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What's Next for Frictional?

The Frictional Games Blog looks back on the year since the release of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, their survival/horror game (thanks GameInformer). They discuss the game's development and reveal more sales figures, saying the game has sold a bit under the previous estimate of 400K copies, while also noting that 75% of the copies were sold at a discount during sales. They also offer some tidbits about their next game, including the fact that it will include consoles in its target platforms. Here's a portion:

Another big change for the future will be consoles. The main reason for choosing consoles is purely financial. Right now our main income comes from very few channels, and we need to spread out the risk somehow. The other reason is that we feel we are missing out on exposure by not being on a console and not reaching as many players as we should be able to. Unfortunately consoles are really old compared to the PC right now, so it will be far from straightforward to develop for two platforms. Our current thinking is to make the console get a lower end version and make sure console specs influence the PC version as little as possible.

Finally, in regards to what our next project is about, the basic idea is to use lessons learned from Amnesia and then take it to the next level. We have mentioned before that the next game will not be as horror focused as our past ones, but still have a scary atmosphere. Our intention this time is to dig into deeper and more intellectually demanding subjects. Another goal for us is to get past having classical puzzles that break the flow, but without making the game into a spoon-fed type of experience.

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24. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 11, 2011, 08:18 Zoom
 
heroin wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 13:07:
I have a good feeling about Frictional though, to be me they are the next Looking Glass.
Let's see if that holds with them doing console-ready games... So far i dont think anyone can touch Looking Glass or even close, but i would really like to be wrong.
 
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23. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 23:20 Jerykk
 
I'm not sure the PC still has the RPG user base to sell 3 million copies of anything, honestly. A shooter maybe...

Starcraft 2 sold over 3 million, last time I checked. Pretty sure Diablo 3 will match and probably surpass that. But yeah, the likelihood of a non-Blizzard game selling over 3 million is pretty low.
 
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22. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 23:15 StingingVelvet
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 23:02:
Didn't see that announcement of Witcher 2 selling almost a million. While that's certainly better than 400k, I can't help but imagine that CDP is slightly disappointed. The first game sold 1.5 million and had considerably less hype, marketing and budget than Witcher 2. I'm sure Witcher 2 will eventually sell 1.5 million but I think CDP was hoping for it to have at least double the sales of the first game.

I'm not sure the PC still has the RPG user base to sell 3 million copies of anything, honestly. A shooter maybe...
 
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21. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 23:02 Jerykk
 
Didn't see that announcement of Witcher 2 selling almost a million. While that's certainly better than 400k, I can't help but imagine that CDP is slightly disappointed. The first game sold 1.5 million and had considerably less hype, marketing and budget than Witcher 2. I'm sure Witcher 2 will eventually sell 1.5 million but I think CDP was hoping for it to have at least double the sales of the first game.  
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20. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 21:21 StingingVelvet
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 04:03:
If Hard Reset has similar sales figures THAT would be disappointing.

I don't think it would be that disappointing. Hard Reset has had about as much marketing as Amnesia and it's also a very niche, old-school, non-military shooter. Granted, it has a higher budget but I'd be really surprised if it sold more than 400k. Keep in mind that Witcher 2 has sold 400k thus far and that game's marketing, hype and budget easily surpass both Amnesia and Hard Reset combined.

As said by others TW2 is at almost a million.

In any event, my point was that Amnesia is a niche title on a niche platform, so 400k is pretty good. Hard Reset is a more mainstream title on a niche platform, so I would expect it to do better. Though now that I am seeing reviews and demo reaction for Hard Reset, I would take that back.
 
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19. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 13:07 heroin
 
I'm surprised Amnesia even sold 400k. I'm sure those dudes are swimming in cash considering Frictional is a very very small development team. Thief: The Dark Project only sold 500k in its time & that game was pretty innovative, had amazing media hype for it's reception & had marketing - of course it was also a much more expensive title to buy.

I have a good feeling about Frictional though, to be me they are the next Looking Glass.
 
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18. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 11:57 Beamer
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 04:03:
Granted, it has a higher budget but I'd be really surprised if it sold more than 400k. Keep in mind that Witcher 2 has sold 400k thus far and that game's marketing, hype and budget easily surpass both Amnesia and Hard Reset combined.

100% true. I'd guess Hard Reset has zero chance of breaking half a million, and it's only word of mouth that will put it near that.

I also love the comment that "how many times have we heard that indie games aren't making much money on Xbox and PS3." How many times have we heard the same about the PC? The PC has had a few indie games make an enormous amount and a whole lot make nothing. The same goes for the consoles. And the same goes for the iPhone, where the amount that have made a killing far dwarves PC and console combined.
 
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17. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 10:28 Slashman
 
I'm thinking the Witcher 2 will see another surge in sales once they release the 2.0 version on the 29th.

The Witcher games seem to be slow starters, but end up doing well in the long run. I imagine the console release will add to that as well.
 
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16. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 04:52 Draugr
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 04:24:
VGChartz doesn't cite any of their sources so I'd take their numbers with a grain of salt.

CD Projekt officially announced that the game sold 400k in the first week so those are the only numbers we have to work with. Hopefully it continued to sell well after that week but there's no way to say.

I do agree that Amnesia sold well, though. Apparently Frictional was only expecting around 200k so 400k was a very nice surprise.

Yeah, CDP Quotes bigger numbers than VGChartz.
http://www.wbj.pl/article-55824-the-witcher-2-nearly-1-million-copies-sold.html

As a side note, it's really interesting that its done so well. I seem to recall a little after release Frictional was concerned that it wasn't doing as well as they had hoped. perhaps it was the sales that helped get them to where they wanted to be, and beyond.
 
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15. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 04:24 Jerykk
 
VGChartz doesn't cite any of their sources so I'd take their numbers with a grain of salt.

CD Projekt officially announced that the game sold 400k in the first week so those are the only numbers we have to work with. Hopefully it continued to sell well after that week but there's no way to say.

I do agree that Amnesia sold well, though. Apparently Frictional was only expecting around 200k so 400k was a very nice surprise.
 
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14. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 04:20 Draugr
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 04:03:
If Hard Reset has similar sales figures THAT would be disappointing.

I don't think it would be that disappointing. Hard Reset has had about as much marketing as Amnesia and it's also a very niche, old-school, non-military shooter. Granted, it has a higher budget but I'd be really surprised if it sold more than 400k. Keep in mind that Witcher 2 has sold 400k thus far and that game's marketing, hype and budget easily surpass both Amnesia and Hard Reset combined.

http://gamrreview.vgchartz.com/sales/39247/the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings/ Witcher 2 has sold more units than that, but the point still stands, amnesia did very well considering it's marketing (or lack thereof.) It being on sale from time to time obviously helped quite a bit.
 
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13. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 04:03 Jerykk
 
If Hard Reset has similar sales figures THAT would be disappointing.

I don't think it would be that disappointing. Hard Reset has had about as much marketing as Amnesia and it's also a very niche, old-school, non-military shooter. Granted, it has a higher budget but I'd be really surprised if it sold more than 400k. Keep in mind that Witcher 2 has sold 400k thus far and that game's marketing, hype and budget easily surpass both Amnesia and Hard Reset combined.
 
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12. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 03:56 Draugr
 
Well, seems like they are taking the right approach to multiplatform development, imo.

Interested to see their next title and what it will be.
 
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11. removed Sep 10, 2011, 03:53 CJ_Parker
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Sep 10, 2011, 10:51.
 
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10. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 03:47 Jensen
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 03:39:
I think the 400,000/75% in sales figure is less disappointing when you consider...
400K wasn't the developers estimate... they were expecting to sell far fewer copies. 400K was just a guess by a game journalist on how many copies they had sold up to that point in time.

No disappointment anywhere :-)
 
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9. Re: What's Next for Frictional? Sep 10, 2011, 03:39 StingingVelvet
 
I think the 400,000/75% in sales figure is less disappointing when you consider that a really scary horror game like this is a pretty niche title. I bought it reluctantly during a sale just to support them, knowing I would probably never play it. It's just not something a lot of people are going to get super excited about and their decision to move on a bit is a good one.

If Hard Reset has similar sales figures THAT would be disappointing.
 
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8. Re: RE: Follow up Sep 10, 2011, 03:38 Jensen
 
UConnBBall wrote on Sep 10, 2011, 00:39:
Team Meat who developed Team Meat Boy vows never to work with Microsoft again.
The article says that SMB sold twice as many copies on the PC as on XBLA. The average sale price is likely much higher on the XBLA, since it hasn't had any discounts on that platform, besides a 33% off launch sale.
I don't know how the revenue split compares between XBLA and Steam, but XBLA must be a significant portion of their total revenue.
 
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7. Re: RE: Follow up Sep 10, 2011, 01:17 Kobalt
 
I'm sorry but if some indie developers complaining is proof that pc gaming will be topdog, we have 2 completely definitions of "top". If someone like ea says they are done with consoles you will have a point though.  
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6. Re: RE: Follow up Sep 10, 2011, 00:39 UConnBBall
 
Just saw this to back up what I was saying.

Team Meat who developed Team Meat Boy vows never to work with Microsoft again.

http://www.develop-online.net/news/38606/We-wont-work-with-Microsoft-again-Team-Meat

I really think the era of PC Gaming's return to top dog status is really happening unless Microsoft cares to ruin it.
 
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5. Re: RE: Follow up Sep 10, 2011, 00:15 UConnBBall
 
Console don't pay well for small independent games period. Sure there was Braid but how many time do we hear that XBox and Sony just aren't worth it since they pay out so little.  
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