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How much money do you earn from your games?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KaOzz, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Antony-Blackett

    Antony-Blackett

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    Major Mayhem 2 just passed $200k revenue.

    Just to clarify, I don’t count this as paying dev costs back yet still $150k to go but it should get there.

    2 years dev, 2 full time developers. A couple contractors for a month or two. And the usual company expenses and software licensing overheads.
     
  2. one_one

    one_one

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    4 - Marketing
    5 - Company related fees (setting up the company, accounting...)
    6 - VAT/sales tax, where applicable
    7 - Corporate tax
    8 - Income tax
    9 - Rent, food, heating, electricity etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  3. SamohtVII

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  4. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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  5. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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  6. Antony-Blackett

    Antony-Blackett

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    If they paid you out earlier, your bank would likely charge you a transaction fee of $15 and you'd be losing money!
     
  7. ThunderSoul

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  8. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Congrats! It didn't cost $0 to create unless you are financially free and this is all done completely for fun (in which case you probably wouldn't be checking earnings so often). It took the most valuable thing any of us have... TIME.

    Just mentioning that if you are looking at this as wanting to be an Indie having an Indie game dev business then TIME is critical. Time to a large extent determines profitability. For example even at 1 cents... if you were fast enough if everything could respond fast enough you could build a great business. I mean you'd have ti be super fast... The Flash.

    Of course that is way beyond what we can achieve and how fast things respond so is impossible. But still it illustrates how important time is in profitability. Ultimately a successful business is simply being able to make more money than the cost of good & cost of time that you invest so key is maximize income while minimizing investment. Well as much as possible to get to that magical point where they balance out and then move into profit.

    Another ramble. Enjoy and good luck! :)
     
  9. Quingu

    Quingu

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    Yeah, time... The problem is that in game dev EVERYTHING takes so much time... A lot of it. Anybody who released a full game to the market knows this. It's also not an easy time. You need the skills, the brains, you need to be creative and persistent... often for years.
     
  10. Lajo

    Lajo

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    This is a tough business but has some good moments. My friend just got $150,000 for his first month from a casual game that took him 2 wks to make. Now that game is bumping up some of his other games
     
  11. Quingu

    Quingu

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    I don't believe that. Give the name of that game. Is it mobile?
     
  12. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    It's happened before and will happen again just that it is basically out of our control. This is what makes it all seem so random in a way. Because in many ways it is. One person can truly labor and put a hell of a lot of effort into making a game and it does "okay" (or even worse) and someone else can knock out Flappy Bird or some tiny abstract style simple game in a week and the stars align, the right person stumbles upon it at the right time, maybe it gets featured, someone covers it and that starts a snowball effect where others cover it simply because someone else with "clout" covered it.

    Would be interesting to see it I agree.
     
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  13. Antony-Blackett

    Antony-Blackett

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    That’s exactly it. It’s hard to be consistent in this industry. It’s hard for ever game you ever release to do well.

    That’s why it’s better to not invest too much before a concept is proven to not only be fun but also create value.
     
  14. justanobody

    justanobody

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    I'm happy for your friend. I know of another game or two that was 72 hours of development time that ended up selling hundreds of thousands of copies at $0.5 - $1 a piece. That guy makes "quality shovelware" on Steam that people seem to enjoy and since he has a foothold from the first giant success, the other games after that seem to sell stronger. Steam pushes the old game and the old game pushes the new game.

    On the other hand, I see game jam games that get super popular, hundreds of thousands of downloads that don't affect their other games at all. Who can tell me one of the other 26 games made by Hotline Miami's dev? Maybe one of the other 30+ games made by the devs who made Angry Birds? I guess a 1% overflow from the famous game to the lesser games still counts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  15. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    I always look at this from following point.

    How long (how many years) took to get to the point, of getting "your" hit. How much you get of it, and how much you earned to day, from previous work.

    Just an abstract example.
    If for example full time commitment of 10 years take to get 100k from first hit, and over past 10 years earning is just minimum wage from that ongoing work, where that really puts you? Maybe is a hit, but is it a really success?
    Probably would be better off anyway, doing any other kind of job.
    Chances you get another hit like that soon?
    Also, need to take into consideration dev expenses etc.
     
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  16. justanobody

    justanobody

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    Time for the monthly report!

    + $0 for the $10 game at full price.
    + $1 for for the $1 game at full price.
    + $0 in market transactions for the $10 game with 3 transactions.
    + $0 in market transactions for the $1 game with 20 transactions at $0.03 a piece.
    ======================
    + $1 income (which is surprising)
    - $50 from owning a company
    ======================
    - $50 lost

    Not much to say this month. The next month I should have a report on that game #3 I made with a friend that he gave me last month. I chose not to update the game in any way. One of those "not broke, don't fix it."
     
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  17. QFSW

    QFSW

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    + $43 on Subsideria
    + $3 on Subsideria OST
    ====================

    October has been rather dead (1 sale in the whole month) so it seems like the game is getting ready to go to sleep for good. I'm not too confident it will ever even break even, but I can hope
     
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  18. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    In fairness though you didn't seem to be marketing it this month. A few days ago I found one of your tweets from end of last month & retweeted it but that isn't going to do much on its own. Of course you could have been marketing elsewhere. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  19. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Yeah you're right, but I think I've just felt completely burnt out. After working on it and marketing so hard and seeing nothing came out of it, I've lost the drive to carry on (although I know I SHOULD market it more again)
     
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  20. akimashi

    akimashi

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    between $3.50 to $24 dollars a month for two years now. Off a one tiny prop asset set. :) Hopely to get another prop set out so i can double my monthly revenue haha.
     
  21. QFSW

    QFSW

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    But that's not from games then?
     
  22. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    What makes you say that?

    Edit: I realise that a prop isn't a game. Personally, there's a lot of opportunity in the whole dev pipeline, not just the step at the end where you sell a thing to a consumer, and as far as I'm concerned it all counts.
     
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  23. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Agreed. Most of my 'games' income comes from freelancing and YouTube. None of which is directly selling games. But its still games income.
     
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  24. QFSW

    QFSW

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    I just got the impression here that people wanted to know how much others made specifically from games, but maybe I was wrong. That's why I just shared my game income and not asset income
     
  25. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    "It is better to work in a sandwich shop and make games for fun
    than work full time on games you hate just to chase after riches"
    - Yonitee 2018.​
     
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  26. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    "It's best to make games you love and get rich doing that."

    - my dog
     
  27. Tom_Veg

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    "It is best to be born in rich family and inherit wealth so you can spend your time how ever you want".

    Confucius
     
  28. Rajmahal

    Rajmahal

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    This year has been good for me. Will just break $100,000 usd across steam, iOS and android. I'm hoping to launch my 4th game on mobile next month and launch two games in 2019. Will see how it goes.

    Agree that this is not an easy business at all and getting even to this level has been 5 years of very hard work.
     
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  29. SamohtVII

    SamohtVII

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    Yeah it's been a good 3 months. All that hard work paying off.

    Boom! Compare your lives to mine and then kill yourselves.
    upload_2019-1-14_17-17-41.png
     
  30. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Now you grab that green percentage, plot on grab and promote a game, on how much you game gained past period. Just don't mention actual $ ;)
     
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  31. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    haha, and I thought our numbers were bad. At least I can use our money to buy assets etc :D
     
  32. toto2003

    toto2003

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    It s huuuuge! You grow more than 3000%! Congrat dude
     
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  33. jtok4j

    jtok4j

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  34. nobluff67

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    As I celebrate the imminent release of my latest game, here are my stats for the previous 2 games (started about June 2017):

    App 1: Word Assassin (2017) - WordGame - (Heyzap Ad Mediation), 244 impressions $3.63
    App 2: Word Brain Busters (2018) - WordGame - (Heyzap Ad Mediation), 34 impressions $0.77

    App 2: Word Brain Busters (2018) - WordGame - (Appodeal Ad Mediation), 29 impressions $0.15

    App 3: Eggsanity - Action Game - (UnityAds), ...... (released within a week.)
     
  35. Fraktalia

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    Just my little story with my college project "Endless Dream" check this link for more information. It was back in the days when you had to pass Steam Greenlight in order to publish. We even made it through greenlit, but 2 months later Greenlight was removed and the flooding began

    After release, the game made a revenue of a whooping 140$ over 1 year which was never paid out for some reason and the account got hacked -,-. RL sucks
     
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  36. NunoDinisSantos

    NunoDinisSantos

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    Right now I'm maybe in -145€. To be fair, I invested most of it in Unity courses and store assets (I'm a terrible artist). I enjoy making mobile games and already released two on google play.

    My first game Poke It made me 5€ in two years
    My most recent game Speed Void made me a big round zero €.

    I'm currently working on another game but my hopes of making any kind of money are very down. I still search for many topics about indie developpers making any kind of monthly revenue to gain a little motivation, but deep down I know that the chances of that happening are very slim. Don't get me wrong, money is not the first reason I make mobile games, but I think we all would like to get some money from it.

    EDIT: My biggest problem is that I get no installs (saturated market I guess). Anyone here tried using ads as marketing ? If so, was it worth it ? Thanks
     
  37. CaptainChristian

    CaptainChristian

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  38. Luto_Akino

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    Zero dollars with zero cents, and descending. In fact, I think that i owe money to google now. LOL
     
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  39. TheMessyCoder

    TheMessyCoder

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    Everyone I speak to says how they make hardly any money from their games.

    Until the one person I met and had dinner with who made a slender man type game full of in app purchases. Who went on to tell me he has now purchased a house and car from his games.

    Ad revenue or single purchase = low income

    Loot boxes and in app purchases = new house.

    Yet I still cannot bring myself to sell my soul and do it
     
  40. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    It's easy to take care of yourself at the expense of others.

    There needs to be a culture change because if too many people live like that, we all lose.

    You should shame your friend who is peddling poison, and band together with the people struggling to make honest products.

    There also needs to be more noise about this in the public space. People shelling out for microtransactions... what idiots. They need people to tell them they are idiots. Shame them.

    Make smart, thoughtful consumer purchases be the cool thing to do.
     
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  41. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    How does that even work? Survival Horror gameplay with quick-pay events, where you need to purchase a consumable or you die? "Press Pay X to not die"?
     
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  42. frosted

    frosted

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    LOL! A new paradigm in game dev! QPE is the future of game design!
     
  43. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Press your creditcard to pay respect.
     
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  44. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    @BIGTIMEMASTER I am not fond of such microtransaction methods. They annoys me to. But I wouldn't call dev necessary stupid, however it may sounds. They utilize current culture, to make money. Sure it may be taking advantage, abusive, gambling, whatever calls. But is kind of with all data mining and feeding with adds on every step we go. None of them I would call humble however. But unless governments step in, I don't see much change in culture. Maybe there is some consciousness now, just like old vs new generation of social media users. But will take time. And governments won't cut their source of income either.
     
  45. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    The dev isn't stupid. I mean, in a big sense, they are because they are robbing society by preying on others faults to feed their own greed. Which is pretty stupid.

    Actually, yeah they are stupid. I'll say that.

    I don't care what societal norm is. If you are making your money by intentionally deceiving people by preying on their faults, you are a short sighted moron. Also an asshole. When you see a person who suffers from an addiction -- and you are lucky enough to know better -- your duty is to help them overcome their problems. At the minimum leave them alone. Certainly don't take advantage of them.

    And if you are specifically targeting kids.. I mean come on. This should be criminal.

    If you are selling products for kids and it is not educational or has some transformative positive value, I mean that's just pure shame. You really ought to be shunned by society. Maybe have your hands cut off or something.

    IMO, any developer here who has made an honest game and earned one dollar from it is to be held in much higher regard than any developer working at EA, or Blizzard, what have you. I mean how big a chump you gotta be to specifically form a business around exploiting children? That is what they do. They intentionally go for easy targets.

    Humans is predators and all, but you aren't supposed to prey on your own kind. Effin' cannibals.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  46. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    I'm not entirely against IAP's, as long as it's reasonable & ethical. I remember the very first F2P MMO's being not so bad about it (Dungeons & Dragons Online). Then there are the most greedy and unethical corporations like Bethesda, who exploit people like the greedy monsters they are (Elder Scrolls Online) and the incompetents who ruin games into the ground with irrational and outright stupid marketing changes (Champions Online - removing subscriptions, thus freeform power choice, thus killing the game entirely and screwing 100% of current players with 0 marketing to get new ones in).

    That's just on PC. In the Mobile scene, it is so much more absurd and scammy. Nearly everyone is using exploitative marketing, balance-destroying whale bullshit, and outrageous unlockables that make what should be at least a $5 game and at most a $60 game, turn into something like a $300-$600 game.

    Then there are offensive and insulting bullshit like with Mortal Kombat.




    From the market research I've done (which doesn't include mobile, but I would be surprised if it's all that different), it isn't so much Ethical vs Unethical in terms of whether or not you make money. Instead, it's the following factors

    • Marketability. How marketable is your game, naturally? Is your game really impressive in just a 3-second gif? Is your game extremely difficult to show off? Depending on these factors and many more, your strategy has to change. A game like Civilization isn't going to be able to easily market themselves in 3-second gifs like a SHMUP could.
    • Game Idea - Specifically, your Marketing Hook (or lack of).

    • Marketing. How effective is your strategy, how much money are you spending, do you have any connections, and did you get unlucky/lucky with exposure?
    • Genre. What is the genre you are making? Is it a Platformer? Bad idea. The indiepocalypse isn't real, but it is for Platformers. Is it a SHMUP? JRPG? RPGMaker Game? All bad ideas in the current market. On mobile, what are you making? An idle clicker - Who cares? Some atari clone - don't even bother releasing it for free.
    • Quality of Art - This gets its own mention because let's face it: Graphics Matter. They're not just a huge deal when it comes to marketing (a mostly visual medium) but also one of the biggest factors in determining whether a game is taken seriously (succeeds) or not.
    • Quality of Game - This includes everything from Gameplay to Artwork, and especially Polish.

    Let's take a specific type of game. Solitaire games. These aren't going to be making anyone a millionaire since it's just solitaire, but let's compare between what a lot of people will pretend is a good game (left) and what is actually a good game (right). Good, in the context of Solitaire games. I personally don't think either is good, but which would you be more interested in buying and how much more? Obviously the right. No question. No one would pick the left. Ever.

    The difference between these two Solitaire games is obvious.
    Which one do you think is low income, and which do you think supplies a stready income?
    Solitaire vs Solitaire.png



    I don't want this to turn into a "Good Games Don't Fail" argument though. So I will just say the following: It doesn't matter if good games fail or not. If you showed us a wall of images or gifs of all the games you thought were good but failed, we could all collectively see some trends. Same would apply to wall of images or gifs of games that succeeded. We could even have a huge wall of poorest to richest performing games from bottom to top, and we would see trends change dramatically as we scrolled up the list from the bottom. So it isn't really relevant what we say is good or bad, subjectively. If we all saw a wall of gameplay for games that did and did not sell well, we would all, no matter what side we were on in the argument, have to agree there is objective components for good/bad. It is only the middle, where the lines begin to blur, that we'd have any real reason to argue.

    So I advise everyone to focus, in order...

    1. Game Idea (Marketable Hook - Watch Ryan Clark's video! A must-watch!)
    2. Genre (Avoid making Platformers, typical mobile games, SCMUPs)
    3. Quality (Do what you can do best, play to your strengths, avoid your weaknesses, Polish as much as you can, but most of all just recognize that your skills ARE going to match the reality of marketing your game.
      If you don't have AAA art skills, then focus on gameplay depth. If that's out of scope, find some innovative idea for a simple game, and keep doing that until you find something that is actually fun and fresh.
     
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  47. tylerguitar75

    tylerguitar75

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    This sounds nice in theory but rarely plays out in reality (some kids parents let it happen, but typically, even rich parents don't like having lazy bums for kids).
     
  48. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    What? LOL. Curious your definition of rich, because the opposite is true. Rich parents being hard on their afluent kids is like making them get a "job" managing a company making millions a year while the lesser paid mamagement does all the real work. The real work ordering around the actual workers doing all the labor.
    The ultra wealthy live in completely different realities than the rest of us, and their kids are usually so privileged they are intellectually stunted and their bubble actually damaging. Just look at our current president and how many times he went bankrupt with daddy's money going red.

    The wealthiest of all (billionaires) are total parasites who shouldn't even exist. Them and their offspring are not just the most worthless in society, but produce negative results.

    And if you want to talk gamedev austerity? Look no further than this $500,000 budget game.

    20191009_144807.jpg
    Imagine what you would do with $500,000
    You would think this HAD to be involved in some mafia level money laundering scheme right?

    Doubtful. This is just the byproduct of austerity. Rich people's kids are unhealthily out of touch with reality. They are much more likely to have a sense of superiority than the working class who are more likely to have problems with inferiority or financial stress.

    I could write for hours on the psychology and problems of austerity. It involves every aspect of my interests: Politics, Small Business, Labour, Mental Health, Psychology, and Spirituality.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  49. tylerguitar75

    tylerguitar75

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    Woah, I poked the hornet's nest. Totally regret responding to the thread. I hope we can get back on track with the topic.
     
  50. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    Jeremy-Corbyn.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019