Sins of a Solar Empire total 500K

Stardock and Ironclad Games' critically acclaimed DRM-free spaceborne RTS for the PC hits half-mil milestone after seven months.

Much ado has been made over the state of PC gaming, and whether it is being slowly strangled into nonexistence by unfettered illegal file-sharing. While many companies have resorted to intrusive digital-rights management programs to keep their games out of the hands of pirates, Stardock entertainment has built a reputation of including no such measures to counter file-sharing, out of what it calls respect for the customer.

So how has this strategy panned out for the gamemaker's first third-party-published title, Ironclad Games' Sins of a Solar Empire? As reported by gaming trade site Gamasutra, Sins of a Solar Empire has surpassed 400,000 units at retail, with another 100,000 units digitally distributed through Stardock's online store, since the PC game went on sale in February. That's not a bad figure, considering Sins reportedly cost under $1 million to make.

Speaking with Gamasutra, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell attributed Sins' sales success in part to the game's broad-audience system requirements.

"Sins of a Solar Empire was explicitly designed to work on a wide variety of machines," said Wardell. "It will run on a four-year-old video card, and it looks great...You make those kinds of design decisions, and you greatly increase the number of people who can play your game. You lose out on some piddly super-mega effect, but you get those units. The results come in sales."

For more on Ironclad's critically acclaimed interstellar real-time strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire, check out GameSpot's full review.

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Discussion

123 comments
Blademaestor
Blademaestor

Stardock's policy on no DRM is great - rewarding players for signing up online and not crippling systems of honest customers. Not to mention the game itself is amazing, one of the few games that you can really delve into for serious amounts of time! Nice how they actually consider gamers with older rigs out there, not everyone has the money to splash out on a new graphics card every few months. Congratulations Stardock!

chuamishael
chuamishael

This Game Rock!! I just love Galactic games like this, including mass effect and spore. too bad. spore got this DRM thing. :/

foxracing1313
foxracing1313

mbashour you've clearly never played this game. The average game lasts about 6 hours and it might be the deepest most non-linear RTS game out there. *_*

mbashour
mbashour

if you like boring, linear RTS's look no further

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Ever since I enjoyed Galactic Civ Stardock has been one of the premier PC devs in my opinion. They no BS distribution model and games I actually want to play instead of rehashed sequels of sequels. it is good to see them doing well.

BigDaddy973
BigDaddy973

Thats what I like to hear, also this game was very good I hear, so it is nice to see a game that did not cost that much to make do so well! And to be very good, not just another piece of garbage like so many other low budget games! Congrats!

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Never played it myself...Galactic Civ II and the expansions sucked up all my time...

ssjdagas
ssjdagas

Not bad for a complex space strategy game, that's not exactly mainstream. I found the lack of a main story to be a huge flaw, but good for them that others liked it.

LanceRagobar
LanceRagobar

this has gotten sooo boring after playing it for a while i dont see what people are saying limitless replay value.... it is very limited

pcgamer522
pcgamer522

Good, Sins is a great game, with limitless replay value.

DigitalExile
DigitalExile

I wasn't as thrilled with this game as I thought I'd be, but that is in no part due to game design, just my personal opinion. I'm happy to hear it's sold so much though. I haven't been fussed around by copy protection software so I don't know what to make of that. I'm one of those gamers that doesn't care about graphics. No doubt graphics are awesome and play a part, and should be at certain levels as time goes on, but making every game as taxing as you can is like making every single car as luxurious as a Bentley. It just doesn't work, which is why I think the PC market is failing.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

"why can't they make that for all games?!" Because a lot of h@rDk0r3 l33t g@m3 media types ignore games without cutting edge graphics. Wardell commented on his blog how much coverage Sins *didn't* get from the PC gaming media because the game wasn't "cool" enough.

Squeets
Squeets

Cost less than $1m to make lol... I have easily spent 10 times longer playing this than GTA4 and that cost over $100m to make... LOL that is crazy... these guys are good...

Squeets
Squeets

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

Hydrolix
Hydrolix

awesome strategy game...you should play it if you haven't!!!

schinkinator
schinkinator

Stardock you did something a lot of other companies forget to do. Trust the consumer.

aupipboy
aupipboy

Well put Humorguy. World of Warcraft proved that you do not need a machine on steroids to play an addictive game. Christ even Titan Quest as old as it is can still cause a person to sit hunch backed at their computer for hours on end. Sins is a great game. Spore looks to be fitting that bill as well. So yea, here's to hoping that game designers get their finger out of their cracks and start making games that have content and not just shine. Balders Gate, Icewind Dale, X3, Freespace, Spore, Titan Quest etc etc etc.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

What I have been saying for years - and getting flamed for my time - that if PC games ran on more machines and did not need constant upgrades, PC gaming would not be struggling.When you consider this title has sold half the units that Crysis did in it's first 3 month period, and that it cost a million versus the 20 million Crysis cost, you can see the income benefits. So let's have more games using the perfectly adequate Half Life 2, Far Cry and STALKER engines, let give more media coverage to games like this and Space Rangers 2 (A similar style game I can totally totally recommend!), let's be more accepting of games like Two Worlds and White Gold that don't have Crysis/Oblivion levels of graphics and recognise that we need a wide range of PC games both with regard different genres (instead of nearly every PC game becoming FPS/TPS's!) and hardware requirements so everyone can take pat in PC gaming and therefore save PC gaming from what is currently a bleak future!

TehEliteElite
TehEliteElite

I still need to get SoaSE, it looks really good.

Nero_
Nero_

Although this type of game is not my thing, being a PC gamer I'm very happy to hear this news.

solidgearmetal
solidgearmetal

I remember installing this game and couldn't believe there was no serial key required. And to hear that they've been able to sell 500,000 copies is amazing. As long as PC games stay around $40-$50 they will sell while console prices will continue to rise. Besides that, PC games still are the forefront of the industry as far as r&d is concerned. People forget that console games are made on computers. You won't see games like Crysis on a console.

phendogg
phendogg

It is all about good game play and this game has it. It is not the best looking game i have ever played but sure is one of the funnest.

onemileperhour
onemileperhour

this makes me very happy. i think that their success is also based on how simple the game is. since i am a rts newb i found it especially pleasing

daf269
daf269

Cheers stardock! Love your policies.. and keep producing good games. Can't wait till demi-god comes out.

-Gray_Fox-
-Gray_Fox-

to be honest! I'm happy for hearing this! "It will run on a four-year-old video card, and it looks great..." that's awesome, why can't they make that for all games?! let the game have great graphics and it will do for who bought high end PCs, but also it could be run on lower PCs. "Stardock entertainment has built a reputation of including no such measures to counter file-sharing, out of what it calls respect for the customer. " that's so COOL!!!

skrat_01
skrat_01

Fantastic, awesome game, glad I bought it on release. Iron Clad deserve the sales.

john_russel
john_russel

yeah, I think I like this studio. Unlike other studios, they think of their costumers, for example the video cards and the fact that the game can run on an old pc and still look nice.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

OgreB their reson behind the no coppy protection is because it only hurts the people that pay for the game... plus you make a game that will run on a wider range of systems will allow more people to play... why make a game that only 2% can play when you can make a game that 80% can play... its not rocket science.. I just wish more companies where like Stardock

OgreB
OgreB

Thats really good considering there was no kind of copy protection/anti piracy. Make good game and they will come... Bully for them... Sins was a great game...!!!

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

"If you make a good game, it'll sell." There've been a lot of good games that were financial flops. Its not that simple, I'm afraid, as much as I wish it was. "Being true to the art and making games for playng always beats the ones who make games only for money." You need to read up on Brad Wardell. He's very much a business man, and there were a lot of business-motivated decisions behind Sins and GalCiv2, such as lower system requirements, no DRM, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but again, its not quite that simple.

aj_marquez
aj_marquez

To acidbite You're very right in that

hongkingkong
hongkingkong

It must be really rewarding to make a great game and have it sell well.

acidbite
acidbite

Being true to the art and making games for playng always beats the ones who make games only for money.

K_M82
K_M82

Wow half a million, that's really good considering this is not mainstream games. Space strategy has very small audience if you compare it to standard strategy or shooters. Good job stardock and ironclad.

gennick217
gennick217

Sins is such a great game I have spent countless hours playing it I guess I am old school cause I think some games just are best played on a PC I think Sins would suck on a console IMO

ctg867
ctg867

I'm telling you, if they would bring this to the consoles, they would of sold that much in it's first couple of months. *As money flies out the window and is never seen again* If you make a good game, it'll sell. Make a good game and put it on more then one platform, and it'll sell more. Simple as that.

Mp5slipknot
Mp5slipknot

Oh wow, 500,000 units sold eh. That's great news, glad to hear the game has done well, it deserves it. Sins is a very good game.

baal46
baal46

Sins is a fantastic game. Its unique, engaging and fun. The RTS genre as a whole can never be the same on a console, and it is always a risky move to develop a PC exclusive. It shows dedication to their vision and the artform. Stardock and Ironclad deserve all the success they get.

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

That's nice to hear. I was worried Sins wouldn't sell well due to its exclusive PC roots and refusal to turn towards underhanded methods. I've been meaning to buy the game for a while now but I thought my laptop couldn't handle it. Of course, now hearing that its minimum specs are actually quite low, I think I'm definitely going to check it out.

moh_sakhaii
moh_sakhaii

EA really should take note about respect for customers.I hate EA.God I always asked why people are saying that now with the release of merc2 I'm convinced we should hate them.

denolitions
denolitions

this is one of those games that'll probably get a sequel. which will rock!!!!!!

TWiSTEDmerc
TWiSTEDmerc

Don't hear much about PC games getting high sales, this will be one of the few companies able to stay exclusive to the pc for the next while.

MrGordons
MrGordons

spore could learn something from this....

Skyriderlink
Skyriderlink

I like sins and I am still playing even after a few months.

Elhan
Elhan

Koal Jadian, want some cheese to go with your whine?

veitari
veitari

Nice one Stardock. It's a fun game, and runs fine on my pitiful pc. And best of all, no DRM. Take note EA.