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Christopher Low

Great games that bombed at UK retail

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The latest issue of PC Gamer (UK edition) includes an interesting article about the best selling PC games in the UK. There is a list of the Top 50, but there are also other lists with some very interesting information. Top of the main list (predictably) is THE SIMS at around 750,000 copies (and this doesn't include any of the add-ons). This is followed by HALF LIFE at 470,000 copies, which clearly shows just how popular Will Wright's creation is. Probably of more interest to everyone here is the fact that there is only ONE flight simulator in this elite list (Microsoft's Combat Flight Simulator), with just over 200,000 copies sold.Unfortunately, there is also a list of ten of the greatest games that bombed at retail outlets, and Flight Unlimited 3 is one of them...........a mere 23,500 copies sold since October 1999.However, not all news is bad news. A further list shows ten games that have sold like hot cakes since they were re-released on a budget label, and that list includes Flight Unlimited 2. This has now sold around 127,000 copies (approximately 78 per cent of which have been budget copies).What does this fascinating article tell us ? Well, it tells me that someone, somewhere should released Flight Unlimited 3 on a budget label AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ! The article seemed to indicate that Flight Unlimited 2 was selling well as a consequence of the increased power of PC's since it was released. In my opinion, this is even more relevant for Flight Unlimited 3.Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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True!I remember reading an article of FU3 just after the realease in 99.Some people over at L.G. had been concerned about the huge recoursesthis sim was using, and not many people had a better PC than a P2-400at that time.The programmers simply refused to do anything less than the latestknowledge for programming and graphic tecknology, and this must be some of the reason that the sim came out as it was, and customers complaining everywhere about the framerates and a not well running game.I guess many gave up using it, and after a while forgot about it.With a New realease I am sure this would bring new life to the FlightUnlimited series with todays better mashines, and this will also give it justice for what it really is.Best wishes.Lars Peter.

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I'd say that the fact that FU3 was a non-performing sim on yesteryear's hardware had a lot to do with the lack of success. However, it's the very reason why we enjoy it today -- FU2 and FU3 look good by today's standards while precious few of their contemporary games do.Flight sims are not "big" in the world of gamers. The fact that Combat flight simulator is the one that people enjoy speaks volumes of a disinterest in flying per se -- gamers want action and action means armed conflicts. I'd rather learn to fly :-) It's a pity that all these gamers never discover that it's way more challenging to fly an aircraft properly than it is to engage in violent conflicts ;-)best regards,Hans Petter

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Fascinating stuff Chris.At the risk of getting too off topic for an FU forum, I'd be fascinated to know what others were in the list of "greatest games that bombed at retail". BTW, that figure of 23,500 for FU3 is quite amazing. Still it's probably more than it sold over here (Japan) as I don't recall ever seeing it in any store.phil

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Chris,Interesting! I think that if FU2 can sell so well, then FU3 would do even better. I agree with the comments regarding PC power, when I got FU3, my 366 with 8meg video just wouldn't run it unless all sliders were on 0. This looked worse than FS98! Well OK, not worse but the framerates were still bad. Upon upgrading the video and memory a bit, the game came alive. Ever since I got my Athlon and GE2 card, it's a whole new game again.I have noticed the same with NFS, MM2 and many other 3D games. I never enjoyed NFS on the PC. It looked so crappy compared with the PSX version and the framerates were bad. Now (3 years later!) I can finally ENJOY playing it.Bring on FU4...Jon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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The best sims always get better with age.....FUI was never too impressive on my P90, unless you ran in in 320x240 graphics. It was *much* nicer on my K6-2 300.Similarly, sims such as European Air War, Janes F/A-18, Flanker 2, Grand Prix Legends, Enemy Engaged and I-War are still on my hard drive a number of years after their release.Ian

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20 GREAT PC GAMES JILTED AT THE ALTAR[table border=1][tr][td][/td][td]Title[/td][td]sales[/td][td]released[/td][/tr][tr][td]1[/td][td]Project Eden[/td][td]5000[/td][td]Nov 2001[/td][/tr][tr][td]2[/td][td]Battlezone 2[/td][td]11500[/td][td]Oct 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]3[/td][td]Dark Reign 2[/td][td]12000[/td][td]Jun 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]4[/td][td]Hostile Waters[/td][td]13000[/td][td]Mar 2001[/td][/tr][tr][td]5[/td][td]Mech Commander 2[/td][td]15000[/td][td]Aug 2001[/td][/tr][tr][td]6[/td][td]Startopia[/td][td]15500[/td][td]Jun 2001[/td][/tr][tr][td]8[/td][td]Sacrifice[/td][td]16500[/td][td]Nov 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]9[/td][td]Giants: Citizen Kabuto[/td][td]17500[/td][td]Dec 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]10[/td][td]Z Steel Soldiers[/td][td]19000[/td][td]Apr 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]11[/td][td]Everquest: The Ruins of Kunark[/td][td]19000[/td][td]apr 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]12[/td][td]Urban Chaos[/td][td]21000[/td][td]Dec 1999[/td][/tr][tr][td]13[/td][td]Homeworld: Cataclysm[/td][td]22000[/td][td]Sep 2000[/td][/tr][tr][td]14[/td][td]Mechwarrior 4[/td][td]23000[/td][td]Feb 2001[/td][/tr][tr][td]15[/td][td]Flight Unlimited 3[/td][td]23500[/td][td]Oct 1999[/td][/tr][tr][td]16[/td][td]Outcast[/td][td]26000[/td][td]Jun 1999[/td][/tr][tr][td]17[/td][td]Clive Barker's Undying[/td][td]26500[/td][td]Mar 2001[/td][/tr][tr][td]18[/td][td]Fallout 2[/td][td]29000[/td][td]Dec 1998[/td][/tr][tr][td]19[/td][td]Warzone 2100[/td][td]29000[/td][td]Mar 1999[/td][/tr][tr][td]20[/td][td]No One Lives Forever[/td][td]31500[/td][td]Dec 2000[/td][/tr][/table]

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Ben,Thank you for correcting me that it was actually a top 20 !The sales figures for Project Eden are utterly astonishing, considering that Core Design sold so many copies of the Tomb Raider series.Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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I can't believe Fallout 2 did so badly. That was easily the best of the Fallout series - the first was too short, the Fallout Tactics too crashy, but Fallout 2 (after the patch) was superbly involving.I think simple games tend to succeed more than complex - one clear idea, like an open-ended flightsim, is more appealing than a complex new world (such as a flightsim in a single area with all the fancy add-ons already provided). All of LG's games were complete complex worlds - the System Shock ship, Terra Novis, even Ultima Underworld, and so present a difficult first step. That's why Solitaire is used more than other games.But for anyone brave enough to step into LG's worlds, the complexity and completeness is extremely rewarding.Add to that the incredibly difficult challenge of adjusting and improving that world, and you've got a creative paradise. Then its hard to leave.So good games fail, simple games sell.Thanks for raising this topic Chris.Kind regards to all,Robert.

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