Tom Francis has earned enough from Gunpoint to become a full-time game developer and hire additional staff to boot.
As an Escapist reader, odds are you’ve considered becoming a professional game designer at some point in your life. So did Tom Francis, the journalist behind the recently launched stealth platformer Gunpoint. The game is receiving positive reviews from critics but according to Francis, Gunpoint has been a huge financial success as well. While he’s declined to share figures, Francis revealed that his $30 development costs were paid off 64 seconds after Gunpoint pre-orders went live. Since then, Francis has raked in so much cash that he’s decided quit his current job and make the coveted leap to full-time game developer.
“I think I have quit jobs, as a concept,” Francis writes. “I started Gunpoint as an audition piece to get myself a position at a developer, but designing it has been so creatively satisfying that I no longer want one, and so commercially successful that I’ll never need one.”
Francis presented a slightly tongue-in-cheek graph that, while lacking in revenue, marks significant thresholds like Gunpoint‘s launch date and the amount required to become a full-time designer. If his graph is to be believed, Francis earned enough to quit his day job from pre-orders alone, only to see his totals skyrocket after release. With his financial prospects secure, Francis is now free to create whatever niche project suits his fancy. “There’s really no pressure for my next thing to make a particular amount of money,” he explains, “so I can do whatever I think will be most exciting.”
As a full-time developer, Francis’ first act was to offer a job to anyone who can help him port Gunpoint to Mac and Linux platforms. This staff member will also handle tech support for all versions of the game, freeing Francis to implement features like Steam Workshop support and custom controls. Presumably, once he’s had a chance to adjust to his recent changes, Francis will create new titles that reflect the increased development time. Whether he will design solo, or has enough money to go the full Mojang, remains to be seen.