Frictional Games Attributes SOMA’s Mixed Reception to Genre Blending
Thomas Grip of Frictional Games has today written a lengthy blog post about the state of the company post-SOMA‘s release. It’s been six months since SOMA released on PC and PlayStation 4, and while it received a lot of praise from critics and fans alike, its level of popularity didn’t match that of Frictional’s Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Across all platforms, SOMA has sold over 250,00 units since release. These numbers are stated to be “pretty good” by Grip, meaning the company expects to recoup their investment within 2016. But he also shares some disappointment with that fact, attributing the game’s slower than expected sales to the game being a mash up of the horror and sci-fi genres.
“What this means is that the game might feel a bit too sci-fi for someone looking for a pure horror experience and vice-versa,” wrote Grip. “While we think the mix works very well for the game, it seems quite possible that this has put off potential buyers.”
I reviewed SOMA, and I have to say it remains one of my favorite games in the last several years. I’m glad it’s a success, but share some disappointment with Grip that fans didn’t click with it as much due to ill-informed expectations that it will be a horror-fest like Amnesia, or something other than what we got. A similar reaction was found from fans when A Machine for Pigs released and adopted a different type of horror, eliminating some gameplay elements from the first game as well.
It’s interesting reading what Grip thinks the studio can do better, learn from, and adjust to better represent their games and support their community. If you’d like to hear more about SOMA from Grip, take a listen to our podcast interview with him. It’s also worth noting that Frictional Games has two new games in development. Whether one of those games is horror is unknown.