Sales Won’t Cover Cost For Dynamic Themes


According to Q Games president Dylan Cuthbert, sales for the dynamic themes will, most likely, not cover the costs to develop dynamic themes on the PS3. Q Games recently released the PixelJunk Monsters theme and said they would be “lucky” if they sold enough to cover the developmental costs:

Remember that we’ll be lucky to sell even a few thousand themes and so the cost of developing the theme (3-4 weeks of coder/artist time, checking, testing etc) will still far exceed any money we make from it. From the Official Blog

BUT, the company is proud to have worked with Sony to make the theme and get it out there, stating:

We’re proud to say that this is a system we were involved in developing. Sony Computer Entertainment wanted to spice up the background a bit and static pictures just didn’t cut the mustard.

So we collaborated with them to make a system where developers can display what they want and animate and move them around. This definitely adds a little life to the PS3’s background.

Does the $2.99 price tag still warrant a purchase, though? It’s really nice to see companies accept that they may take a hit on these themes when they go on sale, and not get worked up about it. The Afrika theme is still free, so imagine the hit they’re taking! In my personal opinion, if it were a little cheaper, more people would probably buy it, more than making up for the drop in the price (and that’s only if enough people do decide to purchase it). From GI.biz.


Written by: Jay - Community Manager / Editor-In-Chief


  1. #1 by Darrin on September 8th, 2009 [ 17143 Points ]

    Do I need to setup a Japanese account to get the Afrika theme? Or can I get that with a US account?

  2. #2 by JimmyMagnum on September 8th, 2009

    AFAIK its only in Japan, so you’ll nede a Japanese account

  3. #3 by Sylvrfonic on September 8th, 2009

    I did purchase the LBP Dynamic Theme. It was compelling to me so I purchased it. I really want to support Q games but, the monsters theme was not compelling in any way. So, no purchase. I think that if devs are clever and leverage strong IP they can get a return on dynamic themes, build brand loyalty and spread their name to people that may not have paid attention had it not been for that really cool dynamic theme….Oh, a preview of the themes wouldn’t hurt. (Nice job posting the videos of the themes in motion.)

  4. #4 by GamesOgre.net on September 8th, 2009

    Yeah, how do we try out that free one?

  5. #5 by GamesOgre.net on September 8th, 2009

    Scratch that. Responses were lagging in loading on my phone.

  6. #6 by Trieloth on September 8th, 2009 [ 3426 Points ]

    Man wouldnt you want to get payed for making something…anything? If not you can come work for me!

  7. #7 by George on September 8th, 2009

    I bought the little big planet dynamic theme; I think it was worth it. For 3$ the PS3 now does something slightly more entertaining. I probably won’t buy many more though.

  8. #8 by JimmyMagnum on September 8th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    If they were cheaper, then I feel the price would be warranted, but $3 is 5% of the purchase price of a full game, and it’s for something that would be really useful if you spend the majority of your time on the XMB :P

    In all seriousness, though, what is available currently, apart from Afrika (and maybe LBP with the dynamic day/night cycle), its not too amazing. Maybe $2.49. I’d like to see some really cool ones come out in the future, and not necessarily based on games.

    Nature has a lot of potential in that field. Imagine a stream in a woodland area, with a grizzly wading at the edge of a short waterfall, trying to catch salmon as they swim upstream. Going with games, you could have a set piece in the background from Heavy Rain with rain pouring over it. What they need, though, is ambient sound, it doesn’t have to be loud or anything, but like a heavy rain theme would be cool if you could hear the rain and thunder, etc. Or the flow of the river in the other one.

    On that note, you guys got any other theme ideas you’d like to see implemented?

  9. #9 by No Kill Tayler on September 8th, 2009 [ 1865 Points ]

    Flower Dynamic Theme.
    Sixaxis control=Awesome :]

  10. #10 by Tosh on September 8th, 2009 [ 1102 Points ]

    +1 for the Flower Dynamic Theme.

  11. #11 by Emrah on September 9th, 2009 [ 7319 Points ]

    “$3 is 5% of the purchase price of a full game”

    It is 50% of some full PSN games. $3 is overpriced, the costs can be claimed as publicity / advertisement fees. On top of it, if you have a workflow specific to making dynamic themes, the costs should not be that much, if you already have your game assets in 3d.

    If they made it 0.99, I may think of buying it..

  12. #12 by JimmyMagnum on September 9th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    @ Emrah:
    Even aking into account that it’s 5% of a full-on $60 game, that’s still a lot considering there’s not even 5% worth of ‘game’ there, but taking into account the price of full PSN titles, it does make it look worse in terms of price. I think somewhere between $1 and $2 would be the sweet spot, because that would warrant more sales that could potentially increase revenue in the long term (this is kind of a perfect example of what I was talking about in my DLC price editorial a month or 2 ago).

    In any case, I’m sure there would be other free themes in the future anyway. As it stands right now, though, Afrika is the only free one (and, IMO, it’s pretty cool and worth it, considering its free)

    Apart from the themes themselves, I would like an option to change actual text color (not like the ambient glow, etc) so you can have black text on bright backgrounds, because the Afrika theme washes out the text pretty bad


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