thinks that way and is too lazy or scared to do it themselves so maybe Larian will be breaking new ground. Or maybe they will just get lucky and pull a Minecraft with Dragon Commander, i.e. hitting the right nerve at the right time as stated above.
We shall see. I definitely wish them the best of luck. I'm afraid they're going to need it, too…
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