Dwarf Fortress (opens in new tab) is a large success story on Steam. It bought almost 500,000 copies (opens in new tab) lower than a month after it debuted on the storefront—which, for the report, occurred greater than 16 years after its preliminary standalone launch—incomes its two-man growth workforce greater than $7.2 million in income. And it is nonetheless shifting models: Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams informed us throughout a GDC chat that the overall determine has now climbed to roughly 630,000 copies bought on Steam.
Adams famous that the determine would not embrace refunds, which deliver the precise gross sales determine down considerably. “There’s some share of refunds and so it is most likely hovering round 600,000,” he continued. “And need lists are double that… and so they’re going up.”
It is price noting that Dwarf Fortress put up these numbers with none main value cuts: It is 10% off within the Steam Spring Sale (opens in new tab), and had the identical low cost over the ultimate week of February, and has in any other case been at its not-inconsiderable common value of $30/£25/€30. And although gross sales have predictably slowed since launch, Adams expects that it is going to proceed promoting lengthy into the longer term.
“It is a kind of issues the place it feels just like the tail is simply gonna go on ceaselessly and ever,” he stated. “And that is form of been our expertise with the sport the entire time.”
Adams acknowledged that the runaway success of Dwarf Fortress, and the wealth and fame it is dropped at him and his brother Zach, has been “unusual.”
“Rising up when laptop video games have been extra extreme, I by no means in my life imagined [being] a recreation developer or being a semi-celebrity or no matter,” Zach Adams stated. “However that appears to have occurred.”
“It is unusual, yeah,” Tarn added. “Occurring the Seattle ferry and simply being, you already know, somebody stroll up and be like, ‘Hey, are you the fellows that made Dwarf Fortress’ or no matter. And like, yeah.”
They appear to be adjusting fairly nicely to date. After 20 years of engaged on their very own, the brothers employed a second programmer (opens in new tab) in December 2022, and Tarn is now purchasing for a ‘very particular guitar (opens in new tab).’
The Dwarf Fortress sale on Steam ends on March 23.