Frictional Games have now officially existed for virtually specifically 4 years (4 years and 7 days to be precise), Amnesia: The Dark Descent is our fourth game and it is now four month because we released it. Simply because of this we believed it was time for another round-up of sales and other stuff that has happened.
Those who have read our two earlier reports might have noticed a little trend of the later getting a small bit a lot more good than the earlier. This post will not be an exception and we can happily announce that issues are hunting far better than ever for us. Summarizing all sales given that release really puts us in a state that we by no means imagined becoming in.
Let's start with what I guess men and women are most interested in - sales. When counting all online sales as properly a the Russian retail copies, we have now sold virtually 200, 000 units! This is a tremendous amount and more than we ever thought we would. Our "dream estimates" before release was some thing around 100k, and to be capable to double that feels insane.
Note that more than half of these units have been sold at a discounted price (with as much has 75% of the cost off), so the total earnings are not as a lot as it first sounds. Nonetheless, we are in incredible great financial circumstance right now. Also, the daily sales are nevertheless fairly higher and the typical has not dropped below 200 units but. This signifies that we can nevertheless spend all everyday charges from these sales alone, enabling us to invest the other earnings into the future (for outsourcing, PR, and so forth). It also gives us a healthier buffer and permit us to handle any unexpected happenings the future may possibly hold.
With these figures at hand, we need to confess that it offers us new self-confidence for the Pc. The sales that we have had (and are getting) are much more than enough to motivate developing a game with the Computer as the principal (and even only) platform. Based on what we have seen, the on the web Pc industry is just obtaining larger and bigger, and we are convinced we are far from the end of this development. We feel that other developers that consider creating their game exclusive to a console might want to believe once again.
Even so, our sales have not been common and it is protected to say that we have earned more than most other indie Pc games. We have been really fortunate with our media coverage and gotten tons of totally free PR (much more on this later), some thing that has drastically influenced our sales compared to other titles. As proof of this, in the Steam sales charts we have been amongst the best 3 games for Adventure and Indie categories virtually the complete time given that release, frequently swiftly above a lot of of the games that have been released right after ours. With this we do not seek to discourage other people from producing Computer games, we are just saying that 200k units is not something that should be anticipated soon after four months of sales of an indie game. The market place does continue to grow even though, and it may well not be lengthy ahead of these kinds of numbers are deemed completely standard.
There is an additional truly important factor that requirements to be taken into account: If we have had a publisher and sold according to existing figures, we would not be in the state that we are in now. Far more most likely, we would now be anything much more like our 1st sales summary post. We would probably just have paid back our advance, and just recently been receiving royalties (at a much decrease rate, like 25% of what we get now). This signifies that we would most likely be searching for a new publishing deal at this point instead of possessing the freedom we now have. This does not mean that publishers are evil, just that 1 must believe very carefully ahead of signing up for something. Releasing a game with out any financial backing or assist with advertising is quite a struggle, but if you pull it off it is well worth the work!
Media and PR
Whilst we attempted to make as significantly noise as possible at the release of the game, our advertising efforts have been far from large. Our major tactics have been to spread film clips from the game, releasing a playable demo and to send out evaluation copies. We feel that most of this paid off as a lot as we could have hoped for, with great responses to trailers, players liking the demo and great evaluations. Nonetheless, a lot of PR came from a fairly unexpected source, namely from user generated content material.
An concept that we threw around just before release was to have some sort of audience reaction footage, like Rec and Paranormal activity trailers have had. Obtaining also significantly to do, we just left the thought lying and by no means did something about it. However, shortly after the release of Amnesia players made their own videos with precisely this content! The extent that these have spread is fairly remarkable, one video possessing 775k views at the time for writing. That is almost a million views! And without any cats!
As we have now entered a new year, there have of course been a lot of awards. What is additional exciting about that is that we actually have been gotten a few! Just lately we got three nominations for Independent Games Festival, some thing that we are really thrilled about. Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation fame was type sufficient to name Amnesia his forth best game of the year. Elder Geek awarded us Computer Game of the year which was quite unexpected. IGN is presently nominating us for greatest horror game of the year and also awarded us very best horror and coolest atmosphere for Pc. Lots of other awards have been offered as well and we are incredibly pleased about this kind of response!
How has these awards and nominations been us PR sensible? Regrettably it is a bit tough to say as all have been announced in the course of the Christmas sales, a time when sales exactly where a lot higher than usual. Now when it is more than, we do see around a 75% increase in day-to-day sales compared to prior to the Christmas sale began. We think the awards and nominations are part of this improve, but the increase in new players throughout the holidays have almost certainly also helped spreading the word and enhance the sales.
What we can tell even though, is that the awards and nominations gotten us far more consideration from the media. Specially following the IGF nomination we have gotten a lot of mails concerning interviews, evaluation requests and comparable. So even if these kind of factors are not critical for present sales, they can prove very crucial for the future of our business.
Existing scenario and future
So certainly Amnesia has been a large success for us at Frictional Games, but what does it mean for us as a business? First of all, we are now completely financially steady and have sufficient income to total our subsequent game with no any troubles. It also implies that for the very first time in our lives we can in fact get decent salaries, anything that I personally would never believed would be feasible. This means that Frictional Games is no longer a struggling endeavor that we will continue until our energy runs out. Alternatively Frictional Games has now become a correct profession, revenue provider and something we hope to continue for a lengthy time forward. Compared to how we felt just a couple of months ago, frequently contemplating receiving "proper jobs", this is quite a superb change!
Our financial predicament also implies that we are in a position to take some amount of risk. Even though we of course do not aim to go crazy, it signifies that we can try out new issues without having danger of going bankrupt. It also means that we may have signifies to release a new game far more frequently than every single other or third year. We have some ideas on how to strategy this, and are really in the approach of trying some things out.
As for our plans to concentrate on consoles, as hinted above, this is one thing we are reconsidering. If on-line sales figures continue like they have with Amnesia, there is truly not any purpose for us to release to anything but Computer. Nevertheless, it would be foolish not to attempt consoles out and our existing thought is to function collectively with a third party to do a port. This would mean that we can still can hold a small staff and not risk growing beyond our capabilities.
We are also hard at function with our new game which we are very excited about. Although we nonetheless do not want to disclose to considerably, our purpose is to take "knowledge based gameplay" to yet another level. We aim to use the emotions that Amnesia was capable to provoke and to concentrate them in a distinct path, which will hopefully give delightfully disturbing benefits.
Lastly, a huge thanks to everyone who have supported us more than the years, played our game, spread the word, produced crazy videos, and so on. We hope you all will continue to support is into the future!