Psychological adventure title Hellblade has sold in stronger numbers than its developer expected.
The Ninja Theory game, which came out in August, offered an atmospheric tale framed by an interesting depiction of severe mental health issues. It was, of course, also a single player game – which is especially pertinent.
“It sold better than our expectations,” chief creative director Tameem Antoniades told VentureBeat. “I think it’s almost broken even, or it’s about to break even in the next couple of weeks. I’d have to check. We weren’t expecting to break even for six, eight, nine months on this game. It looks like within three months, it will have broken even and then some.
“Of course, because we self-published it, it’s the first time we’re getting the bulk of the money back, which is amazing. We own the IP this time. It’s opened up a bunch of doors and possibilities that we just didn’t have until this point. In terms of a model, I’d say it is a success.
Antoniades also said that he’s been pleased with the maturity of the discussion that has surrounded Hellblade’s approach to the issue of mental health.
“I’ve been very surprised, to be honest, at how understanding people have been,” he added. “I thought the game would be very controversial, that there would be a camp that’s dead against what we were doing, and there would be quite a raging debate over whether it’s morally right to represent these things in a video game… In fact, the discussion around the game has been very mature and understanding, amongst gamers and amongst healthcare professionals.
“As you know, the gaming audience can be quite harsh and brutal when you get into discussing things anonymously online. To see quite a mature conversation surrounding this and to see people who have been touched by the game — it’s a better outcome than I imagined was possible.”