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Retail

Witness sells over 100,000 copies in first week

By Rachel Weber

Witness sells over 100,000 copies in first week

Tue 02 Feb 2016 10:36pm GMT / 5:36pm EST / 2:36pm PST
RetailInsights

Creator Blow reveals gross revenues of over $5 million

A week after the release of puzzle game The Witness developer Jonathan Blow has revealed that the game has already raked in more than $5 million in gross revenue and has sold "substantially more" than 100,000 units.

In his blog post Blow also compared the sales success with that of his other big hit, Braid:

"This is a good chunk more revenue in one week than Braid made in its entire first year, from August 2008-September 2009. (Braid initially launched on XBLA in August 2008, and it came to Steam in April 2009). Braid was considered a hit independent game at the time," he wrote.

"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 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 doubly, is a really nice success."

Blow also revealed that when it came to the PC and PSN versions of The Witness, neither format dominated sales and that the revenue, while impressive, did not put the game into profit just yet, but that projections suggested it would "break even and make a comfortable safety margin on top of that."

He added that the team were considering iOS, Android, Xbox One and OS X version of the game in the future.

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8 Comments

Jason Avent VP, Studio Head, NaturalMotion

150 192 1.3

Posted:6 months ago

#1
My thoughts exactly! Wonder what is the next "news" that gaming medias post to further hype this game... :-)

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

1,150 1,271 1.1
@Kim
Well... A game suffering from piracy and still selling well is news, (without the quotation marks).
And sticking to the proper sense of the word, Not sure how you can "hype" a game that has already been released and has great reviews, though.

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Paul Shirley Programmers

213 189 0.9
@Alfonso games suffering piracy and still being profitable has been the norm in our industry since the 1st pirate copy I saw ~37 years ago. So hardly real news ;)

Posted:6 months ago

#4

Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop

318 1,393 4.4
Of course more pirate pirate popular stuff than pirate unpopular stuff. Look at Game of Thrones - top of the "most pirated TV show" list every year, but the popularity also means they have enough legit customers to make it worth while.

Posted:6 months ago

#5
@Alfonso What Paul said :-)

On a completely unrelated note, seeing you are in Ubisoft's testing, are people at Ubi aware how broken RB6 Siege still is? Same very serious connection issues are still there like they were already at closed beta. The latest DLC / update brought more glitches. Love the game, but I cannot understand how the issues are still not fixed.

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer

289 901 3.1
I'll keep my fingers crossed that it keeps selling this well and makes it into profit - after all, with Mr Blow's track record, those profits will fund development of his next game.

Given the ongoing struggle between digital liberty groups like the EFF and licencing bodies like the RIAA and MPAA, I'm interested in the piracy figures and sales figures for games over time. The RIAA & co tell us that piracy is responsible for a devastating loss of income - more, in fact, than the value of their entire catalogue, it seems, while the EFF have posited that piracy can - and usually does - increase legitimate sales. So it's interesting to see where it all shakes out in reality.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

1,150 1,271 1.1
@Paul
Not sure if it that can apply to a $40 indie game as "unusual" as this one. Not to mention how big companies can take a big chunk of piracy on their products, small studios I'm not that sure. But I get your point.

@Kim
You will need somebody from Ubisoft Montreal to answer you that. I still didn't play Siege due to a long backlog of games... and that my play time in the near future is going to be focused in "The Division" :)
Also unrelated, Kim. I love your "Tiny Troopers" game. I was a big fan of "Cannon Fodder" back in the day ;)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 5th February 2016 9:09am

Posted:6 months ago

#8

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