DC Universe Online’s launch week sales figures are out. As far as physical units go, DCUO shifted:
- 151 000 PS3 boxes; and
- 45 000 PC boxes.
DCUO apparently did good business on the PC in digital distribution, but I don’t have any good sources for numbers there.
It does make Sony Online Entertainment’s comments that DCUO had “sold out in a lot of stores” interesting because 200k boxes all up isn’t that much in video game terms. One of the advantages of launching so early in January (I’ve covered the disadvantages previously) would have been open water in terms of being the only major new title released. It is a positive for SOE to have sold out of DCUO (at least in North America), but they hardly flooded the market with physical copies either.
It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint
All that said, MMOs are long-term investments, so how well it sold in launch week may be unimportant in the longer term if DCUO is able to grow player numbers. Initial word of mouth around DCUO is positive which will help drive those sales up, but again I see player retention as DCUO’s core challenge. (The first content patch is likely to include some content cut late in DCUO’s beta for “tweaking”, where “tweaking” means “we need some content to release 1 month from now”, some basic functionality like the auction house, some power changes that will make players unhappy as they always do and maybe the first glimpse of the DCUO cash shop content.)
We’ll see how DCUO’s sales and servers are next month.
Now, Where’s My Soapbox?
SOE continue the curious path of charging Australian players 33% more for subscription fees than the US$ / AU$ exchange rate would suggest it should be, then announced that Australians would roughly be paying 60% more for Station Cash. 100 Station Cash costs US$1, or 1 SC equals US1c. Australia is being charged AU$1.60 for 100 SC points, despite AU$1 equalling US99c. That’s a pretty big mark-up.
When pressed about this difference, the most action promised by SOE was that they’d put up an Australian price page on the DCUO site while perhaps the higher costs were due to the payment collection agency SOE were using. Every other MMO company I’m aware of manages not to charge 30%-60% more than the exchange rate would suggest is appropriate, so perhaps SOE needs to see who (say) NCsoft uses and make the switch if they want to keep the Australian market on side.
SOE may not care that much about a relatively small market, of course.