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Default Gothic 3 - More than 500.000 Units Worldwide Sold

March 11th, 2007, 00:57
My thought on the subject is that though all Gothics are excellent games, Gothic 3 should be a stop, maybe there can be an expansion, but it must be getting a bit tedious for the devs themselves. They should continue with an entirely new game.
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March 11th, 2007, 04:24
I thought it was pretty clear that G4 would be developed, but as a different trilogy arc. In other words, the story of the Nameless One is complete and G4 will be something different in the Gothic world.

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March 11th, 2007, 06:47
I'd like to see them try something different. If for no reason than just the fact that traditional fantasy RPG's with orcs and fireballs are getting very stale, and these guys seen very talented.
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March 11th, 2007, 07:09
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I thought it was pretty clear that G4 would be developed, but as a different trilogy arc. In other words, the story of the Nameless One is complete and G4 will be something different in the Gothic world.
They said that this is a possibility and that they are evaluating various ideas for the continuation of the franchise (like the prequel idea) but I would not go as far as saying that it is "pretty clear" that the story of the Nameless One has been completed with #3. It seems to me that PB themselves have not made a decision yet so anything seems to be possible.
Personally, I'd love to see the Nameless One in at least one more game so he can have a proper "exit stage" sequence . Maybe a really silly death like tripping over a meat bug and falling to his death or becoming one with the for… umm… Innos or something spectacular like blowing himself up similar to the end of part 1 at least. After giving us so many hours of fun in part 1 and 2, he deserves a much better "funeral" than the totally lame ending of part 3 IMHO .
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March 11th, 2007, 08:05
I should have phrased it differently. Nothing is set in stone until the decisions are made and funds committed but I guess I meant that was what they seemed to be communicating via various recent interviews. That said, I don't follow the minutiae of Gothic news as closely as some, so I may have missed stuff.

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March 11th, 2007, 08:46
Do you remember where they hinted at saying good-bye to the Nameless One? What I had in mind was the thread where PB were answering questions from the community shortly after release here where PB Mike (Mike Hoge) said…

- Question: Do you guys have any ideas for a Gothic 3 sequel (something that takes place AFTER the events of Gothic 3)
- Mike: Sure we do.
- Question: Would the Nameless Hero likely be the main character of a possible prequel story?
- Mike: Probably not.

So, they obviously have both, ideas for a prequel and for a sequel. If (and only if) they would go for the prequel idea then the Nameless One would probably not be the main character but if they should decide to do a sequel then anything seems to be possible.

And then there were several references recently where they said that their current focus lies completely on the current project (obviously the add-on) and that any other plans regarding the future of the franchise are not relevant at the moment. They were just kicking ideas around (like that prequel idea which I think was mentioned by KaiRo first who is not even on the story team). Heh, but who knows, maybe PB will surprise us and the Nameless One will already be history with the add-on? *eek*
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March 11th, 2007, 09:57
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I thought it was pretty clear that G4 would be developed, but as a different trilogy arc. In other words, the story of the Nameless One is complete and G4 will be something different in the Gothic world.

I would love to see a new main character and a new location. Perhaps something taking place in the "Unknown Lands" West of Myrtana?
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March 12th, 2007, 15:18
I would still love to see the other islands of Myrtana, I hope the Gothic story never ends and never becomes a milk out.
I haven't finished the game yet but untill now, I only experienced a few(2-3)crashes after hours of playing, and flickering of the screen sometimes but no real problems that prevent me from playing

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March 12th, 2007, 16:47
nice numbers but far from making HUGE amounts of money on the project
1) German salaries are high
2) they were working on the game for 4 years - team of 16-20 people
Take a normal programmer monthly salary in Germany - 4000 Euro/month
Now for the taxing you will still have to pay something to the state - 25%
Now multiply this 48x as they have been developing the game for 4 years and then 16x.
3 840 000/euro - salaries.
Then you have to pay for HW, SW all the technologies, rents etc.
Normally for a developer like this salaries make about 60-70% of the total costs.
So the total costs of PB for their 4 years of existence could be around 6 500 000/euro.
Jowood will be taking a huge amount of the 25-30 Euro mark - for marketing and publishing purposes.
That would be probably make 10 euro per game for PB - so PB will probably gain something around 5 000 000 Euro for the game - this number will only barely pay for all of their expenses. And I really think that G3 is still a loss-project. The datadisk might turn things around though. As well as the silver versions and such.
Remember guys —— JWood released the game because they were expecting the game to hit such numbers and if they would give another year of development to the project that would mean that there would be absolutely no gain from the game.
So what i am trying to say is that just forget huge profits. If they had huge profits then they could focus on patching the game already. As it stands now they are fighting for survival.
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March 12th, 2007, 18:09
Originally Posted by darghan View Post
nice numbers but far from making HUGE amounts of money on the project
1) German salaries are high
2) they were working on the game for 4 years - team of 16-20 people
Take a normal programmer monthly salary in Germany - 4000 Euro/month
Now for the taxing you will still have to pay something to the state - 25%
Now multiply this 48x as they have been developing the game for 4 years and then 16x.
3 840 000/euro - salaries.
Then you have to pay for HW, SW all the technologies, rents etc.
Normally for a developer like this salaries make about 60-70% of the total costs.
So the total costs of PB for their 4 years of existence could be around 6 500 000/euro.
Jowood will be taking a huge amount of the 25-30 Euro mark - for marketing and publishing purposes.
That would be probably make 10 euro per game for PB - so PB will probably gain something around 5 000 000 Euro for the game - this number will only barely pay for all of their expenses. And I really think that G3 is still a loss-project. The datadisk might turn things around though. As well as the silver versions and such.
Remember guys —— JWood released the game because they were expecting the game to hit such numbers and if they would give another year of development to the project that would mean that there would be absolutely no gain from the game.
So what i am trying to say is that just forget huge profits. If they had huge profits then they could focus on patching the game already. As it stands now they are fighting for survival.
see ya
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Yes but I know that they are very "garage"-like programmers doing all at home so the salary pays themselves! a normal programmer monthly salary in Germany is a cost that Piranha earns!

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March 12th, 2007, 18:57
Neither of us has inside knowledge. We can only speculate based on numbers found on the interweb. Nevertheless I think you got several things wrong.

Originally Posted by darghan View Post
nice numbers but far from making HUGE amounts of money on the project
a 1) German salaries are high
b 2) they were working on the game for 4 years - team of 16-20 people
c Take a normal programmer monthly salary in Germany - 4000 Euro/month
d Now for the taxing you will still have to pay something to the state - 25%
e Now multiply this 48x as they have been developing the game for 4 years and then 16x.
f 3 840 000/euro - salaries.
a) Compared to the Czech Rep. yes. But German developers (reportedly) earn clearly less than their colleagues in North America.
b) Early 2003 - Oct. 2006, until Aug. 2003 with a small team due to the work on the G2 add-on. IMHO it would be safer to calculate with 3.5 years and 17 people, then add a flat fee for the outsourced work they´ve certainly ordered.
c) I´ve read many statements by studio heads and developers hinting that the average for a developer is much lower. An older survey can be found in the Google cache.
d) I´ve heard numbers of 5k per head per month on average including everything. Let´s make it 5.5k and include licenses, rent, taxes, etc.
e) Let´s multiply it with 42*17
f) = almost 4M. Now add 2M costs for sound track, outsourced graphics, licenses like speed tree & 3D Studio, Marketing, etc.
This makes it 6 M costs for the project. (The latest number I´ve heard is 6 to 7 Mill. EUR = 7.9-9.2M $)

Then you have to pay for HW, SW all the technologies, rents etc.
Already included.
Normally for a developer like this salaries make about 60-70% of the total costs. So the total costs of PB for their 4 years of existence could be around 6 500 000/euro.
The first sounds reasonable but maybe a bit low. The second is incorrect. PB already shipped G2 & NotR after their MBO. The funding costs, equipment and standard licenses (except upgrades) have certainly been budgeted for G2 Gold.
Jowood will be taking a huge amount of the 25-30 Euro mark - for marketing and publishing purposes.
That would be probably make 10 euro per game for PB - so PB will probably gain something around 5 000 000 Euro for the game - this number will only barely pay for all of their expenses. And I really think that G3 is still a loss-project. The datadisk might turn things around though. As well as the silver versions and such.
You are probably (I´m actually quite sure but I can´t prove it. ) under mistaken assumptions about the business model. Please refer to the contract on a different game posted in full on Gamasutra a few weeks ago.
First of all their is no "JoWooD" when talking about Gothic 3. Replace it with "JoWooD and Koch Media". KM´s label Deep Silver is Co-publisher and Koch invested significantly into the development of last year´s JoWooD line-up.
Secondly, JoWooD changed from a finished goods business model to licenses. This means the local publisher / distributor gets a bigger piece of the cake and in return has to shoulder the risks of distribution, returns and price protection. Further risk minimisation includes upfront payment upon delivery of the gold master.
To what extend this general shift of business model was applied to G3 is unknown.
Thirdly, JoWooD & Koch Media funded the whole game. PB probably signed an "advance against royalties" contract including milestone payment. A rough explanation would be that PB already have their money but the publishers get their investment back before PB can dream of actually receiving royalties.
It would certainly be better if PB was able to invest their own money into the project, I doubt they really did this though.

Which "25-30" EUR?
The average retail price should be close to 40 EUR incl. VAT. More in Germany, even more for the CE, less in other countries.
Marketing was already budgeted above. If we assume that after selling to wholesale and subtracting 2-5 EUR COGs (cost of goods, actual manufacturing and whatever else the contract says ) 20 EUR per unit can be shared between JoWooD, Koch Media and PB, this is a sum of 10M EUR. Deduct 7M as explained above. Then you have 3M profit before taxes to be split as per the contract. And counting.
Other sources of income:
Ongoing full price sales, mid price sales, add-on, Gold Ed., budget sales, budged add-on, budget G.Ed., cover mounts, sound track, merchandize (posters, etc.). Everything except the add-on doesn´t require further significant funding - and the add-on will be cheap compared to G3. Furthermore Koch Media is a wholesaler with close to 100% market penetration in DACH and solid access in F,I and UK, while PB (indirectly) and Koch run their own online shops. Both increases the profit per unit sold through these channels.

An analyst close to JoWooD wrote after the 350k announcement a few months ago that the project G3 was easily beyond the break even at 350k.
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March 12th, 2007, 19:08
Darghan, your numbers are so way out they are not even funny.

1) The dates:

Gothic = 2001
Gothic 2 = November 2002
Gothic 2 NOTR = 2003
Gothic 2 Gold = 2005 (granted this would have probably not involved much coding)
Gothic 3 = Released in 2006 (October 13)

Not sure where you got 4 years from, I don't know exactly the time frames involved but I doubt they had a full team for the entire development life-cycle.

2) There is no such company as PB anymore. They are called something like Pluto 13 gmbh or whatever.

3)
Firstly, employee's pay tax on their salaries if I am not mistaken. Companies pay tax on revenues. No idea where you plucked this 25% figure from.

I doubt we would ever have any idea of whether they are in financial trouble or not until they go bankrupt or release their financial statements.

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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March 12th, 2007, 22:16
WOW .. i really did not think i would have to go for a financial analysis with you guys lol …
i was not counting all the numbers because i do not have them .. of course i dont … it was just a financial estimation based on my own experience from management.

first .. Gorath
1)Because I have worked in Human Resources for 10 years i quite happen to know the average monthly salaries of programmers. I also happen to sell programmers from the Czech Republic to germany. And yes .. I know that a north American programmer earns more money than the german one.
2)havent we gotten to the same project cost numbers?
3)i do not know about their royalties system applied - 10 euro is a price that i was thinking they might be getting from jwood or koch media or anyone .. based on numbers from czech game developers
other than that you might be quite right Gorath and you sound very reasonable ) but i still think that 5,5 per head is a low sum
i would still see it on at least 6k
"Now add 2M costs for sound track, outsourced graphics, licenses like speed tree & 3D Studio, Marketing, etc."
soundtrack - done inhouse by KaiRO
Outsourced graphics - nope - inhouse
LIcenses - yes and way more expensive than it might look - although engine licensing which is normally the biggest number was not present as it was done inhouse
Marketing - 2M? what can you buy for 2M euro atm? one week on gamespot? .. just joking .. push more
5) VAT is not your money and you have to return that money to the state so I did not put any VAT price in instead i was counting 25-30 euro that the publisher would be getting
Now .. i might be getting some things way wrong but if there is such a sum as 10M Euro divided between jwood and PB why would they not have
A) any PR at all
B) better quality assurance and subsequent work on patches
C) hiring new employees to work on the datadisk (anyone seeing any job offers from PB?)
D) more marketing to push the game better in US
Sry Gorath i just do not believe that - the managers at jwood would be so utterly stupid not to apply any of this if they were experiencing such profits.
"An analyst close to JoWooD wrote after the 350k announcement a few months ago that the project G3 was easily beyond the break even at 350k."
Now come on Gorath .. did you not notice that Jowood is an IPO company and that an analyst close to jowood needs the project to be profitable beyond 350k?
Something in my mind tells me that when you are IPO you very much need this kind of info when you want your stocks high.

now for Bjon
"Firstly, employee's pay tax on their salaries if I am not mistaken. Companies pay tax on revenues. No idea where you plucked this 25% figure from."
Companies in Europe are obliged to pay part of social and health insurance for their employees. That number is a financial estimate based on the strong social system present in Germany. And i might still be getting it quite low because its 33% for the czech rep.
"I doubt we would ever have any idea of whether they are in financial trouble or not until they go bankrupt or release their financial statements."
Yes you are quite right .. but it is still fun to count the numbers
Please no flame Bjon .. i meant no harm

I am not saying that i am getting everything right here guys .. its just my own oppinion and you might like and dislike it … for sure
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March 12th, 2007, 22:48
Originally Posted by darghan View Post
soundtrack - done inhouse by KaiRO
Dude, all it takes is to check the manual . So… you're saying that KaiRo owns all of these musicians…

- the Bochum Symphony Orchestra
- the FILMharmonic Choir Prague
- the S.A.M Gospel Choir & Joyful Voices
- the GOCOO orchestra
- the Corvus Corax band
- the featured soloists Lisbeth Scott, Marc Iwaszkiewicz (Traumkraft), Borislav Slavov, Christoph Schieri, Benjamin Hessler, Anjuthen Asokarajan
- and the production and mastering companies that were involved?

He doesn't .

LIcenses - yes and way more expensive than it might look - although engine licensing which is normally the biggest number was not present as it was done inhouse
They did licence GameBryo. They ended up not using it for the final product but I doubt that the GameBryo peeps lent them a "trial" version out of pure courtesy until PB figured out that it wasn't for them .

Marketing - 2M? what can you buy for 2M euro atm? one week on gamespot? .. just joking .. push more
There was tons of marketing over here. Medieval town festivities, magazine ads, TV trailers, the attendance to the GC in Leipzig, press events that were held at German castles etc etc etc

Now .. i might be getting some things way wrong but if there is such a sum as 10M Euro divided between jwood and PB why would they not have
A) any PR at all
They did. See above.

B) better quality assurance and subsequent work on patches
Because QA is part of the non-profit stuff/chain and thus a shitty sector to invest money in. Harsh but true .

C) hiring new employees to work on the datadisk (anyone seeing any job offers from PB?)
http://www.pluto13.de/index.php?navtarget=5&lang=de

D) more marketing to push the game better in US
I think that would have been Aspyr's job.

Sry Gorath i just do not believe that - the managers at jwood would be so utterly stupid not to apply any of this if they were experiencing such profits.
"An analyst close to JoWooD wrote after the 350k announcement a few months ago that the project G3 was easily beyond the break even at 350k."
Now come on Gorath .. did you not notice that Jowood is an IPO company and that an analyst close to jowood needs the project to be profitable beyond 350k?
Something in my mind tells me that when you are IPO you very much need this kind of info when you want your stocks high.
Even if and when you "want your stocks high", it's usually a good idea to not say something that will in worst case get you some jail time. Outright lying about your profits or financial situation in public can and will get you into deep legal trouble. Why would the JoWood person take that risk?
It is much more likely that he was telling the truth because JoWood has indeed finally managed to get their costs under control so G3 probably broke even at a comparatively low number of sold copies because the budget wasn't as high as you are thinking.
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March 12th, 2007, 23:38
Originally Posted by darghan View Post
WOW .. i really did not think i would have to go for a financial analysis with you guys lol …
i was not counting all the numbers because i do not have them .. of course i dont … it was just a financial estimation based on my own experience from management.
Well at least we have an interesting discussion, even if we´re only taking stabs in the dark.
If you really have professional experience in (game related) human resources and/or the retail channel then your numbers are probably closer than mine because I can only rely upon informations I have collected somewhere.
My made up numbers were intentionally conservative. It´s entirely possible that both marketing budget and revenue are way higher. I hit so low because the international revenues will probably be lower if they´ve indeed decided to load the business risks off to a dozen local publishers.

2)havent we gotten to the same project cost numbers?
3)i do not know about their royalties system applied - 10 euro is a price that i was thinking they might be getting from jwood or koch media or anyone .. based on numbers from czech game developers
other than that you might be quite right Gorath and you sound very reasonable but i still think that 5,5 per head is a low sum
i would still see it on at least 6k
2) That was an accident. I was actually quite happy to arrive at the reported budget of 6-7M € without acjusting my numbers.
3) Maybe. 500€ more per month adds about 400k to the final budget.
If PB really gets 10 € per full price unit they should make a serious amount of money in the long run. Both older Gothics were long sellers.

1) soundtrack - done inhouse by KaiRO
2) Outsourced graphics - nope - inhouse
3) LIcenses - yes and way more expensive than it might look - although engine licensing which is normally the biggest number was not present as it was done inhouse
1) Clearly no. I visited the orchestra recordings. Just dig up the articles at RPGDot.
2) Having clearly defined assets outsourced is normal in Germany to keep the team size low. Everybody does it. It was done for Gothic and G2, so I have no reason to believe it didn´t happen in G3.
3) A long time ago it was said PB had licensed the engine Bethesda bought for MW & Oblivion. (Gamebryo?) Then they´ve replaced everything. So it may well be they did have to pay for the license. Then add SpeedTree, that physics thing, etc. and updates for all the normal development software needed for their pipeline. Yes, can be quite expensive.

Marketing - 2M? what can you buy for 2M euro atm? one week on gamespot? .. just joking .. push more
I´m completely lacking numbers on this, and even if I had them I wouldn´t be able to conclude how much you can buy for it. My 2M were meant for Koch territory only though, which means 90% DACH, 10% rest. ;-)

VAT is not your money and you have to return that money to the state so I did not put any VAT price in instead i was counting 25-30 euro that the publisher would be getting
Now .. i might be getting some things way wrong but if there is such a sum as 10M Euro divided between jwood and PB why would they not have
A) any PR at all
B) better quality assurance and subsequent work on patches
C) hiring new employees to work on the datadisk (anyone seeing any job offers from PB?)
D) more marketing to push the game better in US
They can get between 25 and 30 € plus VAT from wholesale (or the big retailers who buy directly). Retail price would be 45 € incl. VAT. The UK for example has lower prices for PC games though. Of course a higher average price would have a hefty effect on their profits.
a) Maybe. ;-)
b) They´re using JoWooD´s new QA daughter in Romania.
c) There has been a job offer at PB. Current head count is only 16 (15?) though. At least one long time member left. It´s also confirmed that PB is restructuring. Their new office has been finished a few weeks ago. Pics at WoG.
d) The second JoWooD does US marketing Aspyr will sue them and tell them to stay the hell out of their business. Aspyr is responsible for North America, no one else. Suffice it to say that JoWooD gave a display of their happiness about Aspyr´s success at pushing JoWooD´s line-up into the NA market by buying themselves direct market access through the Dreamcatcher acquisition.

Now come on Gorath .. did you not notice that Jowood is an IPO company and that an analyst close to jowood needs the project to be profitable beyond 350k?
Something in my mind tells me that when you are IPO you very much need this kind of info when you want your stocks high.
So if this analyst asks CEO Seidl if their most important product Gothic 3 is in the money after the 350k PR do you expect Seidl to lie? A break even higher than 350k sounds unreasonable to me given Gothics mild success in rest of Europe and complete failure in all English speaking countries. Could the publishers really count on selling more than 350k for full price. JoWooD´s financial situation made a no-risk approach necessary.
I´ve seen enough JoWooD corporate PRs and articles in financial (online / offline) mags to know that most of this is oversimplified, to put it mildly. Most don´t really make sense.


Companies in Europe are obliged to pay part of social and health insurance for their employees. That number is a financial estimate based on the strong social system present in Germany. And i might still be getting it quite low because its 33% for the czech rep.
All the non-wage labour costs add up. Multiply the yearly wage by 1.75 and you´re close. Some people even suggest to use factor 2.0.
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March 12th, 2007, 23:42
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Even if and when you "want your stocks high", it's usually a good idea to not say something that will in worst case get you some jail time. Outright lying about your profits or financial situation in public can and will get you into deep legal trouble. Why would the JoWood person take that risk?
It is much more likely that he was telling the truth because JoWood has indeed finally managed to get their costs under control so G3 probably broke even at a comparatively low number of sold copies because the budget wasn't as high as you are thinking.
Mo, I was talking about a professional analyst (or financial journalist or whatever ) giving his assessment after talking to some official at JoWooD. There is always a certain chance that he might have misunderstood something.
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March 13th, 2007, 00:12
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
1) The dates:

Gothic = 2001
Gothic 2 = November 2002
Gothic 2 NOTR = 2003
Gothic 2 Gold = 2005 (granted this would have probably not involved much coding)
Gothic 3 = Released in 2006 (October 13)
You don't take into account the numerous releases of Gothic and Gothic 2 plus Add-On on German gaming mags !

Even now there is (this month) a magazine out with Gothic 2 plus the Addd-on !

This is further income (no matter how small it might be) !
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March 13th, 2007, 10:51
I would like to correct a misunderstanding.

Companies in Europe are NOT obliged or required to pay part of social & health
insurance for their employees. (the people that work for the companies).

There is NO such law in the EU-countries. And, afaik, the only European country that has these laws, are Germany (and possibly France).

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are all a part of Europe, too. And in these Scandinavians countries the companies and their workers pay (high) taxes
to avoid that the companies pay health and soical insurance for their workers.

I believe that in read in a wiki article once that Piranha Bytes is now history and the workers of the company (16-20 people) actually bought the studio together, and now own the studio - together. The company is no longer called Piranha Bytes, but Pluto 13 GMBH, and the 16-20 people that works in the company now owns all the stock in the company (afaik and iirc).
Last edited by aries100; March 13th, 2007 at 10:52. Reason: content added
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March 13th, 2007, 12:24
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
An analyst close to JoWooD wrote after the 350k announcement a few months ago that the project G3 was easily beyond the break even at 350k.
My brain largely stopped processing half way through some of these long posts, but had just enough juice left in it to pick up this bit.

Sounds like they've made a profit then, not the huge profit they could have made if they'd sorted their shit out a bit better before release, but enough that an add on and a 4th gothic are still on the cards, albeit with slightly better quality control.

I'm enjoying it anyway, I waited for a while and had hoped to have the final patch installed before playing, but it's seemingly fine even without it. Okay, the lethal wolves are a bit too hard, but then everything in the earlier gothics was pretty hard until you got the hang of it. And the orcs (and any other humanoids) are way too feeble, I don't think I've ever really bothered using the parry aspects of the combat because there's no point.

Overall, still a good game though. Nice atmosphere, reasonable plot, not the same hand crafted immersion of the previous games but still good, and considering the huge leap from the predecessors it's not a bad effort at all.
Benedict is offline

Benedict

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March 13th, 2007, 13:58
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I believe that in read in a wiki article once that Piranha Bytes is now history and the workers of the company (16-20 people) actually bought the studio together, and now own the studio - together. The company is no longer called Piranha Bytes, but Pluto 13 GMBH, and the 16-20 people that works in the company now owns all the stock in the company (afaik and iirc).
Piranha Bytes that was born after Phenomedia AG financial scandal!

Echonomist1

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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Gothic 3 - More than 500.000 Units Worldwide Sold
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