Frictional Games are working on two new games!

Its not often that developers decide to share their thoughts and statistics after a game's release, but when they do the resulting article is always a fascinating read.

The same applies to Frictional and their latest Sci-Fi horror, SOMA, which is currently well on its way towards becoming profitable, yet not quite the smash hit Frictional expected after the success of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You can read the full post on the Frictional blog, but if you're just looking for a short summary, here it is:

SOMA has currently sold a bit over 250 000 units across the various platforms, a respectable number, but still 20k-30k short of turning a profit. While these sales numbers are quite good, especially in the indie sector where rare few can claim they've sold 500k copies in a single month like Firewatch, they weren't the numbers Frictional expected given the immense popularity of Amnesia, their previous solo-developed horror masterpiece.

The speculation is that the Sci-Fi atmosphere was at odds with the horror gameplay which alienated both Sci-Fi and horror fans, each in their own little way. In order to combat this, Frictional has decided to, for the first time in their history, develop two games at once: one a narrative focused Sci-Fi that will explore deep and complex themes, and the other a classic laxative replacement horror game in the vein of Amnesia.

Soma features some creepy robots

Too dark for Sci-Fi fans, too bright for horror fans

Unfortunately, the same applies to the modding scene as well. While Amnesia had almost 450 finished mods, SOMA currently has a whopping 5. Part of this is due to SOMA simply being less popular and less frequented by streamers, and part of it is because the modding tools have become a lot more complex in an effort to give users the ability to create some truly innovative mods. There is some hope, however, as there are a couple of interesting Custom Stories coming up in the future, one of them being SCP inspired, which is rather fitting for SOMA's world.

Another positive point is that the reception for SOMA has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with many users taking it upon themselves to delve deeper and further in to the story, far beyond the scope of what the developers originally intended. One guy even got inspired by SOMA to fly over to the US and propose to his girlfriend, probably in fear of being stalked by his sentient PC as he sleeps.

Soma underwater graphics

The corridor-like nature of SOMA also didn't help with modding

That's the short version done, if you're interested in all of the nitty-gritty details and developer comments I fully recommend you give the blog a read, it offers some unique insights in to how Frictional ply their pants-wetting trade.

Neither of the two upcoming games have been announced just yet, but after playing the majority of Frictional's work I'd say that they will be well worth the wait whenever they arrive, and whatever their themes may be.

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