Developing Hellblade without a Publisher – Ninja Theory Talks Pros

“We Want to Cut out the Middle Man and Sell Directly to the People That Matter to Us”

The visually stunning Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is coming very soon to the PC and PlayStation 4, and the developer was recently asked about doing the project alone. Part of the studio’s goal was to create a game with more creative freedom. In so doing, they developed an unhinged title that speaks directly to the gamer.

In an interview with SirusGaming, Chief Creative Director Tameem Antoniades spoke at length on the matter of independent development. Ninja Theory’s freedom essentially led to a better-crafted game than what they previously managed with Enslaved or Heavenly Sword. He started by praising the motion-capture that led to Hellblade’s fluid gameplay.

I think the motion capture stuff is the best we’ve done. Although it’s homebrew, it’s totally cutting edge, and what the player gets from that is – you know, every effort in this game has been done independently with a limited budget and limited people. We can release a game that’s smaller than AAA, but saying that, it’s still 8 hours.”

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is powered by Unreal Engine 4. Even with top tier graphics and design, the single-player title will be half the cost of a triple-A title. This is also thanks to independent development. Tameem goes on to describe the benefits:

“It gives us more creative freedom so we don’t have to answer to anyone. We can build the game we want to – we can build it our own way. We don’t own Enslaved, we don’t own Heavenly Sword even though we made them, but we own Hellblade, so that was the drive. We want to make something we own. We want to cut out the middle man and sell directly to the people that matter to us – the players and fans.

“If we can limit our budget and stay focused we can make a game that’s super high quality and sell it for a price you frankly wouldn’t be able to do if you were going through retail. The reason it’s £25 pounds and $30 is because we’re super focused and we’ve cut out the middle man, so it’s us and the players, and nothing in between.”

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice arrives August 8 for PS4 and PC and will be available for the aforementioned $30. Players can pre-order right now.

Will you be supporting Ninja Theory’s game? Let us know your thoughts on the project in the comments below.