After decades of continued development Dwarf Fortress is finally out in a form with official graphics and a $30 price tag, but don't think that means the developers are suddenly dropping it to move onto a sequel.
If you're not familiar with the story of Dwarf Fortress, it's been developed by brothers Tarn and Zach Adams since the early 2000s. The game itself has been free, though the brothers have been supported by donations for some time. The recent commercial release of Dwarf Fortress on Steam and Itch.io is the first time that the game itself has been bringing in money.
Quite a bit of money, in fact. Tarn told PC Gamer that the new version of the game had sold over 300,000 copies just days after launch. At $30 per sale, even after all the dividends, it looks like the brothers are becoming millionaires, but they say they're staying cautious and doing what they can to make the money last. After all, they aren't making a sequel.
"We don't have plans to sell Dwarf Fortress 2 or whatever in five years, right? It's just the same game," Tarn said. "So this tail off this game, for however long it goes, that's it. We have to be responsible with what we've got, now, for the rest of our lives really."
After 20 years in development, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that Dwarf Fortress will remain in a state of perpetual updates. How could a sequel possibly surpass the original without spending a substantial chunk of a human lifespan in development?
Dwarf Fortress is all about the stories its players tell, like the legend of the genocidal mermaid farm.