i only pointed out half life because it was not developed by ea or any other huge game factory (though some would argue that it has rpg plot elements) but pulled down a huge number AGES AGO.
i agree that is is mostly about hype (and honestly bioware lost its shine quite a while ago) but apparently if you want to make tons of money from a game you need to aim for north america or in some cases japan regardless of what kind of game it is.
i dont know why so many americans love the fps's, personally i only play unreal, everything else is either sissified or loaded with cheaters but alot of fps games dont sell that many copies either (too many fish in the pond maybe). it isnt like fps games are prone to breaking the 5 mil mark or anything like that, they probably just make enough advertisements to make it seem like they are.
on a side note: everything jo wood studios has done except gothic 2 has been bug riddled trash, now whos comparing apples to eggs? im talking about games that have been successful because they were well made and you mention gothic.
i think any game can sell 1 million copies on hype alone.