SOMA has emerged as one of the biggest indie hits of the year, but I guess that depends on how you judge a hit. On a grand scale, the 92,000 units it has sold so far isn’t that impressive when you put it next to other games, even the biggest of indie hits.
I get the feeling that developer Frictional Games doesn’t mind, because, for its own interests, 92,000 pays for the company for two years. And that’s after just two weeks of nothing but positive word-of-mouth. This will be a slow burn into larger numbers, meaning that Frictional Games should be pretty financially secure by the time its sales cycle comes to an end.
Frictional revealed the sales figures on its official blog. Currently, the game is selling at roughly 2,000 copies per day, but again, I am going to assume that will pick up once word of mouth starts getting out there.
Our goal for SOMA’s sales is 100,000 after a month, and at the current pace it should be able to reach pretty much exactly that with a few units to spare. However, this doesn’t mean that we’ve come close to recouping all our costs. We need to sell almost 3 times that amount to do that. But given that it took us 5 years to make the project, there’s no immediate stress to do so. One of the great things about funding SOMA 100% ourselves is that all money earned goes into our own pockets and is directly used to fund our upcoming projects. So we are under no pressure to recoup immediately so long as we get enough to keep going – which we certainly have now.
Frictional Games also developed both Amnesia: Dark Descent and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, meaning it also has a great reputation on the indie scene and a big enough fanbase to keep it running like a “frictionless” machine. It also teased that over the next two years, it will be working on some “secret projects” that it has not yet been announced.
I wonder what they could be.
Be sure to check out Eric’s review of SOMA, and see if its for you. It looks like a a brilliant game, but it was sadly released in an age where if you wait long enough, you can by it at a fraction of the price during a Steam sale. It probably would have been an even bigger hit by now if it was released pre-Steam Sale era.