Conduit and The Grinder developer High Voltage has criticized the prevailing attitude that videogames need to sell over a million in order to be considered a success, calling such a believe "preposterous" and declaring that the industry wouldn't survive if such a believe were true.
“People look at it and they say, if it’s not a million unit seller it’s a flop. That’s preposterous,” said CEO Eric Nofsinger. “If that really were the minimum bar for a success, the game industry would be gone in under a year. There are thousands of games released that don’t sell a million units. There are like ten games a year that sell over a million units. But if you can sell a few hundred thousand copies -- 300, 400 thousand copies, which is in the range that we did -- we made money off that. We did well.
“If it costs you less to make than you end up making off the thing, you make profit. As long as the profit margin is strong enough, then you get enough of a return and you can make another. If we sold the exact same number of units [of Conduit 2] as we sold with Conduit 1, we’d be high-fiving each other. But I think we’ll do better.”
So there you go. Next time you say a Wii game has "flopped", check out how much it cost to make. It may have been more successful than you think.
1 million sales benchmark "preposterous [Eurogamer]