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Forums - Sony Discussion - Days Gone vs Ghost of Tsushima, sales vs expectations of Sony

So, some context for this thread, today Sony announced a new milestone for Ghost of Tsushima, 8m+ sales, with the game having released 1.5 years ago, an impressive milestone to be sure. Jeff Ross, the game director on Days Gone, who has since left Sony, tweeted stating that Days Gone also sold 8m+ in 1.5 years and that Days Gone has since sold over 9m copies, considering the PC release sold over 1m copies (he is not privy to how many more copies Days Gone has sold on PS4 after he left):

Jeff Ross states that Sony Bend studio management made him and the other dev team members feel guilty that Days Gone didn't sell more. We also saw a report from Jason Schreier last year which reported that Sony had denied Bend's pitch for a Days Gone sequel, as they were disappointed by the sales and reviews:

"Oregon-based Sony Bend, best known for the 2019 open-world action game Days Gone, tried unsuccessfully to pitch a sequel that year, according to people familiar with the proposal. Although the first game had been profitable, its development had been lengthy and critical reception was mixed, so a Days Gone 2 wasn’t seen as a viable option."

So, that begs the question, if Ghost of Tsushima and Days Gone were virtually neck and neck in terms of sales, why does Sony publicly seem to be happy with the performance of Tsushima but were privately unhappy with the sales of Days Gone?

-Is it not actually about the sales at all, but only about the reviews, seeing as Days Gone got a 71 and Tsushima an 83, a 12 point meta difference?

-Did Sony have higher expectations for a zombie game than for a game set in Feudal Japan, and if so, why? Days Gone sold more copies than the vast majority of zombie games ever released, to my knowledge only 4 zombie games sold more than Days Gone, Resident Evil 5 (which sold 12.6m across all platforms as of the last Capcom Platinum sellers update), Resident Evil 6 (which sold 10.3m copies all platforms as of the last Capcom Platinum Sellers update), Resident Evil 7 (which sold 10.2m copies as of the last Capcom Platinum sellers update), and Dying Light 2 (Techland reported that over 17m had played it as of 2019). Days Gone sales seems to be ahead of the rest of the Resident Evil franchise, ahead of all of the Dead Rising franchise, ahead of Techland's Dead Island, and more. The only other zombie game I can think of that might have sold more copies than Days Gone was Telltale's The Walking Dead season 1, at last official update 28m individual episodes of the season had been purchased, but that update was from 2014 and we don't have an exact number of how many people bought all 5 episodes of the season lifetime.

-Budget wise, Days Gone should actually have a lower budget than Tsushima, as it was in active development for 4.3 years compared to 6 years for Tsushima, and Bend expanded from 50 to 130 devs over the course of it's development, whereas Sucker Punch was over 100 devs for the entirety of Tsushima's development.

Hopefully Sony actually considers Ghost of Tsushima a success and isn't just publicly presenting that image while privately being as disappointed with it as they seem to have been with Days Gone, would love to see a sequel to Tsushima at some point. 

Edit: Update- Jeff Ross has confirmed that the sales numbers are an estimate based on trophy data, he apparently wasn't privy to sales info even though he directed the game 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 08 January 2022

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Ghost of tsushima sold for 60$ for almost the entirety of its first year and got sales in holidays to 40$. The game had a strong launch, was released polished and had with a score of 80+ on websites.
On the other hand, Days gone price went on sale for 40$ around 3 times during its first 6 months and was permanently dropped to 40$ for 2020. It was also frequently going on sale for 20$ during 2020. Getting launched as buggy as it did, didn't help it in any way. It had a 71 rating in metacritic and was bashed in most websites.

You can't compare both just based on unit sales. You have to take in consideration ROI, net profit and other things to make a direct comparison. As it stands right now with the information we currently have, the only reason days gone got to 8 million is because of the price drops. Dropping to 40$ and 20$ in the first 12 months doesn't look good to the public and investors and doesn't really help build up hype for a sequel.

Finally, do we even know when did days gone hit the 5 million milestone? Ghost of tsushima hit that milestone in Nov 2020. So many unknown variables needed to discuss the success of days gone compared to other PlayStation first parties.



We live in a stupid era of gaming. On one hand, 800K of SMTV is a massive success. 8 million of this game is a failure to Sony. While this is more of a reason why I think Meta is a cancer and should be abolished. (tho DG seemed like the most mediocre generic game out there) but Meta is more harmful than anything. A lot of good games suffer in sales because of a stupid number. Then we have other AAA devs saying certain games that sold in the millions were a sales failure.

Kill Metacritic as it's a useless site.
Publishers need to not dump so much money into one game. How we get Anthems and Avengers. Put some of that into smaller projects and then 1 million will be a success. Not saying you can't have larger projects but they don't need the inflated budgets they often do have.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

icykai said:

Ghost of tsushima sold for 60$ for almost the entirety of its first year and got sales in holidays to 40$. The game had a strong launch, was released polished and had with a score of 80+ on websites.
On the other hand, Days gone price went on sale for 40$ around 3 times during its first 6 months and was permanently dropped to 40$ for 2020. It was also frequently going on sale for 20$ during 2020. Getting launched as buggy as it did, didn't help it in any way. It had a 71 rating in metacritic and was bashed in most websites.

You can't compare both just based on unit sales. You have to take in consideration ROI, net profit and other things to make a direct comparison. As it stands right now with the information we currently have, the only reason days gone got to 8 million is because of the price drops. Dropping to 40$ and 20$ in the first 12 months doesn't look good to the public and investors and doesn't really help build up hype for a sequel.

Finally, do we even know when did days gone hit the 5 million milestone? Ghost of tsushima hit that milestone in Nov 2020. So many unknown variables needed to discuss the success of days gone compared to other PlayStation first parties.

That is a good point about the pricing of the two, Tsushima did take alot longer to go on sale than Days Gone did. But it's not like Days Gone's launch sales were awful or anything, in the UK it was the top seller for 3 weeks straight, and in the US NPD reported that it was Sony's 7th biggest opening month of all-time at the point it released (the 6 ahead of it were I believe Horizon: Zero Dawn, Spider-Man, God of War 4, Uncharted 3, Uncharted 4, and The Last of Us), meaning that it's launch sales in the US beat the first 2 Uncharted games, the first 3 God of War games, all of the Gran Turismo games, all of the Ratchet & Clank games, all of the Killzone games, all of the Infamous games, and more. And the lifetime sales numbers of 9m+ are certainly impressive, it apparently sold more lifetime than Bend's entire Syphon Filter series and their Resistance and Uncharted games for PSP/Vita combined. I just can't see a scenario where it didn't turn a profit, so it is most curious that Sony reportedly refused to allow Bend to make a sequel to a profitable game just because it's metacritic was a bit on the low side.



Tsushima: Acclaimed by the “media” and by fans, 2nd game with most GOTY awards only behind to the all time record, the last of us part II.
Released an extra paid DLC and a Directors Cut Version. A movie is in the works.

Days Gone: Bashed by the media and “fans”, no extra DLC, no PS5 version. Spent more time on sale than Tsushima has been in the same timeframe (mostly because the bashing). Released with a lot of bugs and way less polished than Tsushima.

Despite some people on this site saying that Sony games barely made any profit, most of their PS4/PS5 games already made plenty of it.



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Well, there can be reasons why good sales don't equal good success (depending on the definition of success). At least I am happy to see a lot of gamers enjoyed the game after the initial bugs were ironed out.

But I would add another take, just my personal opinion: I think Days Gone probably deserves a sequel more than Ghost of Tsushima. There are some reasons for it. For one: GoT is a great game without a doubt. This is a reason, because it is much harder to improve on an already good game. There is a big chance a sequel might just fall short and tarnish the reputation of the franchise. A mediocre game with good roots on the other hand might be refined into a gem with a sequel.

Also a very subjective view, but mine: I feel like GoT is more samey with other Sony games. That is nothing bad in itself, it is just that a lot of Sony games are big, cinematic, narrative driven and visually pleasing action adventures. The details may differ, so they all have their place, but as I feel it God of War, Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghost of Tsushima all are tapping into a similar market. Days Gone feels more sandboxy, more systemic driven. Giving that series a sequel would help Sony to diversify their lineup.

As I said, my take is very subjective, so you all probably disagree, but it is just my opinion.



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One was on sale for peanuts, unlikely it made much money.



Even if Days Gone made enough money, we don't know how the sequel was actually pitched, which is also something to consider. Besides it's not like Sony is closing the studio. They are making a new open world game and they definitely use some of the tech and experience they got while making Days Gone.

The launch was very rough, it had too many bugs and glitches and due to it releasing at the wrong time reviews also where not that great. So the game wint get a sequel and isn't totally comparable to Ghost of Tsushima. Luckily the game is getting a somewhat cult classic treatment from fans, same way as driveclub and it sold very well. So in the end it's a success. But the launch should have been way better and for that Bend can only look itself in the mirror, unfinished products shouldn't be the norm and Sony was rightfully disappointed, it's not like they didn't have the budget and in general Sony isn't one who makes a big fuzz about delaying games.



Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar

I think Days Gone with all circumstances included deserves now a chance of a sequel to rectify the mistakes done with the 1st one at launch.



shikamaru317 said:

Hopefully Sony actually considers Ghost of Tsushima a success and isn't just publicly presenting that image while privately being as disappointed with it as they seem to have been with Days Gone, would love to see a sequel to Tsushima at some point. 

I think there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

GoT

- had positive buzz from day 1, DG didn't.

- launched in an actual playable state for reviewers and consumers, DG didn't.

- didn't require heavy discounts to move units, DG did.

- got an expansion and PS5 remaster, DG didn't.

GoT is fine I'm sure.

Last edited by twintail - on 06 January 2022