Days Gone Game director Jeff Ross has tweeted a response to this week’s announcement of Ghost of Tsushima’s success, and he doesn’t sound all that happy about it. During its CES 2022 press conference earlier this week, Sony Interactive Entertainment proudly announced that Sucker Punch’s open world action-adventure Ghost of Tsushima had sold over 8 million units since launching in July 2020. Introducing new first-party IP is always a high-risk move for a platform holder, so when it pays off so spectacularly, it’s a real cause for celebration. But Jeff Ross won’t be joining the party.
In his tweet, Ross insists that Days Gone achieved roughly the same sales in approximately the same time frame as Ghost of Tsushima. Yet, the game was regarded as a “big disappointment” by senior management at Sony. Days Gone did indeed sell about as many copies as Ghost of Tsushima, but there are two major differences that probably explain Sony’s disappointment, and the fact that Days Gone has not spawned a sequel.
First, Days Gone was not well-received by critics, earning a mediocre 71 on Metacritic and getting a pretty severe panning from some major outlets. The general consensus was that it was a waste of potential that, after a promising start, got boring pretty quickly. But 8 million sales is 8 million sales, right? Well, not really, no. As Days Gone’s creative director John Garvin pointed out on David Jaffe’s podcast last year, 8 million sales isn’t that good if a big chunk of those sales come after the game’s price is slashed. Ghost of Tsushima presumably made most of its sales at full price. While Days Gone, given those mixed reviews, required price cuts to persuade customers to take a punt on it.