Dwarf Fortress’ new release sells over 160,000 copies in its first day

by Danny Craig  · 
Updated
Dwarf Fortress’ new release sells over 160,000 copies in its first day
Dwarf Fortress

The enhanced Steam and Itch.io release of the 16-year-old ASCII resource management city-builder has been a massive success, with impressive sales metrics straight out of the gate.

The details:

  • The updated version of Dwarf Fortress has finally arrived on Steam and Itch.io, three years after Kitfox Games’ trailer announcement. The game features brand new graphics, user interface, and quality-of-life features to bring the cult classic up to today’s standards.
  • When the family of the original developers, Zach and Tarn Adams, began dealing with serious health issues, the pair decided to work with Kitfox Games to re-release the title to help them cover medical costs. The game is currently priced at $29.99 on both Steam and Itch, with the revenue being split between the storefront, publisher, and developers.
  • The estimated sales figures pre-release were around 160,000 copies during the game’s first two months. In just 24 hours, the game has managed to surpass that figure and land at number #1 on the Steam best-seller charts.

Why is Dwarf Fortress so popular?

  • Dwarf Fortress is the inspiration behind popular titles today such as RimWorld, Terraria, and, most notably, Minecraft. It’s a game that you can’t win due to there being no set conditions in place, making it highly replayable — just like the aforementioned titles.
  • Despite the game being free since its original release, some players couldn’t look past the old-school ASCII graphics and stopped playing for that reason. Now that this new, enhanced release has upgraded its visuals, however, that group of players can happily jump back in.
  • The game also has a passionate, cult-like following, with a total of 138,000 members on the game’s subreddit alone. This fun screenshot of a Steam discussion shows how invested some of its community really is.