Impressive Sales For ‘This War Of Mine’ Shows Indie Games Are Solid Investments For Game Companies

Impressive Sales For ‘This War Of Mine’ Shows Indie Games Are Solid Investments For Game Companies
Credit: GameSpot via YouTube

Indie survival game This War of Mine first released in November 2014, for Windows PC and Mac OSX. Since then, the game has been producing a steady stream of revenue for its development studio, 11 Bit. In the first quarter of 2019, the game made more in revenue than it had in the first quarter of 2018. That is not bad for a five-year-old game. In fact, it is excellent. And it is very good news for fans of indie titles and video games in general.

The success of This War of Mine means future companies will be more willing to take a leap of faith on titles by indie developers. And that means more experimentation. In the old days, most video games made almost all of their money after launch. But in the age of Steam, games have a much longer range of profitability. This means today is a bit of a golden age for game design.

The game first made waves in its first year after release. Initially, This War of Mine sold 700,000 copies, which is the highest number ever sold within a year. Amazingly, that was just a drop in the bucket.

That year only made up 24% of the game’s total sales. So, it was maybe a little more than just a drop in the bucket. But still, the game’s long life-span epitomizes the heights of success a good indie title can achieve if it is done right.

For the uninformed, This War of Mine is a story that takes place in the fictional city of Pogoren during a nasty civil war. The player controls a group of players who hide-out inside a house, gathering and crafting survival equipment, and waiting for a cease-fire to be signed. The ceasefire will only come after a random duration of time.

11 Bit Studios followed This War of Mine with the delightful steampunk-inspired game, Frostpunk, which also achieved critical and financial success.

Although for many gamers, the news about the critical success of indie games is irrelevant to how they play, in the long run, it is absolutely important. The success of small-time ventures allowed 11 Bit Studios to go on and create Frostpunk. CD Projekt Red’s initial success with The Witcher allowed them to create The Witcher 3.

As these games become more and more lucrative, gamers will wind up finding even more variety in their libraries. While problems with game store exclusivity and microtransactions continue to plague gaming culture, success stories like this remind us that a silver lining does exist.