Witcher 2 sales per country per population.

Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

Giant Bomb won't let me have a title long enough to explain properly, but this is just a blog comparing game sales in certain countries and the populations of said countries. Why? 'Cause I am bored.

Numery

To preface I was just reading this article whilst making myself a cup of tea and the numbers caught my eye, as they do sometimes. Now I'll say this here, this is not going to be particularly interesting, not to the regular joe anyway, but I find it interesting and thus this blog was born.

Numbers are cool, they can mean nothing, everything, and most importantly, whatever the hell you want. So for this, make whatever you want of them, as that is basically what I am doing.

CountryPopulationUnits SoldRatioPercentage
UK62,000,00075,0001:8260.00120
Russia143,000,000234,0001:6110.00163
USA313,000,000270,0001:11590.00086
Poland38,000,000185,0001:2050.00486

Now we can all see, nothing here is particularly important, but what we can also see is that a very small percentage per country purchased this game at retail.

I find a few things here interesting; obviously, Poland was going have the highest numbers for this, considering the Witcher series was a known quantity in Poland before the games were even thoughts in CD Projekt's brilliant minds. But a few things were less obvious: firstly, the game almost sold a quarter of all it's units in Russia, a country that is supposedly rife with piracy, yet sold twice as many units per person than the USA, the supposed richest country in the world; secondly the game sold 1 unit for every 800 people in the UK, which by those odds means at least a hundred and twenty people in my little city bought the game, meaning there are 120 Witcher fans in relative close proximity to me, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, WHY DO I NOT KNOW THEM?

More silly things I can make these numbers mean

  1. America has the most pirates per population of these four countries, maybe even... THE WORLD.
  2. There is only one copy for every 72km^2 of Russia.
  3. Inversely there is copy for every 1.6km^2 of Poland

And with that I have ran out of facts. Feel free to add your own. But I found this pretty interesting. Thanks for reading, and go buy the game right now, unless you're silly and don't have a PC, then buy it on 360 when it hits.

#1 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

Giant Bomb won't let me have a title long enough to explain properly, but this is just a blog comparing game sales in certain countries and the populations of said countries. Why? 'Cause I am bored.

Numery

To preface I was just reading this article whilst making myself a cup of tea and the numbers caught my eye, as they do sometimes. Now I'll say this here, this is not going to be particularly interesting, not to the regular joe anyway, but I find it interesting and thus this blog was born.

Numbers are cool, they can mean nothing, everything, and most importantly, whatever the hell you want. So for this, make whatever you want of them, as that is basically what I am doing.

CountryPopulationUnits SoldRatioPercentage
UK62,000,00075,0001:8260.00120
Russia143,000,000234,0001:6110.00163
USA313,000,000270,0001:11590.00086
Poland38,000,000185,0001:2050.00486

Now we can all see, nothing here is particularly important, but what we can also see is that a very small percentage per country purchased this game at retail.

I find a few things here interesting; obviously, Poland was going have the highest numbers for this, considering the Witcher series was a known quantity in Poland before the games were even thoughts in CD Projekt's brilliant minds. But a few things were less obvious: firstly, the game almost sold a quarter of all it's units in Russia, a country that is supposedly rife with piracy, yet sold twice as many units per person than the USA, the supposed richest country in the world; secondly the game sold 1 unit for every 800 people in the UK, which by those odds means at least a hundred and twenty people in my little city bought the game, meaning there are 120 Witcher fans in relative close proximity to me, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, WHY DO I NOT KNOW THEM?

More silly things I can make these numbers mean

  1. America has the most pirates per population of these four countries, maybe even... THE WORLD.
  2. There is only one copy for every 72km^2 of Russia.
  3. Inversely there is copy for every 1.6km^2 of Poland

And with that I have ran out of facts. Feel free to add your own. But I found this pretty interesting. Thanks for reading, and go buy the game right now, unless you're silly and don't have a PC, then buy it on 360 when it hits.

#2 Posted by CJduke (779 posts) -

Interesting. I'm assuming these are first week sales only?

#3 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5120 posts) -

Should I bother with the first game or just jump right into The Witcher 2?

#5 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1722 posts) -

Well, I just bought a copy, so you can change the UK numbers to 75,001 now. 

#6 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

Russia also has a larger population of PC gamers than the US does

#8 Posted by mosdl (3223 posts) -

@Animasta said:

Russia also has a larger population of PC gamers than the US does

I wonder how consoles sales are in Russia.

270k sales in the US with virtually no marketing is pretty good.

#9 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5120 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@PeasantAbuse said:

Should I bother with the first game or just jump right into The Witcher 2?

They're both pretty great. You'll have a better understanding of the approach to combat in Witcher 2 if you've played the first game though the actual gameplay is different. The learning curve is a little steeper if you jump straight into 2.

Alright cool, I'll probably grab both the next time there is a Steam sale.

#10 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

@mosdl: probably pretty terrible, if I had to guess

#11 Posted by TobbRobb (4401 posts) -

@PeasantAbuse: Just a note, they are not very similar at all when it comes to gameplay. If you don't like how 1 feel, there is a large chance 2 might still be good for you.

And don't sweat playing the first one before the 2nd if you don't enjoy it, 2 is perfectly playable as a starting point "though some things might have less impact".

#12 Edited by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

@CJduke said:

Interesting. I'm assuming these are first week sales only?

Over a million sales in its first week? Not a chance.

@rebgav said:

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to take a group of unrelated statistics and turn them into crazy propaganda by way of baseless inferences! Good show all round, jolly well done.

I kinda did preface it saying this meant nothing. Also I don't really know what this blog propagates, but whatever. I guess it's free advertisement for the game.

@mosdl: There was no marketing here either, so it's sales are pretty good all round by that. I can't speak for marketing is Russia or Poland, but I doubt there was too much.

#13 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5120 posts) -

@TobbRobb said:

@PeasantAbuse: Just a note, they are not very similar at all when it comes to gameplay. If you don't like how 1 feel, there is a large chance 2 might still be good for you.

And don't sweat playing the first one before the 2nd if you don't enjoy it, 2 is perfectly playable as a starting point "though some things might have less impact".

Thanks, I will keep this in mind as well.

#15 Posted by Xyber (292 posts) -

That girl keeps staring at me, I'm scared.

And numbers are fun.

#16 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Cool numbers! 
 
I like the fact that I bought it and contributed but I dislike the fact that I think I hate this game.

#17 Posted by Deusx (1879 posts) -

Comparing the number of population the US has vs other countries mentioned in the statistics for piracy, the US is nowhere near the most pirate country in the world. Hell, even my country has higher numbers on that matter.

#18 Posted by Winternet (7935 posts) -

Numbers ARE cool.

#19 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

Isn't Sweden the most piratingest country out there?

#20 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

@Deusx said:

Comparing the number of population the US has vs other countries mentioned in the statistics for piracy, the US is nowhere near the most pirate country in the world. Hell, even my country has higher numbers on that matter.

It was a joke.

#21 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

@mandude: I doubt that.

#22 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Curious to see what the console sales will be

#23 Posted by Marz (5608 posts) -

don't know why your putting in so much stock in population numbers.  Not everyone plays video games in each country, and not by the same percentage if you can even find numbers on how many people play video games in said countries.

#24 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -
@Marz I think you kinda missed the point of this blog. It was in no way a serious thing, I thought that was somewhat obvious from the tone, but I guess next time I need to be more sarcastic?
#25 Posted by mosdl (3223 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

Curious to see what the console sales will be

Probably will sell well.

I do wonder if some outlets won't sell it due to the mature content, but then here in the US Target carried the PC box version of the game.

#26 Posted by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -

Some things to consider:
 
The price for retail box copies in Russia is usually much smaller then equivalent retail copies in other countries.
This has been done to combat piracy and it has largely saved the Russian PC market from the gutter it was in. But the standard boxed retail versions are usually just a well made thin cardoard box with only the disk inside. 
It's also one of the factors why PC players have a stronger overall presense there, % wise. (another factor is piracy which also bosted PC numbers from days of yore, and still does today to an extent)
Because of this services such as Steam also have much reduced prices in Russia.
So CDProject gets a bit less per each standard copy sold there.

#27 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -
@Tennmuerti stop bringing actual facts in to my silly blog >:(
But yeah you do have good points.
#28 Posted by Deusx (1879 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

@Deusx said:

Comparing the number of population the US has vs other countries mentioned in the statistics for piracy, the US is nowhere near the most pirate country in the world. Hell, even my country has higher numbers on that matter.

It was a joke.

I'm an idiot.

#29 Edited by CJduke (779 posts) -
@AlexW00d: Maybe I'm missing something here, but your numbers in the "units sold" column don't add up to 1 million
#30 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -
@CJduke
@AlexW00d: Maybe I'm missing something here, but your numbers in the "units sold" column don't add up to 1 million
They don't, but then, there are only 4 countries there. It doesn't account for all of the other countries it sold in. They had said they had sold over a million copies last October, so it's probably a lot more by now.
#31 Posted by Pepsiman (2449 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

Some things to consider:

The price for retail box copies in Russia is usually much smaller then equivalent retail copies in other countries.
This has been done to combat piracy and it has largely saved the Russian PC market from the gutter it was in. But the standard boxed retail versions are usually just a well made thin cardoard box with only the disk inside.
It's also one of the factors why PC players have a stronger overall presense there, % wise. (another factor is piracy which also bosted PC numbers from days of yore, and still does today to an extent)
Because of this services such as Steam also have much reduced prices in Russia. So CDProject gets a bit less per each standard copy sold there.

I also just want to throw out there that one of the major keys to getting good sales numbers in Russia is to have a good release window that's as close as possible to the original version so as to give people there less reason to pirate foreign copies while waiting for ones in their native language. I can't remember exactly who, I think it was Gabe Newell or someone along those lines, said that poor release timing is a huge factor behind localized games that are brought to Russia and then subsequently fail to sell; the developers and publishers in that sort of situation expect a tech-literate demographic of people to simply wait patiently and buy the Russian version legitimately when it's "their turn" when that's hardly the case. From what I read, even delaying a release by a few weeks can cleave a game's potential Russian sales by something like 50 percent. Obviously, Russia isn't the only market where this is true, but it's especially prevalent there given the market conditions.

#32 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1348 posts) -

I was wondering earlier today how the 360 release fared. The pc release apparently sold just over one million units, which probably breaks even but seems like a lot less than such an excellent game deserves (needing a fairly hefty pc to play it surely factors in though). The 360 version surely required a serious investment from CD Projekt, but it must be doing quite well right?

#33 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

@WalkerTR77 said:

I was wondering earlier today how the 360 release fared. The pc release apparently sold just over one million units, which probably breaks even but seems like a lot less than such an excellent game deserves (needing a fairly hefty pc to play it surely factors in though). The 360 version surely required a serious investment from CD Projekt, but it must be doing quite well right?

First place on the UK Chart the week of release.

#34 Edited by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

@easthill said:

@WalkerTR77 said:

I was wondering earlier today how the 360 release fared. The pc release apparently sold just over one million units, which probably breaks even but seems like a lot less than such an excellent game deserves (needing a fairly hefty pc to play it surely factors in though). The 360 version surely required a serious investment from CD Projekt, but it must be doing quite well right?

First place on the UK Chart the week of release.

Um, PC games don't need to sell any where near a million units to break even. The game was more than likely profitable after 400k or so, which is what they sold about two weeks post release. And you don't need a hefty PC to run it at all. Also, the game is a fairly niche, mature, RPG with influences from old school games; I doubt it's audience is as wide as some other games. And they were super happy with the ~1.2 million they sold.

Again, I doubt the port was that much of an investment by them, they had to scale everything down to run on the aged hardware sure, but most of the time between them would have been MS and their shite certification. I imagine it's probably already making profit, after a week at the top of most sales charts.

#35 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1348 posts) -

@easthill: @AlexW00d: It's a pretty expansive game which I imagine takes a lot of work to make. I thought 1 million units would probably break even but not produce enough profit to be really encouraging, but if indeed that was plenty to make a Witcher 3 viable then that's excellent news.

#36 Posted by armaan8014 (5253 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

@Deusx said:

Comparing the number of population the US has vs other countries mentioned in the statistics for piracy, the US is nowhere near the most pirate country in the world. Hell, even my country has higher numbers on that matter.

It was a joke.

i think India wins that award

#37 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

@WalkerTR77 said:

@easthill: @AlexW00d: It's a pretty expansive game which I imagine takes a lot of work to make. I thought 1 million units would probably break even but not produce enough profit to be really encouraging, but if indeed that was plenty to make a Witcher 3 viable then that's excellent news.

Whilst indeed expansive, it's a PC game. They don't have to pay licensing fees to MS or Sony, and a lot of the sale were through their own store, but regardless, it didn't have that big a budget, so there wasn't as much to recoup. PC games never need to sell as many as console games to make profit.

And yeah, they mentioned W3 being a thing a few months after the release, so it was clearly a nice profit for them at that time.

#38 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

@WalkerTR77: One sold copy on Steam/Gog.com gives CD Projekt RED a lot more money than retail would have, and I'd guess most of the copies sold on PC was from Digital Distribution.

#39 Posted by AlexW00d (6058 posts) -

@easthill said:

@WalkerTR77: One sold copy on Steam/Gog.com gives CD Projekt RED a lot more money than retail would have, and I'd guess most of the copies sold on PC was from Digital Distribution.

Nope, most of it was retail. Only about 400k was digital, about 340k of that from Steam, the rest GOG and Gamersgate, mostly. I'd quote the source but I forget what, it was either the RPS article I linked in the post, or probably another RPS article.

#40 Posted by Getz (2954 posts) -

How about "Witcher sales by country per capita" That would have been fine.

#41 Posted by hughesman (312 posts) -

I saw a witcher 2 commercial on the tv.

BIG TIME BABY WOOOOO!!!!!!!

#42 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

@AlexW00d: Hmm. Wouldn't have guessed that. Haven't bought a retail PC game since... forever. Still, those copies sold on Steam and other digital stores would generate a lot more income than an equal amount sold retail.

#43 Posted by mosdl (3223 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

@WalkerTR77 said:

@easthill: @AlexW00d: It's a pretty expansive game which I imagine takes a lot of work to make. I thought 1 million units would probably break even but not produce enough profit to be really encouraging, but if indeed that was plenty to make a Witcher 3 viable then that's excellent news.

Whilst indeed expansive, it's a PC game. They don't have to pay licensing fees to MS or Sony, and a lot of the sale were through their own store, but regardless, it didn't have that big a budget, so there wasn't as much to recoup. PC games never need to sell as many as console games to make profit.

And yeah, they mentioned W3 being a thing a few months after the release, so it was clearly a nice profit for them at that time.

If I remember the budget for the game was roughly $10 million - Poland has lower wages, etc, so that helps as well. And as Alex correctly states, they make more money of a PC sale than a console sale. Both have a publisher cut but then MS takes its own cut (and certification costs).

#44 Posted by mordukai (7092 posts) -

@mosdl said:

@AlexW00d said:

@WalkerTR77 said:

@easthill: @AlexW00d: It's a pretty expansive game which I imagine takes a lot of work to make. I thought 1 million units would probably break even but not produce enough profit to be really encouraging, but if indeed that was plenty to make a Witcher 3 viable then that's excellent news.

Whilst indeed expansive, it's a PC game. They don't have to pay licensing fees to MS or Sony, and a lot of the sale were through their own store, but regardless, it didn't have that big a budget, so there wasn't as much to recoup. PC games never need to sell as many as console games to make profit.

And yeah, they mentioned W3 being a thing a few months after the release, so it was clearly a nice profit for them at that time.

If I remember the budget for the game was roughly $10 million - Poland has lower wages, etc, so that helps as well. And as Alex correctly states, they make more money of a PC sale than a console sale. Both have a publisher cut but then MS takes its own cut (and certification costs).

MS always takes it cut. Even if it mean OWNING YOUR FUCKING DREAMS! Ha Ha.

#45 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

I would say China has the largest population of people not paying for software, movies, music, hell even hardware with their cheap knock offs.

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