Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Soma creator Frictional Games has announced that it has two new projects in development as part of a company-wide shift in favor of frequent, experimental releases.
The strategy will give the veteran studio greater freedom in its release strategy, as the team will be less reliant on revenue earned from its back catalog.
“For the first time in company history we’re now developing two games at the same time,” Frictional Games creative director Thomas Grip wrote in a recent company blog post. “This will require non-trivial changes in how we manage the team, but in the end we’re very sure it’ll be worth it all. By having two projects going at the same time, we can release games at much higher frequency.”
Grip continues: “In turn, this lets us be more experimental as we don’t have to rely as much on each new game being a big money generator. We’re still in the early phases of this transition, but it’s shaping up really well so far.”
Grip also revealed that Frictional’s sci-fi survival horror game Soma has sold more than 250,000 copies across all platforms, and is close to recouping the studio’s investment. Grip estimates that “it’ll only take 20k – 30k more until we’ve earned back our entire investment in the project.”
While Grip did not reveal any details regarding Frictional’s upcoming projects, he notes that Soma‘s success allows the studio to pursue games of a similar scope in the future. Soma spent more than five years in development, and is approaching profitability in its first six months of release.
Frictional Games made its debut in 2007 with Penumbra: Overture, a first-person survival horror game for the PC. After producing a trio of Penumbra games, Frictional found its first breakout success with Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a groundbreaking horror game that has sold more than one million copies to date.
The studio afterward produced a sequel, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, with Dear Esther creator The Chinese Room heading up development. Frictional resumed development duties for its follow-up project Soma, which hit the PlayStation 4 and the PC in 2015.