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Dear Esther is a game you didn't hear a whole lot about. We may have written about it less than a few times here at Gaming Blend, the game didn't have a massive marketing campaign behind or a whole lot of promotional assets to go around, but that didn't stop it from selling like crazy its first week out. In fact, TheChineseRoom, the devs behind the game, recouped their $55,000 investment into the game in a matter of hours once the game went live on Steam.
Less than a week on the digital distribution scene, the game has sold more than 50,000 digital units, according to Develop. Developer Dan Pinchback commented on the game's success, saying...
"Not only have we received amazingly positive reviews, but the response from fans has been outstanding,”... “Within one week of launch, we sold over 50,000 copies of the game, which is an extraordinary amount for an indie release.”
That's very, very, very good for an indie release. The game itself is designed on the Source Engine and is actually a full blown aesthetic-based horror game that was originally a Half-Life 2 mod.
The game itself is a unique exploratory based experience, where it's not about killing bad guys and thwarting some boss monster like a typical first-person game. Instead, Dear Esther goes back to the traditional roots of evolving PC gaming that seemed to hit a bit of stump since 1999. Gamers who enjoyed immersive horror-based adventures like Frictional Games' Penumbra Overture and Amnesia: The Dark Descent as well as classics such Gabriel Knight and The Haunting will find themselves right at home with Dear Esther.
The game is available right now for only $9.99. I guess this kind of news just proves Ubisoft is way off the mark when they say that 95% of PC gamers are pirates.