By John Walker on January 20th, 2014 at 11:00 am.
Over the years of the existence of Garry’s Mod, it’s been a fun game to try to admiringly calculate just how rich it’s made creator Garry Newman. Since he’s been especially open with sales figures, and since the game is selling double the number of copies with each passing year, it means that currently he has most of the money that exists. And as the sales continue to increase exponentially, he’ll soon have infinity money, at which point money will be declared Over, and we’ll have to start again with some new system, where finances are based on emotional exchanges or something. So bearing all this in mind, with his disclosure to GI.biz that in one month Rust has already made 40% of GMod’s lifetime profits, be prepared for a worldwide financial collapse. Oh, wait, hang on… 55% now.
Let’s try to get a grasp on the sorts of figures we’re talking about here. Gmod has sold about 3.4 million copies. It currently costs £6, and has in the past cost more than that, and lots less in sales, so let’s be woefully inaccurate and put the figure at that £6 tag. Take off Steam’s 30%, and that gives us a figure of… £14.3m (before tax). Good GRIEF.
You might want to argue that figure down, but actually it’s probably pretty close. In March last year Newman revealed that the game had made $22m (£13.3m) so far, but didn’t break down if that was before or after Valve’s cut. Assuming after, and then adding on a 2013 that proved twice as successful as 2012, that’s not an unrealistic number. The big discrepancy may be that Valve could be taking a larger than normal cut, since the game is essentially built on their own properties.
Anyway, the point is: GOOD LORD WHAT A LOT OF MONEY. Which makes the news that Rust has brought in more than half of that in A MONTH a touch eye-watering. It is, admittedly, now spread across a 15 member team, but it’s still absolutely stunning. And best of all, there were no expectations of this. When Graham asked Newman last year whether he felt pressure over sales, he replied, “We decided a long time about to not give that much of a fuck about sales. We’re never going to recreate GMod’s popularity – it would be stupid to try.” HELLO MR WRONG.
Newman told GI.biz,
“Yeah – we never, ever expected anything to dwarf GMod’s success. I did some rough maths this morning: in terms of profits, from sales and royalties, in a month Rust has made about 40 per cent of what GMod has made in about nine years. We can’t really believe it.”
What I love best about all this is that it’s entirely deserved. A very talented man worked very hard and has been stupendously rewarded. We get to sit and stare in wonder, and imagine what sort of cruise we’d be going on if it were us.