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Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Sets Sales Record

Article posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Releasing PC games at retail may no longer be necessary for independent developers

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion has crushed the existing records at Stardock to become the fastest-selling title in the company's history. Since the release of Sins: Rebellion in mid June 2012, Stardock has sold over 100,000 units. The game is the first major Stardock game not released at retail, and instead, it was released initially via Steam, GameStop, and direct from Stardock. Additionally, Steam sell-through of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion in the first 30 days beat the combined sell-through of all physical retailers during the same period for the original Sins of a Solar Empire.

"When we combine our direct sales of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion with the sales from GameStop, we see unit sales similar to what we've seen previously when at retail. This contradicts our projection that sales via Steam would share the overall digital pie we'd previously seen," said Brad Wardell, president & CEO of Stardock. "Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion on Steam didn't cannibalize its GameStop or direct sales."

Wardell continued, "Normally, when you get sales figures, the publisher is talking about overall sell-in, not sell-through. But that figure is largely irrelevant, other than sounding awesome because anything that doesn't sell at retail later gets marked down or returned."

Stardock is in the process of re-evaluating its global retail strategy with future games. As a result of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion's success, The Political Machine 2012 and Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will be released digitally through Steam, GameStop and other digital distributors, skipping retail.

"I remember it was somewhat dramatic in the community when we announced that Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion wasn't going to be at retail," said Wardell. "The reason was because we have moved away from having set release dates, which are largely announced for to kickoff presales, or for shareholders and retail distributors. Now we don't plan a release date until the game has reached a quality level where we feel comfortable doing so."

He continued, "Retailers require a six-month lead-in to reserve shelf space for indies, and that's if you can get in. By contrast, with Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, we didn't set a release date until after the public BETA feedback was universally positive."

Reviews for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion have been positive with the game averaging an overall 85 out of 100 and the title garnering several Editor's Choice awards.

Stardock has two more titles scheduled for release in 2012 - The Political Machine 2012 on July 31st and Elemental: Fallen Enchantress with a release in the fall.

To learn more visit:
Stardock: www.stardock.com
Sins of a Solar Empire: www.sinsofasolarempire.com
Elemental: www.elementalgame.com
The Political Machine: www.politicalmachine.com

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