Posted on December 18, 2007,

Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 Both Underperforming


That title might even be misleading – underperforming is practically an understatement for the number that Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 put up last month. While neither game did have a full month on store shelves, both put up abysmal numbers.

According to the NPD, Crysis sold only 86,633 units, while Unreal Tournament 3 did 33,995. While you can immediately attribute Crysis’ poor sales to its insane system requirements, seeing UT3 do so poorly is shocking; it’s one of the most storied PC FPS series ever.

While it is a crowded market, as Next Gen points out, it still makes you wonder how much longer publishers will be able to go with the PC version of a game as the leading SKU – or in Crysis’ case, the only SKU.

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8 Comments on Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 Both Underperforming

Ron Whitaker

On December 18, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Both of these games can attribute their poor sales to their demanding system requirements. Both games have reviewed quite well (UT3 8.9 from 1UP, Crysis 8.1 from 1UP However, they both will bring a fairly powerful PC right to its knees.

This is the problem with PC gaming that consoles don’t facee. Developers are always looking to push their medium to its limits, and Crysis certainly scrapes the edge of the envelope for today’s technology.If you’re not on the cutting edge, you’re more than likely looking at a slideshow.

The thing is, Crysis is a title that is banking on people upgrading, and if it can sell enough units to stay afloat until the majority of people have upgraded, it’s a winner.

Regardless of the example of these two games, PC still maintains the largest install base of any gaming platform, simply by virtue of being good at lots of other things too. This is why PC games are still attractive, as almost anyone can pick one up and play it.

Regardless of how good consoles are, they’re a snapshot of the point in time when their specs were set down, and PC’s always move beyond that point before the next console iteration comes around. That’s why cutting edge games usually target PC gamers first.


On December 18, 2007 at 12:39 pm

I’m certain that downloading is having a huge effect on PC game sales. The effect on the film industry is pretty minimal because attendances and DVD sales are still huge but I’m sure the effect on game sales is far greater because of the smaller market. Just one of the 20+ Crysis torrents I just looked at on one torrent site had been downloaded 149,368 times.

Unreal tournament is different because you need a legal version to play online. I think that game has just not caught anyone’s attention much. Maybe it will when the mods start coming out and the online community builds.

von Steyn

On December 18, 2007 at 12:42 pm

It’s never been quite as bad as this though. Developers are moving forward much too fast. They can’t expect gamers to upgrade their system every year or so, it’s just too expensive. Most people won’t pay 700 bucks for only a graphics card and if you buy a new PC your gonna have to buy a pretty expensive one to get a good card with it. To keep up with game evolution is just too expensive on the PC and even then there are often bugs and graphical glitches that make you spend hours tweaking and finetuning untill you have acceptable performance. Add to that a long install and patching process and it’s just much easier to pick up the console version. You just put the disc in and your playing the game two minutes later. Allright so you don’t get the best of the best in graphics but graphics on the next gen consoles are more then good enough. So unless your an absolute perfectionist it shouldn’t really matter. This way the PC will be dead soon gamewise, except off course for the MMORPGS that seem to be flooding the market these days.

used cisco

On December 18, 2007 at 1:16 pm

First, The market is incredibly crowded right now.

Second, maybe people are FINALLY starting to cool on the idea of buying every major FPS that comes out. There are just too many of them, and right now, too many good ones.


On December 18, 2007 at 1:48 pm

It could just be that we are sick of FPS on pc? i know like hell i am.. i bought crysis to look at the graphics as im sure about 45% of the other people who bought it did. I honestly have had more fun with Sam and Max than any other pc FPS to come out recently.

Ron Whitaker

On December 18, 2007 at 3:08 pm

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of FPS titles out there, from Bioshock to Call of Duty to Crysis. (We discussed this on our podcast a few weeks back:

I think that what is happening it that people are starting to gravitate away from singleplayer-focused shooters. Sure, every year has its exception (Bioshock), but for the most part, people are into the online world much more heavily now than ever. Someone thank Battlefield for that, would ya?

Is Crysis beautiful? Yes. Does the multiplayer in ET: Quake Wars blow it away? Also yes. This, along with the insane system requirements is one reason Crysis is doing so poorly.

John Doe

On December 19, 2007 at 9:15 pm

The speed of games technology is advancing far faster than most gamers wallets can afford to buy rigs capable of running the games at a performance quality that is flaunted through the advertising. I personally have stopped bothering to buy or play many new games, and I find myself going back to old classics as the majority of the new games offer little more than a graphical upgrade, and a story that tends to be weakly strung together as an excuse to make the pretty graphics in many games. Sadly the profitability of the FPS gaming industry is self destructive and hinges on short term life spans for games unless they are subscription based; hence why WoW is now the most played game on the planet. It offers a wide range of play experience, and it intends to do so forever on the single game. Offerings from the past like CS are still so heavily played, and why? They do not offer sensational cutting edge graphics, they offer a multiplayer experience that is outstanding. The sooner developers wake up and use their brains instead of pushing graphical boundaries that were flogged like a dead horse in the PS2/Xbox wars (where both companies realised it was useless and multiplayer was the future), the better for PC game consumers.


On December 20, 2007 at 9:22 pm

Uh, maybe UT3 isn’t selling because it crashes on many systems, including mine and has a bug that makes it suddenly hang–neither of which problems were altered by the 1.1 patch… Of course, that is assuming folks are finding this out before they decide to buy. Had I known I certainly would have waited until it was demonstrated stable.