Introversion have posted a breakdown of the first month of sales for the Prison Architect alpha released in September, and it's done very well indeed. As this wiggly money graph explains, 10,172 purchasers contributed towards a haul of $361,780 amassed in four weeks.
The sale presented buyers with a number of Kickstarter-style tiers offering escalating rewards depending on the amount donated. The $30 base pack offered purchasers instant access to the regularly updated alpha and a copy of the finished game upon completion. The $1k top tier let buyers design a warden to appear in-game. All of the top tier warden options sold out, but the $6,000 that made was dwarfed by the 7,483 people that bought the base pack. The $50 "Name in the Game" option was the second most popular choice, with 940 buyers.
"We think the model we've used - a Paid Alpha crossed with Kickstarter style tiers is an excellent model for Indie Games right now, and these figures back that up," writes Chris Delay on the Introversion forums .
"At 10,000 sales and over $360,000 in revenue in just four weeks, it's fair to say these sales are way beyond our expectations."
Sales stabilised at a relatively low level after the first couple of weeks, but the alpha is still available to buy from the Introversion site . The alpha is being updated regularly with bug fixes and new features. Delay mentions that he's in the process of adding alpha testers' most requested feature, prison sectors, which lets players confine prisoners to designated blocks.
"We want to allow our architects to divide up their prison by tagging a group of Sectors as one particular zone (or Wing), and any prisoner whose cell is in that zone must stay within it - meaning separate showers, canteens etc. This would be the foundation of supporting different classes of Prisoner - Max Sec, Gen Pop etc, each with their own self contained wing," Delay explains.
For more on Prison Architect, check out our Prison Architect interview with Chris Delay and Mark Morris of Introversion.