Fox ships big numbers of ‘Die Hard’ vidgame

Fox Interactive, a division of Fox Filmed Entertainment, has shipped more than 500,000 units worldwide of its “Die Hard Trilogy” vidgame for Sony’s PlayStation console. The company is also preparing to ship the title on Sega Saturn and Windows 95 platforms.

Fox Interactive president Jon Richmond said the PlayStation version has been selling well worldwide. Analysts agreed that among Hollywood studios, Fox has a beachhead in the PlayStation CD market. In the vidgame industry, however, there’s no comprehensive ranking of individual title sales comparable to Soundscan’s list of bestselling audio CDs.

But Richmond said the number of units shipped indicates Fox’s strength at exploiting its properties in a new market. “Die Hard Trilogy,” for example, includes no footage from the movies, and to enjoy the game’s action, a player need not have seen any films from the “Die Hard” franchise.

“We use the underlying film and TV properties as inspiration for the games, and as a marketing hook,” Richmond said. “Other studios could do the same thing, but too often, companies use the license as a crutch, instead of creating a compelling game.”

Mike Yocco, an analyst at Paul Kagan & Associates, said Fox’s sell-through numbers would be considered good if just one out of 10 PlayStation owners purchased the title. The current worldwide installed base, Yocco said, is about 4 million players.

In the PlayStation business, he added, 500,000 sales is considered a hit. Companies that have sold more than 500,000 units of a title include the Sony-owned Psygnosis and Nintendo.

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