In the realm of game development, success can sometimes become a double-edged sword. This is certainly the case for the creators of the immensely popular 2D game Terraria, as they have been trying to move on from it for years, only to be held back by its continuous and overwhelming demand. Andrew Spinks, the head of Re-Logic, the development studio behind Terraria, confessed on his now-deactivated Twitter account that the game’s persistent popularity has made it difficult for them to let go. Even after 12 years since its release, Terraria continues to sell like hot cakes, accumulating over 44 million sales as of 2022. In 2021 alone, it sold around 35 million copies, with half of those sales attributed to the PC version. Based on this momentum, it is plausible that Terraria has added another 10 million sales to its already impressive numbers in 2023.
A Widespread and Beloved Game
Terraria’s availability on multiple platforms has contributed significantly to its success. It is second only to Doom in terms of widespread availability, being playable on various consoles, mobile platforms, and even the now-defunct Google Stadia. Its popularity is not solely due to its financial success; the game has also garnered immense love and adoration from players. In fact, Terraria became the first game on Steam to receive over one million user reviews, maintaining an “Overwhelmingly Positive” rating. It is not only one of the favorite survival games of all time for many players but also holds a special place in their hearts.
The Struggle to Move On
While most developers would relish in the success of their game, Re-Logic finds themselves in a predicament. They have been desperately attempting to conclude Terraria’s development since 2015 by releasing what they believed would be the final updates. However, the game’s enduring popularity continuously thwarted their plans. Ted Murphy, the business and marketing chief at Re-Logic, revealed in an interview with PC Gamer that update 1.3 was initially intended to be the last major release for Terraria. This update introduced an Expert mode, achievements, hundreds of items, and more. Little did they know that the game’s fanbase would demand eight more years of additions, both significant and minor.
A series of “final” updates followed this initial attempt to conclude Terraria’s development. The 2020 update titled “Journey’s End” was thought to be the ultimate send-off, introducing mod support, two new modes, over 1,000 new items, bug fixes, and even golf. However, it took mere months for another “final” update, called “Journey’s Actual End,” to follow suit. Despite these efforts, Terraria’s journey did not cease there. After a crossover event with the indie survival sandbox game Don’t Starve, the release of the “Labor of Love” update was prompted by Terraria winning the player-voted Steam award of the same name. The game’s popularity continued to dictate its fate.
The Never-Ending Journey
As Re-Logic continues to grapple with Terraria’s perpetual success, they have announced plans for an official Terraria board game and a crossover with the roguelite platformer Dead Cells. These upcoming developments are being touted as the definitive final major update for Terraria in patch 1.4.5, marking the “final stretch” for the game. However, even with this declaration, Ted Murphy acknowledges that the team will never completely rule out the possibility of future updates. The true conclusion of Terraria’s development remains uncertain.
In the meantime, Terraria is currently available at a discounted price on Steam, enticing new players to join the ever-growing community and potentially prolonging the game’s enduring popularity and financial success.