A 1.34 Million Dollar Vote of Confidence
Double Fine Productions boss, Tim Schafer, set tongues wagging this week when a Twitter conversation he had with Minecraft’s Markus ‘Notch’ Persson led to a new found hope that Schafer would finally get the funding to begin production on the much discussed Psychonauts 2, yet it stands as a testament to the enormity of the past 24 hours that this interaction will likely stand as a footnote to the week’s Schafer related news.
What news could overshadow this lifeline to the much loved Psychonauts franchise? How about a brand new traditional style adventure game co-created by Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, the masterminds behind the Monkey Island series? Schafer announced his new project on the Kickstarter website, a website dedicated to sourcing fan seed money for the development of independent projects. Schafer boldly announced his intention to generate $400,000 in this manner within thirty days, yet just eight hours after the page went live the target was already reached, and then soundly bested. The sum raised currently stands at 1.34 million dollars as of writing, yet this figure tends to inflate by the hour.
For the modest sum of fifteen dollars gamers will receive access to both beta and release versions of the game (through Steam), as well as a comprehensive and ongoing video series documenting the creation of the game – while for a pledge of $100 gamers can have themselves immortalised in the game’s credits. There are of course a higher tier of rewards on offer for high rollers, however these finite perks have been largely exhausted, with eighty people having pledged over a thousand dollars, ten people pledging over five thousand dollars and one person having pledged over ten thousand dollars. Schafer’s stated aim with the game is for it to have a quick turn-around of between six and nine months, yet given the staggering magnitude of extra funding accrued over the last day, one would be ill-advised to rule out an extravagant revision to the game design.
Namco Bandai Post Bumper Third Quarter Results on the Back of Xillia
Namco Bandai have seen both their revenue stream and overall profits grow by a substantial margin during the third quarter of the 2011 business year, leading to impressive year on year results. The company’s most impressive sales have been on the PS3 platform.
Namco Bandai have posted their third quarter results this week to stunning effect. Namco Bandai’s content division saw revenues increase from $756.8 million in 2010 to $832.5 million in 2011. Meanwhile opperating revenue increased from $79.2 million in 2010 to $80.6 million in 2011. In terms of the overall business, revenues were up from $1.5 billion in 2010 to $1.7 billion in 2011, while profits were up from $72.1 million in 2010 to $106.5 million in 2011.
Namco Bandai’s blockbuster JRPG, Tales of Xillia, along with Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. have been credited with the corporate software arm’s good fortune, selling 760,000 and 550,000 units respectively. Other notable performers were Ben 10 Racing, AKB1/482 and One Piece Giant Battle.
With such robust fortunes bestowed upon them, one can but hope that Namco Bandai will see fit to release Tales of Xillia stateside within the near future.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Launches to Solid First Week Sales in the West
Lusipurr.com game of the month (if not year), Final Fantasy XIII-2, has launched to a fairly solid first week of sales, seeing PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game ranking in positions one and two of the global top ten.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 saw initial US sales of 425,951 on the PS3 and 152,118 units sold on the 360. Meanwhile Europe was able to amass similarly sound figures with 264,897 units sold for the PS3 and 145,421 units sold on the 360. Finally, the game has seen moderate success in the World’s other sundry territories, accruing 0.13 million in sales for the PS3 and 0.04 million units sold on the 360. When combined into the totals already generated by the Japanese market’s three month headstart, the totals for the game stand at 1.64 million units sold on PS3 and 0.36 million units sold 360.
While these figures may constitute a drop-off in relation to the extremely top heavy sales of Final Fantasy XIII, they nevertheless represent solid sales for a JRPG in the West, and provide a firm base for the game to build on in subsequent weeks. The big question will be whether word of mouth is able to excite some kind of momentum behind the game, making its sales more evergreen than those of its highly controversial prequel. At any rate, it would be a regrettable mistake for any JRPG fan to miss out on Square Enix’s sincere apology for the missteps taken with the previous game.