Sins of a Solar Empire shifts over 500,000 units

PC developer and publisher Stardock — a company well known for treating their customers with respecthas revealed that Ironclad Games’ real-time strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire has sold over 500,000 units since its release in February. Retail copies accounted for four-fifths of the total sales, while 100,000 were distributed digitally.

Sins of a Solar Empire was explicitly designed to work on a wide variety of machines,” said Stardock CEO Brad Wardell, who attributes many of these sales to the title’s low system requirements. “It will run on a four-year-old video card, and it looks great.”

As an example of where they were able to cut corners, Wardell mentions that ship turrets don’t move, saying that “Sure, we could have done that, but that requires higher-end hardware, and most people don’t even realize it doesn’t have that. You make those kinds of design decisions, and you greatly increase the number of people who can play your game. You lose out on some piddly super-mega effect, but you get those units. The results come in sales.”

I think Wardell is absolutely right in that PC games need to be able to scale well on a variety of different hardware levels; not only to reach the largest audience possible, but to also make the platform more appealing to those that aren’t as hardware savvy as the rest of us.

Justin Villasenor