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Heavy Rain sales pass 1 million: what does this mean for the game?


Speaking in an interview with Play3 (sadly not our third iteration, but in fact a German gaming site), Quantic Dream head honcho (and all around bloke who talks a lot) David Cage has revealed Heavy Rain has sold well above expected figures. The game has surpassed the one million mark around the world and the company have set their projected sales figures to 1.5 million by the end of the year*.

What does this mean though? Have the public found it in themselves to embrace a game that tries something different? We’re all too happy to admit that this is a game that divides opinion – there was much debate in the Play team (and the Imagine offices in general) as to how good the game really is, and for everyone who agrees with our 94% score we have another who thinks it’s the worst excuse for a “game” ever made. But there’s no denying it tries something different, and the fact that it has sold so well while being so at odds with other popular titles shows that there is indeed a market for games that aren’t about the military killing people.

But why has it sold so well? Is it the mind-blowing review scores? Hardly – they’ve generally been high, but have been a heavy mix – Metacritic ranks the game at 87%, so it’s not that the scores are as spectacular as something like Uncharted 2. Word of mouth can have been a factor, and the fact the game can be played successfully by those who have never played a game comes into it too: “hey, try this game I bought” “oh, I like it – I’ll go buy it myself” – as your friends may or may not have said.

But the biggest factor of sales has to be the simplest one: the game was advertised non-stop for weeks on end. You couldn’t sit through a break in programming without seeing an ad, and it’s this kind of thing that really does drive sales. Increase awareness, put it in peoples heads and they will keep an eye out for it when they next visit a games shop. It’s annoying that marketing clearly has such clout (but that’s another discussion altogether), but it’s great to see such an interesting game getting the break it deserves instead of being forgotten about and laughed off.

*The quote is in German, but if you want to translate it for yourself feel free:

Auch sehr gut. Wir haben mehr als eine Millionen Exemplare von Heavy Rain weltweit verkauft. Das war für viele eine Überraschung – einige erwarteten eher 200.000 bis 300.000 verkaufte Einheiten. Wir rechnen damit, bis zum Ende diesen Jahres 1.5 Millionen Einheiten zu verkaufen und sind sehr zufrieden mit dem Ergebnis.”

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  • Dave Moore

    yes but how many of that million have liked the game? how many have traded it in.its like box office takings,they are meaningless figures.i payed to see avatar and hated every self indulgent minute,so my cash has made it successful even though i hated it,same with heavy rain.

  • MarkeyMan90

    I think Heavy Rain is a great game and it diserves these sales figures, even though if I am honest I prefered Fahrenheit, the first game David Cage (Quantic Dream) made and that didn’t sell aswell as HR I don’t think.

    p.s. To David Moore: You didn’t like Avatar?!

  • Dave Moore

    i couldve put that better-i do like heavy rain,but my point is the figures are meaningless.and yes,i really hated avatar.

  • david

    I bought Heavy Rain on Wednesday, having decided to not wait for a price drop like I was going to, but now i’m glad I did. Heavy Rain is a really entertaining title, excluding a few poor sections where the controls were annoyingly inadequate. Plus out of the slim picking out now (God of War isn’t my sort of thing) it is by far the best.

    P.S. I have to agree with Dave Moore on Avatar, it was only an average film if you weren’t won over by the 3D, a fad which I hope will die down.

  • lDEFYl

    I do think this game does deserve all of the sales and all other positive praise it’s getting. HR is not perfect, but because of it I am really into the interactive drama genre now, truly a different and exciting gaming experience

  • Booboozulu

    Heavy rain is gash!

    Played it for an hour, disliked it, traded it in for BBC2!

    Even that wasn’t good, so back to playing MW2!

  • koppert79

    People are pleased and refreshed at playing something original. For me this was the most enjoyable part of the game and i really got into the characters. It was a brilliant adventure