With Over One Million Downloads, ‘Balatro’ Has Become One Of Top Games Of 2024

Baltro (Image: PlayStack)

Baltro (Image: PlayStack)

Releasing about a month ago on February 20, LocalThunk‘s gambling-inspired deck-building game, Balatro, has sold over one million units within its first month of release. The game had a successful launch with it reported to have sold half a million copies in its first ten days of release, with the game expected to have a massive spike in popularity later this year when it is ported to mobile devices.

LocalThunk was devised by one developer who had been working on the studio’s first game for about two and a half years, though the developer has stated that it was not their first game.

After spending a year in development, the developer left their day job to focus on the game. Although Balatro was planned to be a portfolio piece for the developer, it had been a hit with players leading to the developer to continue working on the title.

The game had been inspired by the Cantonese card game Big Two with the game’s psychedelic visuals and music composed by LouisF being designed to entice players to continue playing for longer periods. The main gameplay loop can be compared with Poker with the game incorporating boss battles to make it feel more like a roguelike game.

Balatro did have issues on release as the game from pulled from some countries due to its PEGI rating increasing from being a game for players “3+” to “18+” due to its themes of gambling. The game’s publisher, PlayStack, is currently discussing with the ratings board to revert the age shift, citing that the game does not portray gambling outright.

The game is available on Steam for PCs and is available on the PlayStation, Switch and Xbox stores for console. On March 1, the game became available to play on the MacOS.

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