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 Next Car Game  reaps $1 million in sales after a week on Early Access
Next Car Game reaps $1 million in sales after a week on Early Access
January 30, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

January 30, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

The racing game aficionados at Bugbear Entertainment, of FlatOut fame, made over $1 million in revenue from a week of selling access to their unfinished Next Car Game across both Steam's Early Access channel and Bugbear's own pre-order website.

Bugbear announced the news today and cited the financial success of Next Car Game as evidence that bypassing publishers and selling games in niche genres directly to fans via services like Kickstarter or Early Access is a viable business strategy.

"We pitched the game to numerous publishers in the hopes that the game would eventually get released," reads a statement issued by Bugbear. "Unfortunately we receive the same response all over again there were no market for a game like ours."

Bugbear also launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $350,000 to fund the development of Next Car Game on November 1, 2013, but cancelled the campaign on November 22 after raising just $81,722.

Development on the game continued, however, and the studio released a playable version of the game shortly thereafter through both Steam Early Access and its own website to drum up player interest.

"We were literally awe-struck by the great response the sneak peek received," stated Bugbear. "The pre-order sales skyrocketed, and we reached and actually topped our original Kickstarter funding goal in just week! And most importantly: the success showed us that the players believed in the game."

Bugbear isn't alone in finding unexpected success on Early Access -- Facepunch Studios sold more than 150,000 Early Access copies of their new game Rust in just two weeks, while Dean Hall recently sold more than a million Early Access copies of DayZ in a month.

Speaking with Gamasutra, DayZ creator Dean Hall called his success on Early Access a 'shots fired' moment for traditional game publishers.

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Maria Jayne
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Pleased to hear they're doing well with this, I was disappointed to see the Kickstarter falter. They really need a better name though, I'm convinced the apathy around the kickstarter had something to do with how generic and uninspiring the name is.

Bob Fox
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The kickstarter was lackluster but their new demo (not available during kickstarter) was what made the sales shoot up. When the new demo leaked via torrent it set off a massive influx of sales.

They should have released that at the start instead of holding it back for pre-orders.

For those interested it's called: Next Car Game Technology Sneak Peek 2.0 (Pre-Order_Exclusive)

SD Marlow
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I can see a lot of dev's now thinking that Early Access is the way to go, but it needs to be stressed that the games that have done so very well didn't just pop onto the market over night. You still need to get the word out about your game, and you should still test the waters using Kickstarter. Million dollar levels of funding can take a year or more to reach, but it's likely to not happen at all.

Mike Griffin
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Indeed, these guys came to the table with a lot of previous experience in this type of demolition racer genre, and some snazzy, well-developed tech. Not to mention a goodly amount of alpha content from the 'main game' experience to play, and a really neat sub-game physics playground mode.