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Frictional Games Talks SOMA, Sales Figures, and the Future

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  • Frictional Games Talks SOMA, Sales Figures, and the Future

    First up, let's dive into how Frictional Games provided fans with a quick post-launch report on SOMA. In just 10 days, SOMA sold about 92,000 copies across every platform (PC and PlayStation 4). They say that just those number of sales will allow the company to pay their expenses for another two years. Sales have leveled out to be around 2,000 copies per day. Frictional Games even breaks down how that compares to their previous titles.
    How does this compare to our other releases? Well, Amnesia: The Dark Descent sold 30,000 copies in the first month (and around 20,000 the first week). So SOMA's launch is obviously a lot better than that. Compared to Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, though, the launch is a little bit worse. That game sold about 120,000 copies the first week.

    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 also notes that once SOMA pre-orders kicked off, sales of Amnesia dropped by 30%. They say they saw the same trend when Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs' launch cut sales of Amnesia: The Dark Descent by half.

    Piracy was another topic hit upon by the team at Frictional. SOMA is the first game from Frictional that launched "without having a pirated version out before release!"
    Another thing I have noticed is that we get fewer tech support requests from people with pirated versions than we used to have. It's often pretty easy to spot these people as we issue new patches frequently, so there are lots of telltale signs in the log files. I'm not sure if this means piracy has decreased for SOMA, or if these people find tech support elsewhere, but I felt it worth mentioning.

    As for us personally, we haven't even talked about piracy. The only time it matters to us is when sending out review copies. Amnesia had a pirated version leaked before release, so now we make sure that we at least send out a DRM-protected version of the game to reviewers. But other than that, I don't think we've discussed it for even a second. This is quite different from back in 2007 when I know me and Jens had hours of discussions on the subject.

    What's next for the team? Apparently, a vacation is what's next. After that, though, they plan on documenting how the game and the engine works in order to perhaps inspire the modding community to more easily get the hang of things. There are some fantastic mods out there for Amnesia. Hopefully, we'll see the same sort of creativity hit SOMA next.

    Frictional Games has also released a multi-episode live action series based on the events in SOMA. You can watch the first four episodes, starting below with the first one.