Itâ€™s not often that weâ€™ll dedicate a whole blog post to something that has been posted on another website, but GameSpot UKâ€™s interview with Excalibur Publishing â€“ of Farming Simulator and Street Cleaning Simulator fame â€“ is quite the eye opener.
We mean that without a hint of sarcasm. Excaliburâ€™s games are often mocked on gaming forums for being both notoriously bad and based on incredibly outlandish ideas but theyâ€™ve been selling like nobodyâ€™s business.
The original Farming Simulator shifted 1.8 million copies while Euro Truck Simulator is knocking on for half a million. Whatâ€™s more is that theyâ€™ve become steady sellers â€“ theyâ€™re still selling now despite being released three to four years ago. Now bear in mind that their in-house development team consists of â€œfour or fiveâ€ people. Thatâ€™s a whole lot of profit being made right there.
Whereas other publishers believe that online distribution is the way forward for PC gaming, Excalibur depend on British retailers such as GAME and PC World to drive their sales. Italy is apparently their biggest market, with their Italian partner purchasing more copies to sell than any other country:
â€œI don’t know if they use them as doorstops, whether they eat them, put them in their pita bread, or mix them in with their pasta, but the Italians absolutely love our products,â€ said managing director Robert Stallibrass.
Perhaps the most pleasing thing about the interview, is how relaxed the company appears. Theyâ€™re well aware that their products do get a slating from critics, but it would appear that in their eyes all publicity is good publicity. When Street Cleaning Simulator was announced, their website hits sky-rocketed as people presumably failed to believe such a game existed.
You can read the full interview here. With console versions of Farming Simulator planned, you can bet weâ€™ll be hearing much more about Excalibur in the future.