Lack of royalties after Heavenly Sword removed the safety net

Ninja Theory â??survival was fifty-fiftyâ??

UK indie outfit Ninja Theory claims it was on the precipice of studio closure after the release of its PS3 launch title.

Company co-founder Tameem Antoniades said the situation was “difficult” after the 2007 launch of PS3 exclusive Heavenly Sword.

“Once our exclusivity was done we had lots of staff, we didn’t have an IP and we didn’t have an engine,” he said in an interview with

“As a studio we don’t rely on investments or debt, so we use whatever we have in the bank to fund our next product”.

Antoniades revealed that, while Heavenly Sword sold relatively well, the game wasn’t popular enough for Sony to pay royalties at agreed rates of market adoption. What followed, he said, was insecurity.

“We had a very tight window in which to place a [new] game – and it was touch-and-go, fifty-fifty whether we’d make it or not.”

The studio is currently at the closing stages of developing new IP Enslaved – a multiplatform action adventure title co-written by distinguished author Alex Garland.

Antoniades added that current triple-A industry standards place tremendous strain on the independent developer business model.

He said the margins are notably tight, and suggested indies will need a touch of luck to be successful.

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