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Over 200 thousand people buy crappy game

April 14th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

GSC Game World has announced that it has sold 200,000 copies of Alexander outside the former Soviet Union. This is for a game that has a 54.9 score at Gamerankings. The notable outliers are a 77 from PCGamer (US) and a 7 from IGN (which is like a 5 when the exchange rate is taken into consideration.)

The complete and total failure of the Oliver Stone movie it is based on would lead one to believe that there is no way that the movie could have driven sales. It did make a profit, thanks to worldwide sales, however. Could the vast foreign markets for Hollywood films (and Hasselhof albums) also make a bad game a hit?

You have to remember that GSC also developed Cossacks – the huge hit in Europe that made a minor splash over here. They have an audience of loyal followers, many of whom likely heard that Alexander would premiere the new Cossacks II engine.

Is 200,000 a lot of people? It’s ten times smaller than the Cossacks sales, but is a lot of people. I’m not sure if they were given the rights or if they had to buy them from Stone and company. Since the engine was already underdevelopment, all that was really needed was some skinning and making some campaigns, so the development costs should not have been sky-high.

I haven’t met anyone yet who thinks that the game was good, let alone great. But a lot of people (presumably the GSC core Euro-audience) bought it. Which leads to me to believe that a lot of the non-English language gaming press might have been nicer to it; they could hardly have been more cruel. Since I know that there are Europeans reading this blog, I wonder if they can help solve the mystery of a bad strategy game based on a bad movie garnering more than respectable sales.


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