Like pretty much every other gaming site out there, we loved the hell out of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. If this is the first time you've heard of it, it's one of the finest examples of horror we've encountered, and a great PC game for all the reasons folks love PC games.
Like many independent developers, Frictional Games was struggling to survive. Post-launch, they reported decent sales numbers, but were still in a worrisome position. One month later, things were looking up somewhat, and now four months later, they're practically giggling with glee in discussing the new figures.
Sales have broken 200,000, which for an independent PC game is really quite something, especially with no real marketing or advertising. Frictional has no obligations to a publisher, either, so pretty much everything earned goes straight to them -- by the sounds of it, this might actually put them in a better position than those who sell many times as much but owe a publisher.
"This does not mean that publishers are evil, just that one should think carefully before signing up for anything," co-founder and designer Thomas Grip writes. "Releasing a game without any financial backing or help with marketing is quite a struggle, but if you pull it off it is well worth the effort!"
Note much of the sales were at a discount, so profits aren't nearly as high as they could've been (in theory), but it still puts them in a great position.
Grip is happy to say they now have absolutely no worries at present, and are even set for their next game. He also mentions they're in a better place to take more risks, now, as they know they won't go belly up if something is a flop. They don't plan to "go crazy", but a little experimentation can be expected in the future.
When we interviewed Grip back in August, he mentioned they stick with the PC mainly as a default option -- developing for consoles can be expensive, but with PC being an open platform, there's a much lower barrier to entry. Now that they've seen their first big success on the platform, they seem to have changed their tune to proud PC developers.
"With these figures at hand, we must confess that it gives us new confidence for the PC," he says. "The sales that we have had (and are having) are more than enough to motivate developing a game with the PC as the main (and even only) platform. Based on what we have seen, the online PC market is just getting bigger and bigger, and we are convinced we are far from the end of this growth. We think that other developers that consider making their game exclusive to a console might want to think again."
He knows they're not exactly a typical case, but is optimistic others can do the same, especially as growth continues.
Continuing, Grip isn't not positive whether or not they're going to remain PC exclusive, but seems quite comfortable with the idea should things go that route.
"As for our plans to focus on consoles, as hinted above, this is something we are reconsidering. If online sales figures continue like they have with Amnesia, there is actually not any reason for us to release to anything but PC. Still, it would be foolish not to try consoles out and our current idea is to work together with a third party to do a port. This would mean that we can still can keep a small staff and not risk growing beyond our capabilities."