Long-tail sales: While many game developers release their projects with the expectation of selling the majority of copies in the first few weeks of release, some titles become major long-term successes. These rare gems can earn their makers buckets of cash far beyond their initial release date. The Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto V are two examples of these games, and now, Control has officially joined their ranks.
Despite releasing back in August of 2019, the surreal shooter’s developer, Remedy Entertainment, doubled its operating profits the year after release, in 2020. These long-tail sales have boosted the company’s gains from €6.5 million to a whopping €13.2 million.
It’s not hard to see why Control has done so well. Though the game released for PC in 2019, alongside console platforms, it was exclusive to the Epic Games Store (EGS). It wasn’t until last year that the title finally arrived on other PC storefronts, including Steam.
That multiplatform launch finally opened up sales to entirely new audiences, some of which may have been vehemently against supporting the title via Epic’s controversial platform.
Wider storefront availability aside, 2020 was also the year that Control received both of its major paid expansions; The Foundation and AWE. Their launch undoubtedly helped contribute to Remedy’s bottom line, both through direct DLC sales, and increased attention for the base game. And, as of August 2020, Control’s Ultimate Edition went on sale, bundling all of the game’s post-launch content into one cohesive package.
Remedy’s massive financial success is made even more impressive by the fact that the studio hasn’t even released a new game yet: its 2020 profit spike is almost entirely due to increased sales from previously-launched titles. To that end, we’ll be curious to see whether or not Remedy can pull off a hat-trick in 2021, with Control driving yet another year of record profits.