UbiSoft digital publishing manager Thomas Paincon revealed in an interview that the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network versions of From Dust sold over 500K units, as the manager discussed UbiSoft's preference of releasing games on digital platforms to retail releases.
According to Paincon, "There is less risk releasing a new game digitally. At retail, if you don't have a 90 Metacritic score and millions of fans, it's very risky to launch a new game. Look at From Dust, we sold half a million units on XBLA and PSN. Why? Because the prices were lower, but also because it was a new experience and people using digital platforms are more willing to test a new IP."
Digital downloads also have the benefit of not having the pressing need to be released during the holiday season, when AAA titles are glomming the shelves. "It's more strategic to launch downloadable games in the first half of the year or around September before the boxed blockbusters arrive," Paincon explained. "It's harder to compete for gamers' money when there are lots of new triple-A games out. Microsoft's Summer of Arcade Xbox Live promotion is a good new market that people are getting used to. And now digital is a great business for retailers as online games are part of the revenue stream for them."
UbiSoft has released such winning titles as Outland, Zeit² and Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, with I Am Alive due to be released this month. Paincon did not reveal sales numbers of the PC version of From Dust.