After 16 years of freeware, Dwarf Fortress creators get their $7M payday
news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 2 February - 21:08 · 1 minute
The month before Dwarf Fortress was released on Steam (and Itch.io ), the brothers Zach and Tarn Adams made $15,635 in revenue, mostly from donations for their 16-year freeware project. The month after the game's commercial debut, they made $7,230,123, or 462 times that amount.
"The fairytale ending is reality, but you didn't kiss the toad," Zach Adams wrote on Bay 12 Games' forums . "You gave him money." He went on to write the kind of grateful response to fans you don't often see from game developers:
The appreciation you give us is part of our being now. It carries us in the cars we drive. It sustains us as the food that we eat. There is now no longer any existence except the one that you have provided. When we pass from this world, you will be the reason we are remembered.
Tarn Adams noted that "a little less than half will go to taxes," and that other people and expenses must be paid. But enough of it will reach the brothers themselves that "we've solved the main issues of health/retirement that are troubling for independent people." It also means that Putnam, a longtime modder and scripter and community member, can continue their work on the Dwarf Fortress code base, having been hired in December .