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Quantic Dream: Heavy Rain Proves That Innovation Can Sell

It's overly cynical to believe that innovation and originality doesn't sell, just because the mainstream masses continue to flock to Call of Duty.

If done well, innovative and highly creative titles can do extremely well. Journey is one example and Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain is another. In fact, according to studio co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere speaking during the Digital Dragons game festival in Krakow (as cited by GamesIndustry International), the critically acclaimed drama earned Sony $100 million.

This helps combat the idea that "innovation rhymes with unprofitable:"

"These projects have been and are profitable, to some extent. I'll give you one example that I know about: Heavy Rain. Let's say it's $22 million to produce. With marketing it's maybe $30 million. With distribution, $40 million. Sony earned $100 million with the game, so it's very profitable. It's the sort of margin that most publishers would strive for, for any game."

I would also like to add one thing, and this has nothing to do with ego or any such nonsense: New IPs tend to sink or swim with the response of critics. Heavy Rain was widely beloved and a great many sources told gamers to basically "play it or regret it" and when that happens, success isn't far behind. When a name isn't recognizable - i.e., it's not part of an established franchise - consumers will always be iffy and will be more inclined to check reviews.

That's just my take on the matter. By the way, as of September 2011, Heavy Rain had sold over 2 million copies.

Related Game(s): Heavy Rain

Tags: quantic dream, heavy rain, heavy rain sales

4/19/2013 9:57:22 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (8 posts)

Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 11:02:00 PM

I remember distinctly the infamously wrong Michael Pachter saying Heavy Rain would absolutely not make any money for all of it's efforts.

hehe so so wrong he is.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 9:52:30 AM

Pachter is a douche. And he gets well paid to be one :-)

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 1:03:59 AM

That is a pretty hefty margin all told.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 5:41:07 AM

2 examples out of a million do not prove a rule false, there called exceptions.
heavy rain sold decently because it really captures emotions and makes you truly care about the events and what happens.
no game has really ever done that!
had nothing to do with originality!
id be nice if it was true, but sadly the fact of the matter is its not.
most developers who dare to think outside the square they live in are rewarded and thanked with a piece of paper, and a walk out the door to the elevator.
sad fact of life!

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 10:56:11 AM

... and still, some publishers consider two mill to be such a failure they kill IPs over it.

Go figure.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 8:27:24 PM

I was thinking the exact same thing. I don't care for the game but I know it was great and sold well, Square however thinks Tomb Raider is a failure for selling "only" about 3 mil in a month. Priorities: They need them.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 1:15:52 PM

Never known Pachter to be right, but then I never really listen to him so maybe he is on the occasion.

Heavy Rain and Uncharted were games that knew how to tell a story. But Heavy Rain was about individual experience. You made choices and there were repercussions. I would not say it was 100% perfect, but it was definitely a success in trying something that most of the games do not offer along with a bit of originality.

Good on them and I hope it spurs others to try something new and different.

Keep Playing!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 7:50:06 PM

Heavy Rain was successful because of the individual experience. I had 6-8 friends all play and each of them encountered different scenes throughout the game and each had only a few of the characters for the end.

It was entertaining because the story drove the gameplay, not the other way around. I feel most studios create compelling gameplay and then try to wrap a story around it. Constantly repeating that process creates a downfall of player interest and wages your game on its gameplay alone; bad idea.

I can't wait to see Beyond: Two Souls, seems to take a similar approach but I'm not entirely sure how the gameplay works, any opinions?

Last edited by ransomink on 4/21/2013 7:51:17 PM

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