Antichamber, the mind-melting puzzle game that Alexander Bruce had in development for six years, sold more than 100,000 units in its first seven weeks on the market – "You do the math," Bruce tells Joystiq after his talk at GDC 2013.
Challenge accepted: Antichamber costs $20 standard, but was on sale for a week after launch for $15. Without knowing how many copies were bought on sale, we'll take the median of $17.50 and multiply that by 100,000 copies, for a speculative estimate of $1.75 million.
This doesn't automatically mean Antichamber made a profit for Bruce, since it has to be offset by development costs. Bruce estimates he spent $60,000 developing Antichamber, though he made back roughly $50,000 in prize money and government grants; he didn't pay himself a salary, he saved money by living at home, and he streamlined all convention expenses.
"I have absolutely, exponentially recouped all my costs," Bruce says. "Ridiculously, definitely made back all of my costs."
Bruce guaranteed low development costs by working with the Victorian government in Australia to receive grants. For example, during GDC and PAX East last year, Bruce decided it would be easier to stay in the states for six weeks straight, rather than fly back and forth during the interim. He presented this plan to the Victorian government and it said, "That's fine." Victoria covered half of his expenses abroad, meaning if he spent $6,000 on booths and living, the state gave Bruce $3,000, he says.
"This is how I kept my costs so low. I kept my costs absolutely low," Bruce says. "That's why I was able to just be dedicated to quality and make sure that I had it correct."
Antichamber is on sale on Steam now, for $12, through March 29.