I’ve been a fan of Ninja Theory ever since I played Heavenly Sword back in the PS3 years, so this news has certainly made me smile. Which is something people say I never do, by the way.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which was the first game they made and financed entirely on their own without the support of a publisher, is now a certified financial success. If only Warner Bros. could say the same about Justice League.
Billed as the first truly AAA indie game, Hellblade has now sold over 500,000 digital copies (it didn’t receive a physical release), leading to a gross of $13 million dollars. 250,00 copies were sold in the first week alone, and for a new IP in today’s crowded market, that’s mighty impressive.
Hellblade’s story deals prominently with the theme of psychosis. Had a major publisher been onboard, the mental illness elements of the plot would have been heavily sanitized, and some insanely overpriced microtransactions would probably have been thrown in for good measure. And while it remains to to seen if other developers will emulate the indie AAA approach taken by Ninja Theory during the three years it took to make Hellblade, but let this be a lesson to the EA’s of the world that you don’t need to rely on loot boxes and pay to win garbage for your game to be a hit.