Once on the verge of its own dark descent, independent studio Frictional Games reports
that relatively strong sales of Amnesia: The Dark Descent
have made the company "completely financially stable" for the first time in its four-year history. Frictional now has enough capital to finish its next game "without any problems," thanks to Amnesia
closing in on 200,000 copies sold and trouncing pre-release "dream estimates" of 100K units.
The company's newfound stability represents a complete one-eighty from its situation just four months ago, when Amnesia
was released to tepid first-week sales. "Even though we are far from complaining," Frictional wrote
at the time, "it feels like we do not have the financial security we would like to have, to truly be able to focus on making the best game possible." Funny how a strong Metacritc score
, a series of Steam sales and compelling fan PR (like the popular YouTube clip posted after the break) can turn it all around.
"We have been extremely lucky with our media coverage and gotten tons of free PR," Frictional admits, "something that has greatly influenced our sales compared to other titles." While the studio doesn't want to discourage hopeful indie developers, it does consider Amnesia's
sales to be atypical in the current digital distribution market on PC. "The market does continue to grow though, and it might not be long before these kinds of numbers are considered perfectly normal."
Of course, Frictional is quick to point out that self-publishing can be the key to success in the digital marketplace, suggesting that "we would not be in the state that we are in now" if Amnesia
had been launched through a third-party publisher. "This does not mean that publishers are evil," Frictional adds, "just that one should think carefully before signing up for anything. 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!"'
Having pulled it off, Frictional is now reconsidering a console release of Amnesia,
with the "current idea" to contract a third-party developer to do the port. Meanwhile, with no plans to expand its staff, the studio is forging ahead with its new game. "We aim to use the emotions that Amnesia
was able to provoke and to focus them in a different direction, which will hopefully give delightfully disturbing results."