Slime Rancher 2 sells more than 300K copies, director touts “zero crunch” during development

Five years well spent.

Image via @NickPopovich

Slime Rancher 2 has launched in early access, arriving over six years after the original game did the same. That might be a longer development cycle than most studios stick to, but it was the exact right pace for the team at Monomi Park. The game has hit a big sales milestone while maintaining good working conditions for everyone at the studio.

Specifically, Slime Rancher 2 has now sold more than 300,000 copies across Steam, the Epic Games Store, the Windows Store, and Xbox Series X/S. Director Nick Popovich announced the big number on Twitter, calling out the game’s other success metrics like hitting the top spot on Steam and holding a 95% rating on the same platform. Beyond that, Popovich points out that this success “was achieved with zero crunch,” meaning the team didn’t have to work extended hours over a prolonged period of time. Furthermore, staff received “top-tier benefits and unlimited PTO” during the development cycle. That morale boost has been nicely rewarded.

Crunch has been the subject of many stories in the realm of video game development. It’s a main gripe of Activision Blizzard contractors, and it reportedly led to the death of a NetherRealm employee. This push is never worth it. CD Projekt Red came under fire for crunch during Cyberpunk 2077 development, and that game got a middling reception at launch. The prevalence of this practice has led Witcher 4 director Jason Slama to pledge against crunch on that game, which is currently in pre-production.

As for Slime Rancher 2, there are plenty of delightful experiences to have in the creature farm simulator. It might not break the mold of the original, but the new Rainbow Island setting is full of new slimes to wrangle as you explore the large map and uncover all sorts of secrets. Slime Rancher 2 also has the advantage of releasing with Steam Deck compatibility, letting farmers do their work on the go.