Jonathan Blow, the creator of The Witness, tweeted that his game was “currently on track for selling more units in a single week than his prior game, Braid, had sold in the entire first year.” Later, he confirmed the prediction in a post titled “Fun Sales Fakts” on The Witness’s website. In it, he stated that the game already sold “well over 100,000 units.”
Last week, Blow mentioned he was not able to be too precise in naming the amount of sales or the accurate figures, because he was not sure if it would violate NDAs with the many online retailers. Additionally, Blow went on to put an emphasis on the fact that The Witness looks to be bringing in a bunch of money, but that it is nearly secondary in consideration. He said, “Our goal was to create and build an interesting, beautiful, intricate thing, and that was first and foremost. The money simply helps us remain in business to create and produce new things.”
“Within the first week, The Witness revenue grossed over $5 million USD across all platforms, with much more than 100,000 units being sold, which is a large amount, more than Braid made in the full first year of release in August 2008, until September 2009,” Blow stated. Initially, Braid was launched in August 2008 on XBLA, and then on Steam in April 2009. At the time, it was thought to be a great hit as an independent game.
In comparison, The Witness not only outperformed Braid, but did so by selling more units in the initial week, Blow referred to this as “a great success.” The Witness comes at a greater price than the previous game as well, sold for $40 instead of the $15. Additionally, he said that the reports by Steamspy indicated The Witness sales being around 50,000 and holding, but commented that this number was “a little too low.”
Although it has been considered a success, The Witness has yet to recover the amount spent on the development, but Blow believes that it will, and stated, “With more time, the sales should break even with expenses, and we expect it to go beyond and bring in a comfortable safety margin too. This margin will allow us to create additional games for people to enjoy in the future, unless there’s some sort of worldwide economic disaster.”
Currently, Blow, as well as the remainder of The Witness team, are focusing on providing the players post-launch support, while working on creating additional features that include rendering options and configurable controls. They are also considering the release for other platforms, such as Xbox One, OS X, and mobile.