No matter which site you prefer for your daily gaming news, chances are you’ve seen the headline that Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls sold one million copies in 2013. Judging from the reaction from the community, it seems there’s no agreed upon way of interpreting this. Some say its a hell of a milestone, since the game has been out for just three months; others say how a blockbuster game, with known Hollywood talent, only managed to do one million in sales? Who’s right?
What we can agree upon is the fact that Beyond: Two Souls could not have launched at a worse time. A much talked about, first party game, launching a month prior to the far more talked about PlayStation 4? The Last of Us looked to be the swan song for the PS3, when it launched back in June. Many forgot that two other major first party games were still on the way, with Beyond and last month’s Gran Turismo 6.
Then there’s the debate about the game itself. With a game of this nature, expectations were that the feedback would be mixed, similar to that of Heavy Rain, and Indigo Prophecy before it. I personally enjoyed this game. I dug the story, the voice acting was superb, the characters felt real, and it had a good mixture of events. I do feel it was hard to follow at times, as the game did jump around, but that’s the one complaint I got out of the experience. It is a selective experience, however. Its appeal is limited.
Heavy Rain sold 3.1 million units in its lifetime, so Beyond does have some work to do to catch up. The game will be coming to the newly revealed PlayStation Now service, which is sure to give it a bump in sales as we all assume many passed over it in October, for the PS4. I can’t say Sony didn’t market this game well; the marketing was there. Gran Turismo 6, a proven IP, hasn’t done all that well in sales either. In its first week in the UK, it only managed to do one fifth of what Gran Turismo 5 did at its launch. GT6 launched a week prior to Europe’s PS4 launch. In Japan, where the PS4 is not launching until February 2014, GT6 moved 200,000+ units launch week, topping the charts. GT5 sold over 400K when it launched in Japan.
With rumors of a PS4 installment of Gran Turismo 6, or the (hopeful) possibility Polyphony Digital is focusing on GT7, there is no word if we will see GT6 on the PS Now service.
Many questioned why Sony decided to keep both Beyond and GT6 on current gen hardware, when they have a brand new system launching in the same time period. Consider this. The PS3 has an installment base of 60+ million users. The PS4 is roughly around 3-4 million after initial sales reports. An impressive number mind you, for the PS4, but you’re launching a new IP, one that has a limited appeal, on a brand new console? GT6 is a different story, as that could have been a system seller for many, and there’s the fact that Evolution Studios’ DriveClub missed the launch. The lone racing game we did get, EA’s Need for Speed Rivals, is quite the good time. I recommend it.
Time will tell to see if Beyond: Two Souls can outsell Heavy Rain. With Now support, and a likely drop in the MSRP in the Spring, I don’t see how it won’t come close. Congrats to Quantic Dream for the milestone. Everyone wants more, but one million is an achievement of its own.
More importantly, let’s bring Indigo Prophecy to the Now service. That should be priority numero uno.