Legend of Grimrock Turns a Fast Profit

Legend of Grimrock Turns a Fast Profit

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Legend of Grimrock has already made back its development cost "many times over."

Sometimes, in an industry in which selling more than a million copies is often seen as a sign of failure, it's nice to hear about developers who find success by just going out and making the game they want to make. So let's talk a bit about Legend of Grimrock, the dungeon-crawling RPG recently released by Finnish studio Almost Human Games. Legend of Grimrock is an unwaveringly old-school experience, with sparse graphics, vicious puzzles and enemies who will swat you like a fly. It also seems to be a pretty big hit.

Review scores and forum feedback alike have been positive, but what really counts is that the game is apparently turning a handy profit. Almost Human declined to provide specifics but told Gamasutra that less than a week after launch, Grimrock had already made back its development costs "many times over" and that "the company seems pretty secure now" as a result. The game hit the top of the Steam sales chart soon after it came out and now sits in second place, muscled out of the throne by yesterday's release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition.

Almost Human Games joins Frictional Games, which had a hit in 2011 with the horror title Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and thechineseroom, which established itself earlier this year with the semi-surprising success of Dear Esther, as studios that have become viable without relying on the conventional developer/publisher/consumer dynamic. First-person perspective notwithstanding, the three games have almost nothing in common aside from being low-cost PC exclusives aimed at niche audiences, and yet while none of them are putting up Call of Duty-like numbers, all three are relatively big successes that have made their respective studios profitable, long-term enterprises. I can't help but think that there's something to be learned in that.

The awesomely old-fashioned Legend of Grimrock is available now on Steam, GOG and directly from the developers at grimrock.net.

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It's always good to hear a great game is doing very well...

In amidst of all the sorts of drama I read about when it comes to games and it's industry, this is a breath of fresh air...

Good - they deserve it! It's the main game I'm playing now, and it's extremely well done. A very elegant, polished, and challenging dungeon crawler.

It's a good game, also purdy. Glad they were a success

Andy Chalk:
First-person perspective notwithstanding, the three games have almost nothing in common aside from being low-cost PC exclusives aimed at niche audiences

That's the exact thing Brad Wardell has been banging on about for years. Target a niche that allows you to keep your production budgets modest, service that niche well and the rest is cake.

I've seen a couple of videos of someone starting a playthrough on this and it does look pretty good. I'd be buying it if it wasn't for acursed exams. I wonder though how much it took to develop.

AS IT SHOULD. The game is absolutely brilliant, and if you aren't playing it right this instant, you should be ashamed.

[is ashamed]

<runs off to play more Legend of Grimrock>

They deserve it, the game is really good. You can see that it was made with a tight budget, but it makes the most out of it. Besides, it's a very well-executed dungeon crawler for an excellent price.

EDIT: Forgot to add, it displaced all games I was playing before. Right now, all my free time available to gaming is being spent on Legend of Grimrock.

Kind of interested. Might pick up later, but I've been saving money for Battlefield 3 for too long to switch targets now. Still have to get through both Baldur's Gate games, too.

"Grimrock"? Sounds more like a 'Philosopher's Stone', AmIright?

i thought it was a weird typo when i first heard of it, then i found it has nothing to do with a transforming, fire-breathing, robot, T-Rex that owns unreal amounts of face :/ needless to say, i feel kinda cheated by all this .....

Brilliant game. I'm glad they did so well, they deserve it. Can't wait for the mapping tools that they'll be releasing soon.

Ah, i saw this on thier forums earlier when looking for news on updates.

And its only right that i should make however much it did. I definitely feel the game to be worth my money, and i have little doubt i wouldnt feel otherwise if i bought it at full price.

DVS BSTrD:
"Grimrock"? Sounds more like a 'Philosopher's Stone', AmIright?

Erm... no. Grimrock is the name of the mountain the dungeon is based in, so unless theres a Philosopher's Mountain i find it hard to call a comparison.

lacktheknack:
AS IT SHOULD. The game is absolutely brilliant, and if you aren't playing it right this instant, you should be ashamed.

I'm not so much ashamed as I am totally jelly of that one Steam friend who's been playing it for about 5 hours a day since release. I can't afford the game right now :(. Want so bad. Once the 25th rolls around, though, that's the first thing I'm doing once I get home from work.

OT: Super special awesome. Yeah, I have nothing to add, because I haven't played it yet *single tear*

Awesome game. If only it didn't make my computer shutdown after playing for an hour. So frustrating.

Seriously, I can play Skyrim and BF3 on full with no issues, but this game overheats my graphics card like no one's business.

Andy Chalk:

Sometimes, in an industry in which selling more than a million copies is often seen as a sign of failure, it's nice to hear about developers who find success by just going out out and making the game they want to make.

typo. fix that.

its not really a suprise.
publishers are playing too save these days and are alienating themselves with their customers.

gigastar:
Ah, i saw this on thier forums earlier when looking for news on updates.

And its only right that i should make however much it did. I definitely feel the game to be worth my money, and i have little doubt i wouldnt feel otherwise if i bought it at full price.

DVS BSTrD:
"Grimrock"? Sounds more like a 'Philosopher's Stone', AmIright?

Erm... no. Grimrock is the name of the mountain the dungeon is based in, so unless theres a Philosopher's Mountain i find it hard to call a comparison.

I believe he was making a veiled reference to philosophers having a melancholy or 'Grim' outlook on life that comes with their strong introspection and observation.

maddog015:
Awesome game. If only it didn't make my computer shutdown after playing for an hour. So frustrating.

Seriously, I can play Skyrim and BF3 on full with no issues, but this game overheats my graphics card like no one's business.

Turn on Vsync.
There's a patch coming to make Vsync automatically enabled, but in the meantime turning it on should keep your graphics card from churning out 500 frames per second.

omicron1:

maddog015:
Awesome game. If only it didn't make my computer shutdown after playing for an hour. So frustrating.

Seriously, I can play Skyrim and BF3 on full with no issues, but this game overheats my graphics card like no one's business.

Turn on Vsync.
There's a patch coming to make Vsync automatically enabled, but in the meantime turning it on should keep your graphics card from churning out 500 frames per second.

That explains a lot. Vsync is finally good for something :D

SL33TBL1ND:
Brilliant game. I'm glad they did so well, they deserve it. Can't wait for the mapping tools that they'll be releasing soon.

I can't either. I'm already designing my epic maps of epic.

gigastar:
Ah, i saw this on thier forums earlier when looking for news on updates.

And its only right that i should make however much it did. I definitely feel the game to be worth my money, and i have little doubt i wouldnt feel otherwise if i bought it at full price.

DVS BSTrD:
"Grimrock"? Sounds more like a 'Philosopher's Stone', AmIright?

Erm... no. Grimrock is the name of the mountain the dungeon is based in, so unless theres a Philosopher's Mountain i find it hard to call a comparison.

tobi the good boy:
I believe he was making a veiled reference to philosophers having a melancholy or 'Grim' outlook on life that comes with their strong introspection and observation.

Actually I was saying that instead of calling it Grim-Rock, Philosopher's Stone given how fast it made money

DVS BSTrD:

gigastar:
Ah, i saw this on thier forums earlier when looking for news on updates.

And its only right that i should make however much it did. I definitely feel the game to be worth my money, and i have little doubt i wouldnt feel otherwise if i bought it at full price.

DVS BSTrD:
"Grimrock"? Sounds more like a 'Philosopher's Stone', AmIright?

Erm... no. Grimrock is the name of the mountain the dungeon is based in, so unless theres a Philosopher's Mountain i find it hard to call a comparison.

tobi the good boy:
I believe he was making a veiled reference to philosophers having a melancholy or 'Grim' outlook on life that comes with their strong introspection and observation.

Actually I was saying that instead of calling it Grim-Rock, Philosopher's Stone given how fast it made money

Awwww... My explanation was far more smarty pantsy. You totally should have rolled with it.

I'm only on level 9, and I'm having a REALLY great time with this game.

I am really hoping that they release a level editor soon. It'll be really great to see what kind of dungeons other people are going to make!

I always wondered why the big publishers always harped on about their sales numbers but struggled to make profits, and commented years back about why they weren't making games with budgets they could afford - after all, (hypothetically) selling just 100,000 copies and covering development costs thrice over is much better than selling a couple million and making a loss. The numbers are less impressive but you're making a profit, and that's what freaking matters!

Good on these guys for working that out and making the economy work for them.

Ooh, classic dungeon crawler. I never really got into the niche years back, when I was first starting to get into gaming, but I'm willing to try anything new, so I might pick this title up when I get the chance.

Okay, I have to admit, this has interested me enough to try it. I'll add it to my wishlist, for now, but can't do anything about it since I'm cobbling money together for a big move, and don't want to risk things getting in the way while I prepare. Afterwards, we'll talk.

I guess it pays off to be Almost Human, rather than Too Human.

ThunderCavalier:
Ooh, classic dungeon crawler. I never really got into the niche years back, when I was first starting to get into gaming, but I'm willing to try anything new, so I might pick this title up when I get the chance.

same here, never played one before, but this is a fantastic place to start, the game is incredible. it is a really good game, and so easy to get drawn into. i just hope they keep expanding on their success

 

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