The Witness makes $5m in a week, but is yet to recoup its budget

The Witness makes $5m in a week, but is yet to recoup its budget
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

February 3rd 2016 at 9:32AM

Puzzle game sells 100,000 units in seven days, despite price and piracy controversy

Piracy problems and pricing criticism appears not to have impacted The Witness’ early success.

Jonathan Blow’s first-person puzzler came out late last month to rave reviews, despite scattered concerns over its £30 price tag and the developer’s own criticism of widespread piracy of the title.

That appears to have ultimately not been a problem, as Blow has now revealed that The Witness has generated over $5 million in revenue in its first week on sale.

This amounts to 100,000 sales across the game’s two platforms – PC and PS4 – with Blow adding that neither platform had seen the lion’s share of interest from players.

“This is a good chunk more revenue in one week than Braid made in its entire first year, from August 2008 to September 2009,” Blow explained. “Braid was considered a hit independent game at the time.”

He added that Braid launched at less than half of The Witness’ price, and that PS4 sales of The Witness alone outnumbered Braid’s total first week sales.

While $5 million is a fair chunk of change, Blow said that the seven-year development cycle of The Witness meant that the game’s budget was yet to be recouped in full.

“However,” he continued, “it is looking like, 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 concluded his blog post by revealing that he was looking at bringing The Witness to further platform, including iOS and Android, as well as Xbox One.