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Glory to Arstotzka! Papers, Please has sold 5 million copies in a decade

The political puzzler launched on August 8, 2013.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 9, 2023

1 Min Read
A screenshot from Papers, Please showing the protagonists desk at the immigration office

Papers, Please has sold 5 million copies in a decade. That's according to creator Lucas Pope, who shared the milestone to celebrate the title's 10th anniversary.

The political puzzler initially launched for PC and Mac on August 8, 2013, before eventually making its way to Linux in February 2014. An iPad port was released a few months later in December 2014.

It took Papers, Please a few more years to debut on other platforms, with the game shuffling over to PlayStation Vita in December 2017 before landing on iPhone and Android in August 2022.

Papers, Please on inspection

The title has been celebrated for constructing a mechanics-driven narrative that places players at the center of a moral dilemma that quickly spirals out of control, often asking them to choose between helping others or protecting their own family as they work as an immigration inspector within the communist state of Arstotzka.

The title won numerous awards and was named the best game of 2013 by publications such as The New Yorker and Wired.

Anybody interested in learning how Lucas Pope pulled the project together should check out the full Papers, Please devlog, which breaks down the production process in intricate detail.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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