Amnesia developer on piracy: "screw it"

Omri Petitte

Frictional Games posted a two-year postmortem on its bravery-busting hit Amnesia: The Dark Descent today, discussing its success at carving a niche in the PC horror scene and the longevity created by a dedicated modding community. But when the topic of piracy reared its ugly, eyepatched head, the developer's stance was a simple "screw it."

"It's been over a year since we even thought about piracy," Frictional Lead Programmer Thomas Grip wrote. "With sales as good as they are, we cannot really see this as an issue worth more than two lines in this post, so screw it."

Grip also disclosed the exact cost of Amnesia's three-year development was $360,000 and that it made "more than ten times" its budget from sales. He estimated nearly 1.4 million units sold so far from a combination of indie and Steam bundles and standalone purchases. Grip claimed monthly sales "lie at over 10,000 units" and translated it as a purchase made worldwide every five minutes.

"That a game can still be going this good two years after releasing is truly remarkable," Grip explained. "This success is due to many factors, some of which are the uniqueness of the game (horror games without combat do not really exist on PC), the large modding community, and the steady flood of YouTube clips (which is in turn fueled by the modding community's output)."

Frictional's endorsement of modding flexibility in Amnesia certainly contributed heavily to its staying power - it currently holds second place in popularity at Mod DB - and Grip keeps modding's importance in mind moving forward. "It's quite clear allowing users to create content is a feature worth putting time into," he wrote. "I also think that we managed to have a pretty good balance between having simple tools and still allowing a lot of possibilities."

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