Dwarf Fortress hit Steam yesterday, however you in all probability know that already. In actual fact, there is a first rate likelihood you personal it. Kitfox Video games, who printed DF’s “premium” Steam model, enlisted the help of an economist earlier than yesterday’s launch to attempt to predict what number of copies the game would find yourself promoting after its ASCII model spent 16 years as a free download on Bay 12’s web site. The prediction was respectable: About 160,000 copies bought in two months. 

Dwarf Fortress hit that in underneath 24 hours.

In equity to Kitfox’s poor economist, they did describe the expertise of predicting DF’s gross sales numbers as “like attempting to drive with the rearview mirror,” and their two-month estimates ranged from underneath 100,000 bought to over 1,000,000 copies bought. That is much less an indictment of their predictive powers than it’s proof of how troublesome it’s to precisely forecast gross sales and the behaviour of Steam’s algorithms.

It is all of the more durable as a result of, whereas Kitfox’s again catalogue has its share of bangers, it is by no means printed something with the huge historical past and fanatical fanbase of Dwarf Fortress. It was all the time going to be an outlier.

In actual fact, as I write this, the most well-liked thread on the game’s Steam dialogue discussion board is one began by a perplexed consumer asking if followers have “been enjoying free DF for 25 years [sic] and simply ready for a possibility to pay $30?”. It is presently accrued 100 pages of individuals saying “Sure”. I am no economist, however I feel the upper finish of these earlier estimates would possibly find yourself being rather a lot nearer to the mark about two months from now. 

We quite favored gaming’s premier dwarf-traumatiser at PCG, scoring the prettied-up Steam model 84% in our Dwarf Fortress overview and calling it “an expertise you will not match wherever else”. It is nonetheless a hyper-complex failure simulator “you must meet greater than midway,” however let’s be sincere, what different free game ever had legions of followers queuing as much as drop $30 on it 16 years after launch?