Independent developer Abbey Games managed to sell 700,000 copies of its PC simulation game, Reus. They told this to Joystiq during Gamescom 2014.
Sales for Reus were calculated over multiple digital distribution outlets, namely Steam, GOG, Humble, Desura and Gamersgate. Some are likely to have sold more than others.
In particular, Reus received spotlight attention as one of the thematic games during one of Steam’s large sale events. Right around that time, the company already came out with numbers of 245,000 sold units.
During a chat with Abbey Games developer Manuel Kerssemakers, they told me that the Steam promotion was able to double their sales to get to that number. That would indicate at least a hundred thousand units sold in just a few weeks on Steam alone.
Reus is a builder sim, but set on a 2D circular planet. It uses the god game genre with four distinct characters that can create areas linked to their element, such as water, rocks and so on.
Players are simply tasked with combining elements for an optimal amount of synergy, while trying to keep problems minimal. As towns grow and people become more prosperous, the world of Reus can turn to riots or greed can trigger wars between tribes.
Lately, Abbey Games has been working on Renowned Explorers, which is due in 2015 on PC. It mixes the need for adventuring à la Indiana Jones, but with a mix of turn-based strategy combat.
You’ll go look for treasure and prestige in a randomly generated environment for added replay value. Additionally, Renowned Explorers uses a unique cast of characters, each with their own skills and so on.
Reus was so lucrative for Abbey Games that they’ve managed to build out a team of 16 people. Not all staff members are permanent, but it’s still a cushy position to be in.