Amnesia Nearing 200k Units Sold

By Jim Rossignol on January 8th, 2011 at 10:16 am.


Amnesia might put a chill into the heart of many gamers, but it has nonetheless generated a rather heart-warming story for its developers. With nearly 200,000 units sold, the team are now hoping that that their minds haven’t actually been eroded by a Lovecraftian monster: “This is a tremendous amount and more than we ever thought we would. Our “dream estimates” before release was something around 100k, and to be able to double that feels insane,” says the latest blogpost. It also says: “The sales that we have had (and are having) are more than enough to motivate developing a game with the PC as the main (and even only) platform. Based on what we have seen, the online PC market is just getting bigger and bigger, and we are convinced we are far from the end of this growth. We think that other developers that consider making their game exclusive to a console might want to think again.”

There’s much more through the link.

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69 Comments »

  1. Lack_26 says:

    Well done to them, they managed to make a brilliant game, so it’s great to see them do better than some supposed ‘AAA’ titles (I think anyway).

  2. rei says:

    I’m happy to say one of those units is mine, even though I’m very bad with scary things. It’s in fact the only horror game I’ve ever played, and I’ve only ever seen a total of two horror movies as well (if you don’t count Ghostbusters which did give me nightmares for a week). Just couldn’t pass on the awesome atmosphere evident in the videos.

  3. RegisteredUser says:

    PC – the only way to play baby!

    Also: good on them.

    Cheers, chaps!

  4. Kadayi says:

    Good on them, but I must admit not my cup of tea

  5. TimA says:

    Really pleased for them, a truly brilliant game.

  6. dogsolitude_uk says:

    One of those units is mine too :)

    It’s a fantastic game, and gave me a difficult night’s sleep. Great stuff guys!

  7. Jambe says:

    It’s a thoroughly creepy thing they have made, and it’s a shame there’s not more like it out there. If they continue making more stuff like this I will buy it up. If they make anything else at all I will give it serious consideration on Amnesia’s merit alone.

  8. Acorino says:

    You know what’s funny? I bought every game from Frictional, the first Penumbra even thrice (once a retail copy for Windows, once a digital one for Linux and once as part of the Penumbra Collection), but I never played any of them.
    Heck, I even preordered Amnesia!

    I’m just too damn glad they exist. They make sure that there’s some future for the adventure genre.

    • cyberninja says:

      Glad to know I’m not the only one, I bought the penumbra bundle ages ago around when it first came on steam, played half way through the first one, loved it but never got round to finishing it. I still couldn’t resist amnesia though.

    • zergrush says:

      Same thing.

      I can barely handle the stress of playing Amnesia, even tho I’ve played plenty of Fatal Frame, Siren and other scary games. I only saw the ending by watching my stepdad play it ( the old man absolutely loved the game ).

    • LaundroMat says:

      @cyberninja

      How strange, I am in exactly the same situation.

  9. Urael says:

    I am so happy to read this post of theirs. Their first post-launch message worried me that their incredible talent just wasn’t being recognised – that and too many of you idiots were holding on for the inevitable god-like Steam sale rather than paying what the game was actually worth (I pre-ordered) – and that we’d never see another game from them. To my mind that would have been as tragic a loss to gaming as the collapse of Looking Glass.

    This is THE best horror experience on PC, full stop. The only games that comes anywhere near their talent for psychological mastery are their previous Penumbra games and the occasional level in the Thief games but Amnesia does it consistently throughout the whole game and does it so amazingly well. See Youtube for details.

    Well done, Frictional. You deserve everything you’ve earned and more. Here’s to the next game (I’m already excited!) and a distinguished career to come!

    • rei says:

      To my mind that would have been as tragic a loss to gaming as the collapse of Looking Glass.

      I agree that it would be a big loss, but let’s not get carried away here :\

    • Urael says:

      Who’s getting carried away? In terms of building worlds that not just challenge the player but redefine the experiences we have within them, both emotionally and in terms of the play mechanics, Frictional are EVERY BIT as important as Looking Glass. Their grasp of character and story is pretty much on a par, too. As is their use of sound and their art direction.

      Give Frictional a few more releases and I hope we’ll all be talking about them in the same tones we normally reserve for LG. To me, they’re THAT good at what they do.

    • ChaK_ says:

      I think you misspelled thief for ages.

      It’s thiaf !

    • rei says:

      Well, there’s no particular point in juxtaposition, but as far as I’m concerned even if LGS had never done a single thing after Ultima Underworld, there would still be no other developer that could match them “in terms of building worlds that not just challenge the player but redefine the experiences we have within them, both emotionally and in terms of the play mechanics” as you so well put it. Add to that System Shock and Thief, just about everything they ever did was not only revolutionary for its time, but unsurpassed to this day. Granted, after close to 20 years of rabid fandom I suppose it might be hard for anything to match their brilliance in my eyes no matter the merit, so I’m not exactly an objective observer, but I still don’t think you can say I’m getting too carried away if I don’t think that Frictional can quite be compared to LGS.

    • Barnaby says:

      Not fair to call people idiots for waiting for the Steam sale. I am one of those idiots and just cause I’m thrifty doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. :|

      I’m glad to see this game doing so well though. I’m sure they moved a lot more copies during the Steam sale too…

  10. Risingson says:

    It helps that this game has been nearly more time in a sale than in its normal price, too. I see that they have sold a lot of units, but I wonder about the real benefit.

  11. Lambchops says:

    I remember reading a blog post from Frictional around the time of Amnesia’s release that it was very much a make or break release for them. It’s absolutely wonderful to hear that sales have exceeded their expectations and I’m looking forward to whatever they come up with in the future.

  12. Freud says:

    Good news for us PC games. I want to have these guys continue to make games.

  13. Navagon says:

    I pre-ordered this game almost a year before it was released. It was worth the wait. I’m glad to know they’re finally doing well.

  14. Xercies says:

    I’m really glad to see a developer be pleased at getting 200k sales when the industry is full of getting millions of sales. It just shows that these kind of guys have the budget, have a certain amount of sales they can get and just go for it. We need more companies and games like this.

  15. William Morris says:

    Bought a copy for myself and a Steam gift for a friend. Good on them!

  16. Demiath says:

    I’ve bought the Penumbra series and Amnesia just to support the developer of these interesting-looking, atmospheric games. Maybe I should actually play them as well…

  17. coldvvvave says:

    I wanted to ask this for a while.

    Is Amnesia better game than Penumbra?

    • BrendanJB says:

      I enjoyed Amnesia a lot more than Penumbra, but some of the puzzles in Penumbra were really cool. I’d recommend Amnesia over Penumbra, though.

    • Dominic White says:

      Penumbra is probably slightly better as a point-and-click adventure, but Amnesia is a far more refined horror game and storytelling experience.

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      Yes.
      Their blogs talk about this a bit and from personal experience, well I never finished Penumbra but Amnesia I kept coming back to as with a good book (which it’s rather like, especially if you like Lovecraft).
      Ah, expect to do some thinking and “remember stuff” in the ending though, as the game doesn’t exactly hold your hand in showing you your options there.

  18. bill says:

    One is mine too, though i must admit i bought it in the steam sale for $4.80… so i wonder how much actual profit they got.

    haven’t played it yet, as i’m currently playing through penumbra 1, which i got in last year’s humble indie bundle… but i want to support all the devs who contributed games to both those bundles.

  19. Caleb367 says:

    Awesome! I would never have believed to be rooting for people who managed to scare the crap out of me.

    (…holy heck my mind just asked me “what would be a Frictional game inspired by THE THING.)

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      Penumbra actually always reminded me of THE THING, with the setting and the feeling of isolation.

    • Caleb367 says:

      Now add the paranoia, oh-my-god what if the guy who’s been helping me all this time’s just bidding for the perfect time to contaminate me. Think about having to decide if shoot him or not, knowing that if he’s a human and the others are not, they will outnumber you in a second flat. Heck, The Thing is the ultimate paranoia and mistrust movie, add to that the sheer capacity for fear that Frictional have, and it’d be probably banned worldwide for making people literally get psychological traumas.

  20. Deston says:

    This is fantastic to hear. Amnesia is not really my cup of tea (ok, if I’m honest it just terrifies the living shit out of me in a What Even Is way), but I bought a copy on Steam during the sales to support their efforts. It’s sincerely great to see games like this prospering.

  21. The Great Wayne says:

    Bought it too. Still haven’t played it past the demo. I’m watching it closely tho to see if it starts moving by its own. I’m scared.

  22. Loopy says:

    I pre-ordered this a good six months before it was actually released, and It’s still sitting on my HDD waiting to be played…

    I bought the Penumbra series too in a Stream sale, and haven’t played those yet either…

  23. bitkari says:

    At the risk of being a tad contrary, I really didn’t enjoy Amnesia.

    The game, rather than being scary, was just boring. Too much reading. Too much wandering about doing very little. Add to that, the lumbering motion of play was incredibly annoying and made me feel nauseous after a while.

    Perhaps I’ve just become lazy and over-stimulated in my old age, but I didn’t get into this game at all.

    • Caleb367 says:

      Too much reading.
      Dear sir, for this line only, I vote for tying you to a chair and making you read the infamous My Immortal fanfic three hundred times.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Depending on how old you actually are, you might be more frightened by the title “Prostate Cancer: The Dark Descent” which should be released soon.

  24. dadioflex says:

    I seem to remember maybe ten years ago there were a lot of critically acclaimed games, like Battlezone II and Messiah, that never shifted many copies. With retail shelf space squeezed by the consoles and particularly the Playstation taking off, that was when all this PC gaming is dying talk started. We still hear it but it’s obvious PC gaming is just getting bigger and bigger.

  25. Clovis says:

    I hope their next game uses this engine again, but please, how about something that is not scary? I would love to just explore without always feeling like something horrible is gonna’ jump out at me.

    I’ve been playing Mafia II and wishing I could constantly open drawers and knock things about, if only to find a few bucks or some ammo.

    • Wulf says:

      I second this. Something more Mysty, or perhaps a murder mystery, but something that doesn’t have me play for two minutes, quit, and never play it again because I know it’s going to be more than I’ll be able to handle.

    • mwoody says:

      Though I’d read that their next game wasn’t in the horror genre, I’m having difficulty locating an official source for that information. In the meantime, here’s the short paragraph from the blog post on it:

      We are also hard at work with our new game which we are extremely excited about. While we still do not want to disclose to much, our goal is to take “experience based gameplay” to another level. 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.

    • bob_d says:

      Fallout 3? For me that was primarily a “root around in drawers, in and under boxes and in piles of debris looking for goods” simulator.

    • Clovis says:

      @bob_d: Yeah, but more in the way that it works in Penumbra/Amnesia.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Nooooooooooooo…..Frictional games are the only developers out there making truly scary games (which is, i am convinced, one of the main reasons for their success). If they switched to something less spooky- you would make an already browbeaten niche group of gamers very sad indeed.

  26. Wulf says:

    That is good news, yay!

    This is one of those games though that I admit I bought but haven’t played.

    Because I’m a total wuss, and that will never change, I’d probably have a heart attack playing this, and nightmares for months.

    • bob_d says:

      I find that I can manage it in (no more than) 45 minute sessions; luckily it plays well at that length and even shorter sessions.

  27. Big Murray says:

    I wonder how high the figures would be if so many people weren’t too bloody scared to buy it.

  28. Nero says:

    I’m very pleased to read this news and will continue to be excited for whatever they come up with in the future.

  29. Eschatos says:

    I’m really enjoying* midnightly Amnesia parties with friends.

    *By enjoy I mean “Holy fuck do I really have to do this?”

  30. dethtoll says:

    The good news is, it proves that indie developers can thrive.

    The bad news is, it proves that PC gamers have no taste.

  31. phenom_x8 says:

    Great news! PC exclusives will always sell no matter what!

  32. MultiVaC says:

    This is also a pretty good example of the important difference that publishers need to realize between console sales and PC sales. They seem to be completely focused on the first week of sales, and anything that doesn’t make massive profit during that period is labeled a failure. From what I understand, that may work for console games, but is totally different with PC games. In the first week Amnesia only sold about 20,000, which looked pretty grim, but they’ve sustained sales for much longer than any console game I can think of. Amnesia, Minecraft, Torchlight, TF2/Valve games, STALKER, and even Crysis to an extent are showing that PC games see great long-term sales that so many publishers don’t seem to consider.

    • bill says:

      this.
      And sites like GOG show the same thing.
      I personally believe that games like Grim Fandango and Planescape would probably have been huge sellers over the long long term, if they had remained easily accessible.
      Considering both (and particularly GF are considered to be low sellers, it’s amazing how many people have played them… but I suspect a lot of people didn’t pay for that, as there was(is?) no way for them to do so.
      Same probably goes for games like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil… these games have been a little more available, but not always in easy/obvious ways and not always with great ports.

      The word of mouth on some of these took a decade to build up… heck, people are still buying Deus Ex in droves on steam… and that was considered a commercial failure too, right?

  33. GameKey says:

    Great game! The good news is, it proves that indie developers can thrive.

    • Urael says:

      MORE proof. The success of titles like World of Goo, Braid, Minecraft etc is already well established, as is the roaring success of things like the Humble Indie Bundles.

      I think more significantly it helps prove that PC ONLY Indie titles can still thrive. And that expectations for these markets in terms of sales should be set completely differently from the Day One/console philosophy.

  34. vodka and cookies says:

    Good for them but I think their comments are pretty naive, we’ve seen this before with outfits like Introversion – bit of success goes to their heads and everything seems rosy but one or two misstep’s and it all comes crashing down.

    Runic games [Torchlight dev] aren’t fools betting the farm on just one platform neither are the bigger boys like Valve. If Amnesia was on PSN/XBLA they would likely at minimum have sold as much if not more than the PC release. Even some of the bad XBLA titles do 200k in units.

  35. Stephen Roberts says:

    It’s fantastic to see an indie developer that is trying new ideas in game design doing so well. Innovation being rewarded is certainly good news all round. While I personally would enjoy and recommend Amnesia to all, the mechanics of fear induction didn’t stick to me. It was clever and well executed. Fear of the unknown is the best type of fear (or, we have nothing to fear but fear itself) but it soon became routine. I’m certainly looking foward to their next project and hope they don’t overstretch themselves (or set it in an old stone castle).

    Also: I hate all forms of platform exclusivity. It just strikes me as pure dumb. “Shall we make our game available to everyone, or just a portion of everyone?”. I realise it’s usually the Microsoft’s and Sonys that whip legal papers about making it hell to sell your game on both consoles but… Well it’s just arseholes, isn’t it?

  36. The Dude says:

    Yay! Times like these, when deserving game developers get their dues, I want to ignore how smelly the PC gaming community is and give them a big hug.

  37. squareking says:

    Yep — Been playing it (and Penumbra: Overture) for the majority of the day. Both are absolutely delicious.

    While I’m here…anyone know if it’s possible to switch off the light location indicators? It’s very helpful but detracts from the immersion a little.

  38. JohnnyMaverik says:

    200k is great but the game deserves to sell a million. Best Survival Horror release in years, perhaps ever.

  39. Diis says:

    something realy intresting this game, best of luck in the future with the PC games making

  40. Steven says:

    I’m so happy that I have this game in my steam list… it was like pinning a gleaming medal on my jacket XD. To me, it was that one pearl of a game that I was waiting for and it finally arrived. I plan on buying more games made by Frictional, whether horror or not. Well done Frictional and I hope sales skyrocket as I spread my “ever persuasive” word about this gem of a game.

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