Left 4 Dead surpasses 2.5 million in retail sales

By Justin Mann on March 26, 2009, 6:41 PM
Left 4 Dead's sales continue to rise, proving that a game with no greater premise than shooting zombies can be very successful. By current count, the project lead for the game claims L4D has now sold 2.5 million copies in retail since it first was available on store shelves late last year. That doesn't include sales from Steam, though, as these figures are not publicly available.

What are the total sales figures for the game? Only Valve and Turtle Rock know for sure, but we can assume it's an ample number given how much Valve advertised Left 4 Dead on Steam and how well the Steam platform in general has been doing. On top of that, in the middle of last month there was a thirty-fold increase in Left 4 Dead sales during a brief half-price reduction on the game.

The Left 4 Dead DLC packages, which Valve promises to keep free, certainly help these figures as well. It would be nice, though, if they've cough up some actual numbers.




User Comments: 24

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darkshadoe said:
"the project lead for the game claims L4D has now sold 2.5 million copies in retail since it first was available on store shelves late last year. That doesn't include sales from Steam"$125 million dollars (2.5 million x $50.00) not counting what Steam has sold though it's service and the half price weekend it had about a month ago.Yep..piracy sure is hurting the gaming industry.
BlindObject said:
Xbox360 is $60 not $50.
TomSEA said:
"Yep..piracy sure is hurting the gaming industry."So exactly what's that supposed do mean, darkshadoe? First of all, that statement presumes all the money is ending up in one guy's pocket. There's usually 3 years of game development involving hundreds of employees when NO income is coming in, then there's all the R&D costs, equipment purchases and maintenance, overhead, advertising (I'm sure you saw the Left4Dead billboards and magazine ads all over the place - those aren't free), payment to distributors and resellers, packaging, printing, investor payments and a slew of other costs.Secondly, because a company makes "x" amount of money on a product, now that means it's OK to steal it? Is that how media pirates go through life? "Oh, I already gave the grocery store $20 for these groceries so I'll steal another $10 more because they've made their money." Or how about, "Batman the Dark Knight has made 500 million dollars. They've made their money - I can now sneak into the theater without paying."Lastly, this is a pretty rare happening. Not every game sells 2.5 million copies, and most don't. A decent game only sells 500k copies. Out of the hundreds of games released each year, most are lucky to break even and only a few make some profit out of it.If you don't think piracy has a negative impact on PC gaming, then you really haven't been paying attention.[Edited by TomSEA on 2009-03-27 01:18:59]
darkshadoe said:
[b]Originally posted by BlindObject:[/b][quote]Xbox360 is $60 not $50.[/quote]Left4Dead comes in 2 flavors PC - $50, Xbox 360 - $60. I used the lower number. Using either number though and given the fact that this game was pirated within the first 2 weeks of being released, my point still stands.
PanicX said:
[b]Originally posted by TomSEA:[/b]If you don't think piracy has a negative impact on PC gaming, then you really haven't been paying attention.[Edited by TomSEA on 2009-03-27 01:18:59][/quote]Just like radio broadcasting's harmed music and VHS has harmed movies?I've bought my fair share of software after using it unlicensed. Many demos are simply too inadequate if provided at all.
captain828 said:
[b]Originally posted by darkshadoe:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by BlindObject:[/b][quote]Xbox360 is $60 not $50.[/quote]Left4Dead comes in 2 flavors PC - $50, Xbox 360 - $60. I used the lower number. Using either number though and given the fact that this game was pirated within the first 2 weeks of being released, my point still stands.[/quote][b]Correction:[/b] [quote][... ]given the fact that this game was pirated [b]2 days before[/b] being released, my point still stands.[/quote]I don't even want to know how many they sold on steam... but reading this [url=http://www.techspot.com/news/33665-valves-gabe-newell-t
uts-digital-distribution.html]old news[/url] one can guess that a lot.Oh, and for those that don't understand darkshadoe's point, please see the posts [url=http://www.techspot.com/news/34023-world-of-goo-creator
tells-game-developers-to-avoid-drm.html#comments]here[/url
.
darkshadoe said:
"There's usually 3 years of game development involving hundreds of employees when NO income is coming in"So when you plan to make a game, you tell your employees "Hey..your gonna work for 3 years with no paycheck"? I don't think so."then there's all the R&D costs, equipment purchases and maintenance, overhead, advertising (I'm sure you saw the Left4Dead billboards and magazine ads all over the place - those aren't free), payment to distributors and resellers, packaging, printing, investor payments and a slew of other costs."Then how are you going to pay for all this stuff if you can't afford to pay your employees?"Batman the Dark Knight has made 500 million dollars."Actually The Dark Knight has made close to or just over 1 billion dollars worldwide and guess what..It was pirated..frequently."Lastly, this is a pretty rare happening. Not every game sells 2.5 million copies, and most don't. A decent game only sells 500k copies."Well your right..not every game sells 2.5 million copies but do these names ring a bell?Spore, Cysis, Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tornament 3 and the list goes on. All these games sold over 1 million copies, all were pirated, and all are or will have sequels. If these companies weren't making good money off these games, do you really believe that they would make a sequel?"If you don't think piracy has a negative impact on PC gaming, then you really haven't been paying attention."Lots of things are a negative impact on PC gaming..Here's a big one: The current economy. Yet, since the economy tanked a few months ago, Left4Dead managed to still sell 2.5 million copies.If you want to stop piracy, you give the people what they want at a fair price. I don't condone piracy nor do I discourage it. People have brains and can make those decisions for themselves.
darkshadoe said:
[b]Originally posted by captain828:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by darkshadoe:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by BlindObject:[/b][quote]Xbox360 is $60 not $50.[/quote]Left4Dead comes in 2 flavors PC - $50, Xbox 360 - $60. I used the lower number. Using either number though and given the fact that this game was pirated within the first 2 weeks of being released, my point still stands.[/quote][b]Correction:[/b] [quote][... ]given the fact that this game was pirated [b]2 days before[/b] being released, my point still stands.[/quote]I don't even want to know how many they sold on steam... but reading this [url=http://www.techspot.com/news/33665-valves-gabe-newell-t
uts-digital-distribution.html]old news[/url] one can guess that a lot.Oh, and for those that don't understand darkshadoe's point, please see the posts [url=http://www.techspot.com/news/34023-world-of-goo-creator
tells-game-developers-to-avoid-drm.html#comments]here[/url
.[/quote]Capt : I stand corrected..Thank you sir
captain828 said:
[b]Originally posted by TomSEA:[/b][quote]First of all, that statement presumes all the money is ending up in one guy's pocket. There's usually 3 years of game development involving hundreds of employees when NO income is coming in, then there's all the R&D costs, equipment purchases and maintenance, overhead, advertising (I'm sure you saw the Left4Dead billboards and magazine ads all over the place - those aren't free), payment to distributors and resellers, packaging, printing, investor payments and a slew of other costs.[/quote]Ok, please substract $25M that should cover all that and tell me the number.[quote]Secondly, because a company makes "x" amount of money on a product, now that means it's OK to steal it?[/quote]And... who said this?!We were just trying to point out that even with all this PC piracy the publishers/developer are still making tons of money... if the game is good of course.[quote]Lastly, this is a pretty rare happening. Not every game sells 2.5 million copies, and most don't. A decent game only sells 500k copies. Out of the hundreds of games released each year, most are lucky to break even and only a few make some profit out of it.[/quote]Please name a game (at least one!) that was great and didn't had high profits. If you're going to prove something, please have some solid facts ready!Don't tell us that you expect [b]all[/b] games to make a profit, regardless of their quality even if they had high production & marketing costs. [b]Eg.:[/b] EA was bashing piracy because NFS: Undercover didn't sell well... but they didn't take into account the game was of poor quality. [quote]If you don't think piracy has a negative impact on PC gaming, then you really haven't been paying attention.[/quote]I'm actually starting to think it has a positive impact on the PC.Devs will have to think twice (actually thrice because of the current economical climate) before developing, marketing and releasing a game on the PC that is of poor quality.It seems this is already happening as I see most released games being of high quality and even innovating their genres.
burty117 said:
I actually hate people cracking games, The people who make the games should get the money, if you feel they shouldn't then don't buy there product. I also really really hate certain ways of stopping this for example, crysis warhead only allows a certain amount of times it can install! that should not be allowed, as I have brought the game and I can only reinstall it 5 times!!! i build computers as a hobby so when I rebuild a computer I need to reinstall it but i'm now limited. I think people who are Cracking copies of games should be tracked down and shot! =P na but they should be tracked down and put in prison or something.
TomSEA said:
No one has still provided an explanation for the "they're making good money, so it's OK to pirate the game" theft justification.For PanicX, your analogy is awful. Radio for music and VHS for movies? That's not theft as what's happening in the PC Gaming world - that's free advertisement for sales on the radio side and extra sales for the VHS. You're going to have to come up with something better than that.
captain828 said:
I thought I was clear... No one said that, quit making up things and post something useful or don't post at all.
DarkCobra said:
Well said . . . You tell 'em Captain828!
TomSEA said:
No one said that? It was definitely implied with the specific reference of sales vs. pirating on the first post - in fact, the very reason the poster initiated this thread. It couldn't have been more clear.Every time this PC gaming pirating topic comes up regardless of website, the two biggest "excuses" I hear from game pirates who blatantly steal are 1) "I don't want to have to pay for crappy games" (nevermind that it doesn't stop them from still downloading and playing those "crappy" games), and 2) "the game companies already make plenty of money off off their games, my one theft doesn't matter."I'm just looking for someone who steals to stand up and explain how it's OK to steal a game because "the companies already make plenty of money," but they won't steal anywhere else when they don't have the anonimity of the Internet and BitTorrent to hide behind.
darkshadoe said:
Another "victim" of piracy..[url]http://www.gamespot.com/news/6206854.html?om_ac
=convert&om_clk=newstop&tag=newstop;title;1[/url]
TomSEA said:
Well, there ya go PC gaming pirates. The game made money - there's your excuse to go steal it.
PanicX said:
[b]Originally posted by TomSEA:[/b]For PanicX, your analogy is awful. Radio for music and VHS for movies? That's not theft as what's happening in the PC Gaming world - that's free advertisement for sales on the radio side and extra sales for the VHS. You're going to have to come up with something better than that.[/quote]An awful analogy huh.. I suppose you didnt know that radio broadcasts of music was first considered piracy. That the major music labels lobbied to make broadcasting illegal... until of course they found out the dramatic effect on sales it produced. Quickly they changed their tune.The VHS home recorder was in the same category. The movie and television industries clamored at the damages they'd suffer from people recording broadcasts. Then they found the multi billion dollar market of VHS tape sales and everything was suddenly seen in a new light.Perhaps... just perhaps... internet file sharing can have a positive effect on software sales rather than a negative. Maybe new technology doesn't need to be feared and outlawed, but instead embraced and utilized appropriately and profitably.
captain828 said:
[b]Originally posted by TomSEA:[/b][quote]No one said that? It was definitely implied[...][/quote]Reading comprehension fail? think I should post this on FAIL blog... [quote]Piracy excuses:1) "I don't want to have to pay for crappy games" (nevermind that it doesn't stop them from still downloading and playing those "crappy" games)[/quote]Fact: crappy games are the least popular variety that gets downloaded from torrent trackers. Check the numbers if you don't believe me.While I come clean that I've downloaded my fair share of crappy games, I haven't played them more than an hour (sometimes even a lot less).[quote]2) "the game companies already make plenty of money off off their games, my one theft doesn't matter."[/quote]If [b]you[/b] do this, that doesn't mean everyone else is doing it...[quote][...]But they won't steal anywhere else when they don't have the anonimity of the Internet and BitTorrent to hide behind.[/quote]So, you're implying that stealing a woman's purse in broad daylight and getting away is bollocks?!You're obviously too arrogant to even try and see how torrents work. When you download a torrent the tracker is not hidden, you can clearly see it and you can also clearly see all the peers' IPs that you connected to and they can see your IP as well.Lets say a RIAA member downloads one of these torrents and starts noting down the seeders' IPs. He then tracks those IPs to their owners and sues them.He also clearly knows the trackers that are helping with the P2P connection which always belong to a certain site, and thus can sue the site owners for copyright infringement.Does suing the people work? yes and no, because they would go bankrupt if they would sue everyone and suing just a couple of persons won't help them much either.Does suing the torrent sites work? not quite either, because a .torrent file is just a text file that contains some P2P addresses, they don't host any actual files.
darkshadoe said:
What does copyright protect?Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Do I have to register with your office to be protected?No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created.How do I get permission to use somebody else's work?You can ask for it. If you know who the copyright owner is, you may contact the owner directly. If you are not certain about the ownership or have other related questions, you may wish to request that the Copyright Office conduct a search of its records or you may search yourself.Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and if not, what is the penalty for doing so?Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution.[url]http://www.copyright.gov[/url]So..given this information, are we going to start suing our mothers for printing a recipe she saw online without obtaining permission? Technically by these definitions, anyone using the internet is guilty of some form of copyright infringement because basically the whole internet is one great big peer-to-peer network.I imagine the work here on Techspot is copyrighted. Did everyone obtain permission to download the HTML (or whatever they use) before viewing the site?If you want to punish downloaders of games,movies and music, you have to be fair and punish grandma for downloading that funny comic she sent in her email.Now i know a lot of this is ridiculous, but it shows how the gaming, movie, and music business is trying to bastardize copyright laws for profit.[Edited by darkshadoe on 2009-03-28 13:55:03][Edited by darkshadoe on 2009-03-28 14:05:38]
DarkCobra said:
Darkshadoe does an excellent job in laying out the erratic state of Copyright laws right now. Captain828 made excellent points as always as does PanicX. Yes, we very much want to protect the legitimate works of ALL artists. They have a right to be recognized for and compensated for their work. The problem is we are living in an enormously open electronic age where anything you produce and put out on the web (or in public) can easily be used by anyone (such as the pie recipe that grandma copies and e-mails).Until somebody can figure out a way to resolve this, a good general rule of thumb should be don't put ANYTHING out there for public viewing that you don't want consumed and used by others. If I make a beautiful painting and bring it out to a public park just for a day for people to see that day . . . and people take pictures of it and post them on the Web. Should I run around now and try and hunt them all down to sue them for copyright violations? I probably have a legal right to do so because they did this without permission or compensation to me. However, how practical is this going to be and why was I so foolish as to put it out there without protection from such a thing? The best way to not have people take pictures of my painting is to not put it out in open free public view of cameras. The best way to protect my music, games, programs, etc. is to not put them on the Web or the public retail shelf until I can figure out a way to make them copy proof. Failure to protect your own work is going to result in others copying it. Watermarking images is one way to make sure images are not copied and enlarged without first paying you for a non-watermarked copy. The same needs to be somehow done for games, music, etc.
Rick said:
I only read part of this and skimmed the rest, but I'd like to put in my two or three cents here.TomSEA is obviously - strongly - against piracy. The rest of you... not so much... I'm going to try to make some points though and see what you think.First, "Piracy" is a ridiculous word to use for (illegal) software copying; REAL piracy is akin to robbery and murder. Software piracy is copying without paying - plain and simple. Call it semantics, but the term 'piracy' is intended to further demonize unauthorized reproduction of software.Next, one can argue AGAINST piracy no more than others can argue FOR it. There is absolutely no accurate way to calculate the damages or rewards of people taking your software without paying. Now, with that in mind, it seems reasonable to assume that money is lost, but how much? I would argue that the majority of piracy that occurs is from people who wouldn't have purchased the game to begin with. No harm done, in those cases. Next, there are undoubtedly many people who WOULD have purchase the game if they didn't get it for free - those are the people that account for lost sales and hurt the company. And lastly -- and what I do believe to be the least likely -- pirates that end up purchasing the game or actually get others to buy it for multiplayer etc... This DOES happen, but I'm sure it is a very small percentage. [quote]I'm just looking for someone who steals to stand up and explain how it's OK to steal a game because "the companies already make plenty of money," but they won't steal anywhere else when they don't have the anonimity of the Internet and BitTorrent to hide behind. [/quote]The anonymity makes it easier, but again, it isn't stealing -- It's copying. Your presumption is that everyone who copies a game had the intent to buy it in the first place. This absolutely isn't true and I would argue it isn't even true MUCH of the time, let alone MOST of the time. My take on piracy?Yes, there will be people who expect it for free. But the large volume of 'pirates' we have now is attributable to two things: The ease of piracy and the cost of games.I know the industry has 'settled' for $50ish per game, but companies should really explore selling games for less to reduce piracy. They have to pay for their R&D etc.. But the only games that make much profit are the blockbusters. It should be no surprise that the blockbusters exist because they are just really good games. Many people won't drop $50 for every new title that comes out. That $50 gets saved for only the most deserving. That *should* mean you either make an awesome game or you lower the price on your not-so-awesome game. But pretty much every game that comes out is the same price. And let's face it - there are a lot of not-so-awesome games out there. I often wonder if (certain) games were half the price, would sell twice as many? I really think so.Additionally, I'm absolutely positive lowering the price would reduce piracy. I don't mind spending $15-$25 on a game that's not perfect. But for $50-$60... It needs to be effing awesome. And at $15 -- on principal alone -- I'm sure piracy starts to become more trouble than just buying the game. The challenge there is to find the right price to make money, but something tells me $50 isn't it.[quote]Until somebody can figure out a way to resolve this, a good general rule of thumb should be don't put ANYTHING out there for public viewing that you don't want consumed and used by others[/quote]The ease of copying titles makes "piracy" more appealing as well. There are no real repercussions for 99.98% of the software-copying that goes on. Better enforcement needs to be explored, but I disagree with most forms of DRM. Companies focus too much on restricting rights than explicitly enforcing them. Spore is a good example of copy protection gone wrong. An online game that verifies its authenticity online through an account -- now that makes sense. It's a little extra trouble, but [url=http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3173417]Valve[/url] is finally doing something interesting. Other companies will hopefully follow suit. Perhaps eventually, piracy will be *nearly* impossible. But it needs to NOT be done at the expense of genuine customers, as it often is now.[Edited by Rick on 2009-03-29 16:13:05][Edited by Rick on 2009-03-29 16:13:49]
DarkCobra said:
Even more good points to consider from Rick! What a mess huh? There's just no easy way to deal with this right now that fully makes everybody happy. I know DRM sucks (it really does) at least in its current format. Some form of DRM that isn't so restrictive on a paying customer needs to be found. Until then I'm gonna have some drinks and play some games. I got receipts for them too . . . well most of 'em! LOL!!!
Grimrocker said:
This just goes to show that when game developers stop tryin' to be money hungry and create a game which, even if isn't next-gen, has great gameplay value and also coupled with the fact that all the game updates will be totally free of cost, u can make a lotta money and give gamers what they want. End result... everyone's happy.
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