Development Diary 5: Business of Creation

27 Oct Development Diary 5: Business of Creation

Here is our latest Development Diary that focuses some of the business elements of the Hellblade Project. This video covers some of the same ideas presented in our EGX and DICE 2014 talks, as well as in our Independent AAA blog post.

In the video we talk about Ninja Theory being “independent”, and we mean this in the traditional sense of the word. Ninja Theory is a studio that is not controlled by another company. And in the case of Hellblade we are creating and publishing the game ourselves. Why don’t we call ourselves “indie”? There is a particular ethos, culture and energy that surrounds the word “indie” that we admire, but we don’t think we’ve earned that tag yet. After all, we are working on several other projects with big publishers.

  • Daniel C
    Posted at 17:01h, 27 October Reply

    Loving all these development diaries, for merch ideas the big one that comes to me would be a art book i absolutely love them and if you guys released one for Hellblade i would buy that on the spot.

  • Zura
    Posted at 17:17h, 27 October Reply

    I am very proud of you guys for trying something new and I am sure this will be rewarded!

  • Ruben Planas
    Posted at 18:45h, 27 October Reply

    I’d be more than glad to buy merchandise to help fund the project. my only real problem is the fact that I don’t have a credit card. I have to use pre paid ones. Usually a lot of sites are quite temperamental about accepting pre paid credit cards….. I believe in this project one hundred percent and you guys are by far my favourite game studio. I hope that you guys will be able to get people outside of the uk involved in testing and such, I want to be involved as much as possible :).

  • Vova Vdovichenko
    Posted at 19:05h, 27 October Reply

    I’d love buy some merchandise from you to help fund the game and I’d love to order it online. And about the comment from Daniel C, I agree I’d love an artbook to buy in the end of the developement.

  • MAC
    Posted at 19:34h, 27 October Reply

    I’d buy an artbook too!

  • Dewi
    Posted at 21:06h, 27 October Reply

    Thank you for the development diary! This was so much fun to watch. It’s obvious that you guys are passionate about this project and I hope it pays off in the end. I’m glad you guys aren’t expecting these huge sales figures of 2-3 million. If 200k-300k is financially profitable for you guys, I’d be more than happy to help spread the word about it. That’s a sales number that sounds reasonable to me, though I suspect that if the game’s every bit as good as I expect it to be and it’s cheaper than most AAA games, I’d say it’d deserve a higher sales figure. 😉

    Regarding the merchandise, definitely want a t-shirt like I saw in the video. With all the concept art that you guys have been sharing, I’d also be very interested in purchasing an artbook, as well as a soundtrack CD and posters. Just keep in mind that not everyone (including me) has a credit card so please offer a Paypal option!

  • Joshua Fullerton
    Posted at 21:11h, 27 October Reply

    I’m really enjoying the transparency that you guys have been showing during the development of this game. Even though I’ve seen no gameplay I’m very excited to see what’s next. I think merchandise could be a good angle, I know Ubisoft and Bioware have had some success in their promotion of games by also having merchandise to go with it. Things I would buy would be hoodies, t-shirts and long sleeve shirts for clothing but I also like art books that showcase concept art or a novelization of the story perhaps to give context into certain events or fill in parts of the story not showcased in game. I’m Also a music lover so Soundtracks appeal to me as well. Keep up the good work guys!

  • SyanArt
    Posted at 21:17h, 27 October Reply

    You will find that audience! therefore about the merchandising, It would be good to know more about the game before wish something in particular but you always can go for the classic set ( artwork/poster,mouse-pad, t-shirt etc..) the fans will respond, in my case, from the very beginning I want a HellBlade Artbook once done and no matter the price of it.

    Now the interesting idea here, would be to create “useful” merchandising! maybe some original clothe from the game, for example maybe a hat like the ones from SpiritHood. Tea cup that react to cold and hot displaying different designs…

    I know it has to be something realistic and not very expensive to produce.. but If you want ideas, we can give you hundreds of them!

  • Val
    Posted at 21:17h, 27 October Reply

    If at all possible, considering the budget: WOMEN’S shirts, I can’t express how tired I am of running around in baggy shirts…
    I think that with the game’s mythology jewelry could be something really amazing, but I realize that’s probably unlikely considering the budget.
    I’d also second that artbook and posters!

  • Matt
    Posted at 00:17h, 28 October Reply

    Definitely want to get some of the merchandise.

  • Arthur
    Posted at 02:23h, 28 October Reply

    I would buy a t-shirt/test keys/other merch, if there is a Paypal option because most of us don’t have a credit card.
    I hope though that the game will come on a disc because I hate these riddiculus prices that you have in the psn store paying 70 euro’s for a download and if you find the game in the store the prices are much lower.
    But also as a collector of games I’d rather see a nice collection on my shelf than on the console itself.

    Sorry for my bad english writing I’m Dutch and it’s like 3 o clock in the morning.

  • André
    Posted at 17:43h, 28 October Reply

    So excited to see some gameplay from the game, wish there was something at the Playstation Experience but that’s probably too soon.
    Keep the Dvd Diaries coming, it’s much appreciated!

  • Zubin
    Posted at 18:06h, 28 October Reply

    Yes. Yes. Yes. To everything in this video.

  • BertoFlyingFox
    Posted at 21:36h, 28 October Reply

    Another great Development Diary guys, keep working your magic!

    I think some well-designed t-shirts for both HellBlade and the Ninja Theory team in general would be a nice start for merchandise. Already the character and world lend themselves well to the comic book medium, a digital prelude comic would be interesting to see.

    I’m eager to see how the game evolves from here and I’m already on board after enjoying every previous Ninja Theory developed game out there.

  • LeRoy Butterfield
    Posted at 03:20h, 29 October Reply

    I was sold on this game the moment the teaser finished. These diaries only cement my decision to buy day one!
    I’d be interested in t-shirts, I LOVE art books, comics, or really anything you guys or the community can think up. Will there be a way to sign up for Q&A testing or perhaps any kind of Alpha/Beta testing?

  • Bryan Doherty
    Posted at 17:37h, 29 October Reply

    I would first like to say how interested I am in the game, I am a history major and a Norse and Celtic mythology enthusiast so this game is right up my ally. I would also like to commend the team for choosing a female lead, love the idea of a strong female lead in a game, we need more of them!

    I have enjoyed your developer diaries greatly and one of the things that excites me the most about the game other than theme and the setting is the concept art you have published so far. It is incredibly visceral and mood setting and I am eager to see how it translates into the game.

    I would be happy to support with merchandise purchases, and I would absolutely purchase an art book if they were made available! Also a making of documentary DVD or something of that nature would be very informative and I know that I would purchase that as well.

    I also do ancient celtic reeanactment. My specialty is of a different cletic culture the Guals, but i do know a bit about ancient combat techniques and weapons/ gear if anyone has any questions or want any help in those areas… if you want.

    would also be very interested in play testing and Q&A.

    keep up the good work, wish you all the best with this project and all future projects!


  • Natalie
    Posted at 19:04h, 29 October Reply

    I will support this game until the end, you guys are doing an amazing work, the concept art looks amazing! My congrats! Greetings from Spain.

  • Nicholas
    Posted at 21:44h, 29 October Reply

    I’d buy an artbook or an NT T-shirt!

  • Darran Rouse
    Posted at 06:45h, 30 October Reply

    Simply an awesome idea. Cant wait to play another Ninja Theory masterpiece. The art so far is spectacular and I would also be keen on an art book or clothing merchandise. I’m currently in New Zealand so I hope your merchandise can be shipped world wide.

  • Mark
    Posted at 09:02h, 30 October Reply

    Thank you so much for posting these videos. I’m very excited about this project. The more you guys talk about this stuff the more I’m sold on it. The creative variety you guys are pushing is something I sorely miss in gaming. Good on you and keep up the great work. Can’t wait to see how things progress. I’d love to help playtesting and would absolutely love to sign up to volunteer my time in helping on the QA side of things.

  • Daniel Prem
    Posted at 17:52h, 01 November Reply

    I really like how you begin to include your fans into the developing process. According to merchandise I would like to see hoddies, shirts and bags.

  • Graham Raddings
    Posted at 11:21h, 03 November Reply

    I think I would resist the temptation to produce a lot of ‘common’ merchandise as this can often cheapen your brand. Might I suggest some limited edition character/figurines if this is possible – maybe even some paint-able miniatures (in the Warhammer sense). T-Shirts are not the medium they once were – niche specialization and design (a la Quertee) seem to be more popular than a logo or slogan on a standard T-shirt. Perhaps offer some early soundtrack tracks (if you have these – by the way, please check into a group called Sioum – not a plug or UK based Orchestral Media Devs). Possibly Bandcamp or something like for digital and a a limited vinyl pressing. In all honestly, whatever you produce wants to be more limited than anything someone could theoretically self produce. The art book mentioned by someone else on this thread is also an excellent idea. The recent Art of Naughty Dog book is a great example of a glossy, well made game art book which also features some excellent fan-based art in a separate section. I remember many years ago a C64 game called ‘The Sacred Armour of Antiriad’ had a small well-drawn comic book with the game that detailed some of the early story. Maybe this would also be great for some extra brand awareness, or possibly some animations based on the art. I think there is a lot of mythology for your game and this could really expand into other mediums and build the world around the game.

  • Nate
    Posted at 07:18h, 04 November Reply

    I would most likely buy hellblade shirt, hoodies and posters if available, hopefully you can get worldwide shipping as I live in Australia. Loving these videos, I take a game design and dev class at my school and these videos help our team learn how to best develop our games using a small team.

  • Andrew C
    Posted at 21:48h, 05 November Reply

    Big fan of Heavenly Sword, just diving into Enslaved, and very excited to see the progress on Hellblade. As someone who hopes to be more than just an amateur writer, I hope your educational videos about game development will spend solid time with game writing as well.

    As far as merchandise goes, I’m probably in a minority wanting this, but I dress in button-down shirts almost every day of the week for work, and the most likely item that would see regular use is a tasteful necktie. Maybe a fun new challenge for your design team (of one?).

    There are at least three of us who would buy one. I know it. Please make it happen.

  • Eon
    Posted at 23:16h, 11 November Reply

    If you’re going to do T-shirts you should definitely make plus sizes as well…some of us look more like Pigsy than Monkey. Ha ha.

  • Isaac Taylor
    Posted at 01:47h, 18 November Reply

    Will this game be released only digitally or will it be released on a physical disk?

  • phil hart
    Posted at 21:25h, 28 November Reply

    small suggestions to getextra cash

    .some of the superb art work as backgrounds for my ps4 home page would be nice.

    why don’t you have a online whip round bit like kickstarter but specific to ninja thoryfans i would contribute.

    or a chargeable alpha test i pay

  • Paul kenyon
    Posted at 23:16h, 04 January Reply

    I love what you guys are doing and I have loved all your previous games. Hellblade is already looking like a must have for me and I would preorder now if the option existed. I am curious why you didn’t go the kickstarter route, perhaps you have mentioned it already and I simply haven’t come across it yet.

    Either way to answer your question I would purchase a figurine of Senua, a mock sword and the movie rights 🙂

    Good luck guys, there is nothing that can stop a bunch of talented folks all pushing in the same direction. Very inspirational!

  • Asuka Jr.
    Posted at 06:25h, 06 March Reply

    I know this post is not even close to new, but just wanted to toss in:
    I know you guys are specifically releasing digital, but if we could order a physical disk (even if just for the pc version) of the game, that would be great! As Arthur posted here, I’m willing to buy digital, but I just feel better knowing that if the original provider (or service) for the downloadable version should evaporate, or simply decide not to continue to host it, I could always just grab the disk, and know I can still play the game…heck, for that kind of ‘insurance’ I’d probably just buy two copies of the game (one digital, one disk-based- wouldn’t be the first time for me)…
    Otherwise, I’d like to see things like a pendant necklace…of the celtic circle, or a metal bracelet of the same.
    I’d love a Senua figurine, but only if it were really accurate…too often those things soften the character, and that would be a grave injustice. a Senua figure showing her gritty, vengeful anger, with no remorse would be amazing!

    Anyway, thanks for your ongoing work on this project! Every time I come back and find new info or vids, you just raise my excitement for Hellblade even higher! REALLY wanna play it! (^_^)

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