Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – a psychological action title from Ninja Theory – is doing well for itself. The game has sold 500,000 copies in its first three months, beating the developer’s internal projections.
Ninja Theory expected to move 500,000 copies after six months. The game was only sold digitally, and was created without a publisher. It has recouped its development cost, and is now turning a profit.
"Creatively we hit a home run, but our other major goal was to prove that there was a space between indie and triple-A games that could work commercial. And for that, sales do matter," the dev shared in the above video diary.
According to Gamasutra, the game took a team of 20 people to complete, over the course of three years. To date, the game has generated $13 million USD in revenue.
"The escalating stakes in the AAA retail publishing model has killed off countless independent studios like us, many smaller publishers, and is now straining even the largest of publishers. This isn't survival of the fittest but a routing of the creative base upon which this industry was built," the studio added.
"The future isn't written and we don't believe that the writing is on the wall. AAA will always exist but we need strong alternatives as well. Three years ago we announced our intention to find a way to do our best work outside of the AAA retail model and have openly documented the journey in our thirty development diaries.
"The final step is to share our commercial model and digital sales data for the benefit of other developers. The more data we have for alternative business models, the more developers can take informed commercial and creative risks."
Ben Wilson reviewed Hellblade, scoring it a 9.5. He praised its approach to story building, calling it an “emotional inferno, worth your suffering.”