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Balatro sales hit 500,000 just ten days after release

Indie hit is getting all the right multipliers
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Publisher Playstack announced that Balatro has surpassed 500,000 sales in just ten days since the indie title was released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. A roguelike deck-building game inspired by poker, Balatro has become an overnight hit thanks to its engaging and satisfying gameplay loop – which does not, in fact, require you to know a whole lot about poker aside from the basic hands.

It’s a remarkable success story, especially as Balatro was developed by a single person over the last two-and-a-half years. Propelled forward by much word-of-mouth publicity, the title managed to generate a revenue of over $1 million USD within eight hours of being launched, crossing the milestone of 250,000 sales just three days after release day – and as we know now, Balatro was able to double that number after another week.

This is despite the fact that a sudden PEGI rating change made the game unavailable to buy in some regions due to its depiction of gambling imagery – it changed from an initial 3+ rating to a 18+ rating.

In Balatro, players are tasked with achieving as high a score as possible with the cards on their hand by adding different joker cards to it throughout the run, which provide various multipliers. It includes so-called Boss Blinds, which provide unique challenges to the player and act as a boss ahead of the next level.

Developer LocalThunk was inspired by poker and Big Two, a Cantonese card game, and didn’t really play any other roguelike video games ahead of creating Balatro – the only exception being Slay the Spire, which the developer played to study its control scheme.

In times of mass layoffs and uninspiring quadruple-A budget monsters, Balatro is a reminder that a fresh idea with a great execution can win the hearts and minds of many, even if it was made by one person alone.