It was an exciting day around the release of Kena: Bridge of Ghosts. Ultimately, Ember Lab’s debut game was acclaimed by the press and fans. And a few days later, the creators can give Jason Schreier a positive conclusion of Bloomberg draw.
Schreier first states in his newsletter that Kena: Bridge of Spirits was a central part of Sony’s product range for PlayStation 5 this year and as such could feel the marketing muscles of the big company. As other blockbusters were delayed, Sony took advantage of the Kena hype.
According to the Grier brothers, the main reason for this was that the game’s announcement in June 2020 already attracted a lot of attention from critics and fans. Before that, the brothers hadn’t made a game, they started their work with animation. One of them – for Majora’s Mask – even went viral in 2016.
The brothers say they pitched an early version of Kena to several publishers. They chose Sony and not only got money and marketing support from the console maker, but also an introduction to the PlayStation 5 a year before the console was announced and development kits later. “We became the kid version of ourselves again, we felt like we were at a private E3,” says Josh Grier.
The brothers won’t say how many copies of Kena: Brigde of Spirits have been sold. But they did reveal that the game’s initial cost has been recouped and the sales so far have been pleasantly surprised. “It’s hard to say what a big hit is,” said Josh. But “Sony is happy”.
Kena’s success now allows Ember Lab to continue developing games full-time. I’m not sure what the next game will be like, but it would be a storytelling game like Kena. “We’re not going back to animation advertising,” says Josh.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is now available digitally on PC, PS4 and PlayStation 5. A retail version for PlayStation will be released in November. You can pre-order them at Amazon*!
Pictures: Kena: Bridge of Ghosts, Ember Lab
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