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Days Gone Director: 'If You Love a Game Buy It At F***ing Full Price'

Days Gone Director: 'If You Love a Game Buy It At F***ing Full Price' - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 18 April 2021 / 3,468 Views

The creative director and writer of Days Gone, John Garvin, spoke with game designer David Jaffe on Jaffe's YouTube Show (and transcribed by VideoGamesChronicle) to discuss the 2019 action-adventure survival horror game, Days Gone, by Sony's Bend Studio.

Garvin said that if you like a game you should buy it at full price and that if you don't do that you shouldn't complain if it doesn't get a sequel. 

"I do have an opinion on something that your audience may find of interest, and it might piss some of them off," said Garvin. "If you love a game, buy it at f***ing full price. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen gamers say 'yeah, I got that on sale, I got it through PS Plus, whatever.'"

Jaffe responded by asked, "But how do you know you love a game until you’ve played it?"

Garvin replied by saying, "I’m just saying, you don’t, but don’t complain if a game doesn’t get a sequel if it wasn’t supported at launch. It’s like, God of War got whatever number millions of sales at launch and, you know, Days Gone didn’t. [I’m] just speaking for me personally as a developer, I don’t work for Sony, I don’t know what the numbers are.

"I can tell you that when we were doing [Syphon Filter] Dark Mirror [on PSP], we got so f***ed on Dark Mirror because piracy was a thing and Sony wasn’t really caught up on what piracy was doing to sales.

"And we would show them torrents, a torrent site had 200,000 copies of Dark Mirror being downloaded. If I remember it right, the numbers could be wrong, but regardless, I was pissed about it then, I was like 'this is money out of my pocket.'

"So I think the uptick in engagement with the game is not as important as, did you buy the game at full price? Because if you did, then that’s supporting the developers directly."

Garvin added that the reason he left Sony's Bend Studio was due to his personality and not due to the performance of Days Gone.

"It was a hard, long development, six years, and I worked six years of crunch. And here’s the thing, I love working crunch. […] I love what I do so it’s not that big a deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for me. So the last two years I’ve actually been away from the studio have actually been a blessing. I have been able to get up and do what I want, I’ve written three books, and it’s just a different thing.

"When you’re in development it’s a non-stop pressure with milestones, profitability and people management […] and to be honest, at the end of the day, what it really comes down to is, we had a few heated arguments over the last year or so, and I would end up yelling and saying something like 'just give me a package so I can get the f*** out of here,' some s**t like that.

"And when it was just Chris [Reese] and I in a very small studio, that kind of heatedness was fine, but by the time you get to a 100-person studio you can’t have one of the directors losing their temper, you know. And I’m not a great people person anyway, and it’s not like they didn’t try, I was put through training a couple of times, like ‘hey, here’s how you go out to lunch with people more, and be a better director’, and dude, I just kinda sucked at all that."

Former Sony Bend game director Jeff Ross had previously confirmed that the studio had been working on a pitch for Days Gone 2, however, due to an NDA with Sony he could not confirm or deny that it had been cancelled. 

Ross, who is now working at Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm, said he was working on a Days Gone 2 pitch, but ended up leaving the company due to personal reasons and it "had nothing to do with the status of the sequel." He did confirm parts of a recent report were true such as that parts of Sony Bend were assigned to work on Naughty Dog games.

Days Gone released for the PlayStation in April 2019 and will launch on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store on May 18 for $49.99. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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61 Comments
VAMatt (on 18 April 2021)

If you want your game to sell at full price, make it awesome and convince the publisher to put marketing money behind. Gamers don't have any responsibility to do anything at all. They can buy, not buy, wait for a great sale, or whatever they want.

  • +34
Angelus (on 18 April 2021)

Can't truly know if you'll love a game before you've actually played a good chunk of it, and most gamers have been burnt more than a few times when buying games for full price, at launch, on the assumption that they'll love what they're getting. Can't really blame anyone but your own industry if people are hesitant to put up the cash you're looking for.

  • +19
method114 Angelus (on 19 April 2021)

Agreed. I really enjoyed Days Gone and knowing what I know now I would have paid full price. I didn't know if I would like it though and I had plenty of other games to play.

  • 0
shikamaru317 (on 18 April 2021)

Some of us game on a budget and can only afford to buy a handful of games per year, even less of them if we buy them at full price. Maybe publishers shouldn't be jacking up the price of new games to $70 if they want them to sell at full price.

Besides, Days Gone sold just fine at full price, according to the NPD, it's first month in the US was higher than all but 6 other Sony 1st/2nd party games across all generations prior to it's release (I believe those 6 games were The Last of Us, Uncharted 4, Uncharted 3, God of War 4, Horizon Zero: Dawn, and Spider-Man ), and it currently has the 9th biggest US launch for a Sony published game across all generations after TLOU 2 and Tsushima surpassed it post-release. It was #1 for 3 weeks in the UK, #1 for 3 weeks in Switzerland, in Japan it's first week beat God of War 4 and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

With full price sales like that, maybe don't blame the fact that your game is not getting a sequel on gamers, but rather put the blame where it truly lies, on Sony's Jim Ryan and Hermen Hulst, who reportedly refused to greenlight a sequel even though the game was more than profitable. I mean I guess he can't blame them publicly because he doesn't want to get fired, but don't throw your own fanbase under the bus by putting the blame on them.

  • +12
No_Name_Needed shikamaru317 (on 18 April 2021)

How can John Garvin be fired from a company he doesn't work at anymore? No disrespect intended, but did you actually read the article or just the headline?

  • +2
shikamaru317 No_Name_Needed (on 18 April 2021)

I skimmed it, so yes, I missed the part where it says that he doesn't currently work there. Makes him throwing the Days Gone fanbase under the bus instead of putting the blame on Jim and Hermen even worse. Why complain about not enough of your own fanbase buying day one when it is Playstation's 9th biggest launch of all-time (in the US at least)?

  • 0
No_Name_Needed shikamaru317 (on 19 April 2021)

I respectfully disagree that Jim and Hermen should be blamed. We don't know what Sony's internal sales expectations for Days Gone were. If they were not met, Jim and Herman have no obligation to greenlight a sequel. Now I will agree that Garvin should not blame gamers either. I actually think Mr. Garvin and his former team should accept accountability for the state the game launched in (if they haven't already), which was apparently less than stellar. This very likely led to the low review scores, and most likely the lower than expected sale numbers.

  • 0
DonFerrari shikamaru317 (on 19 April 2021)

The fault isn't on Herman or Ryan since they weren't guilty of their poor development. And well all the titles that outsold them from Sony were truly better games.

  • +1
shikamaru317 DonFerrari (on 19 April 2021)

On that 2nd part I agree. I like all of the Sony games that outsold Days Gone, well except for TLOU 1 and 2 which I never played. Horizon, Uncharted 3 and 4, God of War 4, Spider-Man, and Ghost of Tsushima are all excellent games. Still, it seems odd to me not to greenlight a sequel to a game that sold as well as Days Gone, even if it didn't review very well. Subjectively it doesn't bother me at all, as Days Gone didn't interest me personally and there is a chance that a new IP by them might interest me, but looking at it objectively, it just seems odd to not greenlight a sequel to a game that made a profit when the developer wants to do a sequel.

  • 0
DonFerrari shikamaru317 (on 19 April 2021)

Well the interview itself didnt confirm the sequel wasnt greenlit, just that he wouldnt comment due to NDA and that they did pitch a request for a sequel. Also it was during a time the game didnt sell that much yet and well games that arent well received may not do well on a sequel. But in the end I do think there is no need for a sequel for the game (you didnt play and I wont spoil you, but well basically all that was really needed to be told was told, I dont even remember if it had any story dlc, but I know there was no standalone expansion).

  • 0
Walbert (on 18 April 2021)

Ha ha ha ha, not bought a full price game for at least 12 years, not going to start now, in fact I'm very tempted to go on Amazon and buy a second hand copy of Days Gone.

  • +8
VersusEvil (on 18 April 2021)

Sure, if it's not priced at £70.

  • +8
NyanNyanNekoChan VersusEvil (on 18 April 2021)

All aboard the £69.99 train :p

  • +8
Ganoncrotch NyanNyanNekoChan (on 19 April 2021)

CHOOOO CHOOOOOO

  • 0
Signalstar (on 18 April 2021)

How do you know you love it until you play it?

  • +7
Chazore (on 18 April 2021)

I heard this game was in a right state when it launched, so I'm not sure why he feels entitled to say "buy it at full price".

Maybe launch your game in a good state, instead of a buggy one?. I dunno, there's too many games these days that come out either in early access or in a state where they need tons of patches to make them what they should have been at launch.

When you look at the sheer amount of deals that are going on between PC, PS and Xbox, you cannot really blame people for being trained to wait for sales, that's pretty much what's been happening for years now, and it's not that we trained ourselves entirely, the publishers, Sony and MS, even Steam and GoG have trained us to wait for sales, so blame them (also blame the devs that release buggy af games as well, because they definitely taint the well of trust).

That being said, I'm not likely to buy this day or week 1 on Steam, because these days I don't really see the point in buying games at full price, unless it's an indie game that ranges between £10-20.

  • +7
The Fury (on 19 April 2021)

Bring back demos and we might.

  • +5
Ganoncrotch The Fury (on 19 April 2021)

Tons of switch titles have demo's available on day one,

  • +1
rapsuperstar31 (on 18 April 2021)

The game looked pretty generic and the reviews were not the best for it. When I finally played it I enjoyed it quite a bit. Why would I buy a game at full price when they usually go on sale a few weeks later.

  • +5
Pemalite (on 18 April 2021)

The false assertion that the 200,000~ Torrent downloaders would have been paying customers is a little bit absurd.
Many torrenters will use it as a "demo" to get a feel of a title now that demo's aren't really a thing anymore... Many more will simply use it as a backup after a purchase and copy it to physical media.

Either way, want me to pay full price? Then provide the value. - Bug ridden rushed games with promises of "more content later" is not value.
Games are $120 a pop here, I could buy 5x games at $20 and go out for lunch and still have change left over if I was a little more patient.

  • +4
Cerebralbore101 (on 18 April 2021)

Days Gone was pretty buggy at launch. Maybe if you had put out a completed product it would have gotten better reviews, causing more people to buy it at launch?

I mean, the bugs mostly got fixed a month or two in. But do you really expect people to "fucking buy it at launch!" if it's not a well polished, bug free game?

  • +4
QUAKECore89 (on 18 April 2021)

It's difficult, people learned a lot from Sony, Microsoft and Steam that there will be sales/deals in weeks or months later especially the events such as Christmas, black Friday and so on. And yes, people are stuck with PS+ and GPU, because it could be coming out of nowhere, this is right here where scared the consumers. You can't blame on the consumers.

  • +4
crissindahouse (on 19 April 2021)

If it's a game with a very high chance that I will love it ( a Forza Motorsport game as example) then I can buy it at full price but I simply don't know if I will really like a game most of the time and with the backlog I have there is absolutely no reason for me to buy most games at full price nowadays.

I already own more games then I can ever play. I guess that is enough support for the gaming industry even if most had been reduced in price.

On Xbox 360 I could at least play a demo to check the game out. Not my fault if you don't give us demos anymore.

  • +3
Dante9 (on 19 April 2021)

The bugs, man, the bugs. That's the only reason I don't buy games at launch. Releasing unfinished games is the absolute state of the industry today.

  • +3
Mr Puggsly (on 18 April 2021)

Just convince many more people to buy it at a discounted price. I don't wanna spend more due to lack of interest.

  • +2
AkimboCurly (on 18 April 2021)

Ridiculous and bad attitude. The customer is always right. If the market is forcing down the price of your game that's called competition and the world is better for it. Its not up your customers to make a product viable. Its up to you, John. If you want them to pay you more, give them something they'll pay more for. Thats how the whole thing works.

  • +2
Peh (on 18 April 2021)

I've bought it on Steam at full price.

  • +2
Mr.GameCrazy Peh (on 18 April 2021)

YOU WHAT!?

  • +3
Peh Mr.GameCrazy (on 19 April 2021)

I've bought it on Steam at full price.

  • +3
Azzanation Peh (on 20 April 2021)

How dare you

  • +3
Darwinianevolution (on 18 April 2021)

Nowadays games start getting pricecuts after a month or two on the market, games lose value shockingly fast. Why would I not just wait for a better deal, especially when so many games release half broken at launch? Also, the argument that a pirated game is a loss for the developer/publisher is a fallacy, you can't prove any of the people who pirated it would've bought it if there was no piracy option.

  • +2
VAMatt Darwinianevolution (on 18 April 2021)

Common sense tells is that at least some of the pirated copies would have been purchased if piracy wasn't an option.

  • +7
Darwinianevolution VAMatt (on 18 April 2021)

Perhaps, but by the same token you could say at least some of the people who pirated it bought it afterwards, and that it wouldn't have happened if they hadn't pirated it first.

  • +1

A few years back there was a report by the European Commission which looked into the impact piracy had on a variety of forms of digital entertainment (Music, Video games, Movies, etc) Iirc, it found that piracy had either no impact or a positive impact on video game sales.

  • +4
mutantsushi NyanNyanNekoChan (on 18 April 2021)

Right, the guy is clearly toxic and not even good at his job but wants target to vent on. They don't care about stuff like objective research, because the entitlement fantasy in their head is so gratifying for them and excuses from their own failings because they are such righteous victims of the "pirates". If it doesn't fit in their self-righteous paradigm, they will just ignore it.

Imagine a film director ranting at people who don't watch it at cinematic release (or the high cost early streaming options) but watch it later on DVD or streaming. Or people who don't buy 1st printing hardback but get reprint paperback book. And you know for a fact this guy does exactly that stuff himself, like any normal person. Just like we know he must have copied music from friends and/or internet when he was young.

I don't even understand the BS of "don't complain if there isn't sequel". WTF should any expect of even want an immediate sequel? Give it some years, work on something else, and revisit it later on.

  • +5
Chazore Darwinianevolution (on 18 April 2021)

Honestly, I just see games as being a dime a dozen these days. Back when I was a kid we had games, but today we see hundreds of games a year, so much so that our time has become more important when we spend it on games, and the more that come out, the little we end up buying, because half of these new games are designed like GAAS, trying to hook you into the game's ecosystem for months if not years, which also eats up our time.

  • +4
LivncA_Dis3 (on 18 April 2021)

it should be if u played the demo and loved the demo buy the fcking game full price,

thats why demos are there to entice or to make people have second thoughts about buying a game full price!
capcom is nailing it with demos thats why their sales are raining men literally

  • +1
Ka-pi96 (on 18 April 2021)

You're not going to know if you love it or not until after you buy it and you're not going to buy it a 2nd time (at full price) after you've already got it, are you?

  • +1
Sogreblute (on 18 April 2021)

Here's the thing, the market dictates the worth of a product. If the market thinks a product costs too much for what it's worth then that product will have to drop it's price to sell. Not everyone is going to agree the same game is worth $60/$70.
Gamers have no responsibility to buy your product. We do not owe you, or any game company anything. You are at our mercy. You rely on us. So do not say stupid things like this that gamers should buy games they like at full price. We don't even know if we're going to like the game when we buy it, so a lot of people like waiting on discounts or use Game Pass to try games out.

  • +1
Machiavellian (on 18 April 2021)

I feel the guys pain, you work hard on something and you believe its worth the price it sold at. On the other hand he probably in the wrong business. Games, especially new IP games are always a hard sell unless the Developer has a history of making top notch games. While Days Gone looked good, it treaded over something that did not really garner a lot of excitement. New IP games like this probably should not have the expectation to sell like God of War which is a established property. I believe the real problem was that there was no excitement from Sony to see this game as a franchise they wanted to invest in more than if the game sold at full price. Even if the game sold at discount, if there was a big interest in the game then a sequel would be greenlit because the second game probably would guaranteed to sell at full price.

  • +1
Bofferbrauer2 (on 24 April 2021)

If I love the game AND want to support their creator(s), yes. At least if I can afford it, which I mostly do, but sometimes one needs to set different priorities.

If a love a game and it's from a shitty developer or an abusive publisher, why the hell should I even CONSIDER buying at full price???

  • 0
holzi (on 19 April 2021)

It's not like the companies reduce the price for their games out of the want to provide the games to poor people. They reduce the price because they expect to make the most profit with this strategy. If they wouldn't sell additional copies if they lower the price of their games they wouldn't do it. So please don't act like it's the gamers fault that games are sold at 30€ after two months.

  • 0
Manlytears (on 19 April 2021)

buy at full price? no, i never buy at full price. When i love a game i keep it, and when i don't like it i just trade it for another game. simple.

  • 0
Shadow1980 (on 19 April 2021)

There are very few games I pay full price for. While video games are less expensive now than they were 20 years ago in inflation-adjusted terms (at least in the U.S.), $60 is still a lot of money. Excluding Nintendo games, which rarely drop in price, probably less than half of the games I have on the PS4 & XBO I bought at full price. The rest I waited on, because they weren't from what I'd consider high-priority series, or they were something I wasn't 100% sure on. Nearly every non-Nintendo game I pay full price for is a sequel to another game or established franchise I really enjoy, like Halo.

  • 0
Azzanation (on 19 April 2021)

I find it rather interesting that MS is intent on making State of Decay 3 which the predecessor suffered a similar fate as Days Gone on the review boards yet Days Gone isn't getting a sequel at all.. while both games have garnered a support base.

  • 0
Vizigoth04 (on 19 April 2021)

This is where a Demo would may have helped the gamer curve the impact of the Metacritic score this game got. Some people rely off of reviews before they purchase. That’s not me. I guess I actively like risk. I bought it Day 1, enjoyed it save for some of Deacon Saint John’s Tourette’s syndrome. I would like to see a second one but I’m not in charge of the IP. I like Sony and Bend Studio but in don’t agree with tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do is an old way of thinking.

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 19 April 2021)

And I would say that if you received a big budget you better make sure to make a great game without big flaws and get a sub 80 score and those who don't do it deserve firing, but I bet he wouldn't like that very much.

  • 0
crissindahouse DonFerrari (on 19 April 2021)

Crazy how he "complains" about not enough people buying a 71 metascore game at full price. It's not even that the game sold bad. I would guess it sold more than most other games would with such a score. It was just too expensive for such a score and the sales numbers resulting in it.

  • +1
DonFerrari crissindahouse (on 19 April 2021)

Exactly, I liked it and would pay full price, but they cant really complain when they fault lies with them. Sure they can say whoever didnt support the game can`t really ask for a sequel, but that is it.,

  • 0
Wyrdness (on 18 April 2021)

A better thing is for developers to drop the Triple A approach it's not a viable business model at all.

  • 0
TheBraveGallade (on 18 April 2021)

you want full price?


make it worth it.

nintendo and apple seem to have that down pat....

  • 0
Runa216 TheBraveGallade (on 18 April 2021)

I was with you on Nintendo, but apple?

  • +9
SKMBlake Runa216 (on 18 April 2021)

Well Apple makes some 93+ MC AAA games I guess

  • +1
Fight-the-Streets SKMBlake (on 18 April 2021)

Yes, learn from Nintendo, their prices never go down (well they also have digital discount actions but generally, their prices barely go down over time). But there's a reason why Nintendo can do that, their games are quality games - stop making crappy games and you can do the same! Does only Nintendo make quality games? No, prime Rockstar games are also stable in prices because again, they are quality games. No matter how highly rated a game is (by critics and gamers), if it goes down in price quickly, it simply has now value, a simple matter of fact. Blame Sony, blame any Publisher because they decide if the price of a game go down. Ask them, why they do that. The answer is the same, their games have now value! At least not a $60 value.

  • +5
DonFerrari Fight-the-Streets (on 19 April 2021)

Not really true. Even Nintendo games that aren't of high quality don't drop in price while even quality titles from other publishers drop in price, including R* that a year after release are usually 50% or so.

  • +1

Nintendo has always understood maintaining the value of their franchises., from the NES days. Unfortunately most of the industry runs on a pump and dump model, consumers respond accordingly, and game companies don’t understand why they’re not making money.

  • +2
KratosLives (on 18 April 2021)
  • -8
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