Poker Deckbuilder Balatro Earned $1 Million in 8 Hours

It's the fastest-selling game in publisher Playstack's portfolio.

The "hypnotically satisfying" poker deckbuilder Balatro was destined for success, its pre-launch popularity pointed at it. However, I think no one expected it to be so popular. According to its publisher Playstack, the game's sales surpassed $1 million just 8 hours after its release and it reached profitability within an hour.

Moreover, Balatro sold over 250,000 copies in 72 hours, becoming the fastest-selling game in Playstack's history. At the moment, the card game has an Overwhelmingly Positive rating on Steam with 97% of players recommending it to others.

"We are floored by Balatro's success," Playstack CEO Harvey Elliott told GamesIndustry.biz. "All publishing partnerships are to some extent a leap of faith, and the sobering industry news of the last twelve months has made each leap seem further. So we understand it's a rare privilege to note that Balatro reached game-profitability within an hour following release."

Its developer LocalThunk said they'd "poured [their] heart and soul into this game with the hopes of sharing it with a few friends and loved ones," but the mass reaction was more than they expected.

Interestingly, the creator doesn't play poker at all as it turned out. Furthermore, while everyone, including LocalThunk, calls it a poker game, Balatro is actually based on another title and inspired by a slot machine roguelike.

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