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Ninja Theory in profit only three months after Hellblade launch

Game way ahead of nine-month target as it approaches 500,000 sales

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has sold nearly 500,000 units and is already profitable, only three months after launch.

In a post-development diary, Ninja Theory detailed how it had exceeded its own expectations for the game.

"I knew that we'd made a really strange game, one that some people would love and that some people would hate, and so our average review score was bound to suffer," said Ninja Theory creative chief Tameem Antoniades.

However, this anxiety was misplaced as Hellblade is currently rated nine out of ten on Steam and enjoys a Metacritic average of 81.

"Creatively we hit a home run, but our other major goal was to prove that there was a space between indie and AAA games that could work commercially," added Antoniades.

Throughout development, Ninja Theory kept fans abreast of progress with a series of YouTube diaries. With AAA marketing costs spiralling out of control, and the number of games appearing on Steam growing at a near exponential rate, the intention was demonstrate that the studio's approach to independent AAA could work for others too.

Commercial director Dominic Matthews said: "For many years now, talented and experienced developers have been disappearing because they just don't fit the AAA mould. This trend sadly shows no signs of stopping, so it's important to us that we share our experiences from the Hellblade project so that other teams might be able to do the same."

Matthews added encouragement for any other studios considering a new approach to get in touch.

"We hope this message gains traction with other developers," he said. "If you're a developer like us, searching for independence and with a track record, then get in touch. We've been through this journey, so perhaps we can help."

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Ivy Taylor avatar

Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.

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