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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 24 Nov 2011
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Skele wrote:
I think there was enough marketing and advertising for Downpour.
Wrong.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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clips wrote:
And no offense Kenji, normally it'd take alot for me to read long posts like that, but there is some quality wisdom bein' dropped up there and i read all of it...again i agree...;)

Offended? How could I be offended? Way I see it, that's a damn fine compliment! Thank you. :)

Augophthalmoses wrote:
Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are more of a stroke of luck though. The fact that good games sell themselves isn't always true as game quality isn't the only thing that factors into a game's success. It's also genre (some are simply more popular with the gaming public than others, advertising, competition, the timeframe of the release, budget, and so on. Sure, marketing can't force people to want to buy the games, but it at least tells the people that the game is out there and you always have to make that evident especially with a lesser known (in contrast to all those big budget AAA games anyway) property like Silent Hill.

Naturally, the more specific case begs more detail, but I do think the general principle I outlined is sound. Especially these days, when the number and frequency of releases is winding down noticeably. I wouldn't be surprised, if gaming returns to a wildly popular state as in the 2600 or NES days, that this year would be fit within the "Crash Period." Things like this are usually labelled after-the-fact.

My main point was to avoid blaming marketing as if it were the main determinant. Certainly, marketing has its uses: Mainly, to notify that a product exists. Many firms go too far in their marketing efforts, but Konami (as has been noted) doesn't even do what's required. There's room for nuance, of course.

For example, the rise of Souls is coupled with the failure of Zelda to do the job most people hire it for, and the hitherto lack of a suitable replacement for that job. That is, a fine-tuned, precision action RPG that asks the player to perform a dangerous quest using his wits and swordsmanship. Or, more generally, a quest that demands you transform from boy to badass.

Zelda, over the last ten years, has transformed from that into a series of errands. Solving rudimentary puzzles, fighting incompetent enemies, the sort of thing that any young (wo)man with middling athleticism, problem solving skills, and the belief that evil is bad could accomplish. The only thing that saves the people of Hyrule from being contemptibly lazy, incompetent, and therefore unworthy of rescue is that the Master Sword is keyed to Link's DNA (soul, mojo, who cares), making him hero by virtue of a glorified three-foot, double-edged key.

Compelling, isn't it?

So, you could make the case that Souls rose up because it's so far proven the best candidate to fill a niche that's still warm and fondly remembered. I wouldn't argue against it, but I would ask you to remember that such things do happen. In any case, unlike Souls, Silent Hill does have a thirteen-year history and was known (to those who cared -- more on this, shortly) as the second go-to game for survival horror and the best bet for actually getting the heebie-jeebies.

The question, and this is probably the biggest reason why SH could never touch RE in terms of popularity or moneymaking ability, is whether the customer wants legit heebie-jeebies (given that most popular horror serves as the means to a social end -- such as fondling your date -- I'd lean towards "no"). And, in terms of recent vs. classic Silent Hill, if the games can deliver on that promise (which, unfortunately, I must also lean towards "no").

If you take an unpopular concept (that is, it doesn't serve a recognizable purpose for the majority of people) and fail to do it effectively, then no amount of marketing can save the result. Despite my initial bad impression, I've developed something of a soft spot for Downpour... but I can't be assed to finish it, and it probably wouldn't have led me to other Silent Hills, had I started with it. I honestly wish this wasn't so.

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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
VGChartz is where I get my info about SH sales. It is admittedly a less than perfectly accurate report of video game sales, but it's the best I know of to turn to.

http://www.vgchartz.com/game/49644/sile ... -downpour/

And then for a list of sales of the entire series: http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=silent+hill

As you can see, at present both console versions of Downpour are the lowest "original releases" on the list excluding ports and the HD Collection. I somehow don't see sales continuing steadily enough to bring it up the list very much either.

Then again, Downpour on PS3 had better first-week sales than Homecoming and Shattered Memories, so who knows how Konami views its success.

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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 24 Nov 2011
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I wouldn't even use VGChartz for any kind of discussion regarding sales since they're well know for being terribly inaccurate and lacking sources. There's a reason why the site has become a punchline in sales discussion topics on video game forums.


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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Can't say anything about accuracy, but according to it, Shattered Memories is the third best-selling title in the series, and is, indeed, the only title in the series to achieve real multiplatform success.

If that's true, the implications are pretty fascinating.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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VGChartz is notoriously inaccurate, apparently to the point where it doesn't even serve as a useful judge of ballpark. I really wish producers didn't get the option to decline providing NPD numbers, because that was our best source.

Thankfully, Japanese numbers are still available and accurate, but for North America, I'm pretty much reduced to tracking time versus resale value. In aggregate, that's a pretty good indicator of value, but there are several components that feed into the balance of supply vs. demand, and the difference among those components can mean several things.

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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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Sadly, Homecoming was not released in Japan, nor was Downpour, so that definitely would impact overall global sales on those two titles. The same could not be said of Shattered Memories. So it's plausible that SM may have sold better overall.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Sure. But according to those questionable charts, it outsold both 3 and 4, by apparently significant margins, and comes close to matching 2.

So, if we assume there is something to any of these numbers, Shattered Memories is one of the most successful titles in the series, and that would say a lot about a lot of things.

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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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That doesn't sound right to me.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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Doesn't seem right to me, either.

That said, it's not impossible. Improbable, in my opinion, but not impossible. Lemme suggest a few indirect indications of whether it's so.

If the next Silent Hill game is made by Climax, and especially if its gameplay engine and atmosphere replicates that of Shattered Memories almost exactly (with improvements, of course), then that would indicate that Shattered Memories was profitable enough to follow up on. Only a madman would abandon a new formula that profitable.

As for beating SH3 and The Room, that would be a watershed event for Tomm and the Gang. Break out the champagne, hire the bangin'est hookers, and get some lines goin' on their stomachs, 'cuz that's long-awaited validation. While I can understand not crowing on the rooftops for discretion's sake, surely Tomm or somebody would've let us in on that level of success, right? Unless I'm mistaken, the most we've ever gotten out of anyone regarding Shattered Memories was, "It did alright," which I didn't take for a celebratory note.

That's not even mentioning what the drop from Shattered Memories's supposed high numbers to Downpour's low numbers might imply about what players really think about Shattered Memories...

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Historical Society Historian
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Can I derail a bit to say that I love the mental image of Tomm Hulett, Tom Waltz, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn all getting crunk and doing blow off hookers? Thanks, Kenji.

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2004
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Augophthalmoses wrote:
Skele wrote:
I think there was enough marketing and advertising for Downpour.
Wrong.



How so? it may not be at the level we see with COD and Battlefield games, but i still think there was enough done. Tbh, i think Shattered Memories and Downpour probably received more marketing & advertising than the first 4 games (with the only possible exception being SH3).


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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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Shattered Memories was advertised quite heavily in comic books but I don't remember ever seeing ads for Homecoming or Downpour.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2009
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Skele wrote:
Augophthalmoses wrote:
Skele wrote:
I think there was enough marketing and advertising for Downpour.
Wrong.



How so? it may not be at the level we see with COD and Battlefield games, but i still think there was enough done. Tbh, i think Shattered Memories and Downpour probably received more marketing & advertising than the first 4 games (with the only possible exception being SH3).


I saw no advertisements for Downpour anywhere, to be honest.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Jun 2009
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I saw one add for Downpour... in the back of the Past Life trade paperback. Not only that, but it still slated the game for Fall 2011.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Can I derail a bit to say that I love the mental image of Tomm Hulett, Tom Waltz, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn all getting crunk and doing blow off hookers? Thanks, Kenji.

And if that picture ever surfaced, it'd be the greatest PR move ever.

Just sayin', guys. :)

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2004
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I remember seeing an ad for it in gameinformer, and i also remember seeing an ad for it on gamefaqs. Y'know the annoying ones on the net (i'm looking at you yahoo) where they have the "click here for more info" and if you don't do that, or either minimize it, it'll just sit there and take up a good portion of your screen.

.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
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I only ever saw a single advertisement for Downpour, and that was a black and white page in the NeverDead manual advertising the HD Collection and Downpour to be coming soon.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Nov 2010
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They did use Facebook and Youtube to promote. Developer interviews, trailers, gameplay previews; I'm not saying it was "enough," but it was certainly there.

It did seemingly slow down to the point of nothingness as the release date closed in...

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 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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Therein lies the problem with Konami. They have zero confidence in their franchise. As much as I dislike Downpour, it was far from the worst game of the year. If they just made more noise about it, it could have had a release that amounted to more than a fart in a gunfight. I'm sure most people don't even know it exists.

Advertising can take something that isn't in the forefront of gamer's minds and make it a success. Look at Deus Ex 3. A decade since the second game that everyone hated and it still was a sales smash.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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