The Witness sells over $5M in its first week
Huge step foward for indie games
Indie developer Jonathan Blow has revealed that his newly released puzzle game The Witness has sold over $5 million in its first week of release.
Comparitively, Blow's previous game, 2008's Braid, took an entire year to match what The Witness sold in its first week. However there is quite a price difference in the two games, as Braid sold for $14.99 while The Witness launched with a $39.99 price tag. Here's what Blow had to say in a recent blog post:
This [$5 million] is a good chunk more revenue in one week than Braid made in its entire first year, from August 2008-September 2009. Braid was considered a hit independent game at the time.
We can also compare sales by units instead of revenue; this is a little more of an apples-to-oranges comparison because The Witness has a higher price than Braid did (Braid launched at $14.99 [$16.50 when inflation-adjusted to 2015 dollars], and The Witness launched at $39.99). By a number of units, the first week of each individual platform handily beats Braid’s first week of sales. (Witness on PC by itself beat Braid’s first week by a decent margin, and Witness on PSN by itself beat Braid’s first week by a decent margin, counting only by number of units). This is great because as price goes up, naturally the number of units sold goes down. So the fact that we beat Braid by units, more than double, is a really nice success.
The Witness is only available to play on PS4 and PC; however, Jonathan Blow is trying to get The Witness on Xbox One, iOS, Andriod, and OS X. As of now, there is no word if it will happen or not.
Blow also stated that even with the well-received sales in the first week, developer Thekla did not break even on the development costs. Even though Blow remains optimistic on breaking even in the near future, he wants to make it clear that he did not create the game for money.
"I want to make clear that we did not make this game in order to make money. We were trying to build a beautiful / interesting / intricate thing, first and foremost. The money just helps us stay in business in order to build new things. It is very easy on the Internet to read a financial posting like this cynically, so I urge folks out there not to do that."
To get a better understanding of The Witness, check out our review.