Dear Esther is out.
[This message is crossposted from the Indie Fund blog.] Our gift to you, on this very special Valentine's Day, is the worldwide release of the long-awaited game Dear Esther. If you haven't heard of Dear Esther, watch this: (Or hey, watch the trailer even if you are quite familiar with the game; the trailer is beautiful and worthy of multiple viewings.) We expect public reception of this game to run wide: some will love it, and others will be very concerned about whether this thing can be called a game and what that means. So far, this has certainly been the case in pre-release reviews. Game Informer scored the game an 8/10, saying: "You should consider checking out Dear Esther the same way you’d appraise a film. If you’re interested in absorbing an intellectual story and gorgeous visuals without having to exert a drop of effort, take a chance on this curious experiment." VideoGamer.com scored the game a 9: "Discovery is such an important part of Dear Esther, especially when everything is so phenomenally pretty." Meanwhile, Destructoid gave the game a lowly 4.5/10: "It’s as if it wants to be a part of this wonderful medium of ours without asking itself why, which is exactly why you should seek it out and learn from its failures as a game enthusiast, critic, or developer." We like that there's such a big difference of opinion because it means the game is breaking new ground. It's playing in territory that is not safe; there is no established understanding there. Dear Esther is a game that no publisher would have funded. Dan, Rob, Jessica and the other associates of thechineseroom have done an excellent job putting together a beautiful game. We are happy to be backing it; we hope you enjoy playing it. If you'd like more information about Dear Esther, here's an interview with Dan, and here's a link the game's page on Steam. Update: Dear Esther has been wildly successful, selling 16,000 copies in under 24 hours. As an investment, it reached profitability in 5.5 hours. More details are available at a new post on the Indie Fund blog.