Ninja Theory’s action-adventure / psychological horror game, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, has manage to sell over 500.000 digital copies on the PC and PlayStation 4. This means that the game has broken even and is now turning a profit. This is a pretty big step in the life cycle of the little game that could. And this is potential good news for gaming as a whole.
In the midst of all the controversy around loot boxes and other shady practices of the AAA games and publishers, it’s easy to start viewing the future of gaming as pretty grim. With all the dirt kicked up around EA and the others, it becomes difficult to find any good news. So, I’m going to do my little part by celebrating the success of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The game created by Ninja Theory got high praise from critics and gamers alike. People laud it for the good gameplay and visuals, outstanding audio design, and, apparently, a surprisingly accurate depiction of mental illness.
More importantly, it’s the concept behind Senua’s Sacrifice that makes its success so important. Ninja Theory made a point of Hellblade being a mid-tier game between indie and AAA. They made a point of budgeting and developing smartly, and selling a triple-A experience at half the price. They made a point of being completely transparent and keeping backers and interested gamers alike constantly updated. These are the reasons that make me incredibly happy that Senua’s Sacrifice managed to break even and start turning a profit in just three months, well ahead of schedule. With any luck, this will start a new trend of mid-tier games that will shake up the gaming community out of its complacency.
So, here are some of Hellblade’s numbers, as provided on the Ninja Theory website. Like we’ve mentioned, 500.000 copies have been sold, which means that the game broke even and is now turning a profit. That’s over $13 million in revenue. It happened in only three months, twice faster than studio originally projected. The game had over 75 thousand pre-orders on PS4 and PC, and sold 250k units in the first week alone. It’s a product of a team of twenty people, working for three years. You can check out the final dev diary video below for more details.