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A Few Clarifications

In the wake of my recent mega-post, I’ve noticed one or two misconceptions springing up about what I said. I’d briefly like to clarify a few points. This mostly has to do with the section detailing the sales and whatnot, and how it meant we didn’t get as much as if the game had been bought at full price for all 100,000 copies.

First seems to be this notion that we “didn’t make any money at all” (which is an assertion I’ve seen in a few places). Let me be clear: we still made a heap of money off of Recettear. Recettear so far has earned us enough money to pay for salaries for everyone for over a year (having started in September of 2010). Recettear was never expected to do this; it wasn’t even in the business plan. We were fully willing and able to push Carpe Fulgur forward in some form if Recettear had earned a quarter of what it now has. Recettear’s runaway success means that a lot of what our upcoming projects earn will go straight into the Warchest For Cool Stuff™. Carpe Fulgur is doing better than I could have dreamed it would do at this stage. Let me put it this way: we made way more money with the discount promotions than we would have without them. And a lot more people got to play Recettear, which is even more important as far as we’re concerned.

Second seems to be a notion that I’m displeased with either our distribution partners and/or EGS themselves (which I could see coming from a particularly negative reading of the original line in that part of the blog, which I’ve edited a bit for clarity). It is true that we currently get the smallest share and EGS get the largest. This is deliberate and by design. Recettear is, fundamentally, EGS’ game; they did all of the “real” work on it, and they provided all the code support for the English version. It’s only fair that they should get the largest share of each retail sale. The only reason the ratio of who gets how much is changing post-Recettear is to help CF do Cool Stuff like English voiceovers and whatnot (and to ensure that we can keep operating even if a game doesn’t perform as well as Recettear did).

On top of that, EGS getting a lot of money from Recettear’s English release helps us. It allows them to grow as developers and do more; it allows them to get new equipment, perhaps even add a person or two to the team, and above all it gives them the ability to make their games even better. Which, in turn, gives us more awesome games to bring over. I don’t begrudge EGS their share in any way; if anything, the concept-cum-reality of an EGS with hundreds of thousands of dollars on hand that they didn’t plan on having in 2011 makes me tingle with excitement. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

It’s also worth pointing out: in the end, I’m the one who made the call on the various sales and promotions. Nobody, not Valve or Gamersgate or Impulse or anyone, forced our hand on anything.  I made the call because I thought it would allow us to sell more copies, make more money and have more people enjoy the game. And you know what? We succeeded on all fronts. The sale promotions ultimately made us a lot more money than we would have otherwise, and I’m glad we did them. The only regret I have is that our very first promotion was as deeply discounted as it was, but in the end I’m still the one who approved it. So if I have anyone to blame for that, it’s ultimately myself.

Carpe Fulgur is going fantastically well. Am I a little sad that not every copy of Recettear sold for full retail price? Well, sure; if nothing else, I’d like to do a Scrooge McDuck backflip into a pool filled with benjamins at some point in my life. But I, and everyone at CF for that matter, are not displeased with how things have gone so far; just the opposite. Now that Recettear’s been successful, we have the opportunity to do some really fun and crazy stuff. I’m looking forward to this year more than I’ve looked forward to any year ever.

Lightning ho, mofos!

Click here to discuss this blog post (loops into the discussion thread of the previous post)

P.S.: Alas, we only got “honorable mentions” in the IGF, which means we aren’t in the running for any awards (nor do we get to present on the show floor, nor do we get free rides to the GDC). I’ll still be at GDC 2011 in San Francisco, regardless, though!

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