Elite Dangerous has raised £14.1 million with 300,000 players – £300 million expected by 2017

Elite Dangerous has been selling well above Frontier’s expectations it was revealed today.

Frontier released their financials for the six months ending 30 November which highlighted some interesting figures. To date Elite Dangerous has earned Frontier £14.1 million from sales of 300,000 units (this includes Kickstarter). Since release the game has added 250,000 new players.

A chart was also issued by the company to show their expectations over three different scenarios running until the year 2017. The “bull” scenario is the best possible results they could expect and the numbers released show they are well ahead of that best scenario target already.

Years ending 31 May
Online game ‘base’ scenario
Units sold0.25m1.0m2.0m
Online game ‘mid’ scenario
Units sold0.50m2.0m8.0m
Online game ‘bull’ scenario
Units sold0.75m4.0m30.0m
£7.5m £40.0m£300.0m

Originally Frontier had planned to release the game for around £10 but decided to release the game at the US$60/£40 per unit mark based on “expected quality of the game”. This price increase significantly boosted Frontier’s revenue and they say sales remain strong. 300 million is a best case scenario but they could well be on target to hit that depending on future expansion updates.

These numbers show that Elite Dangerous has proved to be a massively popular choice for PC gamers, and with more content to come, the future looks bright for the game.

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  • Jeff

    So currently they’re on 550k units with a little under 5 months to go so a fair chance to make the 750k for the “Bull” scenario. But considering they’ve got a niche market, I would love to know what information they used to get a prediction that they could get upwards of a 400% increase in sale in their second year with a further 650% increase in their 3rd year. (3900% on their initial sales).

    Yes, I understand that it’s a best case scenario, but any sales prediction needs to be based on reliable and quantifiable information, as it will form the basis of the budget for everything else.

    Also because they’ve increased the price, the various scenarios 2017 revenue should be :
    Base – £80 million
    Mid – £320 million
    Bull – £1,2 thousand million (billion for anyone outside the UK)

    • Anbear

      That is a massive jump indeed, maybe they have a big update planned which will make it less niche. Also they are likely to get a boost when star citizen is released, as in “if you like that you should try this”.

      • Jeff

        True. The expansion packs might be included in there so that’s potentially 2 addons per game already purchased.

        I’m just highly sceptical of any game sales forecast after seeing some of the silly figures other companies have put forward.

    • Xanador

      hmm, they’re already better than bull scenario because of the decision to sell the game for a higher price. What counts is the money :-). The units are also based on the expectation that they sell purchasable upgrades, it’s not the number of players I think. But the bull scenario for 2017 is really optimistic…

  • Redglyph

    Impressive so far, but “£300 million expected by 2017” is a false statement, this is the best-case projection. They expect the mid- or low-case, and are certainly hoping for the best one.

    It’s not the only game of this genre out there, or at least there is a serious contender in Star Citizen, even if it’s a little behind.

    Also, Elite: Dangerous is still unsure about its style, will that be an MMO, or an undecided single / multiplayer? There are other MMO’s in the genre that could prove a difficult competition, so those projections may seem a little optimistic.

    And if they were to reach 300 M, there’s always the risk their database account be reset, because it could be thought as an exploit 😉

    • Trotar

      MMO just means that a massive amount of players are connected in the same online gameworld. It’s perfectly possible to break away from classic mmo games and still be an mmo.

      Elite has a history of setting their own style and not following the trend.

      • Eric

        Elite Dangerous does not connect a massive amount of players in the same online gameworld. It allows a max. of 32 playing together.

        • Trotar

          Not that argument again. Yes everyone is connected to the same world, you just can not meet everyone at the same time.

          Most MMO’s have limitations on how many people you can meet at the same time to reduce lag, in many cases through splitting the playerbase up in different servers. Which doesn’t stop those from being an MMO.
          In Eve they even go as far as using time dilation to deal with lag, which of-course can not work in a twitched based game like Elite.

          Networking limitations mean games have to find solution for the lag problem.
          Frontier took an interesting route to deal with that issue for Elite, and it works out great. It’s pretty freaking brilliant if you ask me.

    • Eric

      Elite Dangerous was at launch widely criticised for lacking even basic MMO features. Frontier then removed all reference to MMO from the game’s advertising.

  • Eric

    You left out the bit where Frontier reported that its losses have doubled from last year. £1.7m last year, £1.5m in the six month so far this year.

    Plus the company has just announced a round of staff layoffs and closure of its Canada development office.