Rocket League has been one of 2015's biggest surprises, and it's paid off handsomely for the game's developer, Psyonix. A Wall Street Journal profile of the company also revealed they spent just under $3 million developing Rocket League.
Game developers are notoriously tight-lipped about financials (see: the many ways Activision has avoided discussing Destiny sales), so it's nice to see Psyonix pull back the curtain a bit.
CD Projekt RED has done the same, as well, and it's refreshing! CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwiński talked to me about this when I interviewed him:
"One of our core values is to be open in communication, both internally and externally, and we do not see any reason why we should not extend it to finances. Yes, we are a publicly traded company, so we have to publish certain financial data, but we have decided to share significantly more than we were obliged to. I do believe it is important to show both the gamers and the industry that by being fair and honest with them."
Rocket League's predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, was a bomb. Though it played very similarly to Rocket League, no one bought it.
Per the WSJ story:
It wasn't clear "Rocket League" would be a success, either. Psyonix spent about two years and a little less than US$2 [approx $2.8 million Australian] million making the game in between doing contract work for larger companies, the studio's founder and chief, Dave Hagewood, said. "We paid the bills by working on some of the biggest games in the industry," such as EA's "Mass Effect 3" and Microsoft Corp.'s "Gears of War," the 40-year-old said. The few who played "Battle-Cars" loved it, Mr. Hagewood said, "so we saw that as a problem of awareness."
In comparison, Rocket League has "raked in nearly US$50 million in revenue [just over $71 million Australian] and amassed more than 8 million registered players", WSJ added.
Good on ya, Rocket League.