Indie game Luftrausers took 2.5 years to make, becomes profitable in 72 hours

Vlambeer able to recoup development costs for arcade-style aerial combat game in three days.

Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer's latest game, Luftrausers, took two-and-a-half years to develop, but needed only 72 hours to become profitable. Vlambeer announced the news in a thank-you message posted on the company's official Twitter account.

"Luftrausers just became profitable," Vlambeer said on March 21, just three days after the game's debut for PC and PlayStation Network on March 18. "It had a two-and-a-half year development cycle. We are super overwhelmed and thankful."

By comparison, some big-budget AAA games never achieve profitability or can take months or longer to make back their development costs, as was the case with the Tomb Raider reboot. Of course, AAA games are normally built by 100 or more developers, while Vlambeer is a two-man studio consisting of Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman.

Luftrausers is a 2D, arcade-style air combat game where you fly around and lay waste to enemy planes. The game normally sells for $10, but Steam is running a promotion today where it's available for $9. For more, check out GameSpot's review.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

83 comments
sudarsanvrs
sudarsanvrs

Love this game. SFMT mode is ridiculous

My personal  Best :  33k 

hochstreck
hochstreck

Nice to read that, as Luftrausers is an amazing arcade-style Action-Game.

SaudiFury
SaudiFury

it's a blast. been playing it on my Vita a lot. really fun game. 

packtop
packtop

It do look fun, but don't seem to be worth 10$ to me, i will wait for at least an half price sale before buying

dipdish
dipdish

It looks like a fun game. I might give it a go on PS.

Deelo_t
Deelo_t

People forget indie games are what started this industry.

It also started it's decline in the past. But this is a different time.

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

Total Biscuit loves this game anyway so it's probably decent. No FOV slider though. :)

Lhomity
Lhomity

I meant to grab this on Vita last week, but then I forgot about it.Have had so much else to play and do lately. I'll get this soon. Looks like a lot of fun.

breathnac
breathnac

Looks super fun I'l pick it up!

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

What did you get for Christmas Billy?


. . . I got an Atari 2600.


But this is 2014.


I know . . .

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Wow. This looks terrible. Extremely basic shoot 'em up gameplay with no level design at all. After like 5 minutes I'd be like... that's it? You just fly around in this big empty space, shooting things. What's the point? There are free flash games out there that are a million times better than this.

draco934
draco934

I'm amazed by how much hate there is for this game in the comments.  What exactly were you people expecting for a game that costs $9.99 ?  Having played it I can honestly say its a really mindlessly fun game.

immortality20
immortality20

I also hope this game comes to Xbox Live, would love to try it out some time.

immortality20
immortality20

While indie games have an easier time becoming profitable, the way GS makes it sound, it makes it look like any body can make a game and be profitable. Bottom line, it still has to be a good game, and sadly there's lots of good games that don't recoup their budget. It's like authors, not all authors make a living being a writer, maybe 1 in 5 or even 1 in 10.

bernard978
bernard978

Never even heard of the game or developers, although I'm not a big fan of indie games anyway.

Hurvl
Hurvl

It's cheaper on GoG for Europeans, but Vlambeer isn't Ridiculously Fishing for money.

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

Not my kind of game, but its good to see the risk paid off for the developers.

Darkangel2154
Darkangel2154

I love these great success story's. Great job Indy devs!

pyro1245
pyro1245

wow i hope he had a lot of downtime because that looks like it could be built in a few months. kudos though.

jack00
jack00

Make good games, people will buy them. Sounds easy enough right ?

Inlex
Inlex

@packtop  yeah, cause "Fuck you", Dutch indie developers. I'd rather spend my 60$ on titanfall that I will stop playing after 10 hours of play. Blegh

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@StrifeDelivery  

It's just two persons - and they have to design the game for two platforms, by the way.

Also, please don't buy into the myth that simple-looking games are easy to make. That's ignorant bullsh*t.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@deadpeasant  

I would caution against treating Total Biscuit's word as gospel. ;)

After all, some people were not expecting Total Biscuit, one of the most old-school game followers around, to jump on the eSports bandwagon

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Tiwill44  

Do mention some examples of those Flash games then.

With that said, I have seen a lot of people like you mention Flash games which are supposedly better than indie games without mentioning any examples.

Do you really think that others won't be skeptical about your own skeptical opinion?

steve_esquire
steve_esquire

@draco934 My comment addressed the entire indie game culture. There's so many games coming out that have this style. And $10 is what I paid to get KSP. I'm sure it's an awesome game, I'm just getting a little overwhelmed with the number of games that look similar in terms of art style. I get that it's cheap, but indie devs also have to be careful of making too many games that will bleed together. Glad to see that so far my theory isn't holding up since this got a ton of $ already, but I'm nervous about the future of indie games. My hope is that a company makes a cheap and very easy 3D modeling software that also has a game creator built in. Maybe something like project spark but a little more open and without the microtransactions.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@immortality20  I don't really think GS was implying that anyone can just go and do it.   At least I didn't read it that way.  I think the comparison to AAA games was meant to clarify what an achievement this was.

shingui5
shingui5

@bernard978  "I'm not a big fan of indie games anyway."

Weird stance. 

One would assume a gamer would just be interested in, ya know, games. 

prats93
prats93

So whats the point of your comment?

am_h8ter_ade
am_h8ter_ade

@pyro1245  I look forward to seeing the game you put out on the market in the next few months.

Saidrex
Saidrex

@jack00 Flappy Bird is not a good game, so why it's so popular?

hystavito
hystavito

@steve_esquire @draco934  The press is partially to blame for some of that potentially bad stuff.  They are really pushing indie hard, to the extent that many people often question whether or not the games are getting a free boost rather than being assessed fairly.

bernard978
bernard978

@shingui5 @bernard978  Well that isn't to say that I reject them on the basis of being "indie" I mean there's Killing Floor, DayZ and Rust which I've played.

I suppose I'm just too used to AAA games.

bernard978
bernard978

@prats93  Showing how surprised I am, given the fact that I normally keep up with gaming news.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@hystavito

I doubt that you would say if the press is highlighting a game that you want highlighted. ;)

steve_esquire
steve_esquire

@Barighm Not necessarily. I don't think someone that played through Mass Effect 1-3, GTA, RDR, Skyrim, Dead Space, etc is a casual. They're all AAA titles and deserve the recognition they've gotten. I love Risk of Rain and Kerbal Space Program (it's even my icon on many websites) but they wouldn't make me a hardcore gamer. Who makes the games and what they look like doesn't mean anything when it comes to who is or isn't a casual gamer. It's how much they play it and how interested in gaming they are. Let's say I perfected Fallout 3 and Dead Rising, it doesn't mean I'm a casual because they are AAA. Your comment simply makes no sense whatsoever.

prats93
prats93

And its played by people that dont play videogames.