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Old 02-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #1
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Orange Box (Console) Sales Figures

There's been a lot of speculation recently about the sales of Orange Box on the consoles versus the sales on Steam. Specifically, the debate over digital distribution and NPD numbers not counting them. Doug Lombardi answered some of these questions in a GDC interview with Tom's Games.

Quote:
Rob Wright: You released The Orange Box for both the PC and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. Were you happy with the business the console versions did, and how did it compare to the game's PC sales?

Doug Lombari: We were very happy with both the Xbox 360 and PS3 sales. I think the Xbox 360 version did just over a million, while the PS3 [released later in December] version did a few hundred thousand copies. So I think when all is said and done, The Orange Box will have sold about 1.5 million copies on the console, which is great. But the game's PC sales were much stronger.

Rob Wright: How much stronger, exactly?

Doug Lombari: I'd say significantly stronger, at least a two-digit percentage increase over the console sales. And that includes Steam sales, retail sales, and now individual sales of Portal, Team Fortress 2, and Half-Life 2: Episode 2. So when you take the PC numbers for The Orange Box a la carte, they're significantly higher.
Italic emphasis mine.

So, Orange Box on console sold about 1.5 million copies. According to Doug, Valve sold at least a "two-digit increase" over the console figures on PC. That's great, but he's obfuscating the real numbers by lumping each sale of the portions of Orange Box on Steam, with the whole bundle, and retail copies.

We really don't know how well it did over Steam and we likely never will. Back to the flamewar!

Last edited by fitbabits; 02-22-2008 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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Fuck them. Why the hell do they not have their statistics released to the public?
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Fuck them. Why the hell do they not have their statistics released to the public?
I'm sure it has a lot to do with not pissing off the brick & mortar stores.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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PC gaming needs those numbers. I do not get Valve.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telefrog View Post
I'm sure it has a lot to do with not pissing off the brick & mortar stores.
But, he says the PC sales include retail sales. It's not all Steam.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Fuck them. Why the hell do they not have their statistics released to the public?
Because it isn't the publics fucking business? They are privately owned (AFAIK) and aren't beholden to the quivering fanboy masses, who want more fuel for pointless messageboard flamewars.

Besides the fact giving away marketing and customer information (ie. the numbers) is like shooting yourself in the foot to begin with.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptStu View Post
But, he says the PC sales include retail sales. It's not all Steam.
Right. But if he called out the retail numbers only, it would be pretty easy to extrapolate the Steam numbers from that information.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Telefrog View Post
Right. But if he called out the retail numbers only, it would be pretty easy to extrapolate the Steam numbers from that information.
Is there a cost difference between the Steam version, the PC retail version and what the PS3 and 360 sold the game for?
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Fuck them. Why the hell do they not have their statistics released to the public?
Because it is competitive information.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptStu View Post
Is there a cost difference between the Steam version, the PC retail version and what the PS3 and 360 sold the game for?
As far as I know, the console versions were $10 more than either the retail or Steam versions.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Telefrog View Post
As far as I know, the console versions were $10 more than either the retail or Steam versions.
That could attribute a lot to it.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:57 PM   #12
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Valve is in the perfect place to have a "complete picture" in regards to the current state of PC Gaming, as this interview shows. I can't think of another developer/studio that has a better picture. Blizzard may be close but their reach is very limited in overall market knowledge.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptStu View Post
That could attribute a lot to it.
He was quoting straight unit numbers not dollar amounts. What would that matter?
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #14
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I thought they were in it for the greater good.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Citizen Philip View Post
Because it isn't the publics fucking business? They are privately owned (AFAIK) and aren't beholden to the quivering fanboy masses, who want more fuel for pointless messageboard flamewars.

Besides the fact giving away marketing and customer information (ie. the numbers) is like shooting yourself in the foot to begin with.
Sales figures are good PR for the platform they were made on. Valve believe in the PC. Therefore...
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 51|RandoM View Post
Because it is competitive information.
How is it competitive information? How can someone use that information to their advantage? I can see how people like Direct2Drive using to coax other people to their side and use them as an exclusive digital distrobution channel...But for a game that is never going to be on Direct2Drive, a la The Orange Box, why not show the pundits that PC gaming is not dead.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:59 PM   #17
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Look, I'm totally against them wanting to keep it private for competition purposes, when PC gaming, as I stated, needs this. Let publishers see the numbers of selling through steam, and watch the list of games grow bigger and even make publishers greenlight projects they never would have bothered with.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
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How is it competitive information? How can someone use that information to their advantage? I can see how people like Direct2Drive using to coax other people to their side and use them as an exclusive digital distrobution channel...But for a game that is never going to be on Direct2Drive, a la The Orange Box, why not show the pundits that PC gaming is not dead.
Those figures are leverage in negotiations, not just between Valve and retail but between other publishers/developers and retail and their online competition.

The people Valve convince to market their games on Steam probably get a good glimpse at the real numbers.

Generally speaking, if I'm running a company a bunch of fanboys wanting to see some numbers isn't a good enough business case for me to give up information like that for free.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Look, I'm totally against them wanting to keep it private for competition purposes, when PC gaming, as I stated, needs this. Let publishers see the numbers of selling through steam, and watch the list of games grow bigger and even make publishers greenlight projects they never would have bothered with.
What makes you think publishers DON'T see them?
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 51|RandoM View Post
Those figures are leverage in negotiations, not just between Valve and retail but between other publishers/developers and retail and their online competition.

The people Valve convince to market their games on Steam probably get a good glimpse at the real numbers.

Generally speaking, if I'm running a company a bunch of fanboys wanting to see some numbers isn't a good enough business case for me to give up information like that for free.
If that is the case, then why do we have NPD numbers? That information is given away freely, and do they work as leverage in negotiations? If so, how can this be any different? Especially considering that Steam is the premier digital distrobution acrhetype, and has no serious competition (Direct2Drive and totalgaming.net have not nearly as much coverage or clout as Steam). I'm not asking to have them release their entire sales figures, just a snippet of information to throw back the calls of the masses that PC Gaming is not dead and is thriving.
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