Dead Cells has sold more than one million copies, and while its shifted more units on PC than anything else, developer Motion Twin believes if it had been launched simultaneously on both PC and Nintendo Switch, the latter “would be winning”.
“[We’ve sold] over a million,” Motion Twin’s marketing manager Steve Filby told pcgamesinsider.biz. “PC is still obviously leading the pack and then Switch – everyone loves Switch. It’s been fantastic for us because it’s a run-based game. If you look at day-for-day sales for first launch on both PC and Switch, if we’d launched them at the same time, Switch would be winning. It’s selling faster.”
Filby confirms that while the developer considered pricing the Metroidvania in line with other indie titles, the team thought it was “worth more than $7” and decided to price the game accordingly. It was a gamble that paid off for the developer.
“We were charging that amount because we’re sick of developers shooting themselves in the foot and charging like $5 for their game when it is worth more,” he said. “We were like: ‘We know we’ll discount the hell out of the game all the time because that’s how the world works; we think it’s worth more than $7, so we’ll price it higher.
“Again, it’s about saying: ‘Hey, we worked our arses off on this. If you want to support us and if you liked the game, buy it at full price. We’ll be stoked, that’ll allow us to make other games in the future. If you want to wait for it to be on sale, you know it’s going to eventually be on sale’.”
“It started something like three or four years ago,” lead developer and game designer Sébastien Bénard told MCV last year, reflecting on how Dead Cells came to fruition. “At this time, Motion Twin was still making mostly web games and a few mobile titles but we wanted to make some kind of spiritual sequel to an older game that we made called Hordes [also known as Die2Nite]. It started as a free-to-play kind of game, a tower defense, something different. It reached the prototype phase so we did have an alpha version that we showed to people and it didn’t go well, because it really wasn’t fun, like really not.”
“Because we are an old company, we did have lots of different titles before and we know for sure that sticking to one game, one success, is not a good idea. So when you make a good game, the best thing to do is just to make another one.”