Steam is home to games of many unusual subgenres, and the niche of titles simulating various professions and (sometimes not-so-legal) occupations is becoming increasingly populated. The recent success of Drug Dealer Simulator 2 fits well into this trend.

Drug Dealer Simulator 2 hits 100k copies sold, another success in 'Simulator' niche on Steam

Drug Dealer Simulator 2

You probably heard of games Gas Station Simulator or one of this year’s surprise hits, Supermarket Simulator, not to mention PlayWay’s extensive portfolio of different sims. What do they have in common? Modest budgets, first-person camera, usually good sales, and generally positive reviews on Steam.

Drug Dealer Simulator 2 belongs to the same cohort. Polish publisher Movie Games recently announced that the game sold over 100k copies with the 10 days of launch. Another indicator of its success is that it generated more revenue in its debut week than any other game from the company.

The demand for this type of games is really there. In the latest GameDiscoverCo newsletter, Simon Carless looked at all games with “Simulator” in the title released in the last 12 months on Steam and found that their median gross revenue is about $70k. Median sales are 5-7k copies.

Below are the top 10 highest-grossing games in the “X Simulator” subgenre on Steam since July 2023*:

*Note: All data is GameDiscoverCo’s estimates and may differ from the official figures, as is the case with Drug Dealer Simulator 2

  1. Supermarket Simulator — $22.2 million (2.14 copies sold);
  2. Kebab Chefs! – Restaraunt Simulator — $3.5 million (242.8k copies sold);
  3. Thief Simulator 2 — $2.78 million (176.2k copies sold);
  4. Goat Simulator 3 — $2 million (145.8k copies sold);
  5. Gunsmith Simulator — $1.78 million (115.1k copies sold);
  6. Drug Dealer Simulator 2 — $1.75 million (86.9k copies sold);
  7. Desynced: Autonomous Colony Simulator — $1.75 million (72.5k copies sold);
  8. Ship Graveyard Simulator 2 — $1.63 million (103.6k copies sold);
  9. Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator — $1.51 million (56.2k copies sold);
  10. Pumping Simulator 2 — $1.2 million (76.1k copies sold).

Interestingly, half of the games in the top 10 were developed or published by Polish companies. PlayWay remains the leader in this niche, especially given that it has successful projects in the genre without “Simulator” in the title (e.g. the House Flipper series).

At the same time, Turkish developers (Supermarket Simulator, Kebab Chefs!, Pumping Simulator 2) are actively trying to gain a foothold in this niche. Some of them, like Nokta Games, developed mobile games before entering the PC market.

And as Carless pointed out, “We do actually think ‘simulators’ are under-developed as a genre/style of game, and it’s easier than ‘normal’ to sell if you do them well.” These titles typically don’t require large budgets (compared to some other genres), and we will probably see more and more developers follow the trend before the market becomes oversaturated.

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