Demon's Souls sells nearly 250K in US, Atlus posts profit - Report

Atlus-published From Software role-playing game hits sales milestone in the US after Sony passed on it for concerns over difficulty, unforgiving design decisions.

Critical acclaim and commercial success are not always doled out in proportionate amounts. While Activision's hit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold more than 6 million copies in the US in its first month on sale, GameSpot's 2009 Game of the Year, Demon's Souls, has sold a fraction of that total since its October 2009 debut.

When it comes to undermining a player's self-esteem, Demon's Souls does not pull punches.

According to a 1Up report on a localization session from last week's Game Developers Conference, the PlayStation 3-exclusive role-playing game was approaching total sales of 250,000 copies. Initial shipments of the game totaled just 15,000 copies, but the game picked up steam from positive word of mouth and critical raves.

While Demon's Souls was published by Sony in Japan, the electronics giant's European and North American gaming arms passed on publishing the unusual RPG. Speaking at the localization session, Sony Computer Entertainment VP of international software Yeonkyung Kim reportedly admitted that was a mistake, saying that concerns over its difficulty and unusual design decisions swayed the decision to let Atlus handle the international release of the game.

Atlus is apparently happy with the performance of its recent release. In a quarterly report this week, the publisher said sales of Demon's Souls were strong, helping push sales of its home gaming segment up more than 8 percent year-over-year. According to a translation by game site Siliconera, the company's six-month operating profit more than doubled, jumping 236.1 percent to 78 million yen (roughly $4.15 million).

For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review of Demon's Souls.

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Discussion

229 comments
Tombackman_5
Tombackman_5

The best RPG on the Playstation. I loved the brutal difficulty and tight controls. My second favorite game on the system behind MGS4.

xdayzdx
xdayzdx

Thats funny. This game is pushing me to buy a PS3 too.

Arthas017
Arthas017

Best games are not the ones everybody plays. This game demands dedication and time, some plp doesn't have it, which is fine but hell this is a GREAT GAME!

sguint-eyed
sguint-eyed

hah, it's not even out in europe yet... wow... but it seems a great exclusive...

Jorlen
Jorlen

I find it rather ironic that Sony passed on publishing a game that pushed me to purchase my PS3. Dear Sony, sometimes you have your heads way up your a$$es. Please learn from your mistakes, at the very least. From Software is your premier developer brethren and you piss on them. Good job.

FaintRain
FaintRain

It was a wrong disicion to make Ds so hard,i for one,was hesitant to buy it,after i bought the difficulty was one of the reasons that made the game so exciting,it's not cheap it's punishing,but it's not selling

Dragonknight0
Dragonknight0

I just remember that each region haves its own server like JP is JP server USA is USA server >_>

Dragonknight0
Dragonknight0

Yea its a poor shame if Demons Souls went out without notice. Just like VXLbeast & taxonomic said games do need to be toughen a bit (or a hell of allot). Games like CODMWF2, Dragon Age and some other games are awfully easy (even online). I starting to hate that the fact games that have difficulties change when a player want to doesn't make the game harder or easier like Halo3 or ODST (story mode) I couldn't beat Heroic mode because the enemy's were ridicules powerful and when ever I die I pop at a spot where everyone can shoot at me right away! It just make me sick when people put that to games.

taxonomic
taxonomic

I went through Demon's Souls last fall and enjoyed every minute of it, even when I was throwing my controller across the room. (The False King was, by far, the most torturous boss fight I've ever endured in a game) Though I wish they would have tacked on a level or two and put up some DLC, I was very happy with what I received. Hopefully Sony learns that gamers are sick of watered down games and want something challenging. After hearing that conference a year ago how games "Need to be finish-able" I figured gaming was done for.

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Its unfortunate that some of the best games out there doen't sell all that well, and some of the lamest ones do. okami is an excellent example. So many games deserve to do better.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

i'm glad to hear they doing well. only defeated 2 bosses and about to defeat my second. i think this is a great game, and though i'm no where near done, i hope they come out with a sequel

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

Atlus has no equal in the industry when it comes to recognizing it's fan base and unabashedly giving them what they want. They are the good guys. They make great games and I'm glad to see they also make a profit. Good for them.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

@Ripper_TV Yes, Atlus is that small. @MSG-Deathscythe Word. Except remove "hardcore" from that post. Seriously people, if you don't own an Atlus game, you aren't a gamer, it's that simple. And that's being nice. If you don't own an Atlus game, then I don't consider you worthy to be called a human being.

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

you can't call yourself a hardcore gamer if you don't own this game. only gamespot called the right Game of the Year. Uncharted 2 was great too but it was only a very close second.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

" jumping 236.1 percent to 78 million yen (roughly $4.15 million)" Is Atlus really that small of a company??

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

Good for them. Great game, and we need more difficult titles like this for gamers who consider gaming a skill as well as a hobby.

rockford417
rockford417

It is not in the UK? Can't believe Atlus missed the boat there. The whole game looks like a netherworld in Northern Ireland or Scotland. The castles and geography looks like dark to middle ages Northern Europe specificallly the UK!

rockford417
rockford417

Please release some new worlds and content. I love this game. I am on my 3rd play through at Level 208. It is sick and I have become sick for playing it. Best game of the decade! SICK! SICK! SICK!

Franzkill
Franzkill

*Writes notes to From Software :) 1) Please release this game in the EU soon with some extra content. 2) Please make a sequel to Otogi 2 3) Please apologise for damaging the latter Tenchu series

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Great to see Altus doing well with a game, though 250k sales seems kind of light. Granted they only handled the port, but I thought a lot of devs were saying you normally need to hit around 1 million in sales to break even on the current gen consoles. If so they still have a ways to go. :(

johnnyjh89
johnnyjh89

@Sefrig. I didn't know that, about Atlus never-mind then

northArrow
northArrow

Didn't deserve GOTY IMO, but it's still good to see Atlus doing well

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

If you live in the EU, go and BUY IT ON EBAY. PS3 games are region free. There's no need to wait for a EU release.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wonzan
wonzan

WHERE IS THE DAMN EU RELEASE!?

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

So the game is very hard, It didn't scare me away to buy the game.. That's because i am a hard core gamer and i don't give up easily.. Can't believe people that play these type of games did not buy this because it's high difficulty.. A challenge is too difficult for you?

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

this game is one of the best but its not for everyone

Henninger
Henninger

Atlus is a good company for being a tiny company. I know a lot of ppl who buy or play their games because the products they put out arent bad.

Sefrig
Sefrig

@johnnyjh89 It was published by Atlus, who are known for making not many copies of games and spending nothing on advertising. It's got nothing to do with it being a PS3 exclusive.

Diernes
Diernes

This game really is a system seller (it was for me) and sony are stupid if they dont give it a second push and worldwide release with the proper marketing. It's a thousand times better than 95% of the games release in 2009

majere613
majere613

Just a reminder that the US version will work fine on a UK PS3 thanks to the games being region-free, and it's not to hard to find on eBay. I fear a UK release is unlikely this late in the day, so if you want to play it, get bidding! (And no, I'm not selling you my copy :P )

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

If anything hurt Demon's Souls sales, it was probably everyone saying how hard the game was. Loads of people are probably too scared to buy it because they think it'll be too hard. Demon's Souls isn't easy, but it's not impossibly hard either. People have been exaggerating how difficult it is. Ninja Gaiden is harder than Demon's Souls.

johnnyjh89
johnnyjh89

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cowdrunk
cowdrunk

does this mean that Atlus won't get to put out the next one?

ahpuck
ahpuck

@ mightycloud. yes indeed, most games now days are on the baby difficulty setting (final fantasy 13, anyone?) they make them pretty, they add meaningless trophies or achievements, but they don't make them challenging.

TrueIori
TrueIori

Part Deux Please >:). Btw if you have a major company admitting they did not want to port game because it too hard , shows how carebear people are becoming -_-

zeniftan
zeniftan

Good. Maybe now they can actually try to get it overseas to the UK. Maybe then I could buy it and add to their profits.

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

@mightycloud, Well said. I mean, I do occasionally like playing "cotton wool covered games", but it seems like ALL of them are becoming that way, and challenging games are becoming extinct. I wonder if it's because the game industries today are focusing so much more on the visuals than the actual game-play that they don't have time to engineer the balance of difficulty, so they just make it easy.

NoelXYeul
NoelXYeul

That's great. Maybe Atlus will release even more RPGs than they already were...

mightycloud
mightycloud

Bring it to the UK!!!!! I really want to play this, but as it gains more cult status it gets more expensive to import. I love the idea of a challenging game like the days of old (have you tried playing with one credit on the original R-Type recently). We've all been playing too many cotton wool covered games for too long.

Uwanq
Uwanq

WTB a publisher to distribute DS to the Euro region! I'm not going to harp on about one party or the other being stupid because at the end of the day it's all down to speculative risks. One which I hope Atlus can verify for DS. If there is a euro publisher out there that's interested I certainly hope they pay attention, weigh up the costs and give us Europeans a chance. Not everyone can buy online and this would be a great title to distribute but hey don't take my word for it ask Atlus!

Fumanchu2
Fumanchu2

Sony still made money off this game as it was a system seller for me. I didn't have a PS3 when this came out. On one hand, DS sounded awesome. On the other, I was scared of it as I don't like brutally hard or annoying games. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was going to be awesome though so I got a PS3 and DS last month. It was worth every penny. I love the way they went with this game and I hope we get some more non-anime inspired JRPG's in the future.

trav75
trav75

I hate how people in Japan seem to think all American's only want to play easy games. I also hate how they sometimes "dumb" down a game's difficulty when it is release here in the US. I actually like a challenging game! Most of the recent RPG's are so easy that it is almost pointless.