Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

OKRE is proud to have supported the BAFTA award-winning game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.

A critical and commercial success, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, gives players an immersive insight into experiences of psychosis. It was developed by Ninja Theory with the help of mental health experts, people with personal experience of psychosis and Wellcome’s Broadcast, Games and Film team (precursor to OKRE).

In order to better represent psychosis, Ninja Theory consulted with Wellcome Games, Broadcast and Film team in the entire development process.

Hellblade was praised as a work of art and applauded for its portrayal of psychosis, the quality and uniqueness of its approach to the condition, and its story and main character.

Why Hellblade was groundbreaking

Hellblade used state-of-the-art techniques to evoke the voices and visions experienced by people who live with psychosis.

The game used a binaural technique that mimics 3D human hearing – players experience visual and auditory hallucinations as if they are Senua and ‘hear’ voices just behind them, or whispering in their ear.

Iain Dodgeon, Director of OKRE, says:

“It was incredible to work with Ninja Theory on this project and be part of an amazing creative collaboration. Hellblade has provoked and promoted conversations around mental health, and it continues to help increase understanding of psychosis in particular.”

Speaking in 2018 after the BAFTA win, Paul Fletcher, Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge who was instrumental in developing Hellblade, said:
"Ninja Theory have done something risky but important, and valuable in representing experiences that most people find deeply alien. They have capitalised on the fact that video games are essentially participatory in nature – the player is not a passive observer but someone who who must fully engage with and respond to the experiences of the character they're controlling. This offers innovative ways to represent and explore mind and mental illness."


Hellblade launched on 8 August 2017 and sold 250,000 units across PS4 and PC during its first week on sale, eventually becoming the top selling title on the European Playstation Store upon release.

  • Multi-million selling game in 18 languages across 20 countries worldwide.
  • Over 67 awards, including 5 BAFTAs, and a ‘Games for Impact’ award
  • Helped challenge the stigma surrounding psychosis.
  • Hellblade sales raised over GBP 60,000 for mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness for World Mental Health Day 2017
  • Led Ninja Theory to establish Senua’s Scholarship in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s Recovery College East’s ‘Head to Toe’ charity*


• 5 BAFTAs (2018) including British Game, Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Performer (Melina Juergens as Senua) and Game Beyond Entertainment

Game Awards

• The Game Awards - Best Performance (2017)

Game Awards

• The Game Awards – Games for Impact Award (2017)
Mental illnesses are not easy to discuss in any medium, including video games, but Ninja Theory did a great job representing them in Hellblade.

GamesRant, 2022

How and why was OKRE involved in Hellblade’s development?

OKRE was spun out of Wellcome’s Games, Broadcast, and Film team, which advised on Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice throughout the development. Iain Dodgeon, Director of OKRE says: "Rather than being a didactic game teaching us about psychosis, Hellblade allows us to explore it through the creation of a compelling and complex character, and the world that she inhabits.''

Hellblade players hear voices as if they are Senua, the game's main protagonist.

More information

Find out more about the impact that Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has had...
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