Rust doesn’t usually take hold overnight. It clings to the underside of things, invisible to those who aren’t looking for it, and spreads slowly while nobody’s looking.
That’s sort of how Facepunch expected Rust’s alpha to go - they hoped they’d built a slowburn, underground hit of Steam’s early access underside. Instead, the game hopped conspicuously to the uppermost rungs of Steam’s top seller’s list, where it remains. Facepunch were “knocked on their arses” by sales figures - and now say that Rust has dwarfed sales of the game that funded it: Garry’s Mod.
It's no surprise that our Matt says you should buy the game in his Rust review.
GMod has been in development for over nine years, and on Steam since November 2006. In the time since, it’s been subject to numerous Flash sales and whatnot. It has sold well - well enough for Facepunch to upscale to a staff of 15.
But in the month since its alpha release, Rust has made about 40% of what GMod has in its lifetime.
“We never, ever expected anything to dwarf GMod’s success,” Facepunch head Garry Newman told GamesIndustry. “We can't really believe it.”
Nearly a quarter of a million players failed to heed Garry’s warning that the game was unfinished and probably best played at a later date.
“Well, people like doing the opposite of what you ask them, don't they?,” said Newman. “We never exactly wanted people to not buy the game, as such, but at the same time it serves as a warning - if they buy it then it crashes we can say ‘we told you so’.
“Still, it's surprising how many people did buy it.”
Now that Facepunch is 15 devs strong, Newman says he runs the company “kind of like Valve”.
“We just let people get on with it,” he said. “It's sort of self-managing - we don't have any actual managers, really. People are good at their jobs, so they should be able to just get on with what they're doing.”
They’re working on “four or five” other projects right now, but plan to work on Rust for as long as it pays their wages. Have any of you lot contributed to Facepunch’s coffers?