Speaking to fellow former Sony developer David Jaffe, Garvin said (via VGC) that "If you love a game, buy it at full ****ing price," and said he has heard players talk about getting games on sale or through PlayStation Plus, instead.
Jaffe asked the obvious rebuttal to this, which is how can you know you love a game you haven't played? Garvin doubled down but didn't have much of an answer. He pointed to the PS4-exclusive God of War getting more support out of the gate.
NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella, who previously worked for both Activision and Warner Bros. in the business and sales planning departments, disagreed with putting the blame on players.
I've been a part of the launch of hundreds of titles, and a good chunk of them failed in the market. Post mortems were all about what we didn't get right, and what we could do better next time. If someone didn't buy the game it was our fault, not theirs.— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) April 18, 2021
"If a game didn't sell well at launch it's most likely because the game, its marketing, or its price failed to incentivize consumers to purchase. Blaming the consumer for a game not selling well at launch is a bit off the rails," Piscatella said.
Days Gone was polarizing at launch, with reviews all over the place. According to GameSpot's sister site Metacritic, they ranged from as low as 3/10 to as high as 10/10, with plenty of very low and very high scores among the 109 cataloged. By contrast, God of War's very lowest score on Metacritic was a 7.5/10 and it had more than 40 perfect scores. Seeing such praise for a game before it's out can certainly influence a buying decision.
Days Gone is free on PlayStation Plus right now and is also included in the PS5's PlayStation Plus Collection. The game releases for PC on May 18.
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