You’ve come off the back of a game that’s sold over two million copies, so you must be doing something correct. Sweet, you can do it again, right? Yes, that could happen… or, your next project could sell a pittance in comparison. Such is the case with Introversion, the studio behind Early Access poster-child Prison Architect and its less, less, less, less successful followup, Scanner Sombre.
In a straight-shooting video, producer Mark Morris and designer Chris Delay waste no time putting out the lacklustre numbers for Introversion’s latest outing, Scanner Sombre:
[Scanner Sombre] hasn’t done very well, has it? No it’s bombed. It’s bombed in a big way. How many units have we shipped now? I don’t know… 6000 copies or something?
The pair go on to say that while they didn’t believe Scanner Sombre would fly off the digital shelves in the same way Prison Architect did, they — wrongly — predicted the popularity of PA and the Introversion name would guarantee the game a much bigger cash pie:
I didn’t think that was possible. It’s not that I arrogantly believe we’re the best people in the world or anything, it’s that our last game sold over 2 million. So I kind of wrongly assumed that would just give us a minimum number of people looking at our game.
So, if you’re wondering just how hard it’s gotten for indies, even established ones, to make a living, well… it’s really, really hard. Having just released a well-received game myself on Steam, I can attest to the difficulty of making a crumb in the industry right now.
I should probably write about that at some point, but for now, Introversion’s video is a sobering watch for any developer.