A list of lists about games of the decade, and the Frictional Games games on them

“Early on, we had decided that if [Amnesia] did not sell 24,000 units during the first two months we would close down Frictional Games. Anything less and we would not have enough funds to properly sustain the company.“

~Thomas in Amnesia: Post Mortem, 2011

At the beginning of 2010, Frictional Games was five guys who had made a mildly successful game, working off quickly dwindling resources.

At the end of the decade, Frictional Games had grown to be 25 people across two projects, supported by steady income from a cult hit and an indie darling.

There was no way to predict the combination of hard work, luck, and meta trends surrounding Amnesia that would help us sell, well, way more than 24,000 units, and put Frictional on the map of reputable game developers. Aside from being a financial success, Amnesia has reportedly been influential on the gaming industry at large, from affecting the horror genre to helping kickstart the Let’s Play scene (with no small thanks to the modding community and their numerous contributions of custom story content).

The success of Amnesia: The Dark Descent let us further develop our craft in SOMA. Though not as financially successful, it has found its niche among the gaming community.

We are mostly from Northern Europe, so it’s not our style to toot our own horn. But finding our games on lists wrapping up the decade with “best” or “most influential” in the title has been exciting, considering the thousands of games released over the past 10 years. It’s the best kind of inspiration to push us to do better.

So we will toot our horn a little bit, with a small list of lists covering the past decade that one of our games made it on. We would like to thank every publication that has found our games worthy of being featured, regardless of ranking. And sorry for non-English publications for not finding you – if there are articles out there in other languages, do link them in the comments!

As a fun coincidence, if not ranked, Amnesia: The Dark Descent opens a lot of these lists. There’s upsides to releasing in the first year of the decade and starting your game’s name with the first letter of the alphabet!

GND-Tech: Game of the Decade Awards: 2010’s

Game of the Decade Awards: 2010’s

At the top of our list of lists is GND-Tech, who graced us with three wins and three nominations – a whooping six mentions total! There’s SOMA for best sound effects with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs as a nominee. There’s Best Story, Writing Quality for SOMA. Again SOMA as the Best Horror game, with Amnesia: The Dark Descent as a nominee, as well as SOMA as a nominee for Dark Horse. Soma-one at GND-Tech sure loved SOMA!

Sadly we didn’t get awards for Best Racing Game or Best Multiplayer Shooter, but we’ll count our losses.

The others are listed in no particular order.

Forbes

The Decade’s Most Influential Video Games
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Of course the Big Business Journal acknowledging us would make top news, are you kidding me?

EDGE Magazine

Games of the Decade
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia was featured in the print version of Edge as one of the 12 games of the decade, earning it a place as one of the collectors’ covers. You can read about the covers on their sister site GamesRadar+.

The Gamer

The 20 Most Influential Indie Games Of The 2010’s
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

We see all the articles you write about us, The Gamer! Appreciate it.

The Gamer

The 10 Best Survival Horror Games Of The Decade, Ranked (According To Metacritic)
SOMA at #9 and Amnesia: The Dark Descent at #7/10.

Case in point.

The Washington Post

The most influential games of the decade
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

The Washington Post had one of the funniest interpretations of Daniel we’ve ever seen. The illustration by Senne Trip.

Red Bull

10 Best Games of the Decade
SOMA

This really gave us wings.

Shacknews

Community Top 100 Games of the Decade #75-51
Soma at #71/100

An entire community coming togetherto vote can’t be wrong!

IGN

The Best Games of the Decade (2010 – 2019)
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Aaaand I’ve run out of (arguably) funny things to say. Sorry!

Headstuff

The Best Horror Games Of The Millennium So Far…
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

NDTV Gadgets

Ten Most Influential Games of the Past Decade
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

TechRaptor

15 Best Games of 2010
Amnesia: The Dark Descent at #15/15

The Next Web

The 10 video games that defined the 2010s
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Den of Geek

100 Best Games of the Decade
Amnesia: The Dark Descent at #100/100

The Game Theorists

Game Theory: 2019 Game of the Year? More like Best Games of the DECADE!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Thanks to every outlet once more, and congratulations to all other favourites out there! And here’s to another exciting decade of gaming.

Amnesia Collection PS4 – A FAQ

After our announcement last week that the Amnesia: Collection was coming to the PS4, a bunch of questions appeared across the internet. Because of this, it feels like time for a little FAQ. In case you missed it, here’s the trailer:

When is the game coming out?

On November the 22nd!

How much will it cost?

It will cost 29.99 dollars and have a 10% discount for PS+ members the first couple of weeks.

Will there be any differences compared to the PC version?

The biggest difference is that the game will have trophies on PS4. There will also be some minor changes to menus and GUI to make it a bit more console friendly. Other than that the game will look and sound exactly the same as on PC.

Will it come to Xbox One as well?

We would like it to, but for this release we only had the resources to handle one platform at a time, and we’re already familiar with the PS4.

What about a physical release?

It would be awesome to do that, but there are a bunch of complications. We’ve already had a few publishers mail us to express interest in a boxed version, so we’ll pursue those and see what happens.

What languages are supported?

English voice only, and subtitles for English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian.

Will there be mod support?

Afraid not, it is simply too difficult for a number of tech and legal reasons.

Will Amnesia have VR support soon?

We’re not planning VR support for Amnesia. It would require substantial re-engineering, not to mention redesign of the gameplay.

What is the resolution and framerate?

All games will be 1080p. The Dark Descent and Justine will run at 60 fps. We are having some performance issues with A Machine for Pigs and might have to settle with 30 fps for it. Our porting team is working hard to get it up to 60 fps though, but we cannot promise we can do it.

Will the game have a frame around it like in the trailer?

No. That was just to make it clear that it wasn’t our footage being shown, it belonged to the streamers we featured. Sorry if we made this unclear.

Why does the trailer only contain old Youtube footage?

There’s already a huge amount of gameplay footage for Amnesia online and it felt boring to just do another standard trailer. We felt we wanted to make something different and got the idea of showing off some early Let’s Plays, given that Amnesia was released around the time of the first explosion of the Let’s Play phenomenon. The idea was to make something similar to this one for the movie [Rec].

Why does the trailer only contain The Dark Descent footage?

Because the other two games came afterwards when Let’s Plays were already a widespread phenomenon. We wanted some early videos that captured more “genuine” reactions. We’ll release a proper trailer closer to publish date.

That should cover most of it! You can also find more information in this Playstation blog post. And if you have more questions, ask them in the comments!

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Available Now

Originally posted by Jens.

The year is 1899. Wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus has returned home from a disastrous expedition to Mexico. Wracked by fever, haunted by dreams of a dark machine, he recovers consciousness in his own bed with no idea of how much time has passed since his last memory. As he struggles to his feet, somewhere beneath him, an engine splutters, coughs, roars into life…

From the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dear Esther comes a new first-person horror game that will drag you into the depths of greed, power and madness. It will bury its snout into your ribs and it will eat your heart.

For Windows, Mac, and Linux, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is available for $19.99 at online stores, including:

Desura
Gamer’s Gate
GOG
Humble Store
MacGameStore
Steam

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Bloody Preorder

Originally posted by Jens.
Some links in this article have expired and have been removed.

It’s time to step back into the darkness. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the follow-up to the genre-defining horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is now available for pre-order with a 20-percent discount.

The year is 1899. Wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus has returned home from a disastrous expedition to Mexico, which has ended in tragedy. Wracked by fever, haunted by dreams of a dark machine, he recovers consciousness in his own bed, with no idea of how much time has passed since his last memory. As he struggles to his feet, somewhere beneath him, an engine splutters, coughs, roars into life…

From the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dear Esther comes a new first-person horror game that will drag you to the depths of greed, power and madness. It will bury its snout into your ribs and it will eat your heart. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is survival–horror at its most unsettling; helpless and alone, no weapons to soothe your nerves, and the dim light of your lantern to offer any comfort.

For Windows, Mac, and Linux, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is available for $15.99 ($19.99 regularly) at these digital distributors:

Desura
Gamer’s Gate
GOG
Humble Store
MacGameStore
Steam

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs’ narrative-driven horror, free of combat and complex puzzles, instead encourages players to entrench themselves in the world, be consumed by its ambiance, and run for their lives.

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Status Update

Originally posted by Jens.

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs reached a major milestone last week when thechineseroom sent us their final version of the game, representing over a year’s worth of hard work. But don’t get too excited just yet!

Some work is still left to be done. We are testing, tweaking, optimizing, porting, translating and all those things that are part of the process of creating and releasing a game. Currently we are looking at a release around Q2 2013.

How come a game meant for Halloween 2012 has been delayed for so long? Originally we thought it would be a short, experimental game set in the universe of Amnesia, but thechineseroom had a vision that was bigger than that. As their work progressed, the potential for a much greater project emerged. What we ended up with is no longer what we had first imagined, but a fully fledged Amnesia game. A different kind of Amnesia, but definitely not a short experiment.

More information on the game, pricing, requirements, availability and so forth coming at a later date. Stay tuned as we wrap things up!

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Halloween Teaser

Originally posted by Jens.
Images on this post have been lost.

SQUEAL, little piggies, SQUEAL

We want your fear. Record your screams, your whimpers, your blood curdling shrieks of terror and you could star in Amnesa: A Machine for Pigs.

We are on the hunt for the sounds of fear, panic, terror, anguish, torture and horrid, awful death to include in the soundtrack for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

Send them as Wavs, Oggs or MP3s to:

We don’t care who does the screaming. We just want the fear.

Amnesia – Two Years Later

It has now passed a little more than two years since we launched Amnesia and one year since the last report, so time for another! One would think that there is perhaps not much to be said this long after release, especially for a single player game with no built-in social features. But the fact is that Amnesia is still going very strong and 2012 will probably be the best financial year here at Frictional Games, which we would never had expected two years ago.

Sales

As always, let’s start with the sales and some numbers. The first thing will be to figure out how many units we have sold in total, which is actually really hard to pin down. The biggest reasons for the uncertainty is that Amnesia was part of the Humble Indie Bundle (HIB) earlier this year and Potato Bundle last year. Both of these account for quite a lot of sales. Without counting the units bought there our total lands at 710 000 units. Adding all HIB and Potato Sack sales gets us to 1 360 000 units in total, which can be called the optimistic figure. This means that, optimistically speaking, Amnesia has sold almost 1.4 million units! This reasoning is not strictly speaking invalid, but I think that one should not really count anyone that bought the bundle and already owned Amnesia as a proper unit. A slightly pessimistic guess (not far from reality I think) is that 2/3 of every bundle and pack buyer already owned Amnesia. This gives us about 920 000 units in total, pessimistically speaking. So saying that we have sold a million units seems fair. Wait… a million units! Oh shit!!

Despite that huge number of sales, what I think is more interesting is how good the monthly sales still are. Not counting any discounts, the monthly full price sales lie at over 10 000 units. This means that less then every 5th minute someone in the world is buying a copy of Amnesia. This is totally insane to me. The figures themselves are far beyond any guesses we would have made two years ago. It is also insane, because this number is actually higher than it was around three months after initial launch. That a game can still be going this good two years after is truly remarkable.  This success is due to many factors, some of which are the uniqueness of the game (horror games without combat do not really exist on PC), the large modding community (more on this later) and the steady flood of YouTube clips (which is in turn is fueled by the modding community output).

Also worth noting that our Penumbra games are still going on at the same rate that they always have. They are still selling about the same numbers (a little more actually) as they did three years ago. This totals to about 900 units per month. Taking all sales together is more than enough to support the company, financing A Machine For Pigs (more on that later) and having some left over. This means that we are in a very good position and aim to use it to take more risk and try out new things (more on this later).

I think we have never disclosed how much we Amnesia cost to make, so might as well do that here. The (exactly) three years of development cost a total of 360 000 US Dollars. It has since earned more than ten times that. Take that investors we talked to in 2009!

Piracy

It has been over a year since we even thought about piracy. With sales as good as above we cannot really see this as an issue worth more than two lines in this post, so screw it.

Modding

I mentioned it a bit in last years summary, but feel it was not given enough focus. When we created the possibility of custom stories, it was something we thought of very late and I think Luis implemented it in less than a day. We put a few days on adding documentation our wiki as well, but all in all, it was a tiny effort compared to the rest of the game. Despite that, this aspect as been immensely important for the game and while it is hard to give any exact features in terms of sales, the influence on our community is easily seen. Before modding started, we had one or two daily post on our message boards. But as the modding community has grown, it is now up in over 40! (Remember this on the boards of a 2 year old a single player game.) There is even a long meme thread regarding the custom story community. What is interesting is that there are even internal expressions used, like “poofer”, that we at Frictional did not know about and that was specific to Amnesia modding.

The output of modding community has been quite big as well. Amnesia is as of writing the 2nd most popular game at ModDB and sports 176 finished mods. Not only do this amount of user content lengthen the life of the game, it has also increased the amount of YouTube movies made with an Amnesia theme. There are lots of popular Let’s Play channels that have devoted quite a bit of time with just playing various user-made custom stories. As mentioned earlier this have probably played a large role in keeping our monthly sales up.

It is quite clear that allowing users to create content is a feature worth putting time into. I also think that we managed to have a pretty good balance between having simple tools and still allowing a lot of possibilities. It is far from perfect though and for our new engine (which AMFP is not using) will have lots of improvements. It will still be possible to use the simple scripting as before, but now you can pretty much remake whatever you like and do not have to use a complicated total conversion to do so.

Future

The next big thing for us will be the release of Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, which is a follow-up developed by thechineseroom and produced by us. This release will be very interesting in many ways. First of all it is a big experiment for us to do this sort of collaboration, so from the start we had no idea how it would turn out. Judging from the latest build we have nothing to worry about though, and so far it looks great. Another interesting aspect is how well it will sell compared to the initial Amnesia launch. Not only is the market a lot bigger now than two years ago, Amnesia is more known. The result will be very important to how we plan our future. Release for AMFP is expected early 2013.

At Frictional Games our main concern is our new super secret project. We do not want to say much about this project yet,but we can disclose that it will be horror and that it will be first person. One of the things I was most disappointed with in Amnesia was that it never really managed to deliver any deeper themes, but was more like a shallow fright-fest. For the new project we want to change that and really try and bring a certain theme to the front. Our hope is that this will create a very special experience, creating horror in a much more disturbing way. For the curious, some information on the path we are taking can be found in this paper. The game’s current status is that we have pretty much all tech working, and have started to playtest the first parts. Still, a lot is up in the air and the current design is bound to change. While we do not want the project to go on forever, we want to use our good financial situation the best we can and make sure we do not just rush something out (which we did with Amnesia actually). Release will probably be some time in 2014.

Frictional Games have also grown over the last year and we now employ 11 people, which feels very close to the maximum. At least the way we run the company right now. We also do not want to lose the small underdog spirit that has fueled us in the past. When you have such financially different situation compared to when you started I think it is easy to get caught up in expansion, wild ideas and basically do not get much done. So, we do our best to keep our feet firmly on the ground, to be strict on deadlines and to always remember our humble pasts. At the same time we will not take any easy solutions and play it safe. After the successes we have had, I think it is our responsibility to use our money and independence the best way possible.

Custom story competition: And the winners are…

Originally posted by Jens.

Last week we closed the polls on our modest Custom Story competition. Over the last few months, fans have been able to vote for their favorite Custom Stories and over 600 people decided to take this opportunity. More than 40 stories competed in three categories: Best Custom Story, Most Potential, and Most Unique.

Except for the bragging rights of being number one, the winner of every category will also receive an Amnesia t-shirt, with the quote; “That is not traditional fire!” from the most viewed Amnesia-playthrough video of all time.

Without further ado – the winners are…

Best Custom Story
Winner: La Caza by Russ Money, http://www.moddb.com/mods/la-caza
Runner-up: Abduction by Anxt, http://www.moddb.com/mods/abduction
Runner-up: Amnesia – Through The Portal by DamnNoHtml, http://www.moddb.com/mods/amnesia-through-the-portal

Most Potential
Winner: White Night by Tanshaydar, http://www.moddb.com/mods/white-night
Runner-up: Portal – The Dark Descent by rickyhorror, http://www.moddb.com/mods/portal-the-dark-descent
Runner-up: Cannibalism by anzki4 & Leon Kennedy, http://www.moddb.com/mods/cannibalism

Most Unique
Winner: Tetris – The Dark Descent by Apjjm, http://www.moddb.com/mods/tetris-the-dark-descent
Runner-up: Unbirth – Envy The Dead by plutomaniac, http://www.moddb.com/mods/unbirth-envy-the-dead
Runner-up: The Estate by Selyp, http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-estate

To all of you who have contributed to our amazing modding community – thank you all for your efforts. You have managed, not only to draw attention to your own incredible abilities, but kept a linear horror game alive. Again and again when we hear complaints about replay-value, there is someone there pointing out all the additional stories available for free. It is just an incredible treasure and you make us damned proud.

For more Custom Stories: http://www.moddb.com/games/amnesia-the-dark-descent/mods

Amnesia: Justine – Now available for everyone (Version 1.2)

Originally posted by Jens.
Links in this article have expired and have been removed.

On April 18 Frictional Games joined Valve to celebrate the release of Portal 2 and wrap up our collaboration which has spanned the last few months. During this period we have worked with not only Valve, but an entire range of talented independent developers, to give gamers a unique gaming experience. Together we created a massive Alternate Reality Game which spanned 13 Steam games, as well as plenty of internet forums and publications, and the real world. Frictional Games’ main contribution to this game was a DLC called Justine and truth be told, it plays pretty damn well even without the other stuff.

Justine has now been repackaged to survive in the outside world and we are happy to announce that we are giving it away to all owners of Amnesia for free. Turn off the lights, put the headphones on and play another story produced by the original team, the multiple IGF award winning, Frictional Games.

But, there is more…

For all our fans who pre-ordered or bought the game through our store, as a thank you for hanging in there and supporting us, we give you Mikko Tarmia’s beloved soundtrack composed for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Simply log on to our shelf and download it today. For everyone else, who aren’t eligible for a free soundtrack, it can still be purchased from our store.

That still isn’t enough…

A collection of five short-stories set in the world of Amnesia, written by our writer and illustrated by our concept artists, will be included in the update. They are sure to answer some of your questions about our universe, but also have you come up with a few new ones.

Justine and the story collection will be available through the Amnesia v1.2 update, which is available from today. The update also includes some bug fixes and now officially include Russian voice and subtitles (Thanks to Snowball).

Thank you all for playing Amnesia and yet an even bigger thank you to everyone who participated in the mad puzzles of the Portal 2 ARG.