Can it be true... Starlight Drifters official release on Steam from Early Access a success?
And the answer is yes, though whether it has actually made a profit is hard to say, Starlight Drifter has been in development hell for around three years in total and suffered a number of problems, at two different points the game has been shut down completely on steam, picked up again and then shut down again due to development problems.
In both instances when we did that we effectively wiped the slate clean. That means we deleted whatever costs we had incurred and accepted those were a loss we would never get back as the game would never be finished. Because of this happening twice we dont truly know how much the game cost in total so we have to judge the game more on sales compared to our other releases and the community response to it.
In the month since release from Early Access the game has sold around 1,500 units on Steam, due to certain issues we have as yet been unable to release it elsewhere, but that will change in August. 1,500 whilst might seem a lot, compared to most of our games it is low. BUT it is not terrible, on our own chart of 17 or so games, it puts it around the middle of the sales chart.
Next, perhaps more importantly than sales are the reviews, and in this it is easy to see the game has been well received on release. The game went from a 40% negative rating (based on bad reviews 1-2 years ago) to a 79% Mostly Positive rating overall and a 84% Very Positive rating for recent reviews. This is a massive shift and shows that in general most new players enjoy the final version of the game.
All of this is on top of the fact that the game was released from Early Access essentially without much fanfare into a overpopulated steam platform, during a sale period, where it is hard to get visibility. Also our final price for Starlight Drifter makes it one of our most expensive games (due to its size and complexity) at $19.99, and yet it continues to sell well, long after its sale period ended.
It is unlikely that Starlight Drifter will break any records for us or warrant a sequel based on its current success, but the fact that a game could go through three years of development hell and come out so well on the other side is something we are very happy about. We hope many of you will continue to enjoy the game we created.