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Can you see the copies sold?

Last post 12/8/2008 10:05 AM by Nick Gravelyn. 25 replies.
  • 11/20/2008 9:39 AM

    Can you see the copies sold?

    Hi, I am interested if creators can see their games copies sold in service, creators that have games in 19th nov can respond to this and, how about? are you happy for the 1st day?.
  • 11/20/2008 9:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Nope. This data isn't available to us yet.
  • 11/20/2008 10:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    We know there are going to be questions about sales and downloads and we'll be getting this information available as soon as we've built something to show it. We have quite a few things to do to make that happen so in the interim we are working through some ideas to get data out to the creators. Not exactly sure when or how but we aren't ignoring the request...
  • 11/20/2008 11:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Jenkmeister:
    We know there are going to be questions about sales and downloads and we'll be getting this information available as soon as we've built something to show it. We have quite a few things to do to make that happen so in the interim we are working through some ideas to get data out to the creators. Not exactly sure when or how but we aren't ignoring the request...


    Ok, I suggest to use the purchase counter (I imagine the XBL system has one) for the creator projects information, so you can see how many purchases have been made for any project you have.

    Take your time and thanks for all efforts.
  • 11/20/2008 1:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Hmm... What do other CC members think about making downloads public? Potential purchasers could see the information via NXE, and use it to decide whether to buy the game. YouTube does this with video views, and even most eCommerce sites give some indication of an SKU's popularity.
  • 11/20/2008 4:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    I'd rather see public ratings than downloads. I don't think the number of downloads is relevant; maybe if you could see who's downloaded it, if they're your friends, so you could ask them about it. Maybe see their individual rating of the game. After all, just because a lot of people you don't know love a game doesn't mean that you will.
  • 11/20/2008 4:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Agreed that ratings is more useful than # of downloads. Seeing individual ratings would be great for just the reason Nathan states.
  • 11/20/2008 4:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    It's of note that from a user's perspective, there's something decidedly suspect about something that's got a 5/5 rating. User tests we ran at my last company for a community-based portal showed that the first thing (some) people thought was "Well, that means that only one person's rated it".

    Would you rather try out a game that an unknown number of people (possibly 1) have rated as great, or a game 500,000 people have rated as great? Referrals are the best form of purchase instigator, but it's worth bearing in mind how a lot of customers just follow the herd. After all, how many times have you seen a lame game at the top of the charts, just because "everyone has it"?

    I'm not trying to troll here, just wanting to get a bit of debate going and see what the rest of the CC populace thinks :)
  • 11/20/2008 5:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    I agree that just showing the number of downloads is useless. I also agree that just showing the rating is useless. What you have to show is "4.5 Stars! (out of 10,000 votes)". You get a rating and show how many people have rated the game. Then you know if it's 5 stars with 1 vote or 5 stars with 10,000 votes you can easily gauge whether it's just because of a small number of voters or if you actually have a quality product. It doesn't matter how many people have downloaded the game; it only matters how many have rated it.
  • 11/20/2008 6:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Nick Gravelyn:
    I agree that just showing the number of downloads is useless. I also agree that just showing the rating is useless. What you have to show is "4.5 Stars! (out of 10,000 votes)". You get a rating and show how many people have rated the game. Then you know if it's 5 stars with 1 vote or 5 stars with 10,000 votes you can easily gauge whether it's just because of a small number of voters or if you actually have a quality product. It doesn't matter how many people have downloaded the game; it only matters how many have rated it.


    Now that sounds like a more sensible idea!
  • 11/20/2008 9:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?



    What do other CC members think about making downloads public?

    Personally, the more public information (about myself, and others), the better. If there was a public report for each game featuring the following, I'd be quite excited:

    - number of "view more info" on the game
    - time spent on the game information page per view
    - time spent on the game information page for players who attempt download
    - number downloads attempted
    - number downloads completed
    - number purchases
    - cumulative time spent in trial mode per purchasing player
    - cumulative time spent in trial mode per non-purchasing player
    - average trial mode session length
    - average rating
    - number of rating players

    Ideally, we'd get the data per day, per week, per month and per quater, too.
  • 11/20/2008 9:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    jwatte:
    What do other CC members think about making downloads public?
    I think of this like any other non-public company. I should be the only one getting data on my sales and downloads. If I feel like sharing it, good for me, but I don't like the idea of them just publishing all of the statistics for my game without my permission.
  • 11/20/2008 9:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    jwatte:
    What do other CC members think about making downloads public?


    I'm in favour, as with all your other suggestions. I often used to have arguments with the global marketing director at my old workplace about sharing information, and the shifting expectation of customers in regards to companies 'opening up' to them. Hell, it took me 18 months to convince them to let me announce publicly what we were developing!

    Whilst I can understand people being uncomfortable with people knowing that much, let me put it this way: you've got nothing to hide. If you're doing something well, good for you; if you're doing something badly, trying to hide it from the world isn't as good PR as admitting what people probably already know and publicising how you're going to improve.

     * Deej gets off soapbox :)
  • 11/20/2008 10:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    I'd like to see ratings publicly made available, and with other information (units sold etc) being made available if the developer wants it made available.
  • 11/20/2008 10:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Deej:
    Whilst I can understand people being uncomfortable with people knowing that much, let me put it this way: you've got nothing to hide. If you're doing something well, good for you; if you're doing something badly, trying to hide it from the world isn't as good PR as admitting what people probably already know and publicising how you're going to improve.
    My logic is two fold:

    1) It's my business. It should be my decision to disclose how much money I am making. I'd rather the world not know my income at a glance.
    2) If I make game A and it's selling really well, others will attempt to mimic game A and shove me out of the market. Granted you can gauge this through consumer feedback, ratings, and so forth, but all of those thing don't necessarily translate into sales figures.

    I want to know that my game's financial success is only known to the people I feel like telling. It's one part privacy and one part business strategy, with privacy actually being the more important of the two reasons.

    Edit: In addition, it does my consumers no good to see how much money I've made or how much time others spend in trial mode. A public rating would suffice for that and be a much easier way for consumers to gauge whether they want to try a game or not.
  • 11/20/2008 10:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Nick Gravelyn:
    I agree that just showing the number of downloads is useless. I also agree that just showing the rating is useless. What you have to show is "4.5 Stars! (out of 10,000 votes)". You get a rating and show how many people have rated the game. Then you know if it's 5 stars with 1 vote or 5 stars with 10,000 votes you can easily gauge whether it's just because of a small number of voters or if you actually have a quality product. It doesn't matter how many people have downloaded the game; it only matters how many have rated it.


    Kongregate.com does something similar to this. A minimum 50 ratings for flash games must be received before Kongregate will display its overall rating out of 5 stars. They have a section for highest rated games, newest additions, and editors picks.

    If this was applied to the Xbox Creators Club, you would need 50 of your friends to purchase the game and rate it to get it a 5 star rating :)
  • 11/20/2008 10:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Hmm, here's a statistic that consumers may find useful - number of crashes? Although I'm not sure that'll be good for the community as a whole.

    Sounds like the 5-star rating would be best for consumers, and with more detailed stuff available to developers.

    I'd quite like bug reports from crashes to get logged and emailed to me, so if there's an issue 'in the wild' I can get an understanding of its scope without having to rely on anecdotes. I'm guessing that would require some non-trivial changes to the 360 OS and supportin infrastructure though.
  • 11/21/2008 11:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    I talk about purchases mainly because it allows you to know how much money you will have the next payment, and maybe you begin to use it in the next game, or make your own plans, but knowing the quantity before.
  • 11/21/2008 6:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?


    It's my business. It should be my decision to disclose how much money I am making.

    In general, secrecy is what led to Worldcom, Enron and similar spectacles. I used to think that information hiding was paramount, but I'm now of the opinion that society sponsors a company by giving it certain legal rights, and in return, the company should have to disclose how it's using those legal rights. In general, wherever transparency and the scientific method shines a light, bugs go away and betterment for all ensues (possibly after some "time of change.") Meanwhile, secrecy and superstition just leads to all kinds of bad, counter-productive results for society at large (and thus, long-term, to the secretive and superstitious people as well).

    Lucky this is in the business forum, or it would be totally off topic ;-)


  • 11/21/2008 6:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    jwatte:

    It's my business. It should be my decision to disclose how much money I am making.

    In general, secrecy is what led to Worldcom, Enron and similar spectacles. I used to think that information hiding was paramount, but I'm now of the opinion that society sponsors a company by giving it certain legal rights, and in return, the company should have to disclose how it's using those legal rights. In general, wherever transparency and the scientific method shines a light, bugs go away and betterment for all ensues (possibly after some "time of change.") Meanwhile, secrecy and superstition just leads to all kinds of bad, counter-productive results for society at large (and thus, long-term, to the secretive and superstitious people as well).

    Lucky this is in the business forum, or it would be totally off topic ;-)




    I thought that in the U.S. publicly traded companies must disclose their quarterly profit/losses. Private companies do not have this requirement. Nick's "company" would be private whereas Enron and Worldcom were publicly traded companies that "fixed" their books.
  • 11/21/2008 6:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    ComicSwine:
    jwatte:

    It's my business. It should be my decision to disclose how much money I am making.

    In general, secrecy is what led to Worldcom, Enron and similar spectacles. I used to think that information hiding was paramount, but I'm now of the opinion that society sponsors a company by giving it certain legal rights, and in return, the company should have to disclose how it's using those legal rights. In general, wherever transparency and the scientific method shines a light, bugs go away and betterment for all ensues (possibly after some "time of change.") Meanwhile, secrecy and superstition just leads to all kinds of bad, counter-productive results for society at large (and thus, long-term, to the secretive and superstitious people as well).

    Lucky this is in the business forum, or it would be totally off topic ;-)




    I thought that in the U.S. publicly traded companies must disclose their quarterly profit/losses. Private companies do not have this requirement. Nick's "company" would be private whereas Enron and Worldcom were publicly traded companies that "fixed" their books.
    Exactly. My company is a private company.

    I get the whole "help the community"/transparency/other arguments, but at the end of the day, it should be up to the developers to decide to share their data.
  • 11/21/2008 7:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    This thread seems to have gone in two very different directions.

    As for public numbers:
    Microsoft does not market for EA, so why should they market for you? Having MS publish numbers of any kind for your marketing purposes doesn't really sit well with me. I guess if you wanted to pay for it sure, but other than that your marketing should be up to you. I don't want me and my customers to have to pay for your marketing.

    As for private numbers:
    I think jwatte pretty much summed up what I'd like to see. They already have things like downloads and purchases ('cause they know if John Q bought your game or mine). Just send them to me, or give me a web page where I can view them, ie: My CC profile page.
  • 12/1/2008 2:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    I agree, information on my game should be distributed as I see fit.

    Unless there is a legal reason why we would be required to make this information public, then I can't imagine why anyone would want to surrender such control of inforation.  Today information is power.  Well I guess it always was, but today a whole lot more people know how to use it.

    Give us the ability to share those figures if we choose to. Don't make it automatic.
  • 12/7/2008 11:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    Nick Gravelyn:
    Deej:
    Whilst I can understand people being uncomfortable with people knowing that much, let me put it this way: you've got nothing to hide. If you're doing something well, good for you; if you're doing something badly, trying to hide it from the world isn't as good PR as admitting what people probably already know and publicising how you're going to improve.
    My logic is two fold:

    1) It's my business. It should be my decision to disclose how much money I am making. I'd rather the world not know my income at a glance.
    2) If I make game A and it's selling really well, others will attempt to mimic game A and shove me out of the market. Granted you can gauge this through consumer feedback, ratings, and so forth, but all of those thing don't necessarily translate into sales figures.

    I want to know that my game's financial success is only known to the people I feel like telling. It's one part privacy and one part business strategy, with privacy actually being the more important of the two reasons.

    Edit: In addition, it does my consumers no good to see how much money I've made or how much time others spend in trial mode. A public rating would suffice for that and be a much easier way for consumers to gauge whether they want to try a game or not.

    Afraid of long lost family members coming knocking on your door asking for cash when they hear that Small Dog sold 187,356 copies?
  • 12/8/2008 10:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Can you see the copies sold?

    So... Have sales data been made available, and would any kind soul like to give us a rough indication of how existing titles are already doing? :)
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