As great of a game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice turned out to be, it was undeniably a gamble for developer Ninja Theory to release what they called an “independent AAA game”. Thankfully, the gamble has paid off.
In the final Developer Diary released by Ninja Theory for Hellblade, the team reveal that in the three months since the game was launched, they reached 500,000 in sales (three months ahead of their predictions), and put Ninja Theory in the black with over $13 million in revenue. Breaking that down further, 250,000 units were sold in the first week at $29.99 USD, with over 75,000 units in pre-orders across PlayStation 4 and PC. Overall, about half of the sales were on PC.
This all comes from a team of 20, working over three years to develop a game that was sold only digitally.
So, what does this all mean? Well, it proves that in a world where bloated budgets and corporate meddling of a big-time developer can cause a game that’s well-received to be hopelessly behind the 8-ball in trying to break even, or an game made by a small team which receives ridiculous hype but unfortunately fails upon its release, there’s a happy medium. Is it for every game? No, but it’s a feel-good story for a game that definitely deserves your attention.