Indie darling Torchlight isn't just a cult hit anymore: It's an actual hit, reaching "Gold" status with half a million units in the hands of gamers.
Last November, after Runic's Diablo clone (in the best sense of the word) Torchlight hit shelves to critical acclaim, I spoke with several members of the development team about the game. When I asked if they thought that lower-budget, lower-priced games like Torchlight would become the norm as opposed to big-budget games that needed to sell a million copies just to break even, Runic CEO Max Schaefer responded:
"If we sell a million, we will have more than broken even - we'll all be very, very happy."
According to a post on the Runic Games Twitter account, the game is halfway there: As of Sunday, Torchlight has sold half a million copies, giving it "Gold" status. I'm not sure exactly what metric they're using, but it's still a landmark for a small indie title all the same.
Part of the appeal is undoubtedly the price: Torchlight is normally $20, but sees frequent sales on Steam as with the sale celebrating the service's Mac launch.
"We could have sold copies for more, but I think that $20 was the right price," said Lead Designer Travis Baldree. "It lets us recoup our expenses, and it's sort of a 'magical' price where people can just make the buy without having to fret so much. If their friends tell them, 'Hey, this is a great game,' they can make the decision then and there. It's the cost of a DVD; it's the cost of a large pizza."
By the looks of it, plenty of people are finding Torchlight worth the price of a large pizza. Congratulations, guys!