Hellblade Needs to Sell At Least 200K Units to Cover Development Costs

It’s not that often you hear game creators flatly, publicly stating just how much a game needs to sell in order for them to recoup their development costs. Previously, we’ve seen Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning explain how many copies of their latest games have to sell in order for them to become profitable, and thereby fund new potential games.

Now, in a new developer diary from Hellblade developer Ninja Theory, we’ve learned that the studio’s upcoming action adventure game has to sell at least 200,000-300,000 units, in order for the independent studio to make it into the black.

The reasoning behind this is that only about a dozen individuals are working on Hellblade at Ninja Theory, and that development is focused on something very specific—in the case of this game, combat.

Ninja Theory is also promising that the current team will not grow above 15%, meaning they’d at most hire only a few new hands—you don’t want them to go over budget, do you? Despite their micro-managing of the budget, they’re still using expensive tech like mo-cap, which they’re reportedly trying to use in new ways so that the tech is more cost-effective.



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  1. Sarracenia
    October 29, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Ninja Theory… Aren’t they the ones that made DMC:DMC?

  2. sanic
    October 29, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Ninja theory… no thanks DmC and heavenly sword sucked out loud, enslaved was okay. Did you guys know heavenly sword was going to be a trilogy before sony figured out NT just weren’t very good and told them to go away?

  3. Neojames82
    October 29, 2014 at 1:46 am

    As much as I don’t like seeing people lose jobs in the gaming industry, at some point you have to know when you simply just don’t know how to make great games. And Ninja Theory is one of those cases. I think them saying these things pretty much means that their company is on its last legs. Most likely do to DmC being and MAJOR flop for the studio, costing them a lot of money.

  4. Sarracenia
    October 29, 2014 at 1:51 am

    DMC:DMC wasn’t that bad, it just wasn’t a DMC game. I could have dealt with the simplified combat if the story was up to par, but it wasn’t, and Tameem’s self-insert was fuckawful. If it was named something else, the main character wasn’t such an edgelord, and Heavenly Sword didn’t exist, I’d likely buy their new game, but they just consistently make games that could be good if anyone else had made them instead, and that’s not something I want to invent into.

  5. Topgeartony
    October 29, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Ninja Theory? Nope.

  6. Mr0303
    October 29, 2014 at 5:13 am

    The way that they attacked fans was the final drop for me. You do not disrespect your user base and get away with it.

  7. Softclocks
    October 29, 2014 at 5:17 am

    What is the likeliness of them selling 200-300k copies?

    Is it something that’s going to happen or are they overshooting by hundreds?

  8. Madbrainbox
    October 29, 2014 at 6:12 am

    I tried to find a gameplay trailer for this.Found nothing.I think we’ll know if they can reach their target when we see something concrete.

  9. Sarracenia
    October 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I stopped paying attention after I played the game at my friends house. What did they do, exactly?

  10. Mr0303
    October 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

    They ignored valid criticisms like the lack of lock on and said that fans of the previous games only whined about the hair colour.

    They continued with downplaying the older games saying idiotic stuff that Dante looked ridiculous and would be kicked out of a night club if he showed up dressed like he was (whatever that has to do with slaying demons).

    Even after all that I decided to give them a chance and played the demo. In the first level there is an explosion that puts a white wig on new Dante’s head. He looks in the mirror and says “Not in a million years.”. If that is not a middle finger to the fans, I don’t know what is. Now every time I see the game on a store shelf I say the exact same words – “Not in a million years.”.

  11. Sarracenia
    October 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Oh, I know about all the in-game shitting on the old series (Which makes it funny when donte uses his super ability and changes to Dante’s colour scheme, also the fact that you unlock white hair after you finish the game.)

    I didn’t hear about the Nightclub thing (What the fuck does that have to do with anything?)

  12. miiyukichan
    October 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Yeah that kind of seems callous, especially when NT!Dante looks like the creator. Eek. Keep away from self inserts.

  13. BillyIII
    October 30, 2014 at 7:46 am

    So… An indie developer with a tight budget develops it’s game for a single platform with (AFAIK) costly development and distribution. Doesn’t seem logical. Especially considering the fact that current consoles are glorified PCs. And that the main selling point of their game is it’s fighting system and not graphics.