Hellblade Dev ‘Really Emotional’ to Share Game With People Who Suffer From Mental Health

Developer Ninja Theory has revealed the reaction it received from those who had contributed their mental health experiences to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

Dominic Matthews, the commercial director at the studio, explained at BAFTA’s Guru Live in London how the development team had invited everyone who had worked on the project to try out the action-adventure title ahead of its release.

“We had a really special moment at the end of the game where we invited everyone we had worked with to come and see the whole game,” he said.

“It was really emotional. I was really quite nervous because we had heard all of their stories and absorbed so much from them and fed [it] into the creative so much. The last thing we wanted to do was do anything that just didn’t feel right to them.

“We were right at the end of development and when we got to the end of that and we got to that last scene and they saw it and they said that they loved it and found it incredible. It was hard to not really break down at that point.

“These people shared so much with us and we felt a responsibility to get this right and it felt really good that we had managed to achieve that.”

Matthews took to the stage alongside four other developers from Ninja Theory — Jeff Goslan, Mark Slater, Matt Stoneham and David García Díaz — and also Melina Juergens, who provided motion capture and voice acting for Senua.

Hellblade led the charge at this year’s BAFTA Games Award with nine nominations and won in five categories — the most for any title at the event — including British Game, Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Game Beyond Entertainment and Performer.

First announced at Gamescom in 2014, Hellblade was initially released on PlayStation 4 and PC in 2017. It was then released on Xbox One in 2018.

Ninja Theory’s independent AAA title has been both a critical and commercial success, with its sales surpassing one million copies across all platforms.

For more on Hellblade, check out Hardcore Gamer’s review.