Dwarf Fortress has been in development for over 20 years, made for most of that time by just two brothers, Tarn and Zack Adams. The fantasy-themed construction and management sim first launched in 2006, and has become a cult hit game with a small but loyal fan base. The game was text-based until 2022, when an Enhanced edition added flat pixel art tileset-based graphics, new UI, and more. In December 2022, the enhanced version was released on Steam for $29.99, and now we know that the game has a much bigger audience.
In a post on the game's official forums, Tarn Adams stated that for January 2023, revenue from Dwarf Fortress was $7,230,123.58. Presumably, the revenue was collected in December by Valve and sent to the dev team in January. By contrast, revenue from the game in December 2022 was $15,635.07. That's actually not bad for a small game with a two-man team, but the release on Steam has definitely been a life changer.
Tarn points out that a lot of that money will go to paying taxes, along with other business expenses. However, it was enough that the brothers hired a new full-time team member to help out with coding. More importantly, the revenue will be enough to support retirement and health expenses for the dev team. It should be interesting to see what February 2023's sales numbers will be like.
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