Dwarf Fortress’ Developers Have Finally (Financially) Struck Gold
Dwarves do like gold, after all.
The latest Bay 12 Games financial report has shown a stunning uptick in revenue, with January’s takings eclipsing $7 million. Under the guise of Toady One, Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams revealed the good news.
“A little less than half will go to taxes, and we’re continuing to pay people and new business expenses and such,” Adams explained in the forum post. “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, as well as safeguarded the future of the game well enough that we felt comfortable bringing [community member turned programmer] Putnam on to work with the full code and so forth.”
The final tally for the month, $7,230,123.58, doesn’t just dwarf the previous four-month average of a little under $15,000 (if you’ll pardon the pun); it is literally over 120 times the amount of September to December combined.
The cause for this, of course, would be December’s rollout of Dwarf Fortress 1.0. The management sim has been in development in some form or another since the early 2000s, before it was announced that it would be arriving on Steam with updated graphics and quality-of-life improvements. The response to what was already a solid foundation was positive — in our review, we awarded it a score of 4.5 out of 5 — and yet few could have foreseen the kind of groundswell it has created.
In their January report, Bay 12 Games noted that the game had sold almost half a million copies in December alone. This brought their total revenue for 2022 to $164,666.53, a 15-year high mark for the developer that has already been completely obliterated in just one month of 2023.
Success stories like this are always gratifying to see, so we raise our mugs to the team at Bay 12 Games. May their fortresses remain fortified for years to come!
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