The Witness creator Jonathan Blow tweeted last week that the game “is on track to sell more in a week than Braid [his previous game] sold in its first year.” Today he confirmed that prediction in a “Fun Sales Fakts” post on The Witness website, in which he said that it has already sold “substantially more than 100,000 units.”
Blow said, as he did last week, that he can’t be too precise with the sales figures for fear of violating NDAs with various online retailers. He also emphasized that, while The Witness appears to be making quite a bit of money, it’s almost a secondary consideration. “We were trying to build a beautiful / interesting / intricate thing, first and foremost,” he wrote. “The money just helps us stay in business in order to build new things.”
“Across all platforms, The Witness has totalled over $5 million USD gross revenue in the first week, and it has sold substantially more than 100,000 units,” Blow wrote. “This is a good chunk more revenue in one week than Braid made in its entire first year, from August 2008-September 2009. (Braid initially launched on XBLA in August 2008, and it came to Steam in April 2009). Braid was considered a hit independent game at the time.”
The Witness outperformed Braid over its first week by number of units sold as well, which Blow said is “a really nice success” because the new game is so much more expensive than the old one: $40 compared to $15. He added that Steamspy reports of Witness sales, currently sitting at around 50,000 owners, are “a bit too low.”
Despite its success, The Witness hasn’t yet recovered its development cost, although Blow appears confident that it will. “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,” he wrote.
Blow and the rest of The Witness team are currently focused on providing post-launch support for the game, and are also working on adding new features including configurable controls and rendering options. Releases on other platforms, including mobile, Xbox One, and OS X, are also being considered.