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From Dust sells 500,000 on PSN, XBLA

Ubisoft claims digital is the best way to test new IP.

Downloadable god game From Dust has sold over half a million downloads on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, Ubisoft has revealed.

That figure doesn't take into account the game's PC release.

The publisher seems very happy with the figures, arguing that its success is all down it being launched on digital platforms rather than as a full retail release.

"There is less risk releasing a new game digitally," digital publishing manager Thomas Paincon told MCV.

"At retail, if you don't have a 90 Metacritic score and millions of fans, it's very risky to launch a new game.

"Look at From Dust, we sold half a million units on XBLA and PSN. Why? Because the prices were lower, but also because it was a new experience and people using digital platforms are more willing to test a new IP."

Paincon added that digital games also benefit from being released outside of the AAA winter rush, when gamers have less pressure on their time and disposable income.

"It's more strategic to launch downloadable games in the first half of the year or around September before the boxed blockbusters arrive," he added. "It's harder to compete for gamers' money when there are lots of new triple-A games out.

"Microsoft's Summer of Arcade Xbox Live promotion is a good new market that people are getting used to. And now digital is a great business for retailers as online games are part of the revenue stream for them."

Eric Chahi's strategy title won a 9/10 from Eurogamer back in the summer. See Oli Welsh's From Dust review for more details.

Ubisoft has had a busy year in the digital arena, with launches including stylish platformer Outland, time-manipulating shooter Zeit² and acclaimed puzzle RPG Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. It's due to roadtest new adventure IP I Am Alive before the end of 2011.