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nuvem

Space strategy indies, execute your engines!

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From the GalCiv2 interview on GameSpy, Brad mentions they managed to sell 120,000 copies, 10-15,000 of them online. I'm currently working on a space strategy title myself, and this just blows me away, especially considering the price point is around $30, which is greater than a lot of games over at GarageGames. This is good news to indies all around. If Stardock can pull off sales like this in such a small niche, it really says a lot about genres that supposedly "don't sell".

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Those sales are such that you are relegated to Indy status and developing the game with your own funds.

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GalCiv is not your standard indie title. First, it had a predecessor that had a solid community. Second, the developers had quite a lot of resources due to the relatively successful Object Desktop products, so that they could afford a development process that is more similar to a "normal" commercial product than to an indie title. Stardock didn't have to rely on a publisher funding the development process. Third, the fan base -- at least in the beginning -- was atypical. Around the time the game was released, I was a young lad on the forums at an age of 24. The average age in a non-representative forum thread was mid-30s IIRC.

The release was also very close to the botched MOO3 that had a lot of fans run for better products, and even with GalCiv being a different type of game, it was widely accepted as a replacement.

To sum it up, I'd say that GalCiv was damn lucky and damn good.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Those sales are such that you are relegated to Indy status and developing the game with your own funds.
Quote:
This is good news to indies all around.

In any case, I don't know if I'd agree that GalCiv is all that much above the indie standard. They certainly have more to spend, as evidenced by the production values going into GalCiv2, but as Brad said himself, they were only budgeting for 30,000 copies.

I'm not sure if the price has changed since release, but assuming it's been $30 all along, that's a $900,000 budget, assuming it costs nothing to reproduce the game and they hope to make no profit. So once you take into account the publisher's cut, the desire to make a decent profit, and salaries, the amount they'd have left for investment into art/music is a lot less. More than the average indie perhaps, but something you could use a little creativity to get around (GalCiv uses a lot of screen-specific art, while a tigher budget might invest in a single set of interface graphics that could be used everywhere).

As far as community goes, as solid as it might have been, I seriously doubt it was anywhere near 10,000 members, let along 120,000. I'm sure the community spread a little word of mouth, but it only works if the next mouth in the chain is willing to spread their word; for that you need a solid game.

The whole point of my post was simply to point out that the market for indies may be larger than they expected. I mean, if you can pull together with some buddies and produce a game that sells half that many copies, you could soon find yourself working for yourself. Which is a very good place to be IMO.

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