The Witness Sales “Substantially” Over 100,000 Copies on PS4 & PC, Thekla Hasn’t Broken Even Yet

February 2, 2016Written by Jason Dunning

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Revealing last week that The Witness (our review) was on track to sell more than Braid in its first seven days, Thekla’s Jonathan Blow announced today that sales on PlayStation 4 and PC are “substantially more than 100,000 units,” generating over $5 million in revenue.

While Blow couldn’t reveal specific sales figures on individual platforms due to contractual obligations, he did say the SteamSpy estimate of 50,000 – 55,000 Steam sales is a “bit too low.” Additionally, he mentioned that “neither of these platforms dominates our sales; PC is very strong for us, and PSN is very strong for us.”

Despite the early success for The Witness, Thekla hasn’t broken even on development costs yet. This is because the budget was so high, they have to split the revenue with the different storefronts, and they have to subtract VAT in Europe. However, Blow is optimistic that, 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 compared The Witness to Braid:

This [$5 million] 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.

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.

For now, Thekla is working on PC graphics driver problems, as well as adding some features about configurable controls and rendering options to PS4 and PC.

In the near near future, Thekla will investigate bringing The Witness to iOS, Android, Xbox One, and OS X.

[Source: The Witness]