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7 Indie Games That Made Over $5 Million

Proof that you can do a lot with a small budget and a ton of imagination.

Garrett Ettinger

Jun 12, 2023

Indie development is an important component in the overall gaming landscape. New tools have made game development more accessible, and as more creatives enter the industry, gamers are rewarded with innovative titles that don't cost $70. While there are a ton of small indie games you've probably never heard of, every once and a while, a game will release from an independent studio and surpass the sales figures of even AAA games with huge publishers and development companies behind them. Here are seven indie games that grossed over $5 million in sales, in no particular order.

Dwarf Fortress

Bay 12 Games

Dwarf Fortress is one of the most complex city builders ever made, with each entity in the game having its own personality, desires, and history. It is also a true success story when it comes to independent development.


Two brothers, Tarn and Zach Adams, had worked on the free ASCII-based game for nearly 20 years before making it available to a wider audience on Steam with updated graphics and more intuitive mechanics. Just a month after the game's release on the platform, the duo was able to earn over 7 million dollars, with hundreds of thousands of copies of their games sold.

Sons of the Forest

Endnight Games

Sons of the Forest, the first-person survival/horror multiplayer game by the indie development company Endnight Games, was a smashing success upon launch, but it wasn't that much of a surprise. A follow-up to the fan-favorite The Forest released in 2018, Sons of the Forest successfully picks up where the last game left off with enhanced gameplay, updated graphics, and a new story.


According to the developers, the company was able to sell over 2 million copies of their game in just the first 24 hours of its release. For a price of $29.99 at launch, well, we’ll let you do the math. Pretty good for a small indie game studio that has only made two games in its history.

Cult of the Lamb

Massive Monster

Massive Monster, the small dev team out of Melbourne and the UK, created a massive hit when they teamed up with Devolver Digital on Cult of the Lamb. In this creative indie roguelike, players assume the role of a cute lamb that must appease the gods by forming a cult.


If it sounds weird to you, it is, but in all the right ways. As it turns out, players agreed as the game surpassed 1 million units sold in just a week after the game's release. According to some estimates, the game’s total sales were around $18 million just a month after its release.


In the wildly popular Viking survival game, Valheim, players explore a procedurally-generated world, defeat threats, and collect resources. And collect resources is exactly what the game's developers, Iron Gate Studio, did when they sold over 10 million copies of their game in a little over a year.


A small indie team from Skovde, Sweden, the team continues to work on the game, with subsequent patches and updates that have further expanded the already impressive world, giving players a reason to revisit the expansive indie title.

V Rising

Stunlock Studios

Like many games on this list, the vampire survival game V Rising had a meteoric rise from obscurity into public view when it was originally released in May of 2022. Since then, major updates, including the recent Secrets of Gloomrot update, have expanded the game and provided the player base with more to do.


In just a few months since the initial release, the game's developers, Stunlock Studios, announced on Twitter that 2.5 million Vampires had loaded into their indie title. While the studio is a bit larger than others on this list, with another popular game, Battlerite, under their belt -- it's still a super impressive feat for a team with under 40 employees.

Among Us


Among Us has been such a cultural phenomenon since it was originally released in 2018 it would feel wrong to leave it off the list; however, you might be surprised to learn that it wasn't an instant success. Among Us really started entering the gaming zeitgeist around 2019-2020, around the time of the global pandemic, and continued through it, with some estimates of around 20-50 million units sold across platforms.


The developers, Innersloth, launched Among Us as their first-ever full release in late 2018, making this one of the most wildly-played indie releases while simultaneously being the developer’s first released game ever. According to some reports, the game has easily earned over $100 million dollars in revenue since its launch.

Deep Rock Galactic

Ghost Ship Games

Deep Rock Galactic, or DRG as its fans call it, is one of those games that was a slow burn over time. Originally released at the beginning of 2018, DRG slowly gained a cult following leading up to its release and, unlike many other games on this list, actually increased in sales over time.


The latest figures report that 2.3 million copies of the game were sold in 2022 and that 5.5 million had been sold across all platforms since the game's original launch. The game's developers, Ghost Ship Games, are a small dev team made of just 32 people from Denmark.


There are a ton of other amazing indie titles that also sold well, but these are the biggest standouts recently. Did we miss one of your favorite indie games? Let us know in the comments!

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Garrett Ettinger

Garrett is a writer and editor with over a decade of professional writing and editorial experience. For the past year, he has been the editor of Gamer Digest. He loves playing games in just about every genre and is a Master on the Starcraft 2 ranked ladder. You can find his musings on Twitter @GarroWrites.


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Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

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Small Running Title

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Small Running Title

Small Running Title

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

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