Frictional Games is an independent game company registered in Helsingborg, Sweden. Their first, known game was the original Penumbra, a tech demo made to show off their custom, in-house game engine HPL.
Although Penumbra isn't the first game made in the HPL engine that they've published, it is the most well-known due to being produced when the engine was incorporated with 3D functionality. The large amount of positive reception of the tech demo lead to Penumbra becoming a full series, including two games and a stylistically different DLC bundled with the second game.
After two years of development, they released Amnesia: The Dark Descent, their most well-known game. They later released a small DLC called Amnesia: Justine, which was just as well-received as the main game.
After five years of development, they released SOMA, a game that tried using a different form of horror than Amnesia. Starting 2016, Frictional Games started development on their two next games and the fourth iteration of the HPL engine, which will be used to power them.
|Penumbra (tech demo)||June 28, 2006|
|Penumbra: Overture||March 30, 2007|
|Penumbra: Black Plague||February 12, 2008|
|Penumbra: Requiem||August 27, 2008|
|Amnesia: The Dark Descent||September 8, 2010|
|Amnesia: Justine||April 12, 2011|
|Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs||September 10, 2013|
|SOMA||September 22, 2015|
|Secret Project 1||TBA|
|Secret Project 2||TBA|
The HP-Lovecraft (or HPL) engine is the 3D game engine created by Frictional Games. The engine was first created for 2D games but was later added with the functionality for 3D games.
The first engine version was used in Penumbra (tech demo), and was revised for later Penumbra games. The second engine was created for for Amnesia: The Dark Descent, with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs using a modified version dubbed the HPL 2.5 Engine. SOMA uses the HPL 3 Engine which was developed along with the game.
In a blogpost on the official Frictional Games blog, Thomas Grip states that HPL 4 is being created alongside their next two game projects.
Although Frictional Games is registered in Sweden, the team is actually international, with the team having a growing number of employees outside of Sweden. This can be seen on the People of Frictional series on the official Frictional Games blog.