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# How much money can a good game bring in

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Suppose my game is listed on download.com and on others good web sites. Suppose that I have a game offering a lots of features, and getting good reviews. Maybe not 99% but at least above 75%. Let''s say that all those conditions are there, how much money per year can you expect to make with a nice game. Any of you has experience and could give me some examples. For example : I made a game like ...(description), It was downloaded ... times on all the web sites and from that, I sold ... copies at ... $each in one year. Thanks to all. Ataru-San #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites How much you will earn. There is an interesting article about that question at avault.com The article is called "PC Gaming As An Industry", there are three parts, read all the parts. here is part 1: http://www.avault.com/developer/getarticle.asp?name=bwardell1 here is part 2: http://www.avault.com/developer/getarticle.asp?name=bwardell2 here is part 3: http://www.avault.com/developer/getarticle.asp?name=bwardell3 But also read these articles: http://people.mw.mediaone.net/bwardell/article_softwaresubscriptions.htm http://www.3000ad.com/soapbox/index.shtml #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I use to think that cnet and zdnet were the best places to get downloads (and hence, sales) from, as this was the case for the first few months Starships Unlimited (STUN) was out. (Note: cnet being better than zdnet). In this respect, Brad Wardell''s article of 1% sales/download figure seems to be right (e.g. only 1% of people who download your s/w will buy it). But you couldn''t survive on this. For me, things started to happen when people started talking about STUN on the newsgroups. Like wildfire, it spread to discussions in various forums, some of them being related space games. At this point conversion rates were more like 4%, an awareness was created. Once this happened, plus some real press, the download sites like cnet and zdnet, rarely made the top 10 referrers anymore. People came directly to my website or through forums or review pages. As for getting really good reviews on a zdnet-like site. I don''t think it really matters at all. Look at some of the top downloads and see the kind of reviews they got. There doesn''t seem to be any correlation between good reviews and high downloads. If you really want high download rates, just make the game controversial like Dope Wars. The key to selling your games isn''t just the quality of the game. You have to market it by talking to people about the game, making yourself known in different communities. Kind of like what I''m doing here. It is nice to find a forum to talk shop in. Anyways, no one can give you a sales # that will be accurate. There are too many variables outside your influence. This is part of what makes this business so exciting and so scary. ApeZone http://www.apezone.com/ Starships Unlimited: Try the free game demo #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites What do you mean by "good?" A good FPS has a much less chance of making money than a good RPG. A good FPS might be overshadowed by better advertised games. For example, the AWESOME!!! No One Lives Forever. Amazing game, horrible sales - after 6 months, the total sales were around 10,000 copies. And that''s a boxed shelved game. Also, I would, like Ape said, post on newsgroups. Get yourself access to as many FTP servers as you can and upload them. Don''t just put it on websites like download.com, cnet, and zdnet. If you do that (and the game is innovative enough) you should get a decent price. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites FTP server. I''d like to, is there a way to search for them, a listing, IP lists, search engines. Or per haps could you give me somes tips. By GOOD game, I mean a decend enjoyable game with a reasonable number of features, not just ''hello world...'' on the screen. something big enough so peoples will agree to pay for it, offering more than others freewares in the same category. Thanks Ataru San #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Did "No One Lives Forever" sell that poorly? Here''s a link to a link that could give you some more info on the shareware biz and some links to submit your s/w too. http://upload.it/ Check out the following link for sites to submit to: http://upload.it/upload_000009.htm If you''re looking for a cheap site to host your s/w try tera-byte.com, I''ve used them for months without any problems. ApeZone http://www.apezone.com/ Starships Unlimited: Try the free game demo #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Sadly, yes. Maybe about 20,000 by now, but really bad sales. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites How do you know that? Where is the prove for that number? thanx #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites No One Lives Forever was horribly under advdertised, and under hyped. Games require alot of this kind of thing to sell well. Some publishers will cause a game to sell poorly simply because they do not want to risk over hype. Black and White was over-hyped. It is a good game, not everyones cup of tea, but fun enough. However a lot of people have been sorely disappointed as they were expecting sooooo much more. It has sold very well up to this point though. If you ask me the worst thing you can do to any new venture or product is fail to advertise it effectively. Better to over-hype than under advertise. From a financial standpoint it is better to get good sales for a short time, than very very few sales for a long time. Of course the best is to get a fair bit of hype for your game, so that people know its coming and are excited, but if the hype grows beyond the game its good to have some undisclosed features, or a motherload of good levels, or something else that is unexpected, but will make the player say "Well features X,Y, and Z are not as good as I expected, but gee features A&B are pretty cool" Most of this is not particularly relevant for shareware, but it is certainly important to advertise, and get people talking about your game. -------------------------------------- Why run? You''''ll only die tired. -------------------------------------- #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Sadly, yes. Maybe about 20,000 by now, but really bad sales. ------------ Per haps would you tell us how many copies exactly, just to have an idea... Ataru-San #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites In the January(?) issue of PC Gamer they said NOLF sold about 38,000 copies. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites What were your favorite communities to talk about starship unlimmited? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites A recent issue (it may have been the January issue---its at home and I can''t check it now) had a list of the best PC game sales from 2000. It also had some highly acclaimed games that did not sell so well. NOLF was among them. I thought the number was closer to 100,000----maybe 80,000? My memory could be failing and I could be wrong. The numbers in other posts here just looked a bit low to me compared to what I remember seeing in the article. Monolith had a booth at the job fair at GDC 2001, so I guess they''re hiring. Do you consider The Sims a good game? The Sims and its expansion pack brought close to$100 *million* (not a typo) in revenue. I think it was well over $70 mil for the game and around$20 mil for the first expansion pack.

This is quite a rare accomplishment, though, especially for a PC game. Marketing was good for The Sims, but it was not marketing alone that sold that many copies. It was a good game----for the masses and profitability.

According to www.bwgame.com, Black & White already has 250,000 registered players, around 1 month after the game arrived in stores. Hard to say how many players have unique and legitimate paid-for copies.

If it took $70 million dollars to *make* Shenmue and Final Fantasy IX, shouldn''t Sega and Squaresoft expect to recoup their investment. I think the recent Final Fantasy games are expected to sell several million copies at$40 or more each, so revenue will be really nice. Again, quite rare, although these are console games.

I realize some of these statistics aren''t generally useful, but it does show what sometimes happens.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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Well, I despise PCG, though I still get it occaisonally. I didn''t see January''s, and I''m running from memory. So I''m probably off...but it still sold horribly.

At the other end of the scale is Derek Smart''s Battlecruiser 3000 AD. That game (horrible as it was, it wasn''t his fault) was butchered by Take-Two. However, he''s to blame for over hyping it like mad. Same with Daikatana.

BTW...Derek Smart is a cool guy. I never knew a game developer like him...

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I checked last night and it was the April issue of PCG. My memory was wrong. NOLF did indeed sell only about 36,000 copies *in 2000*. NOLF was released in November last year and so that 36,000 is basically sales for 2 months. I realize that most games sell most of the copies in a very short time following release, but perhaps that 36,000 will ease up somewhat over time. Still poor sales, though.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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