Insomniac Games suffered a huge data breach last week that resulted in tons of internal documents leaking online. Some of them shed light on the budgets and profitability of the studio’s games, as well as sales of PC ports of PlayStation’s first-party titles.

Insomniac leak reveals details about Sony's PC business, sales figures, and game budgets

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

What happened?

  • According to Cyber Daily, the Ryhsida ransomware group was behind the data breach. It demanded 50 bitcoins, or around $2 million, and eventually leaked a total of 1.67TB of data and 1.3 million files belonging to Insomniac Games.
  • The hackers told the publication that “developers making games like this would be an easy target,” adding that they “were able to get the domain administrator within 20–25 minutes of hacking the network.”
  • The leak contains information about Insomniac’s pipeline, a schedule of its future releases, details about the upcoming Wolverine games, plans for other titles based on the X-Men license, and more.
  • The Ryhsida criminal group also managed to obtain sensitive information such as personal data of Insomniac’s employees.
  • Sony, for its part, has already launched an investigation, saying that it has “no reason to believe that any other SIE or Sony divisions have been impacted” (via Eurogamer).

Budgets and ROI of the Spider-Man series and other Insomniac titles

  • Some data from Insomniac’s internal presentations appeared on Reddit and other online forums. One of them contained a slide with information about the budgets and profits of the studio’s titles, including the sales needed to break even and projections for recently launched and upcoming games (note that it is unclear when exactly the slide was made).
  • For example, the total budget for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 amounted to $315 million. It is expected to have a 35% ROI (return on investment) with lifetime sales of 10.5 million units. The goal is achievable, considering that the game sold over 5 million copies in its first 10 days.
  • The leaked slide doesn’t have any data on the first game (except for its remastered version), but Miles Morales had an impressive ROI of 122% on total costs of $156 million and 10.2 million copies sold.
  • However, not all of the company’s games become commercial hits. It appears that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart generated $8 million in losses, as selling 2.2 million copies wasn’t enough to recoup its $81 million budget (note that as of December 2023, the game has likely recouped its costs as information in the leak is outdated).
  • Speaking of upcoming titles, Marvel’s Spider-Man 3 is expected to cost $385 million, with projected lifetime sales of 14.5 million units. Insomniac projects the game’s profit to reach $170 million, with a 75% ROI.
  • The studio also has high hopes for the Wolverine game, which is expected to have a total budget of $305 million and lifetime sales of 10 million copies.
  • From documents leaked during the FTC v. Microsoft hearing, we know that Horizon Forbidden West cost $212 million to make, and The Last of Us Part II’s budget was $220 million (excluding marketing costs).
  • With the new Insomniac data, it is fair to say that Sony produces one of the most expensive games ever. For comparison, the total budget for Cyberpunk 2077 was around $316 million, and development and marketing costs for the Phantom Liberty expansion amounted to over $84 million.

What are the best-selling PlayStation games on PC?

Another slide shows the best-selling PC ports of PlayStation’s first-party games. These are full-game sales on Steam.

The data is most likely current as of February 2023 (the slide reads February 6, 2022, but that’s probably a typo since it shows sales of more recent games), so there is no information about titles like The Last of Us Part I (we do know that it sold 368k copies as of April 2023) and Returnal.

  • Horizon Zero Dawn — 3.3 million copies sold (this is up 1 million from the 2.39 million mark previously disclosed by Sony in 2022);
  • God of War — 2.5 million copies sold (as of March 2022, it sold 917k units on PC);
  • Days Gone — 1.7 million copies sold (825k copies sold as of March 2022);
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered — 1.3 million copies sold (in March 2023, the PC version reached 1.5 million copies sold);
  • Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection — 483.2k copies sold;
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales — 450.2k copies sold;
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure — 62.9k copies sold.

The PC version of Sackboy is clearly an outsider here. It had a not-so-great launch on PC, peaking at only 610 concurrent players (worst result for any PC release by PlayStation).

The latest data breach also showed that the PC port of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart cost $2.6 million over the course of five months. Interestingly, any port with a budget under $30 million requires just an email approval to receive funding.

According to Sony’s keynote for investors (published in May 2023), it is betting big on its PC expansion. The company expects this segment to reach $450 million in revenue in FY23 ending March 31, 2024 — up 80% year-over-year.

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