Despite mixed reviews, documented lag issues, and a heap of criticism from players, Splash Damage's Brink is estimated to have sold around 2.5 million copies. According to CEO Paul Wedgewood, the Bethesda-published multiplayer shooter made some pretty damn good cash.
"With Splash Damage, we finished Brink, and it's estimated to have sold more than 2.5 million units worldwide, which at retail would mean that it's generated around $120-140 million in revenue," he told Gamasutra. "But of course, as an independent video game developer, we don't earn that kind of revenue, as we're not the publisher of the title ... but we could see there was the potential to serve our fans content directly, and while we don't want to take anything away from what Splash Damage does, we wanted a vehicle that we can dedicate exclusively to that pursuit."
That "vehicle" is the free-to-play model, which Splash Damage has moved into. The studio founded its own publisher of F2P games, WarChest, and release a new iOS strategy game, RAD Soldiers, in June.
Despite its notable problems, I enjoyed Brink and I am glad it did well. Still, it's clear from the game's setup that the studio was definitely interested in freemium models, so it seems Splash Damage has found its calling. Best of luck to 'em!