Indie success for Gunpoint changes one man’s life forever

Sometimes games aren’t about multi-million pound budgets and transmedia marketing – sometimes they’re about changing people’s live for the better.

Such is the case for Tom Francis. Many of you will know him as a writer for PC Gamer. Some of you will know him as the developer of PC title Gunpoint. In the future, he hopes all of you know him as a great creator of games.

Writing on his blog, Francis revealed that Gunpoint had already enjoyed great success before it was even out, with the pre-order numbers alone far exceeded his expectations.

So, I quit my job,” he wrote. In fact, I think I have quit jobs, as a concept. I started Gunpoint as an audition piece to get myself a position at a developer, but designing it has been so creatively satisfying that I no longer want one, and so commercially successful that I’ll never need one.

I can now make games full-time for the foreseeable future. More amazingly, I can do it with total creative freedom. There’s really no pressure for my next thing to make a particular amount of money, so I can do whatever I think will be most exciting.

It also means I can afford to keep being nice. I didn’t let anyone pay for Gunpoint until I was ready to put a free demo out, so everyone would have a way to make sure it ran OK on their system and that they liked it before giving me any money.

I was informed by lots of people with industry experience that this is commercial idiocy: you want to hold it back so that excited fans buy without trying, then you can release the demo later to tempt those who weren’t convinced.

I’m sure they’re right, and as a noob I appreciate the advice. In fact I got so much scepticism that I started to think the lost sales might actually be the difference between being able to become a developer or not. But even if that had been the case, I wasn’t going to quit my job for a career in tricking people into giving me money and regretting it.

I have no idea if and how much the pre-release demo hurt Gunpoint’s sales, but it doesn’t matter now – that’s how I want to treat people, and the amazing support for Gunpoint means I can afford to.”

MCV offers our hearty congrats to Tom. We’ve played Gunpoint and it’s brilliant. Don’t believe us? Then believe its 85 per cent rating on Metacritic.

About MCV Staff

Check Also

The January issue of MCV/DEVELOP is online now! Inside: Bonsai Collective, DEVELOP/JOBS, Private Division, A Little to the Left and more!

There’s a new issue of MCV/DEVELOP out now – and you can read it here for free