Hellblade Selling Above Expecations, Nearly Breaking Even For Developer
Hellblade was a strange, experimental title in a number of ways. Not only was it something different, but it was an attempt by developer Ninja Theory (of Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry fame) to self-publish a title that was larger than most independent projects but smaller in scale than most efforts from major studios. This placed it in a league of "B-games" (from a budgetary standpoint) that has fallen out of favor in recent years, as most developers opted to get bigger or break apart. Thankfully, the effort seems to be paying off.
Speaking with GamesBeat, chief creative director at Ninja Theory Tameem Antoniades said Hellblade has sold above the developer's expectations. "I think it’s almost broken even, or it’s about to break even in the next couple of weeks." Antoniades said. "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." Ninja Theory plans to release a more thorough sales breakdown sometime soon. "We want the data out there so other developers, if they want to do something similar, they have a data point, hopefully, to help encourage them to do more games like this."
The title breaking even is good news since, because the title was published by the developer itself, the company gets to reap all the benefits. "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." Antoniades told GamesBeat. "In terms of a model, I’d say it is a success."
Hellblade was definitely one of the most interesting titles of the year for me. It didn't always succeed at what it set out to do, but that it even attempted half the things it did is laudable. Here's hoping Ninja Theory takes the success and runs with it whilealsomakingDMCDevilMayCry2thanks.