Keeping in mind, this is speculation on both of our parts since neither of us have the market data available to companies like Larian or Bioware.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Mmmm. I attribute the high numbers to a) the Baldur's Gate name
Most gamers today likely do not even know what Baldur's Gate even is, in terms of name recognition, I would say it ranks fairly low.
If this was the case, they wouldn't have named the game Baldur's Gate III
Thats assuming there is only 1 reason to name a game Baldur's Gate III. There isn't. You could be a fan of a series and want to make your own sequel to it. WotC could also have a contractural obligation requiring them to use the name. We could also look at another example where something similar happened - Fallout 3. Fallout 1 and 2 had a cult following which was very disappointed (rightfully so imo) with Bethesda's sequel to the fallout games. But you can bet that Bethesda wasn't the underdog in that situation trying to make money off of name recognition, they were the much bigger company.
There is only one reason to name it Baldur's Gate 3 and that is name recognition. See there is this concept in media and promotion that the more something is a sequel, the less likely into are to attract new audience. Putting a number at the end of a movie or book or game directly hurts the sales. Numbered sequels generally have a constant downwards sloping profit in comparison to each other. The only offset of this is -- you guess it --brand recognition.
When WotC or Larian -- regardless of where the decision came from -- put a 3 at the end of Baldur's Gate they are directly hurting the possible revenue from the production. They wouldn't do this if it was any random old game. The only reason they would choose this title is that they thought that the gain from the name recognition factor was equal or greater to their loss from the sequel-drop-off factor.
And it's funny that you chose Fallout 3 as an example because there is absolutely no reason Beth bought that IP except brand recognition. They bought a cheapish, shelved IP with a huge recognition factor, to use the name for their own games without any regard for the original series. This isn't "underdog" business strategy. This is big dog business strategy, that's why Beth did it.