Insomniac Data Hack Reveals Surprising Sales Figures for Bloodborne, Days Gone, and Horizon

The massive Insomniac Games data hack has revealed some surprising information about the sales of some notable PlayStation exclusives.

Photo: Bandai Namco

Recently, developer Insomniac Games was targeted by a hacking group that stole over 1 TB of internal data from the company and reportedly demanded around $2 million dollars for that information’s return. When that demand was not met, the group released the stolen data (which consisted of over 1.3 million files) online.

This is one of the largest leaks in the history of the video game industry in terms of both the quantity of leaked data and what, exactly, was included in those files. The leaked information includes everything from Insomniac’s upcoming intended release schedule for the next several years to the complete story breakdown for their upcoming Wolverine project. Crucially, the leak also includes the personal information of numerous Insomniac employees. As this leak extends far beyond things like game development footage and story spoilers, we will not be sharing the full contents of the leak here.

However, that doesn’t mean that other parts of the leak are not worth discussing, contextualizing, and examining. In fact, some of the most interesting pieces of information included in the leak pertain to Sony’s internal sales figures for some of their biggest PlayStation exclusives of the last several years. Exact sales figures can be surprisingly hard to come by in the modern gaming industry, and these figures certainly seem to tell some stories that are worth sharing

Before we get into that, though, please note that the details of the figures we are going to discuss are not official. While much of the information included in that leak appears to be accurate, there is always room for errors when it comes to things like this. Furthermore, the leaked sales chart only seems to account for sales recorded sometime before the start of March 2022, which means that any units sold (or games released) after that date are not accounted for by these figures.

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For the most part, the names of the top end of the sales chart (which you can find here on ResetEra) aren’t that surprising. You probably could have guessed that games like Insomniac’s 2018 Spider-Man title, the 2018 God of War game, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Uncharted 4 would be some of PlayStation’s best-selling games in recent years, and you’d be right.

What’s a little more surprising is exactly how well some of those games did. For instance, Marvel’s Spider-Man seemingly sold just over 22 million copies (making it the best-selling PlayStation exclusive of the reported period), while God of War also cleared the 20 million units mark. Horizon sold a whopping 19 million+ units, which is quite surprising when you consider that it outsold titles like Uncharted 4, The Last of Us‘ PS4 remaster, and Gran Turismo Sport during that reported timeframe. We knew that the game was successful, but a new IP selling that many copies (and outselling entries in such successful established franchises in the process) is truly impressive.

Yet, some of the most interesting revelations are found a little further down the sales chart. For instance, Days Gone is actually one of the best-selling new franchises on this list, as the PS4 version of that title seemingly sold a whopping 7+ million units in the reported timeframe. That number doesn’t include the sales figures for the PC version of the game, which are referenced but not detailed.

Typically, a game selling that well would all but guarantee a sequel. However, Days Gone has always been a…special case. The game received decidedly mixed reviews (especially for a major PlayStation exclusive) and has since found itself at the center of yet another critics vs. gamers debate that was partially spurred on by controversial statements made by the game’s director, John Garvin. Days Gone developer Bend Studio has since distanced itself from Garvin, which has only contributed to the increasingly accepted idea that Days Gone will likely never receive a sequel. It’s a messy situation, but these figures seemingly confirm that the game did sell well despite some suggestions to the contrary.

Speaking of long-awaited sequels, this chart reveals that Bloodborne has sold over 7 million copies so far. While that game’s successes isn’t that surprising, it’s worth noting that we previously only knew that Bloodborne had sold over 1 million copies as of 2015. This chart reveals that the game is actually much more successful than that, which will surely only raise more questions about why we haven’t gotten a sequel or PC port. Of course, it’s been speculated for quite some time now that the complicated nature of both of those projects (and FromSoftware’s incredibly busy schedule) are the biggest reasons why they haven’t come to fruition rather than the implication that Bloodborne simply wasn’t successful.

Unfortunately, the bottom of that chart also contains some hard truths. For instance, it seems that Death Stranding only sold a little over four million copies as of early 2022. That’s perhaps not too surprising given the game’s somewhat mixed initial reception and generally niche nature, but there was some speculation that the game may have “overperformed” due to the pre-release hype surrounding the Hideo Kojima-led project. Of course, we know that the game is getting a sequel (and a film adaptation), and it still seemingly generated even more revenue than some games that technically outsold it during that time.

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Things look a little more grim for Returnal, which had not yet sold 1 million copies as of the time this chart was created. Again, we know that Returnal developer Housemarque is already working on a new project, but it sadly seems that the exceptional word of mouth about Returnal didn’t necessarily translate to notable sales. Of course, it should be noted that Returnal was an early PS5 exclusive, and PS5s haven’t been easy to find until very recently. That simple lack of hardware availability (and the $70+ price tag that comes with those exclusive games) has obviously impacted the performance of a few notable PS5 exclusives so far, and Returnal being a bold new IP from a relatively small studio trying something new probably didn’t help its mass-market success.

While sales alone don’t tell the story of a game’s success, a game’s retail performance can obviously have a major impact on its future franchise prospects and the direction of the rest of the industry. That being the case, it’s at least interesting to have a little better idea about how well these major releases actually sold and how that may impact future decisions that PlayStation makes.