Stats: The First Week of Braid

Braid has now been out on Xbox Live Arcade for an entire week, and the week has been a good success. The wave of highly-positive reviews took me by surprise, but the unexpectedly good sales show that this isn’t just a game for critics: a lot of people out there are playing Braid and getting good things from it.

I want to thank everyone for their support over the past week: whether by buying the game, telling friends about it, or just posting here with thoughts about Braid, it has all contributed to a successful launch. I hope this will serve as a useful data point for other independent developers: we can make games that are unusual, experimental, or personal, and there’s a substantial audience out there who will play and enjoy them.

Here are some numbers:

As I write this, there are 62,242 entries on the main leaderboards. I don’t have official sales numbers for the full week, but I would guess about 55,000 people have bought the game so far.

18,141 have completed the game (or at least gotten 60 puzzle pieces, since that is what the leaderboard shows).

528 people have completed the Full Game Speed Run. Of these, 238 have beaten the challenge time, and thus gotten all 200 Achievement points that you can get from Braid on Xbox Live.

Thousands of people have been playing the single-level speed runs. There are 5,098 people on the Leap of Faith speed run leaderboard, for example.

Sales are now slower than they were on launch day, but not too much: the sales didn’t just die after the first few days, as they do with some games. As a result, it looks like I will be able to make the next game, without needing to get a job that would interfere with that. (The estimated sales so far of 55,000 are not enough for this, but extrapolating into the future, the situation looks safe). Thank you, once again, for making that possible.

An open question now is whether sales will drop more steeply now that Bionic Commando: Rearmed is the new game on Xbox Live Arcade. I hope not, but we’ll see! If you have any friends who you think may enjoy Braid, please do let them know about it — perhaps while they are playing Bionic Commando, they can also try out the Braid demo.

126 Responses to “Stats: The First Week of Braid”

  1. dreamcast Says:

    it’s good to here of the games success. it really is unique and enjoyable. (i’ve yet to beat it. i’m currently in world 5.)

    when you say you will be able to make the next game, are you referring to a Braid 2 or something else? either way, i look forward to your next project.

  2. heavyness Says:

    glad to hear its still selling well.

    i am worried that MS is putting out a lot of great XBLA to close to gether and that i won’t have time to enjoy them all [i stopped playing Geo Wars 2 when Braid came out]. but, all these games are vastly different that i do see myself floating back and forth between all the games.

  3. Coded One Says:

    Hey man, I just wanna say that I absolutely LOVE this game. The puzzles are inventive, fun, and make sense.

    So far, I’ve gone through world 6, but have only gotten all the puzzle pieces for world 3 and 4. 2 Still stumps me.

    All in all, I would just like to say that this is my new favorite Indie game, even trumping over Cave Story. I would LOVE to get another brilliant game from you. Just be sure that the graphical style is as good as Braid.

    Keep it up!!

  4. Seth Says:

    This is great and all, but seriously I can’t even play the game right now. I bought the full version but it always runs in demo mode and so my game is never saved!

  5. Olick Says:

    Not everyone who has finished the game shows up on the leaderboard. I’m pretty sure you can’t even get ON the leaderboard without having an XBLA gold subscription, but even if thats not the case, I haven’t hooked my Xbox up to XBLA since I downloaded Braid, and I already finished the game.

  6. Gary Phillips Says:

    Hopefully sales will pick up again when Braid sees a PC release. (I don’t have an Xbox 360, but plan on picking it up the day it’s available for PC.)

    One question if you don’t mind, what language and API did you use to program Braid?

  7. Patrick Says:

    Congrats on the early success! I’ll be purchasing the full game tonight when I get home… After playing the demo multiple times over the last couple of nights, I feel compelled to get the full game :)

    So, you can add one more to the sales total.

  8. Glenn Says:

    It seems like it would be better for Braid, as well as the other games, to have been released independent of a “Summer of Arcade” time frame. The games could of gotten more individual attention, rather than being limited to a single week in the spot light. Regardless, Braid was one of the most refreshing experiences I have enjoyed in awhile, and I look forward to your future work.

  9. DerBonk Says:

    I would love to be able to gift Braid to people. I know at least two guys, who would LOVE Braid, but will never buy it due to being ignorant and not listetning to my advice. I would rather gift them Braid, than buy Geometry Wars 2 or Bionic Commando ReArmed for myself, just because I have no one to talk to about Braid IRL.

  10. Jonathan Blow Says:

    Seth: Working on it! As you know from the Bugs posting.

    Gary Phillips: Braid is programmed in C++. As for API, any game written for the Xbox 360 has to use the Xbox’s SDK to do things.

    Olick: Hmm, good point. Sales might be higher. One thing about Braid is that if you ever start the game while on the network, it will post all your highest scores to the leaderboards (even if you got them when offline and started a new game since then… so long as you didn’t manually delete the save file).

    DerBonk: Yeah, there is a lot of basic functionality that would be nice to have on the marketplace, that is missing.

  11. Jonathan Blow Says:

    Also, Seth: Did you try doing a Re-Download of the game on your new xbox?

  12. Mike Says:

    Well this news is wonderful. It’s good to see that you’ll be able to make another game with out taking on another job. Just curious, how will the PC sales affect the situation? Or is that not being counted toward’s braid’s success just yet. Because if it’s not, that’s even more reason to be hopeful.

    The only downside I can see for the future is that Capcom is pumping out ads on major sites, and will be getting the summer of arcade ad from MS soon as well. So it’s likely Braid sells will start to drop off more from now on, but we’ve got to stay positive! Braid will be one of those games that you’ll tell your friends to buy years from now.

  13. Josh Says:

    Your game is wonderful. Thank you.

  14. Stammy Says:

    Happy to hear the good news. I’ll buy Braid as soon as I get my MS points which I ordered last friday.

  15. Colin Says:

    Congratulations on the success so far. Any ETA on the PC release (more than “in 2008″)? Is there a mailing list for notification when the PC release is available? (Failing that, bug Gamespot to list it as an upcoming PC game as well as an XBox game, and then I can track it. )

  16. Geoff Says:

    I’m sure Braid will continue to (slowly) sell a ton, XBLA games have really long legs unless they’re shovelware.

    If anything being released at basically the same time as four other AAA games will help Braid because it’s probably the least well known of the five. Being put in the same category as those other games will ensure that more people at least give the free trial version a shot.

  17. Tyler Patterson Says:

    Jonathan Blow: I would just like to personally thank you for developing this game. I see that you are posting here so here’s my chance to. You truly have created something special. I don’t think sales will slow down as your game is the buzz of all the major gaming sites. I will do what I can to the spread the word though. Well done.

  18. trey Says:

    I just felt like throwing out there that Fable II Pub Games is scheduled to come out as well this Wensday. And next week is Castle Crashers, a game that has been looked forward to for a few years now.

    Stiff competetion, but Braid should continue selling strong. Also I hope you dont mind that me and one of my roommates only bought one copy and split the price between the two of us :P

    A lot of people probably did that, or something similar. If I remember right you can actually get two legit copies of an arcade game for two 360′s when you buy it on an account, or something like that, unless they closed that loophole in the past few months. And hey, if people complain about the cost you can throw that in their face and say price isnt as valid of a complaint

    And one more thing, me and my roomies love the music and one of them bought a copy of the soundtrack. Really looking forward to any future games you will grace us with, especially if they have the same polish as this one.

  19. Lorben Says:

    Good to hear that Braid is so successful. I think you’ll see continued sales as people that bought the game this week start working on getting people on their friends list to buy the game too.

    On a side note: Hopefully when this gets put on PC it’ll be through something like Steam so I can send it out as a Christmas gift.

  20. Benjamin Schlichter Says:

    Jonathan,

    Congratulations on reaching some very impressive milestones for Braid. Selling over 55,000 copies in a week is very impressive. Our numbers put Braid at roughly 60,000 copies sold through by 12:00PST on Wednsday, so it is doing well.

    Going forward, I think Braid, being the masterpiece it is, and the positive word of mouth surrounding it, will fare very well even though Bionic Commando, and Fable 2 Pub Games come out this week.

    The most similar example I think we can draw from is N+ which was another game that received much acclaim and fanfare post-launch. Since N+ has launched, it has done spectacularly, even though many top-tier games have come and gone since it’s debut. It’s first 3 days on market saw around 15,000 purchases (via our tracking methods). Since then, it’s gone above the 150,000 mark. This bodes well for Braid, as I think we should see similar buzz that transforms into long-term sales for Braid.

    I don’t know what kind of sales Braid has to reach before it becomes profitable, but with the sales trends as they are, I think we should expect Braid to hit the 100,000 sales mark in the next 2-3 weeks, thanks to what a spectacular game it is. I am as excited as everyone else to hear, and see, your next project, as I have been a big fan of Braid since I had heard about it many months ago.

    May good success come to your awesome work,
    Benjamin Schlichter – XBLA Sales Analyst, http://www.VGChartz.com

  21. Marcel Says:

    Very happy to hear of Braid’s success and wish it continues. I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Looking forward to your future work.

    Even if there is a slow down of sales on XBL with the August releases, I’m sure the PC version will help boost sales. I’m happy to buy the PC version to play it again, and would buy it again to give to my brother who doesn’t own an Xbox 360.

  22. Seth Says:

    I completely erased Braid from my HDD including the save file and its copy. I redownloaded it and it still boots up in demo mode. And so it never loads a new save.

    However; I have discovered something. With my problem, if you go to the menu of Braid and choose Unlock Arcade Title (or whatever it’s called..at work) it will open the blade, and if you close the blade it runs in purchased/full game mode. However, there is no way to load the save file.

  23. Manveer Heir Says:

    Jon, major props on actually discussing sales numbers, even if they are estimated. It’s something the entire industry doesn’t do enough… you can find numbers easily for what The Dark Knight made last weekend, but not for how many copies of games sold.

    I think discussing these types of numbers in an open forum will hopefully motivate others not only to do so, but maybe the industry to open up with sales data. There are games my own studio has worked on that we don’t know exact sales figures for… it’s sad.

  24. Seth Says:

    Well, he still doesn’t know the exact numbers of Braid sold; or maybe he does?, but with all XBLA games we can tell how much they sold using a formula similar to his to see how much was purchased.

    But, unless it hits a milestone, Microsoft probably won’t publish official numbers of Braid.

  25. FireFly Says:

    Regardless of future XBLA sales, isn’t your financial situation made fairly secure by the fact that you can release on other platforms, like the PC? I would assume that the cost to port the game would be a fraction of the potential revenues achievable through the wider audience.

  26. Seth Says:

    Hey, you’re not me! What kind of bizarro comments section is this?

    (Note: the game is working great for this Seth.)

  27. Jesse Says:

    Reproduced from a conversation I had with my friend Everett over the price of the game:

    Jesse: I don’t understand why people are complaining about paying $15 for this. It’s worth it.

    Everett: Me neither. I mean, I’d pay $20 for more Blow.

    (beat)

    Everett: — games. I’m no druggie.

  28. Bruce Morrison Says:

    Jonathan,

    Awesome job on the final game. Ask Kevin to set you up with daily reports from MS on sales (and sessions and such).

    We did the Leaderboard thing with Marathon to track sales, but when we got final numbers, we found to be off by a lot. Even now there are about 20,000 people who bought the game who are not on the leaderboards for some reason.

    Also, when do you open and close your session to write to leaderboards? Initially we opened the session when the player started a game, and closed the session and wrote to leaderboards at that time. A lot of gamer’s fall offline and online a lot. That would kill the sessions. Now when the gamer quits, we open a session, post stats and close it. But if someone Saves and then just turns the console off, no data is recorded. I think we lose a lot of Leaderboard entries that way.

    Hopefully you can get setup with real sales data soon. I’m eager to see how successful Braid is, as you are setting a great new standard in price and content. You have made things a lot easier on the rest of us looking to do something original.

  29. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    Okay, well this Seth is having problems, so from now on I’ll have my name as Seth (WiiDSmoker) with WiiDSmoker being my XBL gamertag to avoid confusion.

  30. Chris Says:

    Wow this looks fantastic, I’m looking forward to a PC release. I love the look of 2D games almost no one makes good 2D anymore.

  31. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    Bruce – Wouldn’t the people who bought Marathon that aren’t on Leaderboards be the people that have Silver Accounts?

  32. Charles Suarcia Says:

    Glad to read the success your game is having, congratulations Jonathan! I really hope Braid reaches the 100k units sold during the end of this week or the next, it’s possible considering that “Braid has been having an incredible 2nd week, and looks to easily outsell Geometry Wars 2 next week”, according with Benjamin Schlichter from VGChartz.com.

    Best wishes and sorry if my English is not correct.

  33. Jonathan Blow Says:

    Yes, a PC release is coming up (my current estimate is in October, but if I get it done sooner then that, great). Hopefully the PC release will reach a significantly-sized audience. However, my expectation is that the Xbox Live Arcade version of Braid will bring in most of the money. If you look at the sales numbers for PC indie games, they are all right, but tend to be lower than what’s on XBLA.

    However, now that the game has been released on XBLA and gotten good reviews, this may help it come to the attention of more people on the PC, as opposed to being a random indie game tossed out there.

    But, to give you guys an idea of how things might go, when I talked to a major publisher last year about selling Braid on the PC, they estimated that it would sell less than 5,000 copies. That matched some other figures I had seen at the time. (I know of a game that was an IGF award winner and got a lot of press, and had sold about 5,000 copies at that time. Since then, new options opened up for those guys and they have sold another 5,000, which is cool.)

    I think that the publisher I talked to would have a higher sales estimate now. But hopefully these numbers clarify to people why I released on XBLA first.

  34. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    How are you going to be releasing Braid on the PC? Through Steam?

  35. Jonathan Blow Says:

    Bruce:

    Braid actually posts to the leaderboards every time it starts up; it remembers your highest number of puzzle pieces and best speed run scores (even if you have started a new game) and posts those. So hopefully there is some robustness there, but anyone who always plays Braid offline will of course not be on the leaderboards.

    > “You have made things a lot easier on the rest of us looking to do something original.”

    This effect is cumulative, which is why it’s important for everyone to push for this when they can. An example with Braid: I really wanted the game to put the player directly into gameplay on startup, without splash screens and without a “Press A to Begin” screen. Microsoft originally wanted to require their splash screen, but then they were cool about it and let me eliminate the XBLA splash (as long as I didn’t have one of my own). But the Press A screen is a TCR requirement and trying to start up without it would be a violation that prevents the game from being published.

    But, a little while after implementing the Press A screen, I was playing Grand Theft Auto 4 when I noticed, hey, this game boots you directly into gameplay if there’s only one profile signed in. (It’s not as noticable there, because the game takes a long time to load, but it does). So I emailed Microsoft and said, hey, if GTA4 is allowed to do this, and it obviously works well for them and isn’t impacting sales or usability, then I should be able to do it too, right? And given that example, they were cool about it and let me boot Braid straight into gameplay.

    But without GTA4 having been released a little earlier (and paved the way for bypassing that TCR due to being such a highly-anticipated obvious hit-to-be), I may not have been permitted to do things that way.

  36. trey Says:

    can you get the game on Steam or something similiar?

    Id say GameTap but they are apparently going out of buisness soon…

    point is, you gotta make another game…Id love to see what you can do with another genre, itd be great to be another puzzle game but whatever you want and inspires you should be awesome….

    I just hope it doesnt take like three years to get another sampling of your game dev abilities

  37. Lippy Says:

    Jonathan,

    Awesome game, atmoshpere, and innovation. I played it at my buddies house yesterday. I don’t have an Xbox myself so either I go buy one or wait on the PC version. Being a huge fan but rather poor, would prefer the latter. When do you think this might happen? Any insight would be much appreciated. I agree with Firefly, the wider distribution on PC could really give this worldwide recognition, not to mention additional revenue.

  38. Jonathan Blow Says:

    I am in talks with a couple of online publishers. I haven’t resumed talks with Steam (I tried talking with them about the game back two years ago, and again last year, but the conversation didn’t go well). Now the Braid is a hit on XBLA, though, they will probably be more interested. Regardless of whether Steam is interested, there’s another publisher who is very interested, so Braid will get out there.

    As for whether the next game takes three years… I hope it won’t, but it might. Making games is hard and it takes a long time if you try to ensure high-quality work. There are just tons of little details that come up and taking care of them all in the right way takes a lot of effort.

  39. Manveer Heir Says:

    GameTap isn’t going out of business – they are just being sold by Warner btw

  40. Jonathan Blow Says:

    dreamcast: The next game is something else (not Braid 2).

  41. Varador Says:

    just curious – do you see any profit from the sales of the “gamer pics” from the Marketplace? i typically don’t buy that fluff, but if its another means of support, then so be it.

  42. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    I know you posted about the bug, but, any word on when we can expect this to be fixed? I’d really like to play Braid :*(

  43. Jonathan Blow Says:

    Seth: It will be a little while; even if I had it fixed right this instant, it still has to go through the certification process for title updates. I’m not sure how long that takes.

    Varador: In terms of where the money goes, Gamer Pics are exactly the same as purchases of Braid: Microsoft gets a cut of the money but the us developers get most of it.

  44. Boeboe Says:

    Benjamin Schlichter,

    It’s funny that you mention N+, because it’s the only other xbla game of which the physics came haunting me in my sleep (annoying, I’d literally almost jump out of my bed) because of the many, MANY hours I had to spend to finish all the levels. Luckily, this effect isn’t as bad in Braid (as espected, since you don’t need to invest that much time to master a level in braid), but still I had problems with time suddenly flowing backwards from time to time in my dreams after a night of speedruns.

  45. Ryan Says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    Great game. I just finished it last night. I’ve added this to my “top 10 games of all time” list and am doing some heavy pimping of it amongst my friends and colleagues. Keep up the good work and I hope it makes you a truckload of money. You deserve it.

  46. Ronan_Berthelot Says:

    Hi!
    I love Braid’s demo but I haven’t bought this game. Maybe for Winter’s Holidays.
    Hope to see your next game on Live Arcade!!

  47. Tinus Says:

    Jonathan,

    I would give anything for some Braid merchandise. In the past I’ve gotten some friend interested in Psychonauts by wearing mysterious “I am the Milkman” buttons, for example.

    However, I realise that it’s probably not profitable to do any merchandising, so would you mind if I took some Braid art and designed a t-shirt myself?

    Just completed the game by the way, it’s easily the best thing since sliced bread.

  48. Steven An Says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    How about an official Braid song, in the spirit of “Still Alive”? :P

    No seriously…I’d love to write one. Once I play the game (in 2 weeks).

  49. Robyrt Says:

    I’ve heard it mentioned that you might do a Braid theme for the new Dashboard. Is that still in the works? I would definitely pay money to have the opening city greet me when I boot up the Xbox :-)

  50. Uncle Fista Says:

    Congratulations on giving us something truly special!

    We had plenty to say about the game on our latest podcast.

    Find us on iTunes or at http://www.midlifegamerpodcast.com

  51. Jonathan Blow Says:

    A dashboard theme is not in the works right now… I’m mainly just thinking about fixing those bugs and getting a title update out. And catching up on email!

  52. eroots Says:

    Any news on the ps3 version? Looking forward to playing Braid on the ps3 one day…

  53. Little Boot Says:

    Jonathan,
    I’m the 3 millionth person to say it, but your game is incredible. I don’t go in for game of the year competitions in general; but I feel your game is the first in my 20-plus years of gaming which truly deserves the honor. You’ve made me think hard about the idea that very few artists have a critical eye to the rules of their chosen discipline. The fact that you did it with a genre most people consider “old-school” makes it an even sweeter victory.

  54. Brian L Says:

    I just bought Bionic Commando and Braid today. Played BC for about10 minutes, and got hooked on Braid for the past 2 Hours. Gaming is now officially an art form. This game is so beautiful. *sniff*

  55. Joe Says:

    Congratulations on doing such an amazing fantastic job with the game. I played it over a span of two gaming sessions with a couple of friends. Quite the thinking-person’s game. I’ve been recommending it to everybody I know, and look forward to when the PC version comes out so I can recommend it even more! I hope Braid will be an important milestone and inspire the creation of more excellent indie games that bring the medium beyond mere entertainment (which certainly has its place) and into a blossoming art.

    Tinus mentioned merchandising; shoot me an email if you want any help with t-shirts. I have experience with and connections in the t-shirt industry.

    Can’t wait for your next game!

  56. David Ayala Says:

    Jonathan, just THANKS for this game , is just a incredible adventure that i took when i buy it…….and wow……is an amazing journey. I know that you said that you dont have plans for a sequel or DLC……but please please……just think about it , ok? ^_^

    I had recommended the game to all my friends…..

    Congratulations for this excellent game

    cheers from Chile

  57. Michael Says:

    I haven’t bought Braid yet, but only because my Xbox is busted. Once I’m able to send it off and get it fixed, I’ll probably pick up Braid AND BC:R. I think most gamers have enough spacebucks for both, especially with the Target sale on point cards going on.

  58. Benoit Tremblay Says:

    I know that you are not doing things for money but for the principle, but what Tinus said about merchandise is a really good idea. From the looks of it, Braid’s going to be a cult hit and what better way to finance your next game than with merch? hehe.

    Artbooks, Soundtracks, shirts et al are perhaps not the best way to finance something maybe but they help. (see the Telltale Games and Double Fine games websites for GREAT ways to do it)

    And I sure hope (I think everyone agrees) that once you’re done with Braid you can fully concentrate on your next project without having to worry about moneys as much as you did with this project.

    We have a saying in french, ”Le retour du balancier” which means good fortunes come to those who give and good news, it looks like it’s your turn Jon

  59. Infininja Says:

    My 360 RROD’d a couple weeks ago. I towel tricked it long enough to play and beat Braid (mostly). I’m worried about the bugs now. It will be a major disappointment to send it in to Microsoft only to get a different system back that can’t play the game. I haven’t heard of this being a widespread issue with XBLA titles, but I don’t think it’s the first time it’s happened.

    Seth, have you tried Microsoft’s license migration tool? It’s located somewhere at xbox.com.

  60. Pär Dahlberg Says:

    Thank you for being open with the numbers! That’s refreshing :)

  61. Damien Says:

    Jonathan,

    I’m glad that you could make an interesting game and keep yourself fed.

    It’s a really well done game and I enjoyed it thoroughly!

  62. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    Infininja – I have not, never heard of it

  63. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    I just did it. Still doesn’t seem to work :(

  64. Thomas Maxwell Says:

    Congratulations, Braid’s success is utterly deserved.

  65. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    SUCCESS!!

    Jonathan you might want to post this on your blog! Using Infininja’s advice, I used the license migration tool on xbox.com. Once that was done, I booted up Braid but it was still a demo, well, you have to delete the game and re-download it. Now it runs in full/bought mode!

    Wooohoo!

  66. Dessie Says:

    This is game of the year in my opinion. I’ve never obsessed over a story in anything like i have over this, the depth it has is mind blowing! I’m glad the game is selling well and i am really looking forward to your future work.

  67. stewacide Says:

    Really hope this comes to Mac, or at least Wine/Crossover compatible.

    Loved the XBLA demo but the terrible Canadian pricing on MS points and my lack of an HDTV make this a better computer buy…

  68. christopher Says:

    all i have to say is wow this game blew my mind away i mean the story made me think about my life to the point where i can say “Thank you guys” to the developers (Spoilers possibly for people who havent finished)
    The girl that i first kissed was on top this hill with a gazebo on the top. Her name was Fiona and i fell in love with her on the first kiss. But soon after this she said that she must leave and i never saw her again. But after she left i started having these dreams and my dejavus were in my dreams so i could see what would happen tomorrow if i just remembered my dreams.The following days that i would go up there and wait for her to come back the grass was growing faster and faster. After a few years i went up there just to see how it was but the path was covered in trees. Where the gazebo once stood was blocked off by trees.
    I never told my family about this and i feel i missed so much simply waiting for her, and trying to find her. Just like how Tim was looking for her but was simply hurting the ones who cared about him and destroying the world around him looking for it. After playing this game i changed my life and now instead of ignoring my friends and hurting the world of people around me i just live with them and hope one day she will return. All i have left now is my family, my friends, and hope

  69. Seth (WiiDSmoker) Says:

    yeah its crazy how the storyline has to do with the manhattan project and how the princess represents the atomic bomb

  70. JP Says:

    Any rough estimates of how many people have downloaded the demo compared to full version sales? I’m always curious about this for indie games.

  71. Jace Says:

    Braid is the #1 viewed game on Gamefaqs right now. Insanity (the good kind).

  72. Jordan Says:

    Jonathan – thank you for a great game!

    You mentioned that sales estimates for a PC version only came out to around 5,000 copies or so, but that was before Audiosurf. Audiosurf went on to sell incredibly well on Steam, and is still one of the top-selling games on the service, really coming out of nowhere. Don’t you think Braid could do something similar, especially after the great reviews it’s been getting?

    Hopefully Valve gets back to you – even after buying the game for 360 I’d probably buy it again on PC just because of the inevitable mods that would come – whether you specifically implement modding support or not :-P

  73. Maddzy Says:

    Congrats! I’ve only played the demo but loved it, I’ll be buying the game when I get a chance for sure!

  74. Samuel Says:

    Absolutely brilliant, Jonathan. Bought the game the day it came out, and I’ve made it through the first 4 levels so far. This is the first game where I’ve explicitly avoided any and all spoilers, as I really don’t want to the game ruined. Undoubtedly a work of art.

    I’m really upset that 55,000 copies at $15/copy isn’t enough for a game with such a small development team to turn a profit. I know there are plenty of fees and overhead to cover, but it just doesn’t seem right. I instinctively want to suggest something like selling t-shirts to make more money, and that might actually help, but it’s sad to me that one of the best, if not THE best, XBLA games ever isn’t profitable on it’s own. You deserve better.

    Congrats, and good luck on your next game. For what it’s worth, I can guarantee that I’ll be purchasing it the day it comes out, no matter what it is.

  75. Eddie Says:

    Hey Jon, congrats on the sales figures. I finally got my wife to sit down and play through a couple of levels of Braid, and she was totally mesmerized. Today I called home from work to say “hi” to her and I could hear the music from Braid in the background. You’ve helped me turn my wife on…to videogames! I’ve been trying to get her to play video games with me for years. On a side note: Props to you or whoever picked the individual songs for Braid. Very cool music.

  76. Archagon Says:

    Jon, I’m curious: you said your conversation with Steam “didn’t go well”, implying that Steam is perhaps hostile to publishing independent games like yours, and yet I distinctly remember reading that Jonathan Mak got Everyday Shooter on Steam very easily. Could you elaborate?

    In any case, I strongly urge you to get the game released on Steam. Valve spends a lot of time improving their service, and I always feel like a respected customer when I buy from them. In fact, Steam is one of the main reasons why I don’t pirate games anymore. (Not that I would pirate Braid, but I’d hate to see it appear on a physical medium or a download service riddled with unfriendly features.) You could even keep achievements: https://partner.steamgames.com/documentation/api

    It would be great to have an XBLA alternative on the PC, and with Steam’s community features, automatic patch support, Steamworks, and easy purchasing mechanics, not to mention the decent number of indie games already there, I think it’s the only platform that really has a chance.

    /not a Valve spokesperson

  77. Christopher Says:

    Jonathan, I want to congratulate on the success of Braid from both a sales point of a view and the rave reviews from the critics and fans. Everything in this game is amazing and incredibly well done but the story for me is the reason everyone should play this game and the reason I am writing this comment. I have talked a couple of my friends into buying this game for the experience and because I know they would appreciate the story.

    Thank you the one of the best games in a long time.

  78. Shiraz Says:

    I could hardly afford BRAID but I did buy it and I’m glad I did. One of the best games eVER made. Honestly, Mr. Blow, you have NO IDEA what you have on your hands.

    55,000 is a VERY impressive #. I’ve convinced ALL my friends to TRY n BUY BRAID.

    For the next project, DONT RUSH & outdo yourself. As you said it’s not going to be Braid 2 (I wish it was coz we luv the world already) but I’m sure you’ll come up with something BIGGER n BETTER

  79. Phil Says:

    Braid is the first Arcade game I purchased on my 5 months old 360. Can’t wait to try it out! I purchased it blindly from the reviews and comments alone. I sincerely hope you can make a good amount of money from this!

  80. Frank Says:

    Simply fantastic.. from start to finish

    Best XBLA game to date..

    I’ve convinced everyone at work to buy/play, one went so far as to buy an Xbox 360 just to play the game.

  81. Blue_Falcon Says:

    Two things:

    1. About a PC version: Have you considered talking with the guys at Penny Arcade and putting it up on Greenhouse? I’m sure they would love to have a game like yours on their service.

    2. I think the very notion of beating the entire game in 45 minutes with all the puzzle pieces is impossible. I think I had a couple pieces alone that took me 45 minutes to do, let alone getting all 60.

  82. Benoit Tremblay Says:

    I’m a bit with ravi here wanting to know how you budgeted. It’s a lifelong dream of mine to develop games and your openness is very refreshing. To me 180,000 sounds like a lot of money but not at all when you consider the sheer quality of the title.

    I guess what would be interesting to know is what percentage of your budget was spent on what. my guess were that you had to spend for 360 dev kits, art, music, possibly some consulting for sound and controls and of course buying harware to work / test with. enlighten me :)

    I guess everybody’s a bit curious to know also what is Microsoft’s cut on XBLA games now (as compared to when you signed).

  83. ravi Says:

    srry for the xtra post but we re curious

    fantastic game thank you very much for the game your a true visionary man but im curious u said u sank 180 000 dollars into this game so then ( cost of braid on xbla $15) x 55 000 people = $825.000 – 30% (rumored cut that microsoft gets) shouldnt that still be enough to i guess almost cover YOUR money that went into the game? ( granted as i hear how the dev process goes other people that are making the game put in x amount if money as well) unless my calculator is busted that should be the right number

    also braid and rearmed could share the throne as greatest downloadable games of all time there both amazing game but braid was liked more by the critics by just…………… a little bit due to rearmed being amazingly hard and a few other stuff

    but either way u came up with the most brilliant puzzles i have ever seen in a game you really are a true visionary 2 thumbs up for you

  84. Jonathan Blow Says:

    Yes, at this point I have made back all the money that I spent to create Braid. (It took a little more in the way of sales than people usually think, because there was a testing and localization advance from Microsoft that had to be paid back before I would get any money at all, and also, when replacing money that came from a savings account you have to think about the taxes that you’re hit with when putting the money back into that account).

    Now I am making back the “opportunity cost” money (the money that I would have made if I had worked a job for 3.5 years instead of making Braid). The good news is that Braid is selling well enough that I will probably make all of this back eventually.

  85. ravi Says:

    very nice to hear u made back all the braid money

  86. Benoit Tremblay Says:

    well I’m still curious as to how your budget can be broken down in %. What percentage was spent on what. I know that it’s a bit private as most people don’t like to talk about money at all as if it’s taboo but I’m really curious to know. I wonder mostly if the 360 dev kits and certification and whatnots account for much. In order words, what’s the price of admission, the basic expenses you can’t avoid. With the N+ developer stating that the minimum cost of making an XBLA game was 110k it makes me wonder.

    oh and by the way I’m really glad about the financial news. Let’s hope you make enough to develop full time on your own. I know I did my part, at least 3 of my friends bought it after I told them to try it so far. The reviews/word of mouth/demo really help the sales despite the fact that there was virtually no ”real” publicity for that game.

  87. Euan Says:

    This game was fantastic, really really loved it. Best value for money on any Xbox game. Congrats to all involved, directly and indirectly.

    It reminds me a little of an older title, the Lost Vikings, back before Blizzard went all warcrafty and took over the world. Hopefully that’s an indication of your team’s future.

  88. fix-cz Says:

    Steam? Say YES please!

  89. shujikun Says:

    Xbox Live Arcade Game of the Year. Thank you for making this game.

  90. Pete Says:

    Although not the longest game, it captivated me for an entire evening and left me immensely satisfied. The game, you, and all others involved deserve all the praise given and more- the design, originality, music, story, puzzles, presentation….everything about braid is sublime and fits together perfectly. The satisfaction you get when you figure out some of the puzzles is brilliant (although it must be said the bald spots you get from the amount of head scratching is a downside!)
    I think it takes a special type of person to who can come up with a game such as this and I wish you the best of luck in the future. However, if you continue along these lines then luck will have nothing to do with it.

  91. Raheel Govindji Says:

    Amazing… You have truly inspired me to think of games in a new light and also changed the way I approach game development. I have been researching your past work all day and I am certainly impressed. Bravo sir, you are truly the golden boy of the indie game scene. I cannot wait to see your next piece.

    Thank you

  92. ron Says:

    This game was an absolute work of genius. I cannot wait for your future works.

  93. Juan Says:

    I actually think that you are better off just keeping it exclusive in XBLA. I am thinking about piracy that might actually come back to haunt in if u publish it in PC. Think about the lost opportunity cost.

    I do not condone piracy but know that a lot of my friends will have no qualms about copying a game just because it is so easy. I love PC as a gaming platform but piracy do hurt the industry.

  94. Benoit Tremblay Says:

    to Juan: I agree with you on this. Pc players are quite ingrate when it comes to thanking developers with money retribution. That’s very unfortunate because PC is not the hotbed of creative games it used to be.

    let’s hope the digital distributor of Braid is Steam. I’ll buy it again just so I can create my own levels

    Regarding Level creation: I hope it will be possible to add books (with text!) in the editor. perhaps even create a sequence of rooms and string them together. that’d be really nice.

    The bathroom would be a great place for a User-generated Level Launchpad integrated in Braid’s interface ; )

  95. KC Says:

    It’s amazing that an XBL game without a large title was able to sell well while other giant titles like Geo Wars 2 and Bionic Commando came out at relatively the same time. This game is amazing and I am very excited for the next game you make.

    Best of luck.

  96. FlowerPot Says:

    Just purchased Geometry Wars 2, Braid and Bionic Commando Rearmed from XBLA (I love arcade games), and must say Braid is my favorite of the three. I’m only on world two, but I’m absolutely in love with it. I’m so glad to hear you’ll be able to produce more games as a result of Braid’s success!

  97. Matthew Fraley Says:

    The only reason piracy is more widespread with PC games is because it’s so much easier to pirate a PC game. To suggest someone is a different, less moral breed of human because they play games on a different platform is beyond absurd.

    That said, I’d gladly pay even $25 to play this game if it’s half as cool as people are saying… but sadly I don’t own an Xbox and $315 is a bit steep even for this. Eagerly awaiting a PC release over here, though I’m not sure how you will avoid the piracy problem.

  98. interstate78 Says:

    @Matt Fraley: I’ve known people who game on PC because you can pirate games on it. I don’t think of PC gamers as less moral but you’ve got to admit that if it’s widely done on PC and not on consoles THEN as a result you can assume that in general PC gamers don’t mind the impact that piracy has on developers, the market, the gaming landscape, etc.

    Oh and the 360 Arcade Bundle (comes with a memory card) is about to drop down to 200$

    Hardly the price of any good video cards

  99. Phil Says:

    A friend of mine just purchased Braid, and we played it a bit at his house. I consider this game to be revolutionary. Throughout the history of 2D gaming (my favorite age and type), the challenge has always been to come up with something new and different – otherwise the countless titles are clones of each other, simply with different sprites, graphics and sound. Every once in a while a game is so unique and has such incredibly awesome ideas or control that it becomes an instant classic. I believe Braid has potential for this status. Maybe it’s not so easy to create an incredibly successful 2D game like it was 15 years ago, and maybe Braid won’t get its due… but I hope it does. Everything about the game is amazing to me… the graphics, the gameplay, the story, the music, the brilliant levels.

  100. Phil Says:

    Oh, and like everyone else… I want to see a PC version. I’d almost definitely buy it. I don’t have a 360 like my friend and want to be able to play it on my “own time”… sorry, bad pun.

  101. Autocrawler Says:

    Hoping to see it on Steam too. I am not really much of a console gamer, but I’ve been keeping track of Braid for quite some time now and would gladly buy it.
    The thing about Steam is that it seems to have converted a lot of people who pirate games to the “if it’s on Steam, will buy” camp, so, best of luck in your talks with them, Jonathan! Just remember to be persistent.

  102. Bill Says:

    WOW. I just….wow.

    Beat the game last night, still can’t get it out of my head this morning. I’ve been telling everyone to check it out, even non-gamers.

    I simply cannot praise this game enough. Not to sound corny, but it’s had the same mind-blown effect that I’ve gotten over the years from my favorite films, albums, and books. Never ever expected to get that feeling from a video game.

    Congratulations on your success and a million high-fives to you for forcing innovation on the rest of the bloated yearly-franchise-driven industry. THANK YOU!

  103. Jim Says:

    Bought it yesterday – didn’t stop until today (of course there was sleep and class in between).

    I am still trying to grasp the entire story, but the entire game is bellissimo… Absolutely beautiful.

  104. Gan Says:

    I’m sure that sales on STEAM could be even more IMPRESSIVE than XBLA….

    I’m really anxious for the PC (STEAM VERSION PLEASE) version of this AWESOME game.

  105. TheMan Says:

    There’s a lot of possibilities out there for PC digital distribution:

    - Your own website
    - STEAM
    - Gametap
    - Direct 2 Drive
    - IMPULSE
    - Greenhouse
    - Gamer’s Gate

    So the game, with appropiate marketing and a lower price, could reach many many new users.

    Audiosurf have a GREAT success… BRAID have the potential to do it even better.

    So Good luck Jonathan!! PC GAMERS will love BRAID, I’m sure. :)

  106. Doug Orleans Says:

    Tonight, a boardgamer friend of mine mentioned to me, out of the blue (not knowing that I knew you or had been posting about Braid on my LiveJournal), that he bought an Xbox just to play Braid.

    I also just saw a nice Braid review on an RPG/boardgame blog I recently started reading: http://www.critical-hits.com/2008/08/26/review-braid/

    It’s a cross-subcultural phenomenon! Cool!

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  108. LittleLess Says:

    Hey, make it $10, and I’ll buy it too!

  109. Phil Says:

    Just finished the game. Very good experience and the whole game/puzzles/ending is pure genious. My main complain would be the story. I grasped all of it, but I had to read forums/guide after to really get the whole thing. Maybe it’s a little step too far in the methaphor departement … a step back so that everybody can grasp it all and in full would be even better… but I still liked the fact that it twisted my brain so many times. Looking foward to your next game…

  110. Jonathan Says:

    This is my favorite game of all time

  111. balbaid Says:

    Greatest XBLA I’ve ever played. I loved everything in it. I finished the game but I’m doing the speed challenge and collecting the stars ( damn, that’s really tough ).

  112. freakmod Says:

    Please…. PC version!! :-P

  113. Dave Says:

    I just bought an XBOX last week, and got braid after hearing the good reviews and enjoying the demo. Needless to say, the other games I have are gathering dust. Thanks for a enjoyable game. Also- Playing Jumpman for the old atari 800 one of my all time favs :)

  114. peter lount Says:

    Hi,

    I will be totally honest with you and I hope people don’t hate me for my honesty. I bought an xbox 360 2 days ago. I hooked it up to the net and registered on xbox live. I downloaded a couple of demos, most of which I found either boring, dull or bad.

    The ONLY 2 games I had fun with were Force Unleashed and Braid. I loved your game and loved how smart it is. Even when you think you can’t reach a puzzle piece, you eventually figure it out and you get so much satisfaction.

    Now this was only the demo and I really wanted to purchase it right there and then. Of course, I needed some points. But the game is 1200 points and a 1400 point card costs $20.

    So today I go to the store and see they are selling used Gears of War or Condemned 2 for $29. Then I say to myself, I get a full game with a disc manual etc. for just $9 extra. A game I can store in my bookshelf or replay on-line/multiplayer later (it has replay value which a puzzle game doesn’t have) and if I’m really done with it, I can always sell it on ebay because it’s a physical object.

    But with your game, I don’t get those benefits via xbox live. if there is a way for me to buy just your game right now and not have to spend extra for points I won’t use or have to buy a $40 to get 2 games, then please email me and I’ll do it.

    I’m just afraid that when the PC version comes out, a friend will offer me a free copy and the temptation will be too big and you will lose out on a sale. I KNOW I am not the only one in this situation and I am blatantly honest with you, I’d like to support you and think there should be a better way for people to buy titles at a reasonable price without having to buy or pay extras they don’t need.

    All the best to you.

  115. Matthijs Says:

    Hello Jonathan,

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed playing the Braid demo. Tonight im going to buy the full game. The very fist game I ever bought on Xbox live.

    I have never had so much fun with a game before. The puzzles are brilliant and the time altering system is just the best innovation i’ve seen in games in the past years! I wish you the best of luck developing new games and i hope, in the future, i will be able to buy this game on disk (pc) so it wont be lost when ever my xbox dies.

    Best of luck,

    Matthijs (Netherlands)

  116. Oliver Says:

    I guess the only thing stopping me from buying this game is the Xbox.. I don’t own one nor do I ever intend on purchasing one.

    But if it was on the PS3 store or on PC I would buy it in a snap! This game has amazing reviews wherever it goes…

  117. Marc Says:

    I second Oliver’s comment above!

  118. Marilyn Says:

    I just finished playing Braid today and it was a great game! I am wondering if you will/have ever posted the intension of what the story is about. I’ve been reading about the atomic bomb theory, but I’m curious as to what the intent was. I like games that are fun but also make me think. Thanks for a great game and I hope you guys do it again.

  119. Lieutenant Dan Says:

    I would like to echo the comments of Oliver and Marc. I will get this as soon as it hits for PC simply because I cannot trust the reliability of the Xbox hardware. I’m on my seventh 360 here and I’ve about had enough.

    I’ve played the 360 demo though and I would like to say it seems to be right up there with Portal on my short list of games that are pushing the medium forward; it literally gave me chills when I played it. Thanks for all your hard work!

  120. fredmanjoe Says:

    i love the game, i have tried the demo and its amazing, i would really like too see the pc version which i will buy. hopefully you do include the level editor aswell

  121. dlightr Says:

    This is the best game I’ve played in a decade, and I play so so many. You should be truly proud of this accomplishment. Brilliant and beautiful, on every level.

  122. Huffy Says:

    Thank you for being so close to us, players. I like the fact that you answer freely our questions. I fell in love with that game even though I’ve just played like 30 mins. I don’t own an X360 so I’m waitting for the PC version.

    I suppose it’s still in “work in progress” status, but do you have any approximative release date for the PC version?

  123. Jonathan Blow Says:

    I don’t have a specific release date for the PC version yet. Working on it now, though!

  124. Matt Says:

    Looking forward to the PC version :-)

  125. Lieutenant Dan Says:

    Jonathan,

    Any update on a PC release date? I’ve literally been checking the internet every day hoping I will find it! I’m assuming the PC release date is still not final, but do you have any revised estimates?

    Thanks, and I can’t wait to buy it!

  126. Rudy Says:

    *still waiting for the pc version*

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