Australian-made videogame tops global charts as players flock to Cult of the Lamb | Games

The Australian-made video game Cult of the Lamb has topped global gaming charts on the first weekend of its release.

“It’s just blown up, it’s been pretty crazy,” developer Julian Wilton, from Massive Monster, said.

In Cult of the Lamb, the player character, an adorable but possessed lamb, has their life saved by an ominous deity; as repayment, they must form a cult to appease the deity, growing its following by launching crusades, collecting resources and venturing out into the game’s five regions to defeat rival cults.

Since its global launch in the early hours of Friday morning, the game reached No 1 on the US Switch store, the main outlet for Nintendo games, and Wilton has high hopes for early sales figures.

Game developer Julian Wilton poses for a photograph at ACMI in Melbourne
Game developer Julian Wilton says jokingly: ‘We’ve just got to figure out what to do with all this money now.’ Photograph: Diego Fedele/AAP

“I wouldn’t be surprised in the first month if we hit like a million units, which is just crazy,” he said.

On PC gaming platform Steam, Cult of the Lamb had seen hundreds of thousands of downloads, and while Wilton can’t reveal the exact figures due to Massive Monster’s backing by UK-listed Devolver Digital, pre-sales numbers show the game has already recovered its investment costs.

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It is rare for an Australian-made game to see such global success, with 2017’s Hollow Night by Adelaide’s Team Cherry a recent example.

Gamers have given Cult of the Lamb the thumbs up so far, with more than 8,000 positive Steam reviews, and some predicting it would become a cult classic.

But the large number of gamers trying the game have uncovered bugs and the Massive Monster team is working to fix them, devoting the next 12 months to updates and new content.

“There’s just so many people playing the game that there’s no way you can find some of these bugs that people are finding,” Wilton said.

Some of the problems that come with Massive Monster’s success would be nice to have.

“We’ve just got to figure out what to do with all this money now,” Wilton joked.

In 2020/21, Australian game development studios made $226m, with 82% of that money from overseas markets, according to figures from the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association.

Recent Aussie hits included Unpacking by Witch Beam in Brisbane, Hollow Knight by Team Cherry in Adelaide, and in Melbourne, Untitled Goose Game by House House and Florence by the studio Mountains.

The federal government offered tax breaks for developers in 2021 and pledged fresh funding through Screen Australia in March.