Friday, October 11, 2013

Amnesia - One year later

A year has passed considering that we initial released Amnesia and a lot has changed for us at Frictional Games because. We have gone from becoming quite significantly out of income, to being financially stable in a way we in no way thought we would be. Everybody in the business has gotten raised salaries and we have much more than sufficient funds to total our next game.

Our economic scenario is far from the only alter though. The accomplishment of Amnesia has led to us receiving a lot much more recognized amongst players and the press. Reactions to the game are still pouring in, and it feels very excellent and humbling to be able to have that kind of impact on people.

With that tiny summary, now let's get down and dirty with some more detailed details. (And oh, see end of post for a wee surprise.)

Let's begin with what most people almost certainly are the most interested in: how many units have we truly sold? In the course of the GDC EU lecture I noted that we have been now above 400k units total, but as we scrutinized all of the figures it turns out this was not really correct. Jens did a recount of all revenue we have gotten so far and the figure ended on 391 102 units (which is of course not appropriate when you read this as the game sells at about two mHz).

This sounds like a huge amount for certain, but there is some thing to consider with this figure. About 75% of all the sold copies, that is 300k, were on discounted sale. This is quite substantial truly, specially when you note that a great deal (virtually half) of the remaining 100k have been sold at launch. In the end this amounts to about 50% of all our earnings coming purely from discounted sales (most at a 66% or greater discount).

While discounted sales certainly dwarfs our regular sales, the day-to-day sales are really expectational as nicely. Right now we are promoting around 6000 units per month at complete cost. This is in fact far more than adequate to cover all salaries and operational costs for every single month, which is a scenario we nevertheless have not genuinely gotten utilised to. One more interesting reality is that monthly sales have really elevated, they are nearly double now from what they had been half a year ago. What all this indicates is that we can perform with a healthy buffer that makes it attainable to take much more dangers and down the road invest much more funds on outsourcing for sound, voices, art and a lot more. Each of which must allows to make our next game as good as achievable.

The distribution in between platforms depends a bit on how you count it. In our own retailer it is as follows:
Windows: 70%
Linux: 15%
Mac: 15%
Nevertheless, our shop is the only one particular that sell a Linux version of the game, so in total sales the percentage of Linux is a lot significantly less. When hunting at other stores the distribution is about 11% Mac and 89% Windows. The Mac percentage goes down a bit during sales, exactly where Windows sales enhance 3 occasions or so more compared to the Mac ones. An exciting note right here is that Mac sales in our own retailer did not go down as a other on the internet outlets like Steam started to provide mac versions which means it did not steal our clients but opened up to a new industry. We feel it is a good incentive for other shops to help Linux as well!

The final information regarding sales is the distinction amongst physical and digital sales. As of now, a total of 35, 000 boxed copies of the game has been sold, or about 9% of total sales. This is not also shabby considering we had no release in Europe and that the American box came out half a year soon after launch. The money earned from a physical unit is much much less than from a digital one, but a physical release can nevertheless be beneficial (nevertheless, other difficulty arise that might make it not worth it, one thing we will cover later on).

Impact on Penumbra
As Amnesia gained reputation, we currently had our Penumbra games up for sale. We were quite curious in seeing how these sales would be impacted by Amnesia's success. As Penumbra is fairly comparable to Amnesia i terms of gameplay and mood, and that both have been produced by the same business, we thought that we would see a boost in sales and interest for Penumbra. Turns out that Penumbra was virtually not impacted at all.

The number of month-to-month visitors for Penumbra are still the exact same as they were ahead of Amnesia. Same with sales the monthly total is nevertheless a small above 500, which it has been for over two years now. The only influence Amnesia could have had is to preserve the typical up.

So why did Amnesia have no (or quite small impact) on the sales of Penumbra? We think one purpose is that principal bulk of Amnesia buyers simply does not connect the two. Although they are similar, the very first appear is quite different. Penumbra requires spot in present day and Amnesia in the 19th century. Another cause is that anytime there is some exposure for Amnesia, Penumbra is virtually never ever mentioned, so most folks that enjoyed Amnesia never ever understand there is a similar game offered.

User response
I noted earlier that the everyday sales have gone up over the final year, and large component of that has been due this - responses from the players. Nevertheless now, a year later, as soon as a week or much more some new post about Amnesia goes up on reddit, youtube or a comparable user generated website. This kind of constant bombardment of Amnesia associated material has continued to raise awareness of the game.

The key instance of this would be the the Amnesia WTF video that reached 4 million views prior to YouTube, simply because of mysterious motives, removed it (here is a copy). Others incorporate this pug picture that managed to spread very virally, photos like this a single, and much more.

One more pleasant surprise was the quantity of custom stories that have been created. In Penumbra we only knew of a single try to make a user-produced level and that a single was never released in public. For Amnesia at least 300 custom story projects have been began, and 20 or so have really become completed, higher top quality, experiences. There has even been a Tetris clone made with the tools!

This surge in interest has produced our neighborhood a lot a lot more active too. A year right after we released Penumbra: Black Plague, our forum was quite dead, getting a post every other day or so. Appropriate now we average about 200 posts / day, and all of it is quite considerably thanks to the custom story creation. This has also spread to other parts of the forum, and there is a lot more general chatter, technical assist amongst customers, etc . It actually shows that supplying customers with creation tools is nicely worth the time.

The making of Amnesia
As a year has gone by a handful of sources on how Amnesia was produced has popped up, so it seems like a very good time to sum them up now:

The Terrifying Tale of Amnesia
A post-mortem of Amnesia at the Escapist, that describes what we went by means of when making the game. It mainly deals with the financial side, but also on how corporate decisions lead to modifications in style, screwed almost everything up, and other juicy stuff like that.

Birth of a Monster
The design and style and production process of the grunt monster, written by a number of of the folks involved. Do not forget that there is a second element.

Evoking Feelings and Attaining Accomplishment By Breaking all the Rules
A talk I gave at GDC Europe about a month ago. It goes more than a lot of the design and style decisions that went into Amnesia.

Subsequent for Frictional
So what is subsequent for us at Frictional Games?

Very first of all, we want to get up to speed on our subsequent game. Since we spent all resources we had on getting Amnesia accomplished, we had to commence the new project without any sort of momentum. Added to this was the potato thingie that also took a lot of time (but was truly worthwhile). This has lead to a discrepancy in between design and style, technologies and art that we just about caught up to now. We have accomplished a lot of function on the subsequent game, but it is not till now we are close to getting a nice function flow.

Since of this, a major issue for us to repair is to be in a position to handle several projects. We want to have a good reallocation of sources at the end of each and every project and make confident to keep the flow going. However we do not want to develop the organization also much, and therefore we are hunting into other avenues. If everything goes as it should we will announce our very first stab at a answer to this really soon!

Yet another big modify for the future will be consoles. The main purpose for picking consoles is purely monetary. Correct now our major revenue comes from really handful of channels, and we want to spread out the danger somehow. The other reason is that we feel we are missing out on exposure by not getting on a console and not reaching as several players as we should be capable to. Regrettably consoles are truly old compared to the Computer proper now, so it will be far from simple to create for two platforms. Our existing thinking is to make the console get a reduced end version and make sure console specs influence the Computer version as little as achievable.

Lastly, in regards to what our subsequent project is about, the standard concept is to use lessons discovered from Amnesia and then take it to the next level. We have described ahead of that the next game will not be as horror focused as our previous ones, but nonetheless have a scary atmosphere. Our intention this time is to dig into deeper and much more intellectually demanding subjects. One more objective for us is to get previous obtaining classical puzzles that break the flow, but without having making the game into a spoon-fed variety of expertise.

We are all really excited about the future, with tons of ideas we want to attempt out and now with the sources to do so effectively. This is the very first time for us building a project that we know we can fund all the way and not worry about tight resources. It will be really interesting so see what will be achievable to produce this time!

More inquiries?
Anything else you want to know? Properly, you are in luck due to the fact the complete team will be available for an Ask-Us-Anything at Reddit! Just go here:

It is genuinely simple to register at reddit, so just do so and fire away in case you are curious! And do make positive to up-vote it so it gets some exposure!

And ultimately, thanks to all who have supported us, pre-ordered our games, place up crazy stuff on the web, provided aid in the forums and in other methods helped to spread the word!

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