From $15,000 To $7 Million, Dwarf Fortress Devs Cash In After Steam Release

If you didn't know, video games can make you rich. Very, very rich. Unfathomably rich in some cases. Video games has heard its fair share of success stories. There was Markus Persson who created Minecraft and founded Mojang and who sold his creation to Microsoft for $2.5 billionin 2014, although the money seems to have gone to his head as Persson has more recently become known for rather controversial opinions to put it lightly.

He's not the only one to be somewhat of a cautionary tale. The creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen, could be another. The simple yet compulsive mobile title went viral in early 2014 and soon began earning Dong far more money than he'd ever seen in his life, reportedly generating around $50,000 a day in revenue via in-game advertising. But it seems Dong couldn't handle the sudden spike in interest and eventually decided to remove the game from mobile app stores. But not all indie game successes are so fraught.

This is where we get to Dwarf Fortress, an indie title that is much loved among TheGamer crew, with our Senior Specialist Writer Harry Alston describing it as "a living thing, a simulation that goes beyond the intentions of its creators, brothers Tarn and Zach Adams" and using such adjectives as "ridiculous", "bizarre", and "brilliant" for the game.

Dwarf Fortress was released over 16 years ago and has influenced the likes of Rimworld and Minecraft but it didn't earn its creators huge amounts but enough to live on. That is, however, until Zach developed illnesses, the most serious of which is skin cancer; and the brothers, along with Zach's wife Annie, revealed that they didn't actually make that much money especially considering the expensive medication and healthcare they had to fork out for.

This led to the decision to release their game on Steam. Previously, Dwarf Fortress was only freeware with the Adams brothers making $15,635 in revenue the month before it was released on Steam and This amount came mostly from donations. But the month following the game's commercial debut the returns have ballooned massively, raking in $7,230,123 — or 462 times the previous amount as Ars Technica reports.

Zach Adams was understandably touched and wrote a heartfelt message on Bay 12 Games' forums: "The fairytale ending is reality, but you didn't kiss the toad. You gave him money. The appreciation you give us is part of our being now. It carries us in the cars we drive. It sustains us as the food that we eat. There is now no longer any existence except the one that you have provided. When we pass from this world, you will be the reason we are remembered".

The brothers also updated that not all of this $7 million bounty will be pure profit. According to Tarn, "a little less than half" will go to taxes, while they'll continue to pay those who've helped with the Steam project and business expenses. "So it's not all personal money, but a lot of it is, enough that we've solved the main issues of health/retirement that are troubling for independent people," he wrote.

In fact the earnings are enough to "safeguard" the future of the game sufficiently that the brothers are bringing in outside help to work on the full code and players can expect an arena patch "soon" and additional quality of life improvements. Now that's a heartening indie game success story!

Source: Read Full Article