SOMA breaks even “and then some” as sales near half a million

Soma philosophy

It’s a year to the day since we last heard from Frictional Games about the performance of its survival horror effort SOMA. Back then, the game had only just launched, and initial sales had come in at 92,000. One year on, and sales are nearing half a million.

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In a blog post detailing the game’s performance to date, Frictional officially pegged sales at 450,000, claiming SOMA had now “broken even and then some”. What’s more, while the bulk of sales of Frictional’s previous title – Amnesia: The Dark Descent – were made during 75 per cent sales, SOMA hasn’t yet dropped to that level of discount. In short, sales are strong and money is coming in.

“Despite a bloated budget and tough sell, here we are a year later having earned back every single dime spent. And not only that; we earned well past the break-even point,” details Frictional Games’ creative director Thomas Grip in a blog post.

“Even just counting the PC sales the total income is higher for SOMA the first year compared to those of Amnesia. And when you add the PS4 sales on top of that, it is clear that, in actual earnings, SOMA has far outsold what Amnesia: The Dark Descent did during the same period.”

As the studio points out, SOMA was not cheap to make, meaning strong sales were crucial if it was to stay afloat.

“With SOMA we knew that nailing the voice acting would be crucial, and spent money accordingly,” the post continues. “In the end, it meant that around half of our voice recordings were never used. The same thing was true for things like models and animations. We ordered a ton of these and as design changed many of them didn’t make it into the final game.

“On top of that we also spent a lot on making live action clips for PR purposes (see below). Taken together with salaries and all other kinds of expenses, SOMA cost quite a bit to make – well over 10 times what Amnesia: The Dark Descent cost us.”

So, what’s next for Frictional? “Our goal now is to be a two-project studio and so far it is going really well. One project, which most of the team is working on, is going to start production at end of the year and the other project is mid-way through the R&D stage,” concludes Grip.

“Unfortunately I cannot divulge any specific information on these two, and it will be a little while before there will be a proper announcement. However, we do have some smaller, cool stuff in store, one of each we will announced later this year. If all goes well, we should also have another thing for early next year.”

Our lovely Kirk was fortunate enough to talk to Grip last year about the development approach to SOMA. You can check that out here.