The Witness Has Grossed Over $5 Million in One Week

The Witness Has Grossed Over $5 Million in One Week

"Substantially more" than 100,000 copies sold.

The Witness has been available for one week, and today developer Jonathan Blow penned a blog post to detail how the game has been doing. According to Blow, The Witness has earned gross revenues of over $5 million so far, and has sold "substantially more" than 100,000 copies. Blow also stated that The Witness has brought in more in its first week than Braid did in its first year, although The Witness is $40, while Braid was $15.

Despite the earnings, Blow is quick to state that the team did not make the game in order to make money. "We were trying to build a beautiful / interesting / intricate thing, first and foremost," he wrote. "The money just helps us stay in business in order to build new things."

Blow then indicated that, while Thekla has not yet broken even on the development cost of The Witness, "it is looking like, as time goes on, we should break even and make a comfortable safety margin on top of that, which will allow us to make more nice games in the future - unless some kind of world economic disaster happens."

Blow also stated other platforms are being considered for the game, with Xbox One, iOS, Android, and Mac currently under "serious consideration."

The Escapist's Marshall Lemon reviewed The Witness, writing "The Witness is a beautiful, brain-tickling, "puzzle-adventure," that will manage to both frustrate and awe you at the same time."

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literally hadn't heard of this game until it came out, but it's near at the top of my list for "will buy soon".

This would be a more complete article if it also covered how he is blaming piracy for the game "not selling as well as it could".

EndlessSporadic:
This would be a more complete article if it also covered how he is blaming piracy for the game "not selling as well as it could".

"If some of the prerequisites for the success of the platform I'm publishing on still held, but just were not true for me I could be making so much more money."

True enough I guess, but a bit miserly coming from a millionaire.

I also heard a lot of piracy noise surrounding the game. If the news is true I hope measly $5m can soothe the sting a bit.

Despite the earnings, Blow is quick to state that the team did not make the game in order to make money. "We were trying to build a beautiful / interesting / intricate thing, first and foremost," he wrote. "The money just helps us stay in business in order to build new things."

Please link back to here next time someone feels a need to excuse some chicanery from the likes of an EA or an Activision on the grounds that "they're in business to make money."

I don't unstand the how a puzzle game is worth 30 British pounds, but I guess at least it's not the full 40 British pounds Portal 2 was asking for.

I also have no idea where the hype appeared from as I had never hear of this until the day before it came out.

Obviously people disagree with me based on how it's sold though.

Off topic - Why doesn't Escapist recognise the symbol for the British pound, feels weird typing it out like that.

It's interesting seeing people say it's over priced for a puzzle game, like all puzzle games have to be a certain price or less. I haven't bought it yet, will when I have less games I'm playing though.

Blow then indicated that, while Thekla has not yet broken even on the development cost of The Witness, "it is looking like, as time goes on, we should break even and make a comfortable safety margin on top of that, which will allow us to make more nice games in the future - unless some kind of world economic disaster happens."

So they haven't broken even yet... I'm getting a Tim Schafer vibe here.
Since Blow is thinking about DRM (blaming piracy for "lost sales") he's beginning to look like another moody creative.

I haven't played it yet, the price tag is a major deterrent for me.

Smilomaniac:

So they haven't broken even yet... I'm getting a Tim Schafer vibe here.

Dude, it's only been about a week and they're already close to breaking even.

Smilomaniac:

Since Blow is thinking about DRM (blaming piracy for "lost sales") he's beginning to look like another moody creative.

And it makes sense. Not all pirated copies would have translated into a bought copy of the game, but you can't deny that some of the pirated copies could have been bought.

Smilomaniac:

I haven't played it yet, the price tag is a major deterrent for me.

See that's your problem. You're voicing negative opinions without having actually tried the game (pirated or otherwise). I've personally bought it on release at full price and have been playing for over 20 hours and still haven't finished the game. That's 2$ per hour of entertainment which is relatively cheap. To me the game is bug free, gorgeous and really fun, well worth it's pricetag.

Subbies:

Smilomaniac:

[quote="Smilomaniac" post="7.933979.23502159"]
Since Blow is thinking about DRM (blaming piracy for "lost sales") he's beginning to look like another moody creative.

And it makes sense. Not all pirated copies would have translated into a bought copy of the game, but you can't deny that some of the pirated copies could have been bought.

While this is certainly true I find it hard to sympathize when 'piracy is killing the industry' is the knee jerk response from executives who have little to no quantitative information.

The amount of piracy is a factor of a game's success but at the end of the day piracy is a shades of grey situation that deserves something more in depth than simple demonization...

For example: How many acts of piracy have resulted in actual game sales that would not of happened otherwise?

At the minimum know thy enemy to better defeat it.

So to anyone who has actually played this game, does it have a story? Ok, let me clarify that a bit, because pacman has a story, just not a very good or complex one. Is the story of the game good? Or is it just a thinly veiled excuse to make a puzzle game like Portal or Talos Principle? In fact, yeah, let's compare it to Talos Principle, since I recently played that for the first time, and loved the hell out of it. Is the story good? Does it have depth to it? Or is it just a puzzle simulator? Because I'm not a huge fan of puzzle games, where that's the only thing you are doing, and would like to know that the story itself is at least worth my time and money. My enjoyment of Talos Principle has increased my willingness to try these types of puzzle games, but it is strongly dependent on if the quality of the tale is up to par with Talos or not.

It's overpriced...because of all the graphing papers, pencils and the ruler I had to buy to even coherently play the game, man. Seriously, Escapist should do an article on how many who bought the game actually completed it and didn't just buy the game out of hype. Sh*&t be hardcore dudes and not for the faint of puzzle solving skills. (although there is gamefaqs, wusses)

I do want to obtain this game, it just, to be honest...i assumed it to be some small indie release title and the price surprised me. The same happened with The Talos Principle. But are these games actually fully fledged games then? Have my assumptions on value been mistaken? I am interested in both titles immensely still. If there were only some kind of demo available on the Psn store.

Xsjadoblayde:
I do want to obtain this game, it just, to be honest...i assumed it to be some small indie release title and the price surprised me. The same happened with The Talos Principle. But are these games actually fully fledged games then?

I'm not sure if you are saying you still haven't bought Talos Principle because of your hesitation? Or if you are comparing it to Talos Principle, something that you have already bought?

If you haven't bought Talos Principle, I would suggest it. I got it over the winter holiday sale, and I love it. The game itself is very streamlined. It's all physics puzzles. That's it. But, there is a very telling story, woven into those puzzles. And given my personal views on life, and other issues, I found the game to be very wonderful and fulfilling. Your mileage may vary there though. The puzzles, had a decent escalation of difficulty. For me personally, they eventually got to the point where I was looking up walkthrough videos on youtube. But that's ok, I'm not a huge fan of puzzle games. I became more invested in the story, and the puzzles eventually became a roadblock for me personally, to see where the story ended. So I got outside help. And I don't mind that. I don't really care about completionism or any of that stuff, I want a good story. And for me Talos Principle had one. It felt like a fully developed game, it didn't feel like they cut corners. It's, hard to explain much beyond that, without potentially spoiling the game. But if you are hesitant to get Talos Principle, I would strongly suggest it. Maybe wait for a sale or something, if you just don't want to fork over 30 something bucks for it. But it's become one of my favorite games of all time for the story of it.

Happyninja42:

Xsjadoblayde:
I do want to obtain this game, it just, to be honest...i assumed it to be some small indie release title and the price surprised me. The same happened with The Talos Principle. But are these games actually fully fledged games then?

I'm not sure if you are saying you still haven't bought Talos Principle because of your hesitation? Or if you are comparing it to Talos Principle, something that you have already bought?

If you haven't bought Talos Principle, I would suggest it. I got it over the winter holiday sale, and I love it. The game itself is very streamlined. It's all physics puzzles. That's it. But, there is a very telling story, woven into those puzzles. And given my personal views on life, and other issues, I found the game to be very wonderful and fulfilling. Your mileage may vary there though. The puzzles, had a decent escalation of difficulty. For me personally, they eventually got to the point where I was looking up walkthrough videos on youtube. But that's ok, I'm not a huge fan of puzzle games. I became more invested in the story, and the puzzles eventually became a roadblock for me personally, to see where the story ended. So I got outside help. And I don't mind that. I don't really care about completionism or any of that stuff, I want a good story. And for me Talos Principle had one. It felt like a fully developed game, it didn't feel like they cut corners. It's, hard to explain much beyond that, without potentially spoiling the game. But if you are hesitant to get Talos Principle, I would strongly suggest it. Maybe wait for a sale or something, if you just don't want to fork over 30 something bucks for it. But it's become one of my favorite games of all time for the story of it.

Thankyou for your detailed reply :) ...i haven't bought it yet, purely through hesitation and disposable income not being a plentiful resource. I think puzzle games do work if the (intriguing) story is woven into steady progression, portal 1 and 2 have been great experiences that way. It is payday soon, upon which shall occur this purrchase! The thing is that let's play videos for these variety of puzzle games sort of spoil the solutions, so i actively avoid them (along with most let's plays). Thanks again, i am unable to return the help with The witness query, unless a certain sale for recently released titles happen to be held at the weekend *hint, sony, hint.* ;)

Xsjadoblayde:

Thankyou for your detailed reply :) ...i haven't bought it yet, purely through hesitation and disposable income not being a plentiful resource. I think puzzle games do work if the (intriguing) story is woven into steady progression, portal 1 and 2 have been great experiences that way. It is payday soon, upon which shall occur this purrchase! The thing is that let's play videos for these variety of puzzle games sort of spoil the solutions, so i actively avoid them (along with most let's plays). Thanks again, i am unable to return the help with The witness query, unless a certain sale for recently released titles happen to be held at the weekend *hint, sony, hint.* ;)

I loved the story of Talos Principle, enjoyed it enough to overcome my general dislike of puzzle games. But like I said, I eventually got to a point where the complexity of the puzzles became a hindrance to the story for me. I could've solved them, I just didn't want to take the time to figure them out. Though it did feel really good to figure them out, or figure them out in ways that the walkthroughs didn't (some of the puzzles have multiple solutions). Which is why I was asking if anyone who had played Witness, could compare it to Talos Principle in the context of the story. 'Cause all I've seen anyone talk about is "the puzzles are crazy hard and addictive." And frankly, that's not enough for me to get a game.

Happyninja42:

I loved the story of Talos Principle, enjoyed it enough to overcome my general dislike of puzzle games. But like I said, I eventually got to a point where the complexity of the puzzles became a hindrance to the story for me. I could've solved them, I just didn't want to take the time to figure them out. Though it did feel really good to figure them out, or figure them out in ways that the walkthroughs didn't (some of the puzzles have multiple solutions). Which is why I was asking if anyone who had played Witness, could compare it to Talos Principle in the context of the story. 'Cause all I've seen anyone talk about is "the puzzles are crazy hard and addictive." And frankly, that's not enough for me to get a game.

Yes, i heard something to do with a mountain and a mystery possibly to be explained by getting to the mountain, sort of like the No Man's Sky centre of the universe goal with as vague a motivation, i do not know much though. Perhaps no reviewer has actually got that far yet, perhaps the story is more environment driven, dark soulsy-like. It has been mentioned a little. But still too vague to go off of. It is much better to have a direct motivation for progress other than completion for the sake of completion.

Xsjadoblayde:

Happyninja42:

I loved the story of Talos Principle, enjoyed it enough to overcome my general dislike of puzzle games. But like I said, I eventually got to a point where the complexity of the puzzles became a hindrance to the story for me. I could've solved them, I just didn't want to take the time to figure them out. Though it did feel really good to figure them out, or figure them out in ways that the walkthroughs didn't (some of the puzzles have multiple solutions). Which is why I was asking if anyone who had played Witness, could compare it to Talos Principle in the context of the story. 'Cause all I've seen anyone talk about is "the puzzles are crazy hard and addictive." And frankly, that's not enough for me to get a game.

Yes, i heard something to do with a mountain and a mystery possibly to be explained by getting to the mountain, sort of like the No Man's Sky centre of the universe goal with as vague a motivation, i do not know much though. Perhaps no reviewer has actually got that far yet, perhaps the story is more environment driven, dark soulsy-like. It has been mentioned a little. But still too vague to go off of. It is much better to have a direct motivation for progress other than completion for the sake of completion.

They were possibly avoiding spoilers, or at least I'd like to think so. The story unfolds pretty organically as you progress through the game. Basically, if you are curious and explore, and poke your nose around, checking things out, you will quickly get the shape of what's going on. I havent played No Man's Sky, or Dark Souls, so I can't comment on the similarity, but the comment about it being environment driven is very accurate. Plus, the music is amazing. The atmosphere of it is just great, at least for me. The game takes a lot of effort to set a mood, and let you glimpse the story in snippets, so it sort of creeps up on you as you go along, until you get to a point and you're like "Oh shit, *insert theory* is what's going on! Or at least I think so! I'd better get to the end and find out!" Which is basically what happened to me. My theory was correct, but leading up to it, it was fun to see it unfolding as I went along. Again, that's just my take on it. It might bore you to tears, but the game seems to be well received by most people. It gave me genuine emotional reactions at times, which is something I always hope for in video games. And it made me seriously think about life and reality. I definitely suggest checking it out, though I would say waiting for a sale is perfectly reasonable. It's a great game, one of my favorites to date to be honest. But can it wait until it's more in your budget? Sure.

I'm guessing the majority of those sales are from the PS4, cause Steam Spy still shows they only have a little over 50,000 users. Probably in his best interest to get an Xbox One build ASAP then, if console users are that much more than PC.

Happyninja42:

They were possibly avoiding spoilers, or at least I'd like to think so. The story unfolds pretty organically as you progress through the game. Basically, if you are curious and explore, and poke your nose around, checking things out, you will quickly get the shape of what's going on. I havent played No Man's Sky, or Dark Souls, so I can't comment on the similarity, but the comment about it being environment driven is very accurate. Plus, the music is amazing. The atmosphere of it is just great, at least for me. The game takes a lot of effort to set a mood, and let you glimpse the story in snippets, so it sort of creeps up on you as you go along, until you get to a point and you're like "Oh shit, *insert theory* is what's going on! Or at least I think so! I'd better get to the end and find out!" Which is basically what happened to me. My theory was correct, but leading up to it, it was fun to see it unfolding as I went along. Again, that's just my take on it. It might bore you to tears, but the game seems to be well received by most people. It gave me genuine emotional reactions at times, which is something I always hope for in video games. And it made me seriously think about life and reality. I definitely suggest checking it out, though I would say waiting for a sale is perfectly reasonable. It's a great game, one of my favorites to date to be honest. But can it wait until it's more in your budget? Sure.

Well, No Man's Sky isn't out yet, so that's to be expected, hehe! But it's only what i've heard of the game. Considering the information and recommendation, it does sound a lot more worth the asking price. Hopefully the developer has more ideas for the future too, which this game's praise and popularity can fuel the creation process. I guess the waryness comes from Sony's store's consistent desire to overvalue everything, including last gen (even the gen before that) releases. Emotion in game is always much appreciated, thought food also. SOMA had a fairly thought provoking story, though the emotions of existentialist despair may shatter any hopes and dreams that had the sheer gall to form within your soul. :)

Xsjadoblayde:

Happyninja42:

They were possibly avoiding spoilers, or at least I'd like to think so. The story unfolds pretty organically as you progress through the game. Basically, if you are curious and explore, and poke your nose around, checking things out, you will quickly get the shape of what's going on. I havent played No Man's Sky, or Dark Souls, so I can't comment on the similarity, but the comment about it being environment driven is very accurate. Plus, the music is amazing. The atmosphere of it is just great, at least for me. The game takes a lot of effort to set a mood, and let you glimpse the story in snippets, so it sort of creeps up on you as you go along, until you get to a point and you're like "Oh shit, *insert theory* is what's going on! Or at least I think so! I'd better get to the end and find out!" Which is basically what happened to me. My theory was correct, but leading up to it, it was fun to see it unfolding as I went along. Again, that's just my take on it. It might bore you to tears, but the game seems to be well received by most people. It gave me genuine emotional reactions at times, which is something I always hope for in video games. And it made me seriously think about life and reality. I definitely suggest checking it out, though I would say waiting for a sale is perfectly reasonable. It's a great game, one of my favorites to date to be honest. But can it wait until it's more in your budget? Sure.

Well, No Man's Sky isn't out yet, so that's to be expected, hehe! But it's only what i've heard of the game. Considering the information and recommendation, it does sound a lot more worth the asking price. Hopefully the developer has more ideas for the future too, which this game's praise and popularity can fuel the creation process. I guess the waryness comes from Sony's store's consistent desire to overvalue everything, including last gen (even the gen before that) releases. Emotion in game is always much appreciated, thought food also. SOMA had a fairly thought provoking story, though the emotions of existentialist despair may shatter any hopes and dreams that had the sheer gall to form within your soul. :)

Then it will probably be good that you will play Talos Principle after SOMA, as it will likely reverse the negative soul funk that game did to you.

I was going to play it, but a lot of the popular steam reviews didn't have good things to say about the game.

Happyninja42:

Then it will probably be good that you will play Talos Principle after SOMA, as it will likely reverse the negative soul funk that game did to you.

Having now acquired the game, I do agree it works surprisingly well as a SOMA cushion. It entwines neatly with the various questions raised in a way that takes the rusty edge off the "that's as happy an ending as you're gonna get, you failure of a species" ending. Enjoying it so far, moreso by casually linking it to SOMA in my head-canon weirdly

 

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