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How much do you make from a single indie game?


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#1 Kyrieru   Members   -  Reputation: 113

Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:57 AM

Quick question to anybody who has been successful with indie games,

How much do you make from the average indie game? If you're a developer, how long did it take before you started making money from your work?

Edited by Kyrieru, 31 May 2012 - 10:24 AM.


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#2 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:44 AM

How much do you make from the average indie game? If you're a developer, how long did it take before you started making money from your work?

Average is not a good metric for success in the game market. Average means you lost money. You have to get ~1 standard deviation away from average to break even, and ~3 to be really successful.

#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21277

Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

The average developer does not finish their game.

It is atypical to bring a POLISHED game to market.

Assuming you are able to bring a polished, tested, nice-looking, nice-sounding, nice-playing game to market, and you treat your software as a business rather than a hobby... IF all those things, then I have known a few people who were able to replace their regular income by putting out one of those every few months.

I also note that they spent more time working on those polished games than they did in their regular full time jobs. But at least they were having fun doing it.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#4 Kyrieru   Members   -  Reputation: 113

Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:13 PM

Well, that more or less answers my question. I guess I should feel luckier than I do already.

#5 3DModelerMan   Members   -  Reputation: 1003

Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:19 PM

As of today my game made a total of $1.37 on Kongregate.

#6 Dmytry   Members   -  Reputation: 1148

Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:33 AM

How much is made from an indie game is a probability distribution, rather non-gaussian (I expect something more similar to 'power law'). It has the property that the average doesn't really represent either where the bulk of games are (zero), or the bulk of money are (a small percentile of successful games). Ultimately the average tells you nothing of what to expect from particular project.

Other issue: many of the top money making games, like bejewelled, are absolutely terrible target for development unless you already own some giant causal games portal, or unless you get really really lucky. There's niche for small number of top popular games - think of it as of several spots - and there's thousands games of pretty much equal quality. And when quality is pretty much equal it is not quality that determines success.

My game did pretty well, by the way (replacing my income for years). 3D indie games that is not a scenery set for existing engine are rare and few. I didn't want to have the success rely on nontechnical competition hence i chose the niche where very very few games get completed; I could do that because I had prior CGI experience (in movie software).

Edited by Dmytry, 02 June 2012 - 02:13 AM.

My game The Polynomial is now available on Steam. | The Polynomial homepage | Cloud and terrain rendering |Everything i said in that post is obviously ABSOLUTE TRUTH my unhumble opinion.

#7 ChurchSkiz   Members   -  Reputation: 449

Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:43 AM

http://www.gameproducer.net/category/sales-statistics/

Edited by ChurchSkiz, 01 June 2012 - 04:44 AM.


#8 Paul Franzen   Members   -  Reputation: 334

Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:26 AM

If you have any interest in Xbox Live Indie Games in particular, I'd suggest checking out this thread over at their forums. (Just assume every game costs from $1-3 to guesstimate how much they made off of it.)

Life in the Dorms -- comedic point-and-click adventure game out now for Xbox Live Indie Games!

My portfolio: http://paulfranzen.wordpress.com/





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