When your mod gets more popular than some AAA video games, you know you're doing alright.
The announcement was revealed on the TruckersMP website recently, the hub for fans of the multiplayer mod for Euro Truck Simulator 2 (ETS2) and American Truck Simulator. It's not a bad conversion rate for a mod given how successful the virtual trucking games are: more than 2.8 million people have bought ETS2, according to SteamSpy's rough estimates, while more than 370,000 users have given American Truck Simulator a go.
Kris Clark, an Australian project manager for the TruckersMP community, told me that part of the game's appeal lied in some of the added tools that the community has banded together to create. "Our community has been amazing in setting up various different tools such as radio channels such as TruckersFM and TruckSimRadio," he said.
"There are groups within the game that set up a virtual trucking company (VTC) that allows them to drive with their friends. There's even a CB radio in the game to allow you to talk to truckers around you."
What's interesting is how this was all started by a 16 year old Eryk "RootKiller" Dwornicki with a big dream. "Before ETS2 release I was looking at the ETS 1 and GTS binaries to investigate how to implement multiplayer however without any sensible results," one of the mod's developers explained in a forum thread.
But rather than beginning life as a thread, it started as a fanpage on Facebook which started to blossom into a community of its own. "First part of development was not fruitful enough as there were many unknowns I faced. In the spare time there were few developers joining and leaving team - no one had enough knowledge and time to spend on creating mod," RootKiller wrote.
Early development, was, well, early.
Dwornicki ended up working so much on the mod that he left high school at the start of 2015 and then began talking to SCS Software about getting a job. A few months later, he was successful, and ended up deciding to hand over the reigns to someone else.
But a mod that grows to this size doesn't happen as the result of one person, naturally. And it's fair to say that SCS Software probably wouldn't have had the financial success it has without the popularity and longevity that the multiplayer mod has brought.