Frozen Synapse sells 300k - a "best case scenario"

Success allows Mode 7 to start work on new IP.

Ingenious PC indie strategy title Frozen Synapse has exceeded developer Mode 7's ambitions, selling in excess of 300,000 units since launch.

In a fascinating post-mortem published on Gamesbrief, designer Paul Taylor explained that the studio had set itself a goal of selling 100,000 copies within a year of launch "without a significant marketing spend". That target has been smashed in only five months.

In addition to sales of the full game, the developer also raised $135,000 from a paid beta.

Taylor went on to offer a little more detail on those figures, revealing that the majority of sales were at a discounted price.

With the game selling for $24.99, direct revenues via its own site so far total $300,000, before third party stores such as Steam are considered.

The release of a demo had a negligible effect on the game's performance and launching without one didn't seem to matter.

The game cost $140,000 to make, with three full time staff members, one long-term contractor and a few freelancers.

"Frozen Synapse has been a success for Mode 7, both for us personally and for the company," wrote Taylor.

"We proved that we could make a game that was creatively satisfying and commercially viable. We have been able to put our 'best case scenario' plan into practise."

That plan includes getting started on a brand new IP, continuing to support Frozen Synapse via DLC and expand the brand via a forthcoming iPad version.

"So many small companies become stagnated as soon as they have a single success, without realising that their major strength lies in innovating new IP," he explained. "There are risks involved with moving on so quickly, but in the long-term staying put can be much, much more dangerous."

He added that the game's success validates its decision to go with a traditional pay-once 'premium' delivery model rather than some kind of free-to-play system.

"Frozen Synapse was a labour of love which marked our transition from a low-grade indie company to fully-functional business. Even though the game continues to make a good profit, this transition was by far the most important result," concluded Taylor.

"It took over four years - on and off - to create, so now our major challenge is to improve the time it takes to develop games without compromising on the results. Learning to grow and manage an increasingly complex business is a huge challenge, but one we relish.

"I'd like to thank all of the members of our community who supported us, and particularly those who helped us test the game. I wouldn't be writing about our success if it wasn't for you - we owe you a huge amount."

For more on the Oxford-based developer's game, refer back to Eurogamer's 9/10 Frozen Synapse review or take a look at the trailer below.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

US News Editor

Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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