Carpe Fulgur’s next game is Chantelise; Recettear sells 100,000 copies

Carpe Fulgur’s next release will be Chantelise, a 2006 hack-and-slash game from EasyGameStation (more details on Chantelise here). I have to wonder whether it’ll enjoy the same success as Recettear, given that Recettear had a unique premise to hook RPG players who otherwise may not have taken notice of “an indie game from Japan”. Still, worth keeping an eye on. Chantelise is just one of the titles Carpe Fulgur has planned for 2011, so maybe we’ll also see an English release of Territoire? (According to Google’s translation, the Territoire demo is already available in Japanese – check out the EasyGameStation website here, click Download and then the first link.)

 

Meanwhile, Recettear has now sold over 100,000 copies! Granted, most of those sales were heavily discounted – for example, during the Thanksgiving Steam sale, Recettear was effectively being sold for $1 ($5 spread over five games in a bundle pack), but 100,000 people playing a niche indie game is still pretty impressive.

 

What does this mean in dollar terms? A while back,  I estimated Carpe Fulgur would have seen a little under ~US$500,000 in revenue (based on 26,000 units sold, half at $18 and half at $20), so if I update my numbers to assume 13,000 pre-orders @ $18, 17,000 sold for the full price of $20, 60,000 @ $1, and 10,000 @ $10 (the current Steam sale price – it was $5 on a daily sale, but let’s keep things simple), this gives us total ex-Japan revenue for Recettear of $700,000. Carpe Fulgur also mentions that its share of Recettear sales proceeds – in other words, its gross profit margin – is slightly under 25% (vs my earlier guesstimate of 33%), with the bulk of the money going to EasyGameStation. If we assume, say, 22.5%, then multiplying by $700,000 leaves $157,500 to pay salaries, tax and any other bills. Assuming minimal expenses, that equates to $52,500 for each of Carpe Fulgur’s three members. This isn’t that far from my earlier estimate of ~$55,000 from 26,000 copies, because the higher number of (mostly discounted) sales netted out against my too-high gross margin, and is still a respectable figure.Of course, the most important thing is how it affects the viability of the business, and there, Carpe Fulgur sounds pleased as punch.

And my Game of the Year – 2010 is…

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Game of the Year Awards

This would normally be the time to review the best and worst of 2010’s games, except I only played a handful of the titles which came out this year. Despite being an RPG fan, I played neither Mass Effect 2 nor Fallout: New Vegas, and despite being a strategy fan, I did not play Starcraft II.

 

That said, I liked most of the ones I did play. Highest-profile amongst them, and the one into which I sank the most time, was Civilization V – here are my thoughts on the city-states, and on the game design as a whole. I didn’t spend a huge amount of time with Resonance of Fate, the steampunkish gun-fu JRPG from tri-Ace, or Supreme Commander 2, the RTS from Gas Powered Games, but I liked what I saw, and I know I’ll return one day to finish off Resonance of Fate.

 

Ultimately, though, one game this year charmed me more than all the others. It was just right for me in every way: in its length, its pacing, the feel of its world, its gameplay mechanics, and its premise. And it alone makes me think, “I wish there were more games like that!” With that, I present:

 

Game of the Year – 2010: Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale (write-up here), developed by EasyGameStation and localised by Carpe Fulgur.

 

Congratulations, guys. Keep up the good work, because I’m looking forward to what you do next.

 

Happy new year, everyone!

Congratulations to EasyGameStation and Carpe Fulgur on Recettear’s sales figures

Update, 3 January 2010: Recettear sells over 100,000 copies. My latest post here.

 

Carpe Fulgur, the company which localised EasyGameStation’s Recettear (see my two earlier posts), has announced Recettear has sold over 26,000 copies in the last month. I’d been wondering how well the game had sold after launch (before launch, I remember it was at #4 or #5 on Steam at one point), and I’m really glad to hear it remains successful.

In fact, Carpe Fulgur’s website says Recettear brought in enough money to allow “all of [Carpe Fulgur’s] members to make wages comparable to “proper” jobs in the industry for an entire year”. What does this mean in dollar terms? Out of interest, I crunched a few numbers:

I assume half (13,000) paid the pre-order price of $18, and half paid full price ($20). This produces revenue of (13,000*$18) + ($13,000*20) = $234,000 + $260,000 = $494,000.
I then assume that EasyGameStation and the distributors each take one-third, leaving Carpe Fulgur with gross profit of $494,000 * (1/3) = $164,667.

Now, I have no idea what kind of expenses (other than salaries) would have to be paid out of that revenue. However, I understand that the Carpe Fulgur team members have no office and worked from home, in which case expenses would probably be pretty minimal. Carpe Fulgur’s legal structure is an LLC, which — if I’ve understood the IRS website correctly — means it’s not a taxable entity, so taxes would be paid by the individual members.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there are no expenses beneath the gross profit line. And as our last assumption, let’s say that Carpe Fulgur splits its profits equally between its three members. That gives us a figure of $54,889 per member of Carpe Fulgur.

That is, in fact, a pretty neat sum (of which I’d say they deserve every penny). This has to bode well for our chances of seeing EasyGameStation’s next project, Territoire, in English!

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale — The Verdict

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the demo of a game named Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale (please see the initial post for the game’s premise). I’ve now spent around ten hours with the demo + full game, and my verdict is, this was a great diversion, albeit with a finite shelf life.

Continue reading “Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale — The Verdict”

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Have you played RPGs? Then you know how it feels to be gouged when you come into town to buy potions or stimpaks or shotgun shells. You know how it feels when you can barely scrape by selling hard-won rats’ tails, wolves’ pelts and +2 Vendors’ Trash. And most of all, you know that, “But I’m on a quest to save the world!” cuts no ice at the local item shop.

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale puts the shoe on the other foot. As town shopkeeper Recette, you buy low, sell high in an effort to meet loan repayments (game over if you can’t pay on schedule!), and in a second, action-RPG mode, hire heroes to go dungeon-crawling in search of rare merchandise. You can only take a certain number of actions per day, and the challenge seems to be how to manage your finite time to  amass the most money before the next loan instalment comes due. I’ve played the demo and found it charming enough to pre-order the full version (which you can do through Steam, Gamersgate or Impulse), notwithstanding I lasted about twenty seconds in the dungeon mode.

Check out the demo, and have fun!