Wednesday 15 September 2010

One week after the release of Amnesia

It has now been a week since we released Amnesia: The Dark Descent and I would like to go through some areas of interest. There is a a lot to say really, but I will try and be brief and only concentrate on the most important things.

Making the game available
This was the first time that we have had a game that would be simultaneously released for six different stores on the same day, so we were a bit nervous on how that would go. To make sure that all stores had enough time we sent out the game more than a week before release. This seems to have worked and all the stores had the game available in time for release.

Added to this, we also had a system for pre-order customers to get their download link, serial key and Steam key. Jens have tried this over a month before release and it was very well tested once released. The only problem was some mix up with keys and people loosing their mail, otherwise all went well.

In summary, we are quite happy how the availability of the game turned out and we actually expected there to be more unknown factors popping up and make our lives harder.

Press Response
We had already gotten a few previews and thought we had some idea where the reviews would land. However, reality turned out far beyond our expectations. There has some extremely positive response (as can be seen on the game's page and at meta critic) and we are extremely happy about this. From all the graded reviews so far, all but three have been 80+ (about half of these 90+) and interestingly two of the less positive ones had has a major complaint that there was too much horror in the game. Which in a way makes us happy as well...

We have also been able to reach out to a lot of media, and most major sites have covered the game. A bit disappointingly, a few sites that reviewed and covered the Penumbra games have not mentioned Amnesia. We assume this is because we no longer have a publisher and thus lack the proper channels. For the Penumbra games we handled very little of the marketing ourself and thus lacked email/contacts to many sites (we still tried to contact all media we could think of though).

Player response
Like reviews, response from player has gone beyond our expectations. We noticed this first at the release of the demo. We were unsure of how interesting it would be, but it was received very well. Since then, the name Amnesia has spread like wildfire across the Internets. I think there have been more videos, discussions, etc released at the time of writing than we have accumulated for any of the Penumbra games. It is also telling that the within 24 hours of release, pretty much all major secrets in the game was found out (it took much longer for the Penumbra games).

I think the most alarming thing was that the game was available as a pirated copy 24 hours or so before release. This kind of 0-day release can be quite hurtful, as otherwise paying customers might be so anxious to play that they pirate and then forget to pay for it. Since we released the game online only, we were not expecting this and the source of the illegal copy was one of our review copies (with tracking info hacked away). We are not sure what to do about this in the future, but we will have to be more careful and perhaps not send out review copies to so many outlets. It could have gone a lot worse though as a the first review copies (of early builds) were sent out almost a month before release.

As many of you might already know Amnesia is a sort of make or break game for us. At the time of writing, we are very close to our "all is good"-goal, meaning that we are still in business (due to contractual stuff we cannot release any numbers right now)! However, there are a few "buts" to all this.

The response we got from the game is a lot better than we expected, yet the sales are only "good" according to our, much more modest, expected response. This makes us wonder what sales we would have gotten if the response would have been more like what we thought it would be. If this is our time in the spotlight, then a lot less noticed game would probably put us out of business. As it looks now, we still have to be quite careful in budgeting our next game (although much less careful than what we had to be with Amnesia). We were hoping a really successful release would makes 100% unworried about finances, but that is not what has happened.

Can we really judge sales from just one week? According to current graphs: yes we can. Even though reviews keep coming in from major outlets and we keep pushing out marketing material (videos, release of tools, etc) sales are dropping fast. Around 50% of our current earnings where made in less than a week and on pre-orders from before release. The sales where at the top during the last hour of the Steam 20% discount, and has since dropped almost exponentially, being pretty much halved each day. It will be really interesting to see at what level it pans out.

This is of course not all the income we will make from the game, but is still a bit discouraging when comparing to recent XBLA releases and similar. So why is not sales higher? Piracy? People waiting for future massive discounted sales? Game too scary / niched? Right now we have not got a clue, but hopefully it will become clearer further on.

Finally, as this was a multi-platform release, some preliminary sales distribution should be of interest. Around 90% was windows users, 5% Linux and 5% Mac. In defense of Mac and Linux we did concentrate our marketing efforts on the Windows user base.

Technical Issues
When releasing for PC, there is bound to be tons of technical problems, especially since we released for three different OS. So it is kinda surprising that it has not been that much. As with Penumbra, the number one problem has been OpenGL driver issues, something we unfortunately cannot control.

The largest single issue is probably the problems the ATI X-series and below range of cards for Windows. I'd like to add that we had tried it on a 9600 for a Mac successfully, but on Windows it fails due to various issues. In a way this is a driver issue too, but I think it might be some piece of code that it simply dislikes and I am hoping to fix it for an upcoming patch.

In general game issues, there have been less than expected too. There is the standard falling out of the map and physics messed up bugs, but less than we thought there would be. In-game crashes are also very few (most caused by some cache issues it seems), which is nice and we feel that the game is quite stable.

Game feedback
There has been a ton of feedback for the game and we try to read and discuss most of it. Discussing in detail would take up too much space so I will just take up two points, that I found extra important.

The main thing we will do for our next game is to skip any "forced" and incoherent mechanics. What I mean by this is puzzles that does not really make sense in the game world and break the immersion. An example would be the corpse-puzzle that forces the player to use very specific items to complete it. Trying to get rid of all these elements and further increase the feeling of being part of an actual world, will be one of our top priorities.

One of the main themes of the game, was for the player to slowly regain lost memories and to make up their mind about Daniel (ie their past self). While most still refer to the protagonist as "Daniel" (and not "me"), many players have really thought about the details discovered in a way we hoped. The game medium is so great for setting the audience at the center of the drama and force them to take a stance. It feels as if many people did this in Amnesia, and we hope to take this even further and on different subjects for future games.

Final thoughts
On almost all fronts, we area extremely pleased with this release. It has in many ways exceeded our expectations and it makes all the hard work, pay cuts, etc worth it in the end.

The most distressing thing is the sales though. Even though we are far from complaining, 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. So what should we do? The things we have discussed include: Increase the cost of the game, doing a console port instead of Linux/Mac, do a less niche title and more. Now is too soon to make a decision though and we have to see how the coming weeks and months go.

Finally, I know I say this a lot but we truly mean it: Thanks to all who have supported us by buying the game, spreading the word, and what not. We hope you all will continue supporting us in the future as well! All of Frictional Games sends their finest regards and thanks for this support!


  1. That's unfortunate the game hasn't reached sales expectations for you. To be quite honest I hadn't even heard of the game until a few days ago when I randomly saw the demo on steam, tried it, and immediately purchased the full game. Hopefully word of mouth on this will give it longer legs than some releases as I would love to see what Frictional Games develops in the future.

  2. Thank you Frictional Games for making one of the most memorable and amazing games I've had the pleasure to play, play, and play again. I can understand, looking at the numbers that a mac/linux port is probably not profitable but I really hope you do consider keeping support there, at least for the mac.

    Keep up the great work, and I'll definitely keep spreading the word of Amnesia!

  3. Keep this niche! For the love of god or other things holy! Console port, I can see that generating lots of sales. As for niche drawbacks, I know many people who have xbla games they never played more than 5 minutes of. But please keep being terrifying. $30 is still half the standard retail price

  4. Hey Frictional. You inspired me and a friend to make a horror game. Its very disapointting you didnt reach the sales you wanted and I am surprised. When i look at piracy I wonder why bother especially with an independent company like your selves. You have limited money as it is and need money to keep the company going. The people who torrent this need to realise that the games will only roll out of your company if they buy it. I personally pre ordered back in April after playing the lovely penumbra series. Good luck with your new project in the future!

  5. I loved Penumbra so much, and I'm loving Amnesia much more!!!
    But please, *PLEASE* solve the 64-bit problems on GNU/Linux platforms!!! :-D

  6. I hope the sales get better over time as word spreads. You guys deserve some security for the next game after what youve been through so far.
    Obviously the life of an indie game developer is quite rough!

    As for the piracy, which is disappointing, you guys couldnt have sent out a half version of the game instead of the whole thing? I know it limits the amount of reviewing that could be done, but I would be freaking out sending my full game out into the world 1 month before release.
    Also notch (minecraft guy) has just posted a summary of how he feels about piracy, its worth reading, I agree with a lot of it:

    And Id like to add that my heart did skip a beat when you mentioned "...have to be quite careful in budgeting our next game"
    The next game??? I haddnt even thought past Amnesia yet... :D Exciting!

    A final note though (Ive barly even started the game btw) but Id like say that immersion-wise Amnesia is almost perfect. The ONLY things which damage the immersion are player death (hard to think of a solution) and the major one for me is clicking on doors which take you to a loading screen and then into the new 'section'. This is a big bummer for immersion, it rips you out the game (and I get a certain satisfaction from walking around and being able to open and close doors, maybe Im werid tho...). I know its something thats not easy, but a seamless, flowing loading system (progressive loading?) would be great for these games, and would never end the immersion. If something like that was developed for your next game/engine then Id be one very happy (and scared) gamer.

    Also thankyou for giving us a quick summary of the sales progress so far, its something Im sure a lot of us are interested in knowing (we care!)

    Now excuse me, Ive got to get back into Amnesia :)

  7. Here's an idea that just popped into my head: Working towards a single moment of release over several years means you focus all the risk of a project into a period of a couple of days. You build up this huge amount of uncertainty that will all have to be resolved on one crucial moment. Some titles reach critical mass this way, with skyrocketing sales following. Many other titles see a harsh decline, despite the immense quality of the product, which is a shame.

    Compare this to how Notch is doing this with Minecraft. He releases early and often.

    Put his sales history in a graph next to yours, and I think you'll see the lines mirrored horizontally. His sales have been going *up* exponentially, starting very slowly but absolutely exploding as of late.

    I think his strategy is very good. By releasing whatever he has when he has it, he spreads his risk all over the development cycle. He always has very direct feedback on the commercial viability of the product. On top of that, the community can start growing around the game way before it is done so that by the time of final release there is already a huge customer base. Finally, having something playable for people is the best promotional material you can possibly have. It beats teasers and trailers easily, I think.

    Not every game lends itself to this kind of scheme. I can certainly imagine that playing early builds of a horror game can break immersion beyond repair. Nevertheless, I think that using the traditional development/release scheme forces developers into a very risky situation, and many indies don't have a buffer in case things pan out the wrong way.

    In much the same way that the internet is changing our views of the distribution process, I think it should also influence how we view the development process. There's definite room for improvement here.

    Love the game by the way, and I'll do my best to convince my friends to give it a go.

  8. The subject of piracy is a very difficult and slippery one. But I'd wish to make you feel a little better about the pirated release : if I hadn't begun by illegally downloading Penumbra, which I randomly found on a torrent site, I would never have had the idea to buy it. Twice. And Amnesia without having even tried the demo. Thank you for all :)

  9. Forgot to add: Player feedback is also a huge part of any new strategy. Players want minecarts? Notch also thinks it's a good idea? It's in the game the next week.

    This is not just good communication with the fan base. This gives players a strong connection to the game, perhaps even a sense of ownership. If you can establish a meaningful relationship like *that* one with your players, they will never leave you. Ever.

  10. It is dissapointing that the sales are not up to your expectations. As being a frictional games fan from the original Penumbra Overture, it saddens me greatly to have a game such as this to be overlooked by many. Although the game seems to have a great word-of-mouth promotion going for it. (personally, ive been telling almost everyone i know whos into games about it)

    although i am very happy to hear that the game is getting such good feedback, as it deserves it. Giving a bad review becuase its too scary Really Thats what makes the game so unique...well one of many things. The game is scary as hell, and i absolutely love that you didnt hold back at all when making the scares!

    You have created a truely amazing and frightening experience that i wont be forgetting or discussing anytime soon. Thank you, to everyone at Frictional.

    I am in great anticipation to see whats next for you guys. Keep on doing what you do best! Youve made a lifetime fan and supporter out of me! Thank you again for an amazing and horrifying experience!


  11. I'm afraid I can't give any perspective on why you may not have gotten amazing sales - as I preordered it as soon as I first heard about it when you were trying to get 2000 preorders (on Rock Paper Shotgun).

    I loved the game - A LOT - and I got to play it extra-scary-style with lots of earthquake aftershocks (just had a 7.1 where I live) which certainly was awesome.

    My main complaint/want is to do with the ending. More of. I want. For instance...

    ---- SPOILERS BELOW ----


    the 'escape' ending... I would love to have been able to physically run through the forest away from the castle myself, being able to stagger into a small hamlet, see the sight of a nice, mundane inn myself. That rush of relief, it would have been such a majestic way to cap the game. For the save-Agrippa ending I would have liked to have been lying in a bed, face up, and have Agrippa and the owner of the female voice looking down on me, as if tending my wounds - again, a release of tension as it overtly states that I am safe, and gives context to the ending. For the other ending, the sacrifice, I would have liked to have had confirmation of the true nature of Alexander - hear him finally, joyfully reunite with his paramour, or perhaps the opposite.

    --- END SPOILERS ---

    So really, I wanted more of a firm cap, and lots of context. I know that through careful playing of the game, a lot of that context can be gained - but I'd have really loved a nice pat on the head and some sort of a confirmation.

    I really hope you get a long tail of sales - from what I've read on other indie-dev blogs, the longer you survive to build up a repertoire of games, the more stable you become - as all the long tails start to add up and sales never truly stop. I hope that with each game, you become more and more assured of income and freedom to create.

    Sorry this comment became so long!

  12. Regarding sales it is very scary to read that you even consider doing "a less niche title" next!!
    I am wondering whether one of the reasons for sales being below expectations might be people like me waiting for the box? Or were the sales of Penumbra primarily download versions?


  13. Why would you not port to PSN and/or XBLA? The XBLA port especially is not particularly challenging and I would be surprised if your numbers didn't look A LOT better on the console. Getting developer agreements with Sony and Microsoft can be hard but you guys have a finished game to point to. Not to mention the fact that there isn't a lot like this available digitally on the console. It really seems like a huge win to me. Good luck!

  14. I may would have bought the game (and do so from you guys, so I'd be covered on two digistribution fronts), but...I still haven't even gone into the Penumbra games (though, thanks to the Humble Indie Bundle, I was exposed to the titles, and threw a fiver on a D2D sale, and would prolly do so again on Steam), so I'm not so primed to get another game of the same type when I have as massive a backlog as I do (plus, I'm stingy when it comes to non-handheld games).

    If there's any way to donate to you guys directly, I could trick myself into giving you at least one lesser monetary amount. Really, reading this blog, I like (if not love) your guys' design philosophies, and don't wanna see you sink.

  15. I tried to buy the game from your store just to find out that I cannot because I use PayPal with my bank account, not with a credit card. I do not know if this has a large impact (probably not), but making it harder for people to buy your game is probably not so smart.

    Hope the sale numbers will pick up and you get all the financial support that you need to make games without compromises.

  16. please continue to support Linux in next games!

  17. Yea, do a "less niche title" for console, maybe Halo 5, if you wish to make more money. The truth is - most of the people are simple and stupid, so if your goal is quantity then target those people tastes. Quality=niche in this world, it just works so since times immemorial.

  18. Amnesia is an amazing game, and I sincerely hope that things pick up for you. Games with this kind of atmosphere are few and far between - this game had me feeling genuinely scared, genuinely sad and genuinely angry at all the right moments. It is an excellent amalgamation of atmosphere, gameplay and story. Thank you.

  19. I disagree. And this why:
    "I don't know whether it was because most people had already played Zeno Clash on PC, or that the console game launched a year later, but we definitely had much stronger sales on PC than on Xbox 360"

  20. Congrz on finishing the game, I hope the game do well.

  21. i hope you continue to support linux even if it maid be a little extra work

    i have to admit that i haven't bought the game yet because i wanted to wait till steam goes linux but now i have to change my plans before you lose your faith in linux! (will buy the game for linux right after this comment)

    Feedback for steam: please add steam cloud, or please tell us why you won't do it

    At last keep up the great work even if there "just" (super awesome) niche title

    PS: Stay a win/mac/linux exclusive or at least start building the pc version (we have seen enough console-to-pc ports with bad graphics and shitty controls)

  22. Long time fan here, from way back when Penumbra was just a tech demo, I've got to say that I love Amnesia and have recommended it to pretty much every computer playing friend I know. Even my wife likes moving around the chairs (but can't take the fear!). Online responses I've seen in forums are very positive, hopefully word of mouth will build up to net you some more sales, although I do have a suggestion that may help you...

    Consider adding in some extra content if you're going to do an Amnesia sale later, as long as it's affordable, as this should help puff up talk about the sale as well as start a few replays for the old Amnesia players (auto update on steam, patches for the rest that don't work with cracked versions somehow which may encourage previous pirates to cough up ;-) ). If you've got the inclination you could also include the custom story feature, perhaps to also run alongside a sale, where the best community made custom stories get added to the game.

    I wish you all the best, can't wait to see what you make next!

  23. I'm very sad to hear about you disappointing sales. If there's one game in the last 10 years that deserves above excellent sales, it's Amnesia.

    Now I must stress that the main reason I have watched the progress of Amnesia while you were developing it, the reason I bought it and the reason I'm calling all my friends and posting online urging people to buy it, is because you support Linux.

    Supporting Linux, to me, shows respect for the customer and the freedom for them to buy what they want without having to pay extra (x10 extra actually) for a system they don't, shows a more creative/"free" mind (recognising that people have a choice and are different) and gives a better indication that you write quality code.

    I hope dropping Linux and/or Mac support is only a fleeting idea as I am quite sure this will hurt you as a company, make you seem more like a money machine (which I know is as far from the truth as can be) and saddest for me, you will lose a happy paying customer and eager promoter.

    P.S. In case free programming/packaging assistance on the Linux side will help you make the decision, be sure that you can count on me.

  24. Please continue supporting Linux in the future. Considering the fact that sales for Linux are roughly equal to the Mac sales (according to the 5% stats given) and that Linux users could only buy on your site it shows that Linux users are likely more eager to buy and if there were more proper sales channels (the Ubuntu software center store being added in 10.10 springs to mind) the Linux sales could probably double at the very least. Just something to consider.

    One strategy you could use to boost sales is to try to encourage mod development and give a spotlight to some of the best ones. Anyone who might be looking for a longer game experience could see mods as a time expander.

    Also consider just updating your engine for your next game and not completely building a new one which would save a lot of time and money (also maybe trickle down some updates for the dev tools for people who pre-order your next game maybe?)

  25. I think you did great with the game, i will be pushing it between my friends not because of you but becase it is fantastic. Keep on the good work.

  26. You guys make the most incredible games I have ever played! You almost never find games that take the less-is-more approach anymore. I am currently only able to play the game about 20-30 minutes at a time because I get so scared, and I couldn't be happier!

    Making the game available: Thank you so much for this. I am so glad to be part of a movement like this (if even only the tiniest part). More things need to be 'free' (not free beer). Distrusting your player-base and locking everything down may make you profit in the short-term, but it wins you no friends or loyalty.

    Press/Player Response: I subscribe to a large number of blogs, and I have seen this game pushed quite hard on many of them. My one suggestion would be to blanket the Linux blogs as most Linux users are looking for a game they can actually run natively.

    Piracy: It is unfortunate, but it is bound to happen. Games that have poured money into making it harder to break have only enticed the hackers into wanting to try harder. You cannot stop it. If I had one suggestion for the review copies, you may want to consider watermarking certain textures with an individual key. So if they do end up just blacking them out, at least it will cause the game to be much less enjoyable.

    Game Feedback: I love the first-person physics approach to puzzles. Breaking that wall with a statue was so satisfying! I also love the puzzles that really pull you into the environment and give you a sense of danger. I think my favorite so far has been the one in Penumbra when you have to use the two planks of wood to cross the lake. My god! The terror I felt crossing that (especially the hand coming out of the ice) was unforgettable to me.

    Some time in the future, you should put more of your games into the pay-what-you-want drive. That was a marvel and really gave you guys a lot of credit in my book.

    Thank you for all that you do!

  27. The Penumbra Trilogy, was, to be brutally honest, the first computer game I have ever purchased legally. Amnesia is the fourth.

    And the main reason, aside from the awesome atmosphere and horror aspects of the game, was because I could run it on my operating system of choice, Linux.

    I have been eagerly awaiting Amnesia since you announced it (under it's original name, Lux Tenebras), and preordered (a linux copy) as soon as I could. And even before it came out, I was encouraging people to check out your videos and site.

    Please, don't cancel the Linux port. The only games I have purchased are the ones I can run under Linux, and for a game experience like Amnesia, I'd be willing to part with $40. (Especially since Amnesia has tools for modding)

    Just my two cents. :)

    (By the way, I just finished Amnesia and it was fantastic!)

  28. I think it would definitely be worthwhile to consider console port for the next game, and while I don't advocate dropping mac/linux support altogether, perhaps put them on the backburner until financially you are more secure would be another option. I also imagine the disparity is probably due to the fact that many people who have linux/mac probably also have availability to a windows pc/partition, and they might've been more inclined to get the game their for better performance or whatnot. I also wonder if staggering the PC releases after the console ones might help reduce piracy numbers to an extent, though I'm sure there'll be some PC gamers that'll feel "cheated" and be disinclined to purchase the game (whether one or another effects sales figures more, it's hard to say).

    As for the game itself, it's quite a gem, and definitely one of the more immersive ones I've played yet. The only criticism I had was some of the sanity effects felt overdone (more specifically, the ones yielding physical affects - the more subtle, passing psychological illusions were quite effective and poignant), to the point that I often felt confused/disconnected to the apparent fear the Daniel experiences in certain moments. But overall, it was still quite a worthwhile experience, and I'm surely looking forward to the next course you guys are preparing.

  29. There would be many things to be said, but for now I'll just say "thank you". For the rest, I'll go on the forum.
    I just want to underline that I am a Linux user, and that I REALLY wanted to play this on Linux. Unfortunately, your payment software never let me go through the transaction. Don't know why. And yes, I've tried several times.
    I then had no choice than getting it from d**ned Steam, on windows, which made me quite unhappy at the time.
    I then received a mail from your online store telling me they noticed I had a problem, but it was to late for me, I was already playing it.
    I'm not complaining, shit happens. But if that happened for me, it might have happened to others.

    I'll say one more word for keeping linux releases alive. Linux is gonna grow. Mobile phone, tablets, eee and so on. Moreover, the next ubuntu release (coming next month) will include for the first time a system for PURCHASING software directly from their software center. (very apple-ish, if you ask me)
    At first, I'm not sure I was so very happy with this, but it sure will be a good thing for developpers such as yourself. It will definitely give a better visibility, and maybe teach linux user they can actually pay for something.

    Finally, I'd like to ask : why would it be linux/mac OR consoles ? How difficult/long would it be now for you to port Amnesia to XBLA or other consoles ? (wii ?) It might be quite shorter/easier than creating a new game right now, and give you the extra income you need. Wouldn't it ?

    Thanks and good luck, anyway. I'll keep on spreading the good word.

  30. I was a huge fan of Penumbra and spread the word of those games to my friends years ago. Now I'm doing the same with Amnesia. It was awesome seeing as four of my friends, simply by encouraging them, simultaneously bought Amnesia. It's a damn amazing game and you folks are proving yet again that survival horror DOES exist true to it's roots outside of the now-stale traditional franchises.

    I'm personally crossing my fingers that Amnesia will make you lot financially okay. I'm not finished with the game yet, but I already can't wait for the next one!

  31. This game is pretty cool .Enjoyed it. The only bad thing is that now I can't do fanart of Daniel, I've never seen his face lol!

  32. This just won't do. When I get my next paycheck I'll be buying more copies and gifting them to my friends. This release was wonderful and I intend to do my part to help make the next one good as well.

  33. Hi Frictionalgames !

    I'm not used to this kind of message... See I am unemployed. I don't wanna be "pitified" for it or anything... Simply, I love your work, I played your demo and I want you to be assured that as soon as I have enough money, I will buy every game you made. I know it's hard for you to do it, but I'd like to buy a whole pack of your games, not only Amnesia or Penumbra.
    Thank you for your reading and please forgive my poor english !
    A French fan.

  34. Damn don' t drop Linux support .... Thas realy too bad , i want pay for linux version .... never pay for windows game no linux version no money ....

  35. You guys have done stellar work on this, still deserves more attention than a lot of the mainstream games that have arrived, I've yet to finish it since I'm waiting til I can play the rest in the dark, but I absolutely love it so far. Hope you guys can keep the business going, good luck!

  36. Your game is awesome. Best horror game I've played, hands down. Telling every PC/Mac/Linux gamer I know about it. A couple of friends just bought it yesterday (and they love it so far!) and I'm convincing another one right now.

    Just one question. Why Gametrailers hasn't reviewed Amnesia? I found out this game existed by mere coincidence. If GT or any other important gaming site reviews it I'm sure sales will rocket boost.

  37. I just want to mention that I'd hate to see you stop producing linux-native games. I love Amnesia but I would never have bought it if it were Windows/Mac only. Your games are a beacon of hope in a place that even id and Epic seem to have abandoned.

  38. Of course it is a economical issue, but please don't stop releasing games for Linux. Keep using OpenGl! I for one bought two copies of the Penumbra Collection as I found out it was available for Linux also. I had bought the first copy through steam.

    As for console, you could still do that. However, might be smart to test the demographics of the consolers first. I mean sure there are a lot of console games, but there is sure a lot of teenagers too that either just play action games or that pirate games. Besides do not underestimate the effort needed to make and release a console game. Most PC games I have seen gets only a rating of 50-70% in the console version while they may be 80-90+% on PC. Lot of bad comments from unhappy consolers won't help...

    As for price, yes I think you should up the price. Why would I say that, because if the price is too low and it is a game from a indie company, I'm wondering of the game is really any good and worth getting. It is not always the cost of buy a game that is most limiting, rather the time one have to play games, so one chooses those one think are better quality.

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Some Norwegian reviews:

  39. I think that for a game getting as stellar response as Amnesia, sales will keep dripping in for a while. Word of mouth will likely keep people curious, in particular as there really isn't any real competition out there for Amnesia. Hugely different platforms aside, can you really say that about many XBLA releases?

    I'm not obsessed with grabbing games on their day of release but does that mean I'm not interested in playing? Not at all.

  40. i think that you didn't speak enough about your game, especially on big video sites games :/
    and also, that game is really scary, and a lot of people won't play it just for that.

    outside of that, the game is really good and quite unique, i hope that the word of mouth will get you a lot more sales.

  41. The biggest problem is getting the word out, and the genre in itself. If you've ever tried marketing Penumbra or Amnesia to your friends, you'd know that most people turn 180 if you emphasize on how scary they can be. The problem is that Penumbra and Amnesia isn't just horror, there's so much more going on. The horror is just a result of an amazing immersive experience.

    As of now, I like to market it as an adventure game to my friends, just to make them play it. Once they get a hold of it, and play it, they're hooked, despite claiming to be easily frightened. But to get it in the hands of people, that's what's difficult. I think in this regard, the demo you put out, and piracy has probably netted you a lot of sales.

    When it comes to the Day 0 piracy that you discuss, I don't think that it hurt your cause too much. I think one of the main reasons is because you put your demo out early. The two biggest voices that were heard on the imageboards and forums I visit when the pirated version came out was,

    "Played the demo.
    Downloading because I want to play now!"
    "Penumbra games were awesome. Amnesia's going to be awesome.
    Downloading because I want to play now!"

  42. It really saddens me that you say sales aren't as good as you hoped. I still believe in PC gaming, and in indie games, but the sad truth is that the money is in consoles and companies like EA who will bundle DRM in a futile attempt to stop pirates.

    I hope you'll go on making great, original games for PC. If you do, I'll be there buying them.

    I honestly die a little inside when I see my friends pirate an indie game that you can buy for £3, and yes they do it. It makes me really angry, but I don't know how that can ever be fixed. A lot of people are just like that. These are the bad pirates who do hurt sales. And unfortunately, these same people will pay £40 for a huge multiplayer game that they have to pay for if they want to play it online.

    The pirates that don't hurt sales are probably kids who don't have a credit card and can't convince their parent to buy it. They would never buy it anyway, so you haven't really lost anything. Unless you add a way for them to buy it such as by mobile, which they probably will have.

    Have you considered offering extras for people who want to support you but already bought the game? They might offset the pirates a bit. Off the top of my head: T-Shirts, mugs, posters, books, access to hidden areas etc.

    I also have a question: I bought it on Steam. Does this mean you get less money than if I bought it on your website?

  43. Ohh gosh I'm so sorry I hope everything goes better, you are a great studio! ):> Unfortunately my desktop is 6 years old and unable to play, otherwise I would buy it and enjoy it a ton. C: I really hope everything goes better, love youuu.

  44. If Amnesia hit PSN/XBLA at $20 it'd be a hit. As long as everything translates from the PC version, the game brings something completely unique to the console experience.

  45. Congrats on creating a great game. It is next to Call of Pripyat my best gaming experience of the year.

    I do think that for 7 hours of single player game you could have charged $20 (which with the 20% preorder discount found all over the place would land at $16). Then after a few months you could nag all the sites to have a sale at $10 when word of mouth has worked it's magic a bit.

  46. Okay, I think the engine is good enough for you to do an expansion pack or another episode straight away. I would buy that, as would everyone who bought the first game.

    To me I felt like the whole castle with its lush interiors could be revisited as another building (country manor house like Alone in the Dark). It seems like the perfect engine and assets for many more horrors. I also felt like certain things were left out - e.g. in the underground "cathedral" it sounded like a huge creature was stomping around - until I realised it was just another normal entity.
    Also - not sure if the engine is capable of external scenes? A house on the coast, down a causeway or on an island would be good (if cliched). Even just a view from windows across desolate beaches would be good to make it seem more isolated and expansive.
    The Stalker series has done well by just improving the foundations of what they had.

  47. There are not much french video games sites which talk about amnesia( only nofrag and, both with positive reviews).
    I don't have seen reviews from the bigger ones (gamekult,gameblog,clubic,...).

    It's like they know only what is released from mainstream big companies and are totally blind to indies ones...

    personnaly i have bought my copy the first week( no preorder, directly on your site, i have taken both win and linux versions because i have both systems)

    the linux support is clearly a very good thing
    your game is good
    the theme is good
    the gameplay is original and good
    so no need to abandon what makes it good

    increasing the price is definitely a very bad idea

    the problem is that amnesia isn't known by many people
    (and steam users are used to wait for price reduction periods)

    and the sales can drop until reaching a minimum,but this minimum can remain stable for a long period of time providing you the financial support you need.
    You need 1,2,3 months to see how this is evoluting
    I predict the evolution of the sales will have some "highs" with news reviews coming along.

    anyway , don't forget to give us informations about the evolution of your sales!

  48. Dropping the Linux/Mac version will get you something for sure: -10% sales. Not to mention the bad word, 'cause you should not forget that Linux users have plenty of Windows only friends that might not hear about an indie game (niche games specially) if not told.

    I bought Amnesia and both the Penumbra Collection and Penumbra:Overture ( via Humble Indie pack ) just because of the Linux support, and FG will not get my support/money in the future if no Linux version is available ( 64-bit too :P ).


  49. The game is good.
    But not enough people know it.
    How do you fix that ?

    Also, the more games you make, the more popular (and skilled) you get, and the more you sell. I'm a huge computer nerd and even I didn't know about Penumbra until the 3rd. But it's getting popular.
    Anyway, regarding Amnesia, it was pretty fucking good...
    A huge improvement over the Penumbra series.
    The one mistake is that, like with Penumbra, it's too easy to know when a monster is here. You can run through the rooms until you hear the "beuuuuurhhhh" zombie sound. It always occurs. There should be silent monsters in some rooms, sitting or resting (they would wake-up if you light something or make noise)... Otherwise being able to peak through doors is useless. Also, it would be terrifying.

  50. IMHO, Amnesia is amazing because it is a niche game. Or the other way around, it may be a niche game because it's amazing.

    Well, I really hope you won't have to drop your philosophy because of sales. I wonder how many units you need to sell in order to carry on comfortably ?

    It's really sad if such a unique game is burried under a ton of uninspired games. You are really artists, what you do really makes sense and needs to be preserved. This is a piece of art that should be bought even in years after it's released...

    Concerning Linux/Mac support, it would be really sad. Personally, I'm a Linux only user, and only buy from indie companies that support Linux. But I may be an exception. I have no XBox or whatever, because I'm not a gamer. I just happen to feel like playing a cool game while supporting amazing developers once in a while.

    Well. I dunno. Some mediocre artists are advertised all day on TV, I guess it's the same for videogames.

  51. I read this morning about your unmet expectations about sales.
    While I played the Amnesia demo without being able to go through it (too much work), I thought I would probably buy the full game.

    Hence, here it is : bought 3 Amnesia this morning on the Frictional Games store. I'll probably give the extra two to friends ...

  52. This is an awesome game, and I wouldn't mind at all if you raised the price to about 25 euros instead of 15. If you ask me, 15 is an underprice for such a great game.

    Console. That's were many gamers go these days, sad but true. PSN/XBLA would/will give a lot more profit and piracy will be a none-factor for PSN at least.

  53. I have zero intention of playing this game because it is way too scary for me but when I get paid I'm going to buy this game just to support you guys because I realize that this is a quality indie title. Good luck!

  54. This game was indeed slightly underpriced. I even paid for that game insurance thingy when I bought the game, even though I have no idea what the purpose of it is!
    In any case, €15 is way too little. Without selling it at the ridiculous price of 50€, you could go up to 25€. Or even better, make some "collector" edition (with artworks, wallpapers, the OST and all), for those who'd like to support you more. We can buy extra-copies, of course, but that's less convenient, in my opinion.
    A console port is a definite yes, but dropping the support for Linux or Mac (even though any sensible customer knows that Apple sucks) might not be a good idea. Unless it's that counter-productive to make.

    Anyway, I guess I'll buy some friends a few copies of this game.
    Good luck!

  55. It should remain affordable so that people do not hesitate to get it, and also offer a way to support more the company. Sure, we can buy several copies of it, but if there was some kind of bonus it could be pretty incentive.

    (for instance, I didn't pre-order the next Wolfire game : 25€ but I have no idea what it will really be and when it's available) -- oh well, or you could still keep a reduced price for the pre-order, like 19€ for the pre-order, 24 for the full game. Dunno. It's so shitty to have to consider such things when we consider a piece of art :)

  56. Lots of developer have made a lot in steam sales. Perhaps after a few months you can list the game on same for 50% off or less to drive sales. Everytime steam lists a game for cheap there are a HUGE amount of people who buy it. So I think that should help with revenue, even if its just a little more, it still helps.

  57. Have you tried adapting it for Onlive ?
    It's one more possible outlet for the game.

  58. i strongly recommend porting this game over to xbox live arcade and Playstation home. Even though i am an avid and hardcore pc gamer with a top notch rig to play games on, i know the big bucks are to be made on gaming consoles. Add to that if a nintendo wii version can be somehow managed aswell this would give u a huge market to sell your game to.

    As of now this games market is only pcs, macs and linux systems.
    I do not have the actual figures for the market share of pc games in comparison to the consoles but i can assume that by not making the game available on the consoles, frictional games is missing out on 50 percent (or more) of an audience.

    Frictional games can still make the game for xbox360 or home if they figure out how to optimize the game for the ps3 in a short time, but if i was working for frictional games, i would have strongly recommended a delayed release date but a product ready for pcs,macs linux as well as the consoles because if the product is to be released on all platforms simultaneously, it would greatly reduce the marketing costs as you would have the same trailers, adds etc with a tagline "avilable on pc,mac,linux,xbox360 and ps3" .

    A later release on xbox live arcade or home would mean the game has lost its surprise element, and now frictional games have to spend a lot of money on marketing by releasing console specific trailers, ads.

    This could make a huge difference on finances of a company with limited resources.

    I am planning on making a game in a few years time and i support Frictional games on making a great game worth its price.

    Best of luck.

  59. On the matter of console ports:

    I would love to see a Wii version, considering the way the game plays it would make sense with a Wiimote (imagine having to do a forward/backward movement with the wiimote to open a door for eaxmple).
    Also the Wii is the console with the most Survival Horror games this generation, but keep in mind that some of them sold very poorly (the developers of Cursed Mountains filled bankrupcy not long after the game release) or had terrible reviews (best example: Ju-On: The Grudge). But it still means that console players who are interested in Horror might already own a Wii.

  60. I just realized about the controls, I said Wii but now the PS3 has move as well (and the PS3 does not suffer from piracy like the Wii does)

  61. Maybe you guys need a publisher to properly advertise and market your games. Some people want boxed copies too.

  62. It's a shame people pirate Amnesia. Indie game developers are especially in need of the sales of their games.

    I'm glad I purchased Amnesia, Penumbra and Penumbra 2.

    You should except donations for funding your future game projects.

  63. Amnesia is a excellent game no doubt about this. But I have to ask. What were you thinking when put the release date between PAX and TGS?!

    Like, new Amnesia trailer hits gametrailers an in few hours (maybe minutes) is on page 10 because it was take away by a flood of others trailers.

    You start a topic in a forum about Amnesia and quickly drops to fifth because has all the discussions about the visual and hair color of Dante of Devil May Cry series.

    It's kind off hard to do mouth to mouth at a time when the Internet is overflowing with information about the game's world.

  64. Your Penumbra series made me buy Amnesia, you make the best horror-survival games, this game is really worth buying it.

  65. The fact that purchases made on the Frictional Games store CANNOT BE ACTIVATED ANYMORE ON STEAM should be made loud and clear.
    As it was possible for the pre-orders, people could think it's still the case.
    Steam is the way to go if one wants to buy more extra Amnesia for friends : the Frictional Games store lacks a "purchase as a gift" feature.

  66. I'm sorry you didn't get as many sales as you expected. I enjoyed Amnesia alot and don't regret my purchase one bit. I really hope the game continues to sell... I'd like to see more games from you.

    Best regards a happy customer.

  67. I was considering buying Amnesia, but I will not pay for downloads. I want a physical pressed disc which I can put on my shelf. Even if I paid for downloads, I don't trust PayPal and avoid them whenever I can. I don't know if there are more people like me, but since you wonder about low sales I thought I'd still tell you my reasons. Perhaps some sort of poll could help you?

    Also, I don't think raising the price will help you much. Raising it will make fewer people buy it, thus making you dependent on a small group of hardcore fans. If you set a low price then you will get more exposure with people who are just curious. It's an optimisation problem with not enough information, but be sure not to shoot yourself in the foot here.

    I often download games without authorisation and don't lose sleep over it. If I feel some games deserve it, and if they are not too expensive, I will still buy them though. There has been little research on the subject, but some of it indicates that increased visibility from unauthorised downloading actually *increases* sales, at least for music. It's a hard subject to talk about, because money is involved, but don't put so much blame on it.

  68. About piracy.
    Pirates are mostly kids or students that can't afford to buy. You are losing very few paying customers to a pirated copy.
    What you are getting is thousands of tweets and recommends from those same pirates and the product becomes far more well known and more people buy as word spreads.
    You still need to make it illegal and bust anyone you catch with a lot of publicity...
    But hey, is Microsoft broke because of pirates? No, and yet their software is the most pirated software in the world.
    You'll find there are plenty of us that pay for what we get.

    Of course this may be a different story in parts of the world where the last law they worry about is software piracy.
    But then eventually they will be like us many will buy as well as pirate and you'll get what you all deserve from it.

    just cash in on the popularity with more addons, and model packs for the editor - I'll buy asset packs and editor upgrades anytime you are ready to sell them.

  69. About Sales/Advertising

    When I bought the game a few days ago, I had not read one whit about the game, the penumbra games or anything about your endeavors. I was at Direct2drive website and bought a Doctor Who game that was only 4.95. It seemed silly putting such a small amount on my credit card and while looking around saw your Amnesia game for only 19.95 that looked like my cup of tea so I bought it without any idea of your past.
    the doctor who game gave me a problem so I fired up Amnesia and immediately went straight to heaven.. hmm? Well I mean it's the best game since Thief2. What with the jumping, crouching, running and hiding etc.
    but anyway just want to say your advertising never reached my eyes until the moment of purchase. But now that I played it you have me as a customer for as long as you make games like this.
    Oh and PS; I still haven't played this Dr Who game and probably won't for a while as I just found the editor. I'll be able to make a Tardis to take me to different map levels

  70. Hello,

    I own all 3 Penumbra games on Steam and I loved the games. Amazing games, with amazing atmosphere.

    Regarding console ports. I think that PC gamers are usually more mature than console gamers. Not that there are no mature audience playing on a console, but I guess you can generalize and say that.
    This game is for a mature audience. I'm not sure a teenager will appreciate Amnesia, or be interested in it. The question is, will it be worth porting it to consoles, and I'm not sure it will.
    But I may be wrong.
    I hope that Amnesia will sell well with time. I still didn't bought it, but I plan to buy it soon. I usually buy special game offers on Steam, but I think I'll make this an exception.
    Thank you and keep doing an amazing job.

  71. About 0-day piracy from reviever's copy: why don't send the review copies without final cutscenes (advertising at the beginning of the game that the game is 100% completed and the final cutscene is removed due to piracy control)? Any player would be discouraged to play anything without an ending! And it could work as a demo too for the ones whosill download it! ;)

    BTW i think that the whole bundle&discount things you did made big numbers but revenues ... or not?

    Feeling sad about your expectations not met... You're great... and your games smells of that artisan beauty that only an artist can have.
    DO NOT CHANGE YOUR GENRE for your next game, or you'll be out of the market.
    And consider a console porting: the game's already done! Also about Penumbra!;)

    ...Btw, i know "it's the gameplay" and all, but why can I cary a lantern and not any of the candlesticks? :D

    Lovin'you! :*

  72. Before you blame pirates for everything, please look in the mirror. The marketing on this game was a huge failure IMO. I saw the ads on STEAM several times but, based on what I saw, it looked like just another generic (bad) indie FPS. The way people are now raving about it, I have changed my mind and I'm going to buy it (I am another PC gamer that likes weird games). Maybe if I had played Penumbra I would have paid more attention...but as an avid PC gamer (PC only) since Wing Commander for DOS, I had never even heard of Penumbra. I'm the biggest geek I know in the real world, by far, yet I have never heard of Penumbra. I guarantee none of my friends and associates have heard of it either. So if you were expecting some of the Penumbra cachet to rub off on Amnesia, that was a poor strategy.

    Just think about how many games have been based on the premise of a character who has lost his memory. It makes me yawn just thinking about it. That doesn't ruin the game, but your marketing needs to emphasize other things. Your advertising basically told me, "here is a cheaper version of every so-called horror game ever made". As consumers, we have been promised thrills and terror so many times, the marketing promises are empty. I looked at your marketing and saw absolutely nothing interesting. Luckily, I have been won-over by all the post-release buzz.

    As an indie, the rules of "big publishing" don't apply to you. You are not facing make-or-break in the first week. If I've never noticed it before today (a consumer who is actively looking for unique PC games), consider how much potential is out there. This is a brand-new release to me.

    If you found a way to actually market the strengths of the game, instead of making it seem like every other game, that would actually drive sales. I'm pretty sick of the piracy argument. Nintendo DS publishers are claiming that market is ruined by pirates too, so being on a console is not a panacea. Your problem is not even "not enough" marketing, it is "bad" marketing. The trailer is does nothing to sell this game. The ad material is incredibly generic. Use the same channels as you did, but do it in a compelling way, and you will get more sales. Sell what actually makes the game unique and special. I'm not saying I know how to do that, but I am saying that with your current marketing, you are pretty lucky to have the customer base that you do.

  73. I hope you get the chance to do a retail release in Europe. I'd like to buy a boxed copy. Have you tried contacting Ascaron UK? They are the UK distributor for Paradox among others. Due to the bankrupcy of the main, German, Ascaron branch they don't seem to have an online presence any more, but they are still releasing plenty of games into retail, and a deal with them would ensure that the game shows up in all the big UK-based online retailers. They've released some indie games before, too.

  74. Unfortunate that sales haven't met your expectations. Thank you for my GOTY so far and once I've completed it, I'll definitely buy the Penumbra games which I've avoided thus far.

  75. Congratulations on shipping an awesome game! Sorry to hear about low sales, hope that picks up when more people hears about the game (I'm tipping the people I can find).

    Keep going strong, looking forward to whatever you guys do next!

  76. your game was perfect! i absolutely loved it. the length, the story, the gameplay, the design and sound. i love this game and am recommending it to all my friends. you might want to get yahtzee from zero punctuation to do a review, this is the type of stuff he loves and he has a major audience who listens to him

  77. Amnesia is probably the best game that i've played this year..
    I give the horror aspect of the game a 10/10

    Not everything is a 10/10 but everything is very good and i cant wait for your next game :)

  78. Two or three months ago I bought the whole Penumbra series. I was struck by the quality.
    Outstanding graphic quality, great plot, interactivity with the environment items and so on...
    In few days it's my pay day. You can be sure that the first thing i will do is purchase one copy of Amnesia.
    Keep on with the good work and don't give up.
    Regards from Spain.

  79. Hi, I'd say you should do a game that isn't as niched as Prenumbra and Amnesia.

    I bought Amnesia (pre-ordered) since I like to see a Swedish indie-developer do well, but I'll probably never ever play the game since I got to freaking scared by the demo. Which to me is kind of a loss.

    Talking about incoherent mechanics... why can't I lift the candles?
    It was one of the first things i tried and immediately took me out of the experience.

  80. Related question from a Swedish gamer here:

    I'm one of those who are thrilled to see people produce awesome games for the Linux platform. This is something I'd like to support beyond simply buying your game, so... How can I donate additional money to you guys? Is there a company bank- or PayPal-account I can deposit money into?

  81. I so want to buy this game but I need a new PC, but for that I need money, which I do not have much of at the moment. Which sucks because I really want to help you guys out.
    Console porting would boost sales I think, but they would have to be done right and not rushed. I would definetely buy it then because my current PC is old and dying.

    Good luck in the coming months.

  82. About sales:

    I don't think you will gain many more customers by porting the game to consoles, but if you can do it without it being too costly, then sure, the more potential gamers the better.

    I believe the problem of the low sales was more the marketing you did; it didn't really hook people in. That was probably the problem, not the piracy; people who pirate wouldn't have bought the game anyway.

    Another thing that could have helped was the time of release: as some comments said, the mainstream games released at the time took the spotlight instead of Amnesia. A very good time to release this kind of game would be Halloween: the atmosphere of this game is its strong point, so sell it during this time! Maybe you could do a discount on Steam at Halloween this year; it will help many people to notice the game, and discounts are a great way to incentivate buying :)

  83. Also, about the story: Some people have commented it, but the ending felt like it needed closure. I've seen many comments about this part that agreed with this opinion, so take the advice for the next game :)

  84. I haven't read every comment, so forgive me if somebody has already said this, but here's a suggestion as to how you can fight future pirating like this: rather than embedding watermark or tracking information in games, make something slightly different in each release.

    For example, let's say that in the room you start in, there's a small rock in one corner. Leave it there in the version that goes to Reviewer A, but move it to a different corner in the version that goes to Reviewer B. Move it to a different corner for Reviewer C. Change the shape of the rock for the Steam release. And so on...

    It takes a little more effort for each release than changing tracking information, but that sort of thing will be very difficult for a pirate to detect and remove, and it will make it easy for you to determine where the leak happened.

    Anyway, I think I'm about half way through the game and I'm loving it so far. Good work!

  85. Mac and Linux are emerging platforms with increasing market share, and I hope Frictional Games continues to support them.

    Although I am currently game on Windows, I use a variety of operating systems at home and work. I plan to replace my Windows box with a Mac soon, and already use Linux for most non-gaming activities. As such, multi-platform is very important to me.

    To show my support, I purchased Penumbra for all three platforms when it was on sale. When I noticed that Amnesia would deliver multiple platforms with a single purchase, I pre-ordered it immediately.

  86. Hang tight. Most of the Penumbra fans probably pre-ordered or purchased soon after the release. Now it is a matter of building a new customer base. Word of mouth will do this game well, but that takes time.

  87. too scary for my taste ;) and I never like horror stuff anyway

    but I will sure to spread the word to any1 who want to piss in their pants!

  88. As being suggested, watermarking is probably a good idea for the review copies. I would suggest to add an *invisible* and *unique* watermark to the graphics and/or sound files of each individual review copy. Then make a simple list to see to whom you sent each copy. Also add an EULA to the review copies: the reviewer has to agree that his name, address and website will be put on a "Pirats" section on the website if his copy is found on the Internet. Game publishers/developers then will know who not to send review copies...

  89. Regarding the sales figures, I did not yet bought the game because my current computer is too slow. Once I have bought a new computer (will not be very soon), I will first play the Penumbra series (I bought these during the Humble Indie Bundle promotion but my computer was also too slow for these) and then very likely Amnesia. Please be patient, my money will arrive in about 6 months ;-)

    Suggestion: the software center of Ubuntu 10.10 will have a section for commercial apps/games...I guess you will get additional sales if you can make Amnesia/Penumbra appear in this store. Especially if you can be one of the first game publishers...

  90. Marketing is the key. Is your game exposed on the home of the major websites ? No, they are too busy with Call of and all the other mass public blockbusters. Is the public gonna know about your game ? Apart from the hardcore gamers wandering the forums, I doubt so...

    Hardcore gamers on forums < common gamers on the home of the websites < mass public seeing pubs on TV & everywhere.

    Oh and by the way, your trailer is just a sequence of the game. You should really make a trailer with fast passages showing horrific things (events, blurry vision of the character being afraid and crawling, etc) after a few contemplation and calm scenes showing some cool graphisms.

    And last but not least, a solo game doesn't sell as well as a multiplayer game, and a horrific game sells even less than an average explosion game.

  91. Piracy

    I'm very disappointed in the individuals involved in both altering a review copy of the game for distribution and downloading that copy instead of buying the game.

    At least there is this: People who are interested in paying for a great piece of work are generally not interested in pirated copies of it. I do not believe those who are obtaining this illicit copy would have paid for it for any reason.


    One thing I think may be a factor between the great game response and mediocre sales is the economic situation. Take me for instance. I pre-ordered the game a year ago. I'm very glad I did, but probably shouldn't have. Shortly before that I lost my job and have only had sporadic part-time work since then (14 months later). For many people, it's just not possible for them to spend money at all on entertainment.

  92. Suggestion: allow people who buy via the website to donate money in a similar way as the Humble Indie Bundle:
    * People have to pay at least 20 USD (or what you guys prefer)
    * Offer people the possibility to pay more than this:
    ** They have to enter the amount (at least 20 USD).
    ** If higher than 20 USD, the additional money will be donated to (a) project(s) of the customer's choice: Frictional Games, EFF, FSF, other charities.
    ** People can use a simple system to divide the money to the different projects.

    I am pretty sure both the number of sales and the average revenue per sale will increase.

    Other idea: release (parts of) the artwork and story line under a Creative Commons license (e.g. by-sa-nc). Maybe you can convince some film students to create a movie based on the game. By giving away, you may get free promotion through the movie!

  93. I would never have found out about Penumbra if it was not for the fact it had native Linux versions. And even if I had found out about it somehow and was still interested in Windows-only games (a big "if" there), I probably would not have played it, because the advertising techniques used to market the game to, and this is meaning no offence to anyone, "horror junkies", actually turned me off the product. But the fact that it was a native Linux game convinced me to try it. And in the end I did love it, as it had a solid plot and an interesting gameplay mechanic. When I can I will certainly play Amnesia using the native Linux version because of this, and I am not, as has already been stated previously, the only one here who thinks this way.

    Also keep in mind that Linux users probably will not be buying it immediately, it took Penumbra a while to reach its peak Linux sales. Plus I doubt it is causing you that much trouble when it comes to porting it, and if it does it means you are technically incompetent, which you have shown that is not the case. My one suggestion would be, other than keep up the good work, is to follow a similar strategy as Basilisk Games does and have all three versions (Mac, Linux, Windows) in the same box. As it has all three versions, you could of course charge more for this copy, but many Mac and Linux users would be glad of the boxed copy. I know I would, especially since my ISP is screwing me right royally over bandwidth which makes me scared to download ANYTHING!

    So the bottom line is keep up the Linux versions (and Mac as well given the sales are equal). At the moment, you are one of my favourite developers. And I would really appreciate it if you stayed that way.

  94. Many people have pointed out in these comments that pirates would not buy the game anyway, so pirated copies do not actually translate to lost sales. While I believe this to be true in general (Wolfire and 2D Boy have both had some interesting blog posts on this topic), I think this particular case is different.

    The release of Amnesia was highly anticipated. Many people who fully intended to buy it, but just could not wait 1 day more for the release, might have pirated it. Then, as pointed out in this blog post, they simply forget to buy it later on.

    I think this is a very real concern, and may have already had a significant impact on sales figures. Hopefully sales will improve over time enough to negate this effect. The developers deserve all they can get for this amazing game.

  95. I'd like to chime in that if it wouldn't have been for the Linux support, I wouldn't have learned about the Penumbra series (actually I only heard about it when one could already buy all three part of it as a bundle). As a result I started loosely following this blog. When I learned about the option to pre-order Amnesia I did it (It was the first time ever that I pre-ordered a game) - in part because I liked the Penumbra series, and more importantly, because it was promised (and delivered accordingly) that it would run natively on Linux, and so I sincerely hope that you can and will keep up the Linux (and Mac) support for future projects. If anything, cross platform development helps keep the code clean ;)

    Many thanks for a great game

  96. Hello Frictionalgames!!

    Thanks for bringing out this awesome game! Just finished the game and absolutly loved the game. It is a real horror expirience. You guys are great! As for the sales, I really hope that the word spreads and people will buy this game. One of the best games to play in a long time and the scariest one as well!

    I read on wikipedia that you guys want to make a different kind of game after Amnesia. What about a survival horror/RPG hybrid? You know, dark and earie atmosphere with a RPG combat system? Ah maybe I am just daydreaming but hey, who knows you will pick up the idea and make a sort of RPG style of game. You are a talented team and have proven that with Amnesia. Off course the older games of you do just as much justice but Amnesia just blew me away!

    Thanks again for releasing one of the best games in years!

    Greetz from The Netherlands

  97. The two much horror was a deal breaker for me. I only got Penumbra Overture in the humble indie bundle, and I've only played it until I saw how cool the engine was. (Thanks for opening the HPL1 engine btw.) I've played the Amnesia demo on Steam, but again I've only played it until I got too scared to carry on (invisible man in the flooded basement). So the engine is awesome, your talent is awesome, but this type of survival horror has such a narrow fanbase that you shouldn't put your living on that. And definitely not after the Penumbra series.

    I say, keep the engine, keep the high level of interaction, keep your love, keep your indie workflow, but make a different genre, something more popular. A shooter or action RPG or something else. Good luck!

  98. I've never been active on Frictional's forums before, but it didn't take me long into Penumbra:Overture to know I was playing something special. Black Plague and Amnesia just raised the bar to an incredible degree to me. If you're getting pirated or if there's some other issue with low sales, I know that I personally would be fully willing to pay full price for Frictional's games. I don't know a lot about the demographics of your players, but I think most of them are, like me, probably a bit older and more likely to be able to afford a full game price for the quality you are producing. Amnesia isn't a game you beg your mom to buy for you -- it's something you put on the credit card hoping your wife doesn't notice, to be played long after she has gone to bed. If you charged $50 for it I would have been as excited. In fact when you were doing your preorder promotion where you had to reach a certain number, I was late in getting to it and decided to purchase it on release date (you had already reached your goal) simply so I could pay full price. What I'm saying is that the typical games business model might not work as well with your audience and the type of game you're producing. Your games remind me of fine wines, where connoisseurs would be willing to pony up whatever it takes to keep the producers in business. Hope this helps.

  99. I think the game was great, but yes as well recieved as the game is there are still alot of people who havent heard of it.

    But really your guys problem is not releasing things on Consoles. Its admirable you want to support Linux and Mac, but from a Business standpoint is extremely stupid to focus on those niche platforms over putting your games on Xbox Live Arcade and PS Store. I can almost guarantee you'd reach a much larger audience and make alot more money to ensure the success of your projects if you did console releases.

  100. no steam achievements = less sales. Not sure why devs don't understand this. good game though bought it day 1

  101. i played the demo and also heard about the independent studio putting work into it and not getting back so of course i bought a copy. fun game! i tell my friends to buy it. its like being in a horror flick lol. i think steam achievements would help for replay value too.

    The demo on steam is definitely what got me to get this but if i did not have steam i honestly would not know anything about the game. Also maybe get more sales as Halloween approaches when people are more into creepy crawly games.

  102. I bought Amnesia because I plan to play it through with a friend in one night, making a Let's Play thing. I feel like making such an effective horror game is naturally going to limit your audience, though- Horror is seen as a generally negative emotion, and people are naturally turned away from scary games. I think you'll find that the reason you're not selling that much is the niche nature of the game- I can see a lot of people reading these fantastic reviews and saying "Sounds absolutely terrifying- it's not for me."

  103. I considered buying Amnesia, but haven't done so yet due to being unsure as to whether I'd enjoy it (I may play the demo some day). For what it's worth should Amnesia be put on sale through steam I'd buy it, and if the price is increased I definitely won't. Valves research has shown that for many products, lower prices translate into much larger sales volumes and increased total profits despite the lower margins per unit.

  104. If you release this as an Xbox Live Arcade game, I will definitely buy it. As it is, I'm using a laptop with integrated video that can't play this game well at all, but I'd be very interested in playing it on the 360.

  105. I would like to say thank you for such a great game. I'm a Linux user and was delighted to download and try this game. Please do not throw us Linux users under the bus. Perhaps if you offer to include it in Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center it just might get you more sales. Just a thought and keep up the great work. Don't forget us gamey penguins!

  106. I have no money to buy any game that I want right now and Amnesia is my top pick.

    I'll be buying it as soon as possible, but there might be a large quantity of gamers who just can't afford it and don't pirate anyway.

    I like to support good developers, and Frictional is amazing and should be supported. I don't pirate and any games from Frictional will be an immediate purchase for me.

    Don't disappear, please. I look forward to Amnesia, when I can get it, and will always be excited for any future games.

  107. Amnesia is simply amazing by its immersing atmosphere. After buying Penumbra not all that long ago I was really anxious to play this one, and while playing the demo I immidiately fell in love. For me it' s been the first time since Dark Corners of the Earth that I really felt the anxiety of the protagonist in a game, the waning sanity ... the blurring vision ... compared to other games it just feels so authentic and fitting for this genre.

    In the end there is just one more thing to say: Carry on!

    Cuz I' ll be waiting for more ...

  108. I'd strongly suggest that you guys have a chat to Canonical about selling via the Ubuntu Software Centre. That's a potential audience of up to 12 million right there.

  109. Dropping Mac & Linux seems a stupid idea imho. Especially Mac are exploding in sales and gaming is growing super fast in Mac world as you can see with Steam numbers released by Valve.
    Piracy sucks, most people don't even think you harm something pirating a software. I supported you, i have all your games and i really hope sales goes better over time, i'm sure it will. Games on Steam continue to sell good since they have visibility. To all fan/users,costumers: spread the word!

  110. I personally fully support a game like this. I mean it's all that is lacking in today's video game scene: Original and different, at least to a degree.

    The reason why I haven't bought the game (nor pirated or even tried for that matter) is because I don't like to be frightened to death. Hell, I get scared playing Painkiller. I'm still concidering whether to purchase the game and give it a go nonetheless as the price is very appealing to say the least.

    But my guess is it doesn't sell like hotcakes because the genre is just not appealing to the mainstream.
    It's much like certain musical acts/even entire genres: Some people love it and appreciate it, but the general public wants Justin Bieber/Lady Gaga instead of Yann Tiersen/Hellacopters, or space marines, laser guns and regenaring health instead of adventure, horror and puzzles. And the other big problem is the marketing. I know of the game since I explore the internet quite a bit, but NOBODY (I repeat NOBODY) around me knows about the game, except those who I've told. I have no idea how this could be improved, but as it stands word of mouth doesn't reach a large amount of people

    Which is sad, but the IQ of the general public is what it is. They'd rather have something numbing and unoriginal like Halo instead of something like this.

    But please take the sandbox/Space marine route, even if that's the way to make a buck these days.

  111. By the way, in the MARKETING aspect, you should make a FACEBOOK page, just like a lot of other games do, even independent games.

  112. PC Games doesn't sell like console games, which get high sales at the first weeks and then nobody cares anymore. PC games sell over time. The game will still sells five years from now.

    And besides, Amnesia is a niche game. Take a look at Zeno Clash for example. It sold fairly well on PC and almost nothing on XBLA.

  113. I downloaded both the Linux and the Windows. But I intend to play it on Linux. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have pre-ordered the game if it hadn't been available for Linux. In fact, if it hadn't been a Linux game, I probably wouldn't have bought it at all, even after the good reviews.

  114. Review copy piracy solution: Encode the reviewer's name into a jpeg within the game (see steganography). Bring charges through criminal courts against anyone who "leaks" it in future (or just publish "so-and-so will no longer receive review copies because we were able to trace the leak to $reviewer's_name").

    Oddly, the tweeting about piracy is the first I have heard of the game. I'll have to ask for it as a Christmas gift. Wife always wants to know what I want, and I never have a good answer. Now I do.

  115. My friend I only heard about your game maybe 2 days ago and I am on the major game websites every day of the week. I only bought all the Penumbra games over the past 15 months or so. This game will be selling for quite a while and I am sure when all is said and done you guys will make a nice penny on it. I will buy it next week when I get paid.

  116. About the corpse puzzle... The first thing I did was grabbing a chair and trying to crush the skull. I'm not suggesting anything but I'm just letting you know

  117. It's been a while I've seen a game hyped as much as Amnesia, and totally justified, too. It's a shame that word-of-mouth (which has been overwhelmingly positive) wasn't enough to spread the popularity of this game (so far... I hope). I will continue to recommend it aggressively as one of the best indie games in years.

    Could it be it was truly... TOO scary? I've seen this as an actual, honest argument to not get the game. Grown men and women telling me they just can't handle horror on that level! Whatever will happen, though, this game will go down in history as a legend... the scariest game ever made. At least you can be proud of that even if that achievement didn't make you quite as rich as you deserved.

    And who knows... maybe some Steam promotion could do the trick? Hint: Amnesia-themed TF2 hats with every purchase!

  118. I've bought the full game (I bought Penumbra 1 & 2 in the past) and just finished the game tonight.

    I've seen both endings, and it was really an amazing game, very scary, I enjoyed it so much !!!

    Thanks for making this kind of game, you HAVE a public for this kind of games, I will buy your next horror game too !!!

    Please do some advertising I don't know. I have made some advertize on my blog for your game when I bought it :

    Keep up making games Frictional, Amnesia is your best game so far (for me at least), I can't wait to see the next one !!


  119. I would like to add two possible explanations (beyond Piracy, but I don't see why a game like Amnesia would get a higher Piracy-percentage than some other titles, and hence it was probably pre-accounted for?) why you may not have gotten stellar sales despite stellar reviews:

    First, there is one big problem with niche-ness. Suspense-horror games are by nature really limited in scope of sales, especially in nowadays environment of achievements / onlinegaming / casualgaming. You need time, atmosphere, loneness. It's not something a lot of people have, and even then they probably never played one in their life so it's even less likely they'll be ecstatic reading about the gameplay.
    What adds is that a lot of people cannot play horror-games. They could watch someone play it, but not play it themselves. Even less potential customers.

    Second, you may be hitting a nerve with the waiting-for-sale thing. The game is just the scope of game (didn't cost 100 million dollars to develop of which 90 were for the graphics...) where people tend to wait until they can get it for 5$ or so. I couldn't explain you why though, it's just something I see left and right when talking to people - and I admit I find myself thinking like that a lot too.
    I myself got WoW and SC2 to play, plus TF2, AS and L4D2. I got a few unfinished Wii titles too. So I am ok for games, so I just wait until things go on sale to "have a look later". Plus you know, it's patched and bugfixed by then. :P
    Ok this didn't apply to Amnesia specifically since I knew from Penumbra that it was going to be scary as shit (and I <3 that), but it's a common mindset of potential buyers, especially on Steam.

  120. "Good" is the new "great" during the great recession. Everyone is unemployed and has no disposable income, yet you still did "good", that's great! I think the game is beyond great and I'm looking forward to your next release. Please do *not* consider a console port, for you will only enrich the fascist corporations which put us in this recession (which hurt your sales). Your support of Linux allows you to create and capture your own market in a sense. As Linux takes over, you'll be ready, and ultimately become the next Rockstar or THQ. Linux users will have more money for games instead of the Microsoft tax, and an expensive array of antivirus/malware garbage.

    well done!


  121. please, please, please release this for the PS3!

  122. As others have said you could:

    - Add achievements for Steam. You can add them in an upcoming patch for example and put the game on sale in January or on Halloween. You will be guaranteed high sales.

    - Provide better trailers revealing varied content to showcase the game's innovative design.

    - Port for consoles. I know it might be difficult and time consuming, but porting for consoles is a no-brainer for instant success.

    I think the first two are easier to do and take less time to achieve. Your game is already back in the top seller list on Steam though, so maybe your sales are picking up again.

  123. I became hooked on your label after playing the Penumbra series, and I constantly visit the Frictional Games website to see if there are any new developments being posted.

    I wanted to thank you for being how video game developers should be, and after purchasing and playing Amnesia, it reminded me why the smaller and less-famous game developers are much more superior to the larger mainstream ones. The biggest reason? It is absolutely evident, by the gameplay, the quality, the time put into it, and the community, that you fine folks have your priorities straight that every company should have: Customer satisfaction first, and profits second. It's a shame more publishers do not share the same priorities, let alone in the same order.

    Amnesia, as with Penumbra, filled me with true, concentrated fear and nothing less. It exceeded my expectations, and as one who never used to even enjoy the horror genre, I now have discovered such quality writing as HP Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and other horror greats due to your games. If your games could go among the classics of the video game genre, I would be the first to submit my vote in favor.

    The quality of the writing, sound effects, graphics, overall gameplay, and just the sheer terror experienced while playing your games convinces me that you are worth every single penny I spend on your products. I look forward to purchasing your future products, and I do everything I can to ensure I advertise them to my friends, and at times, even buy them for them.

  124. To chime in here again, after my previous comment, I did a loose count and about a whopping 22 people took the time to come here and post in defence of Linux versions of your games. Only about two Mac users came to voice their support, granted that there were also another two people who posted in support of cross-platform in general, and many of the Linux supporters also voiced that you should continue supporting the Mac as well. But the message is clear, Linux users are passionate about your games. Please do not let that passion turn to hate. You have so much to offer to Linux, and we have so much to offer (and have offered) to you.

  125. Turning to consoles would be a great idea as amnesia's control scheme wouldn't have much trouble transferring to PS/xbox controls.

    It's a real shame you guys aren't getting enough money for something that is truly an excellent game, right up there with the good old silent hill 2.

    And thank you for making a game of truly great quality in a world filled with "shooter guy 5: the shootening" games.

  126. Why not go the way some classic Hollywood directors did? Make one cliche game for the crowd to get some money, than make one that you actually want to make.

  127. While it sounds like an interesting attempt, and I congratulate you for having tried it. Also congratulations on the level of success you've achieved.

    But I won't be playing it. I burned out on games, about the only think I play now is Python Solitare, and the odd round of an old 4X game.

    A large part of the reason I don't game anymore, is quite frankly gaming has gone downhill. Sure, the games looks fantastic compared to the stuff I used to play on my old Commodore C64, but the game play in general sucks. You spend money on a game, you expect to get a certain amount of use out of it. All too often you don't, because the game is either so damned boring that you don't care, or it's set up to be so difficult that you can't get anywhere without a cheat sheet.

    So I stopped wasting money on games. And I'm not the only one, a lot of my friends who used to be avid gamers have dropped out of gaming too.

    If you could come up with something good enough to get a large percentage of us to come back to gaming - then you'd have something that would be a huge success.


  128. Well, the truth is that there are millions of games out there and and most of them look fantastic. While the modular approach to the levels of Amnesia makes it for easier development and moding, it actually threatens the game to become monotonous and a bit outdated. Don't attack me please. I'm trying not to be hypocritical here. I'm not going to praise myself (as most of the above guys did) how I purchased the game and how I told everyone I know about it, and how I support you guys.
    I just respect you for what you have done. For the source code you bring to the public for free, for the diligence , the ambition for success , for wearing the crown - "top indie game devs".
    Unfortunately, the Big companies are very hard to beat when it comes to quality of the product. Amnesia is very nice game and it's astonishing how you managed to put a product that is almost as polished and rich as a "big company" title. There are things that need to be improved though. Look how games look today. Starting from game menu, the diversity of the levels, the "infinite" outdoor scenenaries, the count and quality of the NPC, and so on.
    I think you guys should expand and make much more challenging titles. Hire a bigger talanted team and start something big. Do not stay small. You have potential, you have experience, you are not lazy!
    Expand and aim for the top. Down there, the possibility for decay are bigger and the possibility for small income are also bigger.

  129. It's a shame about Mac users making such a small contribution to overall sales; the recent growth in games that are mac-compatible (seemingly since Valve re-released their games) has been something I've been waiting for for a long time, and I really hope it continues!

  130. Hey I came across this game by accident when searching for scary video games on youtube. I run Linux and don't normally follow game news anymore and I was completely shocked to see somebody still making a native linux game. I immediately purchased and am playing it now. Very impressed. And so cheap! You could have charged 3x what I paid and I still would have purchased it!

  131. Related to the post above: 150 SEK seemed far too cheap, how I can donate more money to you guys? Whatever helps motivate you to keep the Linux support up. :)

  132. @writer of the post above: you can donate to projects like Mesa3D (money via sourceforge), the nouveau driver (hardware via ), and probably other projects. If these projects are improved thanks to your donation, Frictional Games (and other companies) will be able to make even better games without the need to invest in these projects to add the desired features.

  133. If you Linux users want to give more money to the developer, why not just buy another copy from the Frictional Games store? You could even gift it to family or friends. Use a browser running on Linux to make the purchase. I assume that is how they are getting their OS stats, unless the game phones home when it starts up? Hopefully not.

    Donating to related open source projects is a cool idea too.

  134. Thank you for an awesome game.

    Amnesia is NOT for everyone. You already know this, ofcourse, but I would not be surprised if this is one of the biggest reasons for low sales. The game is superb, but it is actually so scary to some people that they can't play it, and so why would they buy it?

    I've not seen a single negative response to this game, and I read a lot about it online because I'm interested in peoples reactions. The only thing I read which could be "negative" in a way is things like "This game is not for me." or "I can't play this, I don't enjoy shitting my pants."

    You have these brave folks on youtube that play through it while commenting and recording, with thousands of views on each clip in a matter of one or two days. People choose to watch other people play through it instead of playing themselves.

  135. This is why you shouldn't make PC exclusive games. I mean, it's not enough that you guys have to deal with piracy, but low sales too? Fuck those guys. They don't deserve you. Come on over to consoles. We may not have the most advanced hardware or a mouse and keyboard, but at least you guys will be appreciated.

  136. There is no point of making another shooter or racing game unless it's really good, compared to the popular titles of the corresponding genre. As people won't play a game that is too niche, they won't play a game that have several thousand replicas from different game companies.
    This game is original, and I'm very surprised it doesn't generate the expected sales. Maybe the number of sales expected was high enough to compare a big company blockbuster title? I don't know, but if that is the case there is nothing to wonder.

  137. "This is why you shouldn't make PC exclusive games. I mean, it's not enough that you guys have to deal with piracy, but low sales too? Fuck those guys. They don't deserve you. Come on over to consoles. We may not have the most advanced hardware or a mouse and keyboard, but at least you guys will be appreciated."

    And how many Indies have had luck on Consoles then? Any system where you have to pay for the right to develop on it is far from what I would call being appreciated.

  138. Do not go into fps shooters nor things like that. Keep the way you are. And you are something incredibly scary stuff. I mean it, keep it that way. Every single time playing Amnesia (or Penumbras for that matter) I'm about to soil my pants, and you know what? That's awesome. Not everyone can do something like that via games. Don't go into more action based stuff, there's enough of that already. You are unique in what you do, so keep doing it. And in addition, you're doing it in a way I can't describe. It's just.. unbelieveable. I can't but hope that ppl will realize the potential, and realize what all of us might lose if we lost you. I can't but hope and do my part (by playing AND buying the game).

    Do NOT give up on the horror scheme. It works.

  139. Amnesia was awesome. I would have payed a full €50 for it. It holds a really cool atmosphere through the entire game and the ability to make and play custom stories give it added longevity.

    Hope things work out so you can continue to make amazing games like this

  140. I would like to say that I appreciate all the hard work the developers have put into this amazing game. I was blown away by how scary this game was and it's been my obsession all week! I am a long time PC gamer and I have to say that this has been the best thing I have played all year. Due to being married and planning for kids I am on a tighter budget than usual and found the $20 to be a great value. I wish I could give more as I certainly would if I could, especially upon reading that sales haven't been as high as you would have liked. While I understand the bottom line I certainly hope it never ends up cornering frictional into making more boring Hollywood like games.

    Good luck guys!

    Kentucky, US

  141. Hey, you advertised for windows, Linux makes up 1.5% of the desktop market, and still it's 5% of you consumers. I've bought it only because it ran in my system, fortunately it's one of the best games I've played in the last couple of years. 10/10. Better than Civ V.

  142. I loved Penumbra and was looking forward to Amnesia.
    However, since my computer is not geared toward playing games, I can't play anything newer or more graphic intensive than Halo 1. Most of my PC games are older ones like Diablo, Deus Ex, Fallout and the Touhou (bullet hell) series.
    Because of this, I can't play Amnesia.
    I promise I'll buy the game once I get a newer, more gaming oriented PC. It could be two years from now or five years from now, who knows? But I will support you guys all the way!

  143. Lately, I've been tempted to buy all sorts of new releases - all classics as far as I'm concerned - but, when I learned that the Penumbra creators had done it again, I didn't hesitate to grab a copy of Amnesia. I may have known about this game last, but it was the first I've purchased in too long. Keep it up! ...and maybe a little more advertising of some kind. After all, these are the types of releases that shouldn't be left in the dark!

  144. "And how many Indies have had luck on Consoles then? Any system where you have to pay for the right to develop on it is far from what I would call being appreciated."

    Let's see. Beat Hazard, Braid, Plants vs. Zombies, Castle Crashers, Limbo, Monday Night Combat, Defense Grid and N+ have all done well on consoles despite having to pay out for licensing, because the fans actually support them financially. That's more than I can say for most PC gamers. I distinctly recall the Humble Indie Bundle being massively pirated even when it was being offered for a penny.

  145. The Humble Indie bundle demonstrated what can be done when you appreciate your users or players, something which fundamentally can not be done on Consoles because of such heavy proprietary lock-in. And you can not say that fans did not support them there. And the myth that Console games exist in a magical world where there is no piracy is a complete lie, I know and have met several people who do pirate quite frequently there favourite titles for say the PS3. I have even met one who makes damn sure he pays every penny he can to Linux friendly developers but at the same time shamelessly pirates games for the PS3. While if Frictional does decide to make Console ports of their games it would not be a problem, abandoning the PC (and Linux and Mac in particular) would be a HUGE mistake.

    Linux users have been spreading the word amongst themselves, but word of mouth can take time. Unlike when one does an advertising blitz, you do NOT just get your first week of sales and then drop off. It must be nurtured and grown, especially after the official release because Linux users have reasons not to believe a game is not really available (UT3 *cough*) until they see it. The fact that Linux already had 5%, when it is only available from your Store rather than several other distributors as is the case of Mac and Windows, is a testament to what can be accomplished even now, and is sure the grow into the future. In the end I think should it should reach around 12% of sales, which is what Penumbra managed by last fall. Of course there could be other factors like more Windows users or Mac users buying it since last time (which would not be a bad thing IMO) causing the Linux percentage to seem less, but whatever happens it should more than justify porting costs (indeed, judging by the quality of the HPL engine technology, it most likely already has). And that 12% was greatly contributed by sales of the game in the summer of 2009, well after the release of the original games. While the fad may die on Windows after a week, it will not die on other systems so quickly. You are still one of the hottest things around. You should keep that thermal energy for quite a while.

  146. Deliver it through Ubuntu Software Center and Steam on Windows and sales will definitely skyrocket.

  147. I know I bought the game to help support you guys, I probably won't be able to play the game since you guys scare the shit out of me XD I have owned Penumbra: Overture since launch and I still haven't finished it!

  148. Wow this game is incredible. i have to stop from time to time, not because i'm bored or hungry, just because this is so scary. You did an amazing job guys!

  149. I am going to plug this game like crazy! Bought a copy for me and my friend. Made a thread on my forums. tweeted about it. Convinced a few friends to grab it.

    This game is serious gold and needs to be experienced by everyone with a spare 20 bucks.

  150. Also - as for glitches - I have had more trouble with Civ 5 release than with Amnesia. Has run beautifully and smoothly on my system and won't crash no matter how hard I push it.

  151. "So what should we do?"

    I suggest releasing an official custom story for $5-$7 that takes 60-90 minutes to complete, introduces a new monster (for scares) and tells us more about Agrippa (in the endings thread many remarked that they like him but don't know him).

    This will extract more money from the efforts you put into Amnesia and its game engine and keep your existing customers 'interested' rather than moving onto the next game. :)

  152. I downloaded the Mac demo, played it and bought the game right away. This is the true horror game I've been desperately seeking for. Wish you guys all the best in your future endeavours and look forward to whatever HPL3 turns out to be.

  153. Would just like to say - only just heard about the game yesterday and gave it a go. Will be recommending it to a friend who is into his horror! I think this game will rely on word of mouth and so could be a slow burner in the sales charts. Once word starts spreading, and occassional promotions, I'm sure sales will do well for you.

  154. Well,I did everything I could for this game and posted a thread about it on Gamewinners( and will do it in other forums that i am a member.But I guess to reach the full potential you may have to release this game on XBLA and PSN,I bet the sales would be pretty impressive.

  155. GNU/Linux user here.
    I haven't bought the game yet, because I don't have access to my desktop PC at the moment and my laptop is not powerful enough.
    But I will buy it a soon as I have my desktop PC again (provided the demo works on it, which will probably be the case since the Penumbra series worked).

    You may increase the price (or offer a "pay more" option) if you want, but please do not drop GNU/Linux support!

    Another idea would be to participate in new "bundle operations" like with the "humble bundle". That way, I might buy the game more than once if the bundle contains other games I don't have yet. :)

  156. Concerning piracy:
    I wouldn't mind some DRM as long as it's not too excessive (no region-locking, no permanent internet access required, no install limits, no copy prevention. Online activation and serial numbers seem acceptable to me).
    As a GNU/Linux user, it is in my interest to pay for GNU/Linux native games, so I don't pirate them (*). If I want to offer the game to a friend, I buy it as a gift instead, even though I could just give him a copy.
    I suspect a lot of Mac and GNU/Linux users would do the same.

    So adding a "buy as a gift" option, like World of Goo did, might also be a good idea. :)

    (*) Actually, switching to GNU/Linux has drastically reduced my piracy rate and increased my respect for copyright. After all, I want licenses like the GPL to be respected. :)

  157. Zero Punctuation is throwing you a very high profile bone. Should be interesting to see the sales results.

  158. What you lack is a good publisher. They're evil and all but they'll make your game sell like free boobies. Sorry but that's that. They have power to sell and you have a good product. If people don't know about it your product is worthless.

    Just try to find a dependable and trusted publisher. Best of the worse.

  159. First of all: I got the Penumbra trilogy and I just love it.
    Second: I downloaded this game from a pirate web. Why did I do that when I got the original Penumbra series? Because I wanned to test the game (both on my computer hardware and to try how good it was. As I expected, it doesnt work on my PC). And also because as a norm, I dont buy any digital product. I cant consider digital stuff being really a real product (a game is a product, not a service). However, I hope you guys can get a publisher soon and release the game in physical edition (then I´ll buy it as I did with Penumbra, even if I got to wait a couple of years till I get a new computer to play it. I wish that Frictional Games can develop alot of great games in the future, and get the physical editions they deserve.

  160. Ni skulle satsa på att släppa nästa spel till Xbox live, kanske göra ett mer simpelt spel, som t ex N+ eller liknande. Det skulle dra in pengar och borde inte ta jättelång tid att göra.
    Lycka till i framtiden!

  161. @anonymous:
    "Second: I downloaded this game from a pirate web. Why did I do that when I got the original Penumbra series? Because I wanned to test the game (both on my computer hardware and to try how good it was. As I expected, it doesnt work on my PC)."
    => A demo is available...:
    (I would also pirate to test if it works if a demo were not available.)

  162. Hey guys - just a quick thought -


    I found out about this game on metacritic and was drawn by the high scores, it seemed interesting. Otherwise, despite being on Steam, I wouldn't have went for it. There's nothing bad with the images i've seen advertising it so far. But if you were to take all those 90% plus reviews, add in a few quotes (make sure to put in a line from the guy who gave the bad review because it was too scary) then you'd have something that would grab many more people's attention.

    Seriously, when people see games get solid scores above 90% they take interest, even if they don't know anything about the game and it doesn't immeadiately grab their attention, the fact that it there are quotes with 90% plus coming from reviewers they know automatically puts the thing into a higher echelon of status in their minds.

    I'm sure you probably know this already, you should amend the images you have now with a few scores and quotes were you can, maybe some of the places you have them already will be so kind as to let you replace the image you have now without charging you.

    Great job on the game, don't worry about the complaints about the length, people want too much of a good thing.

  163. Fantastic game. I'm playing through it now...
    Just to let you know though... I only looked the game up because I heard it was made for Linux. I bought it straight away!

    Then I realised this game is made by the same people who made Penumbra which I bought as part of the Humble Indie Bundle... which at first was also only because it was released for Linux.

    I downloaded both the Linux and Windows versions just because I have a dual boot system yet have only installed the Linux version.

    haha my message is PLEASE don't stop making games for Linux! I'll buy every one! ;)

  164. It is a shame that this game hasn't achieved the sales you wanted. I know myself owning penumbra as part of the humble indie bundle I would certainly consider buying this game.

    In time perhaps when my finances are no longer so stretched.

    I believe support for independent developers is so important to the future of gaming. There are very few bastions of true quality game design left, with everyone simply wanting the next cod clone with 10 new weapons and the same gameplay. I wish you all the success possible with your future releases and hope that you can continue to provide cross platform games for the PC although I see the benefit in console sales also (sadly). It is a rare treat and as an IT student, something that is quite admirable.

  165. I'm really sorry that sales didn't meet your expectations. I accidentaly stumbled on pre-purchase on Steam and the trailer got me interested. I immediately pre-purchased, because the price was really sweet. I'm playing the game now and I'm having a great time - I love the graphics, the sounds, the atmosphere. It's such a refreshing alternative to the games avaiable now.
    I would like to thank you for taking this brave step and making such a unique game and I wish you all the best. Now I'm going back to the flooded cellar :)

  166. Hi Frictional guys!

    Just to say that in my opinion I don't think the first week should be relevant for the sales.

    I know your game because I follow you since the Humble Indie Bundle... but here in France the press is starting about talking Amnesia since a week.

    Here is a review from a famous french website (published today!):
    Gamekult review (8/10 which is very good on this site).

    And here is 2 well listened audio podcasts where they talk about the game too (published last week, and today)

    Even some journalists during the podcast weren't not aware that the game was released (even if an other journalist on the same website published a news the day the game came out!).

    In some comments review, some player said that they ware surprised that it was a good game. For some reason I can't explain, they were thinking that it was not a remarkable game. Maybe they have shit in their eyes! Some of them said they will buy the game after reading the article. So that's a good point.

    I don't know how and when others specialized websites talked about the game in other countries, but here in France this week was the discovering of the game!

    So keep up the awesome good work you provided, and thank you for existing!

  167. The game looks good and part of me wants to play it after playing the demo and watching some trailers. I'm left with a bit of a dilemma.

  168. It's piracy. That's what is destroying PC gaming. That's why the XBLA sales are so much better, it's because it's a lot harder to pirate xbox games. The PC gaming community is rife with piracy and that's why the number of decent games being released is diminishing.

  169. Please don't drop Linux support. I bought your game due to the fact that a) it got high review scores b) it was available for linux

  170. i recently purchased amnesia, however my reasons for not buying it instantly might be of interest to you, i like horror games however from what i read amnesia was something else and i didnt know if i wanted to take that plunge i bought it because i had some free cash on steam and thought why not and well while the game is really good and its a fantastic immersive expirence for me it turns into a game of how long i can play vs the extreme anxiety i feel when playing it.
    which is imo how horror should be! without a doubt its the best use of audio in any game !

    now when it comes to piracy im a firm beliver that if piracy was stopped sales would not improve i myself have pirated movies games ect but if i couldnt pirate i would have 0 intention to buy instead.

    when it comes to games i pirate as a demo then usually pick it up on steam when its cheap and if it was good. thankfully your pricing was so low the thought to pirate amnesia never crossed my mind.

    now having said that piracy has the potential to make customers for example i pirated Dead Space i really enjoyed it and now i intend to buy Dead Space 2 as soon as preorders are available so they have gained a sale on the sequal like wise people i told about dead space have also purchased it based on my opinion of the game. (im raving about amnesia to :D)

    as for making more sales i think that it would be worth thinking about even porting amnesia to XBLA or PSN, the game is getting very good reviews and if you can nail the console controls and preserve the expirence i think it would do very well as a console title having said that please dont forget your pc fans like many other Devs seem to be doing

    as a closing comment frictional have a very solid back catalouge and no one can deny the positive critical response of amnesia and considering yoru financial issues this is an enormous accomplishment.

    and lastly a question has frictional ever thought of approaching a big publisher to back a game, perhaps one a little more mainstream ? playing amnesia i would love to see what you could do with a big budget and proper marketing

  171. I don't understand... I hit to buy the Linux version and after the procedure I got three links to download it from. One for each platform. That was always the case and if yes then how the sales per platform can be separated?

  172. I just wanted to show my support for Frictional as they have put out a FANTASTIC original product in a veritable sea of sequels and clones. I LOVE Amnesia and I wish you all the very best as Frictional is obviously a hugely talented crew =D

  173. Problem for me was that in my 64bit Linux with Intel 4500HD I wasn't able to run the demo :(
    I suppose the same problem stopped a lot of Linux users to buy your excellent game.

  174. Frictional, know this: I downloaded the Linux version and the Windows version from esellerate.

    HOWEVER, I do not intend to ever make any use of the Windows version.
    I downloaded it as a precaution, should I in the future for whatever reason be unable to play the native version but able to play the Windows version through Wine.
    I do not plan to ever play this game using Windows.

    Also, I wouldn't have bought Amnesia (or the Penumbra collection), if it hadn't a Linux version.
    On the other hand, lack of support for Windows would never have stopped me from buying them.

  175. Hi, thanks for creating such an amazing, immersive experience. I agree with all of the linux fans. Please keep supporting linux. Truth be told it's the main reason I started looking at penumbra and amnesia. I'm more than happy to pay a company that develops a quality game for my platform of choice. I'd just simply not have bothered to even try the game if it didn't have a linux version, as I wouldn't have taken notice of it in the first place. Quality game, and really looking forward to the next one! Congratulations!

  176. Please keep supporting Mac and Linux! Amnesia runs excellent on them and because you're using OpenGL/Mesa I can't imagine not porting would triumph over 10% combined sales. Also it would be nice to have an update on what sales have been after the holiday season if that's OK. Anyways, I am showing full support and am telling everyone who listens about it. In fact I myself just bought Amnesia again on Steam.

  177. You should really talk to the guys over at Arcen Games, they're in pretty much the same boat, but with a longer history to analyse.. they are also pretty frank about finances.

    Bottom line, this is a horrible time for Game Developers, sales are down across the board (it takes many less sales to get to Steams #1 than it used to)

    Stick with it.. consider your audience and continue to be novel..

  178. That's terrible that a game like this is pirated. Who is doing that? They should be forced to pay up someway.

  179. Would love to see amnesia, or penumbra developed for ipad, and android mobile, think sales would be great.


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