Guys, I just got done reading an article about Uncharted 4’s record-breaking sales, and I have just got to share the statistics with you. In just the first week, it sold over 2.7 million copies, and in the following month it has sold nearly a million more. What an accomplishment. What a testament to the awe-inspiring artistry of Naughty Dog and friends. What an eternal bit of proof that Uncharted is still one of the greatest game series of all time, if not more than that.
Who can even compete with Naughty Dog? I mean, they’re just so incredible at what they do; what makes any other developer think they can match its success? The nerve. The arrogance! They might as well stop making games altogether after the success of Uncharted. Surely no one will ever match its success after securing such an immense fan-base. Why, just think! 2.7 million gamers all bought Uncharted 4, out of who knows how many.
Hey, wait a second. Just how many gamers are there in the world? It can’t be much more than 2.7 million. Those sales numbers wouldn’t be breaking news if there were more than, say, five million gamers on the planet. Let’s Google the number of gamers surveyed around the world and confirm Naughty Dog’s supremacy.
What?! There are 1.2 billion gamers in the world? How can this be? Well, I guess since there are more than 400,000,000 people in America alone it’s not surprising; at least a couple hundred million Americans must play games. And China has a population of 1.3 billion, so there’s a few hundred million more gamers. Huh… I guess it’s not so preposterous. And look at the date of the survey! November 25, 2013. That was almost three years ago! There must be millions more gamers by now if you consider how quickly the industry is growing.
How very deceptive of Playstation Magazine to make me think Naughty Dog had made some sort of outstanding achievement. They only managed to appeal to 1/400 of the entire gaming population! The buffoons. The nitwits! The absolute madmen. There’s nothing impressive about them at all!
”But Pon, hold your horses! Just because 1.2 billion people play video games doesn’t mean Naughty Dog is a failure! The Playstation 4 only just came out three years ago, and it’s only sold 40 million units. You can’t expect all 1.2 billion gamers to go out and buy Uncharted 4. The most you should expect is 40 million, and even that’s a stretch! You’ve gotta understand people’s various tastes.”
Darn it, you’re so right. Just because more than a billion people around the world love playing games doesn’t mean they ought to want to play the best games out there, such as Uncharted 4. It’s totally understandable.
Actually, that’s crazy. If Uncharted was truly one of the greatest video games in the whole world, and really contained an undeniably brilliant storyline, every person who played it would be urging all of their family and friends to go out and buy a PS4 so they could play it, and they wouldn’t cease to pressure them into doing it until it had been done. The fact that more than 90% of those 1.2 billion people don’t feel motivated to go out and buy the PS4 (or any console) is proof that the industry doesn’t have that universally acclaimed stroke of genius that simply everyone must experience. This industry is filled to the brim with an untapped player base, and the top game publishers don’t even seem to realize it. Who even says 1.2 billion is the limit? If someone managed to create the kind of game I’m talking about, it would introduce millions more people to video games; perhaps a billion more.
There is one one solitary example I can use to prove this point, but it obviously doesn’t lie in the video game industry.
When Star Wars first came to theaters, its meaningful characters, breathtaking worlds, and iconic imagery were irresistible to the entire world, drawing enormous crowds which stretched around whole city blocks. Fans were not only insisting that their friends go and watch it, but they themselves were returning to the theater to watch it again and again for their own enjoyment. Star Wars was a definitive game-changer, and to this day its sequels draw record-breaking viewership.
Where is the Star Wars of the gaming industry? Where is that irresistible game, with that overwhelmingly powerful story which no one can turn down without feeling like they’re missing out big-time? We don’t have it yet, but it’s an inevitability. Star Wars isn’t even the pinnacle of storytelling. Think of the possibilities waiting to be unleashed on us!
I’m sure many people think they’re satisfied with the current games we’re stuck with, but I only see room for improvement. Gamers are not experiencing the best this industry has to offer. A few million copies getting sold really shouldn’t astonish anyone. It’s just a fact of life that in any industry with a large consumer-base, there will always be an audience for lame products. This principle applies to every industry; if you’ve got millions of people shopping for something, a certain percentage of them are guaranteed to be indifferent about the quality of the stuff they buy, and thus end up supporting awful companies. I’ll be impressed (and you should be, too) when a game manages to sell 500,000,000+ copies as soon as it releases, not 2.7 million copies out of 1.2 billion people!
Oh, and one more point. If you’re thinking of boycotting video games until developers come up with something better, you need to understand something: It is impossible to boycott any kind of product unless there’s a better alternative for people to choose. This is ultimately why the Playstation 4 was utterly crushing the Xbox One when they were both announced, because gamers had a better alternative to Microsoft’s ridiculous DRM policies. If they hadn’t reversed their decision, the PS4 would be the only viable next-gen console in this generation. And likewise, when that perfect masterpiece of a game does come along, and it objectively innovates beyond anything ever seen before, it will replace all products before it and become the new standard of quality. That’s how innovation works: People don’t know what they want until you give it to them, but when they do get it, they can never go back to the old standard. That’s why we don’t use oil lamps anymore, ’cause a guy named Thomas Edison gave us the electric light.
Cheers, and thanks for reading!