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Frictional's existential horror game Soma sells 450K, turns profit

"We spent over five years making our, by far, most ambitious game ever. We also spent quite a lot of money on various outsourcing such as voice acting, 3D models and animations."

Soma, the latest horror title from Amnesia developer Frictional Games, has sold 450,000 copies in 12 months to help the studio break even on the game, and even turn a bit of undisclosed profit.

It means Soma has officially outperformed Amnesia, which managed to sell 390,000 units in the space of a year. Although it's worth noting that Amnesia was a PC-exclusive, while Soma was also released on the PS4. 

Frictional offered some insight into what this means on its dev blog, putting the achievement into context by revealing Soma's budget was "well over 10 times" larger than Amnesia's.

"This [Soma's sales] is quite good, in fact it is so good that we have now broken even and then some! I think it is worth to stress just how great this is. We spent over five years making our, by far, most ambitious game ever. We also spent quite a lot of money on various outsourcing such as voice acting, 3D models and animations," reads the blog. 

"Taken together with salaries and all other kinds of expenses, Soma cost quite a bit to make."

Balancing the books wasn't the only challenge Frictional faced. The studio also had to juggle player expectations, and was well aware it could face a backlash from fans expecting another Amniesia-esque scarefest. 

"Making 'from the creators of Amnesia' a big part of the PR campaign felt crucial. The problem with this was of course that this might set up expectations for Soma being a direct follow-up from Amnesia," adds the studio. 

"We tried to tone it down and make it clear what sort of game Soma was, but there was still a noticeable negative effect. For instance, many reviews start by saying 'Well, it's not as scary as Amnesia' or similar."

Despite those wayward expectations, fan feedback on both Steam and Metacritic has been overwhelmingly positive, and Soma's success has given Frictional some breathing space as it looks to further its goal of becoming a two-project studio

You can find even more takeaways over on the Frictional blog.

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