PS4/PC Horror Game SOMA Sells 92k Copies, Enough to Pay Bills for Two Years
The game will need to sell about three times that, however, to recoup development costs.
It is rare for developers to reveal hard sales numbers for their games, but that is exactly what Frictional Games has done for its latest release, the PlayStation 4 and PC horror game, SOMA. After 10 days, the title has sold around 92,000 copies, which is good enough to "pretty much" pay the company's bills for about two years, the studio announced on its website today.
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Due to "legal reasons," Frictional cannot share sales number by platform.
Overall, Frictional said 92,000 copies sold, which counts preorders, is "quite good." By comparison, the studio's last game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010), sold 20,000 copies in its first week and 30,000 in its debut month. SOMA did not outsell 2013's Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (developed by The Chinese Room), however, as that game sold about 120,000 copies in its first week.
Whatever the case, SOMA continues to sell well, moving around 2,000 copies every day, Frictional added. However, the game needs to sell around 276,000 units for the studio to be able to recoup its development costs for the project. But Frictional isn't exactly sweating this.
"Given that it took us five years to make the project, there's no immediate stress to do so," it said about recouping development costs. "One of the great things about funding SOMA 100 percent ourselves is that all money earned goes into our own pockets and is directly used to fund our upcoming projects. So we are under no pressure to recoup immediately so long as we get enough to keep going--which we certainly have now."
Overall, Frictional is hoping to sell around 100,000 copies of SOMA in its first month--given its current sales pace, achieving that milestone seems likely.
SOMA's release has also negatively impacted the sales of Frictional's past games. When preorders for SOMA began, sales of Amnesia games fell by about 30 percent, a rate that continues now. Frictional saw the same kind of dropoff when A Machine for Pigs was released; its release cut The Dark Descent sales in half. But that was expected, given the games were in the same franchise. Frictional doesn't have a clear explanation for why this is happening again with SOMA, however.
"This feels strange as the two games are not connected apart from being made by the same company, so we wonder what mechanism it is that causes this," it said. "It might be that Amnesia's sales will rise again a bit later on though, so it's too soon to tell yet just what the effects are."
The full Frictional blog post contains many more details about SOMA, including how the game was marketed, its reception, the company's (lack of) piracy concerns, and what's next for Frictional. In the immediate future, now that the studio has fixed some bugs, the team is taking some time off to rest and relax.
"We'll then focus a bit on documenting how the game and engine works, in the hopes that modding will reach the glorious heights it did for Amnesia," Frictional said. "After that we are on to new secret projects. But those secret projects are really secret, so we can't say a word."
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