Carpe Fulgur, the localization team that brought us Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, is happy to report that it has sold 100,000 units (and while it is not in the running for prizes at the IGF this year, it did receive an honorable mention for both the Design and Seumas McNally Grand Prize). Considering this is a PC-only title that is only available online (and some would say in a niche genre), that's certainly nothing to sneeze at. However, as Andrew Dice outlines in his blog, this does not mean they are rich by any means, but able to live off their work.
Many of the sales came through the Indie Story Bundle that was on Steam last year, which valued five indie games at $5, and split the cost evenly. For Recettear that number was further split, as EasyGameStation, the Japanese company that made the indie darling, gets a cut as well. Dice goes further into the numbers, including how to value their product, so if the business side of the indie game industry interest you, it's certainly worth a look. It also begs the question of whether or not the cost of bundling up with other indies is worth the price of recognition (though many may have bought it for the cheap price point of Recettear alone, in this case).
On the other hand, they still made much more money than they had ever planned, the original goal being 10,000 units. While that number may have been less than if they'd sold 100,000 at full price, they are still able to go into the next year comfortably. Which leads to:
Dice goes on to detail what this means for possibilities concerning Recettear, which includes looking at different platforms (personally, I could see it doing well on handheld platforms), though that depends on cost and politics of those services and consoles. Another possibility could be to have a professionally done English voice-overs, which would be optional and have the ability to switch to the Japanese track if one wished.
Last, Carpe Fulgur has hinted at their future, mentioning that other Japanese companies have taken an interest, and that they are set to work on EasyGameStation's 2006 release Chantelise, where twin sisters Chante and Elise go disobeying their mother and Chante ends up a fairy. Oh dear. The formula of combining two names and have two female protagonists remain, but as regards the basic gameplay, it seems a bit different.
A further look at it can be seen over here.