So it turns out a lot of you like games about exploration and building things. Who knew? Starbound, the game that let’s you do that while travelling a universe of alien planets, has sold a million copies. That’s not bad for a game that only came out on December 4th.
At some point I’m going to stop being surprised by the numbers of copies sold by indie games, but that day is not today.
To put this in perspective, yesterday we wrote about Eldritch, the first-person Lovecraftian roguelike. Eldritch got some press, some good reviews, and has sold around 32,000 copies since its release last September. That makes it a moderate success, and earns its creator enough money that he can keep making games.
Starbound sold a million in a month even though it costs more and isn’t even really out yet. It’s an Early Access game.
Here’s the McDombles performing Get Lucky in the game, which explains a lot of its appeal:
Much like Minecraft and Terraria before it, I imagine a large portion of the audience for Starbound is kids. If our own gaming childhood was marked by roguelikes, strategy games and first-person shooters, and fans of those games have gone on to revive those genres and make things like Gone Home and XCOM: Enemy Unknown today, then what will the generation of kids raised on procedurally generated creation-and-exploration games make when they grow up?
Go ponder that while reading Craig’s thoughts on the beta.