Dredge, the cosmic horror fishing game developed in New Zealand, has emerged as a monumental success story in the gaming industry. Since its launch in March 2023, it has surpassed all expectations by selling over 1 million units. The remarkable achievement was shared by Black Salt Games, the studio behind Dredge, during an exclusive interview with Game Developer at PAX Aus 2023. Producer Nadia Thorne expressed their initial hope of selling around 100,000 copies in the first year, deeming it an extraordinary feat in itself. However, to the astonishment of the team, Dredge shattered all estimates by reaching the 100,000 sales milestone within a mere 24 hours of its release.
Dredge has garnered widespread acclaim for its exceptional qualities, establishing itself as a true masterclass in various aspects of game development. The GamesHub review lauds the game for its captivating atmosphere, meticulous worldbuilding, immersive tactile mechanics, and seamless flow. These exceptional features have undoubtedly contributed to the game’s immense popularity and subsequent success. The core team at Black Salt Games, comprising of only four individuals, deserves immense praise for crafting such an extraordinary gaming experience. With producer Nadia Throne, programmer Joel Mason, and artists Alex Ritchie and Michael Bastiaens at the helm, Dredge has proven that a small team can achieve greatness.
Dredge owes part of its success to UK-based publisher Team17, renowned for its commitment to promoting and supporting emerging talent. Team17 has played a vital role in elevating several prominent titles from Australia and New Zealand, such as Moving Out 2, Hell Let Loose, and Conscript, among others. By joining forces with Black Salt Games, Team17 has helped propel Dredge onto the global stage. This collaboration underscores the increasing influence and recognition of Australasian game developers on the international scene.
Building upon the triumph of Dredge, Black Salt Games is all set to release its first paid expansion pack, The Pale Reach, in November 2023. This highly anticipated DLC promises to further enhance the already engrossing gameplay experience. Initially, the studio had planned to release its first expansion, The Iron Rig. However, marketing considerations led to its delay, making The Pale Reach the first expansion players will have the pleasure of exploring. As fans eagerly await this new addition to the Dredge universe, the anticipation and excitement surrounding Black Salt Games continue to soar.
Dredge has defied all expectations and emerged as a groundbreaking force in the gaming industry. With its mesmerizing gameplay, meticulous attention to detail, and the dedication of its small yet talented team, it has captivated the hearts of millions worldwide. This achievement serves as a testament to the immense potential and inexhaustible creativity of independent game developers. As Dredge continues to make waves, it undeniably stands as an emblem of innovation and triumph in the realm of cosmic horror gaming.