After bombing out on Kickstarter, Bugbear's Next Car Game earned more than $1 million in just one week on Steam Early Access.
It looked like an ugly end for Bugbear's Next Car Game when it pulled the plug on its Kickstarter last November, after earning just over $80,000 on a $350,000 goal. The studio said it had decided to "concentrate our efforts on the preorder campaign," which at the time seemed to have a ring of "We have no idea what to do now" to it.
Yet here we are, just a couple of months later, and Bugbear's preorder campaign has been a great success indeed. "We're very proud to announce that the official Early Access launch of our titular demolition racing game, aptly titled Next Car Game, has been a huge success. The game was officially launched on Steam mid-January, and it instantly took the Steam Top Sellers chart by storm," it said in a statement. "In total, the game made over $1,000,000 during one week in sales through our own pre-order site and Steam."
How exactly the money breaks down between Early Access and Bugbear's own preorders isn't made clear, but given the apparent popularity on Steam it's reasonable to assume that Early Access represents the bulk of it. But Bugbear also credited the release of the playable "sneak peek" as having a huge impact on its fortunes.
"We were literally awe-struck by the great response the sneak peek received," the studio said. "The pre-order sales skyrocketed, and we reached and actually topped our original Kickstarter funding goal in just week! And most importantly: the success showed us that the players believed in the game."
"Thanks to our awesome fans, we finally have a chance to make the game we always intended," it added, implying that the influx of cash means that Bugbear will be able to see Next Car Game through to the end. There's still no word on a release date, but the Next Car Game website says it will be out early this spring.