In the age of PUBG and Fortnite, it's easy to forget that games such as Facepunch's Rust were a thing. Actually, it still is a thing — to the tune of 7.45 million copies sold and gross sales exceeding $US110 ($152.76) million, according to Facepunch founder Garry Newman. While it's hard to say how these numbers stack up to the aforementioned favourites, in isolation, they're dizzying.
You can do all sorts of stuff in Rust, like collect rocks, role-play as small civil societies, or more commonly just go around mugging people and stealing their clothes. And then there are the players who just want to build weird monuments just because they can.
On December 11, Rust will hit the ripe old ago of five, writes Newman in a post on Facepunch's website. While it originally set out to be "a harsh, brutal world" without "arbitrary rules", it transformed into "open world, base-building multiplayer FPS".
But it wasn't a straightforward journey, which include a ground-up rewrite of the game:
[Rust] was a prototype, the code was a mess and we wanted to slowly make things better. We even actively told people not to buy the game.
We took the decision in 2014 to remake the game from scratch. The initial intention was to port code from the old version to the new version, but that proved just as difficult as removing the shit code. So literally everything was re-written.
Newman goes on to say that while it was a "thankless task", it was clearly "the right decision" in hindsight:
It got us into a position where a new developer could come on board and make meaningful changes to the code in less than a week. It enabled us to release meaningful updates reliably every Thursday. It let us quickly implement and iterate on dramatic game changes, then just as quickly revert them when they didn't work out.
The really fascinating part of the article is the stats for Rust, including the fact it's made $US110,313,646 ($153,193,000) to date, with the US, Russia and China making up the top three most popular countries.
For the first time since the platform's launch 15 years ago, Valve will offer titles that make over certain amounts a more generous revenue share. But, far from helping smaller indies, the change will benefit games already making cash hand over fist.
Here are all the numbers Newman revealed:
- Rust has sold 7,457,075 copies
- Most popular countries are US, Russia, China, UK, Korea - in that order
- Rust is on the wishlist of 1,668,876 steam accounts
- Rust had 71,801 concurrent players online in November this year - a new record high
- 4,489,297 skins have been sold in the Rust Items Store
- The skin creators have earned $1,903,164.70
- Items have been sold 20,091,729 times on the marketplace
- To date Rust has grossed $110,313,646 (including VAT, DLC, bundles, in-game sales)
There are also stats for Garry's Mod, the original source of Newman's fame. Interestingly, it's made $US99,553,687 ($138,250,603), a stunning figure when you consider it's not even a full-blown game. To be fair, it came out when Steam was a much more curated storefront.
Just out of curiosity, I'd be keen to see what Rust makes on a daily basis, and how it's changed over the years.
Steam refunds have been around for a couple of years now, but many developers keep the particulars of them under their hats. Today, Rust's Garry Newman published his survival sandbox's refund data. It's been refunded 329,970 times.
Rust — 5th Anniversary [Facepunch]