The Witness, the brain-melting puzzle game from Thekla Inc., racked up sales of "substantially more than 100,000 units" and over $5 million in gross revenue during its first week of release, lead developer Jonathan Blow announced today.
The figures are combined totals for the two platforms on which The Witness is available, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. Blow noted that sales on both were "very strong," and said that "neither of these platforms dominates our sales." Thekla's publishing contracts with certain online storefronts prevent the studio from revealing specific sales numbers for either platform, but Blow said that figures from Steam Spy — which currently estimates the number of Witness owners on PC at more than 50,100, with a margin of error of just under 5,000 — are "a bit too low."
The Witness thus qualifies as "a really nice success," Blow said. Launch-week sales on each platform — PC and PS4 — "handily [beat]" those of Braid, Blow's previous game, which debuted on the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade platform in August 2008. Braid launched at $14.99, while The Witness costs more than twice as much at $39.99.
"So the fact that we beat Braid by units, more than doubly, is a really nice success," said Blow. He also noted that the $5 million of gross revenue for The Witness' first week is "a good chunk more" than what Braid generated during its entire first year of release, although he said Thekla has not yet broken even on The Witness. The studio does seem to be on its way to making its money back, which is great news for Blow, who said a year ago that he had borrowed "a bunch of money" to finish The Witness. (Braid's development budget was $200,000, which Blow funded himself.)
Thekla is currently focusing on fixing issues with graphics drivers for The Witness on PC, and is also working on adding configurable controls and rendering options to both versions. Blow added that "in the near future," the team will "start investigating" bringing The Witness to other platforms, with Android, iOS, Mac and Xbox One all "under serious consideration." Thekla previously announced plans for an iOS version.