GDC Europe: Sony, Quantic Dreams Didn't Expect Heavy Rain to Sell
The little psychological thriller that could surprised them all.
August 16, 2010
Released in February, Heavy Rain has sold 1.5 million copies and is still a full-priced game. It is expected to reach two million before its first birthday. Does the success of this different, quicktime event-driven crime drama surprise you? Because it apparently took its developer and publisher by surprise.
During a talk at the Game Developers Conference Europe today, Quantic Dream's David Cage, lead designer on Heavy Rain, revealed that he and publisher Sony didn't expect the game to be a commercial success. During development, Sony told Cage something along the lines of, "You've got this strange game from France. It's gonna review ok and sell a few copies." Heavy Rain went on to sell four times more than Sony expected and has a score of 87 on Metacritic.
"Publishers, in general, don't have balls," Cage said today. "That's a fact."
Cage's advice to developers trying to get innovative, new games published? "Give them reasons to trust you." He explained that most publishers are going to want to play it safe and release an iteration of what was successful last year. In that respect, developers who want to do something different need to earn a publisher's trust.
In Heavy Rain's case, Sony's gamble seems to have paid off.
Don't ever give up because someone thinks or says you can't. :)