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Cthulu Saves The World sells 100k on Steam

Dwarfs XBLIG sales in just under four months.

Acclaimed Xbox Live Indie Games RPG Cthulu Saves The World has sold over 100,000 copies on Steam in just under four months, developer Zeboyd Games has announced.

Bundled together with Zeboyd's other XBLIG effort, Breath of Death VII, for £1.99, it passed the milestone during Steam's Halloween sale in October.

In contrast, it's sold 20,000 on Xbox Live Indie Games since launching in December last year, while Breath of Death has racked up 55,000 downloads since April 2010.

Studio co-founder Robert Boyd puts the disparity down to Steam's superior developer support.

"On Steam there are a lot more open and helpful as far as indie development goes," he told Eurogamer.

"When we released on Steam we had a banner ad for the game for almost a week which would have been completely unheard of with Microsoft's indie game channel. That gave us a huge boost, in both visibility and sales."

He argued that, for an independent developer, the PC is generally a much more accommodating platform than consoles.

"Everyone has a PC, or just about everyone, and indie games usually don't have very high system requirements, so just about anyone can see a good indie game and pick it up on Steam or another PC distribution services. Whereas with Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo's consoles you have a smaller subset of people who may be interested."

So, does Xbox Live Indie Games have a future, or do indies now view it as a lame duck?

"I am hoping that there's a similar service on the next Xbox and that Microsoft takes some of the lessons and experience it's gotten from this iteration and uses it to improve the service," said Boyd.

"But I'm not sure if Microsoft is going to keep going in this direction or just call it a failed experiment and stick strictly to their more professional Xbox Live Arcade platform.

"I think there was a lot of excitement for it when it first came out. They were doing the big contests and giving Xbox Live Arcade contracts to people like Ska Studios with the Dishwasher games but there's been less of that recently.

"And also with each Xbox dashboard update it seems like the service gets harder and harder to find so I think it's definitely becoming less of a priority for them."

The Cthulu/Breath of Death pack is included in this week's Steam Autumn sale, marked way down at just £0.68. Surely that's too low for any meaningful profit to be made? Maybe not, argued Boyd.

"We're really excited to see how that does. This is the first time we've had such a huge sale on the games so we're not sure if the increased number of people buying is going to make up for the drastically lower price.

"When we put our games in the Halloween sale for 33 per cent per cent off our total revenue absolutely skyrocketed - it was crazy how much more money we were making compared to the week before.

"I'm curious to see if there's an even higher increase because they're lower or if we put them too low and we're going to start losing money comparatively. In any case it should be a very interesting experience."

Next up from the humble two-man team is Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness Episode 3, due out some time next year.

For more on Cthulu Saves the World, refer back to Eurogamer's glowing 8/10 review.