Sign in to follow this  
lopenka

sales numbers for tactical games

Recommended Posts

Hi there, I am trying to make rough estimate about how many copies can I hope to sell when I finish my game. I was thinking about looking on sale numbers of other simmilar games and start from here. It maybe isn't best way but I don't know any better, since I never done anything simmilar before. My game will 3D tactical action rpg game, simmilar to fallout tactics. So if anybody knows about simmilar games and their sale numbers (not necesarily AAA titles like fallout tactix and commandos) let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simple answer: Most likely none or very few sales. Nearly every homebrew game is a commercial failure. Knowing nothing about your product, the statistics say that it is safe to assume it will fail.



Long answer: Exactly how many sales you get are derived from many factors.

How many people know about your game? Even if you made the perfect game, people will not buy it if they don't know it exists.

How much are you spending on advertising? It is common for major titles to spend more money on advertising than they spend on software development.

How effective is your advertising? Are you hitting the target market? Are you effectively marketing? How much interest are the advertisements generating?

Once you have driven traffic to your site (or put your information on a site with traffic), what are you actually trying to sell them? If it is not compelling they will not want to buy. Once they are exposed to it, do they actually like the product? If they like the product, will they accept the price you are offering at?

There are many articles in the reference section of the site, such as "how to get more sales for less work by Steve Pavlina, or shareware professionals vs shareware amateurs by the same author.





Most homebrew games don't advertise. When they do, they often market to the wrong crowd. When they get the right people, they will often pitch their stuff poorly. The few who advertise enough and manage to drive the right people to their site often fail due to bad presentation. The few who present will will often fail to entice them to buy. Of those who still succeed, customers get lost while deciding to buy or otherwise convert to a sale. Of those who want to buy, a portion of them will be unable to buy due to site navigation issues or technological barriers. If there is anybody left at this point in the cycle, you have a sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lets say I have bunch of skilled people and enough money to fund small team of professionals for year (and half maybe). I plan to finish it in one year and offer complete product to publisher (whether I will succeed or not is not an issue right now) so all advertising will be probably his responsibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
I plan to finish it in one year and ... advertising will be probably [the publisher's] responsibility.

Well, now the question isn't how many copies you can sell but whether or not you'll be able to get your game published by a publisher. Then the number of copies that can be sold is also the publisher's responsibility. So all you have to do is get the publishing deal. FAQ 11: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson11.htm. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for reply, I remember reading similar (maybe it was that one) FAQ few months ago. It is interesting reading and a must for everyone new to industry :)
But I would really like to have some approximate number of what can I hope for. I know it is dependent on lot of stuff but knowing how much copies of similar games were sold could be a good start

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
But I would really like to have some approximate number of what can I hope for.

The realistic number is zero [edit] to twenty copies [/edit].
But if you want to hope for a million copies, go ahead. There's nothing wrong with having hopes.
Edit: To put it another way: the higher the number you hope for, the lower the likelihood of achieving that number.

[Edited by - tsloper on October 13, 2007 1:49:04 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by tsloper
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
But I would really like to have some approximate number of what can I hope for.

The realistic number is zero [edit] to twenty copies [/edit].
But if you want to hope for a million copies, go ahead. There's nothing wrong with having hopes.
Edit: To put it another way: the higher the number you hope for, the lower the likelihood of achieving that number.


sure, but when I have publisher, isn't some "minimum" number of copies little higher than 1-20 ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
Quote:
Original post by tsloper
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
But I would really like to have some approximate number of what can I hope for.

The realistic number is zero [edit] to twenty copies [/edit].
But if you want to hope for a million copies, go ahead. There's nothing wrong with having hopes.
Edit: To put it another way: the higher the number you hope for, the lower the likelihood of achieving that number.


sure, but when I have publisher, isn't some "minimum" number of copies little higher than 1-20 ?


Publishers are in it for money. If you are going to ask them for any funding, it is their job to ensure that the game will sell hundreds of thousands of copies. If they aren't completely convinced of this, they will not accept your pitch.

Because of this, it is very difficult for many small businesses to get a publisher.


As always, buyer beware.

Just because they accept your project doesn't mean they will market it. Occasionally publishers will accept a job and then, realizing that they will have a nearly impossible time selling it, will only "market" your product by burying it with a list of thousands of other products.



There is no way to guarantee a minimum number of sales. If any such guarantee existed, wise investors would leap at the guaranteed return on investment. That doesn't exist in the real world.

Business is all about risk. One risk is that nobody will be interested. Another risk is that you never reach the people who would be interested.



The lowest risk way to ensure a successful marketing campaign is to spend millions of dollars. As we were entering beta on my last project, our team was told the marketing budget. It included a $3M television campaign across the US (for one week!), a $5M print campaign in basically all the game magazines, and $1M online campaign.

It is common for marketing to cost more than the cost of development.


So, if you have the money to develop your product and the money to market your product, then you can afford to pay the publisher directly for their services. Very few companies have that kind of money.

If you are looking for a publisher to advance you sales money or to pay for marketing, then you are hoping that they will take a huge risk. You will still pay for the services, meaning they get all the sales money until they recover the money they invested in your product. As an unknown you will need a really, really, really good product in order for them to accept the risk that they won't recover their investment. Small publishers and online-only aggregate resellers will often accept lower quality work, but the lower their standard the less they will invest in your success. The lowest end aggregators will accept any project, and include it in an encyclopedic list of products that nobody will ever look at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oh... I thought that when publisher have some game, he will automatically try to sell as much copies as possible. I am still little naive :) thanks for throwing me into real world :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
oh... I thought that when publisher have some game, he will automatically try to sell as much copies as possible.

Yes. The publisher will try to sell as many as they can.
IF you can sell your game to a publisher.
That is a VERY big if.

The number of copies that a publisher can sell depends on many things. Most importantly, which territories does the publisher sell into, and what platform is the game on.
And what sales model are we talking about - packaged products that sell in stores? Or downloadable products.
You have asked a huge hypothetical question that assumes we understand what you're envisioning, and that assumes the world is black and white with very few shades of gray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by tsloper
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
oh... I thought that when publisher have some game, he will automatically try to sell as much copies as possible.

Yes. The publisher will try to sell as many as they can.
IF you can sell your game to a publisher.
That is a VERY big if.

The number of copies that a publisher can sell depends on many things. Most importantly, which territories does the publisher sell into, and what platform is the game on.
And what sales model are we talking about - packaged products that sell in stores? Or downloadable products.
You have asked a huge hypothetical question that assumes we understand what you're envisioning, and that assumes the world is black and white with very few shades of gray.


I am sorry my question was so hypothetical :) I am afraid I don't know what publisher will I have (if any) and what will be his strategy. All I can say now is that it will be probably only for windows. So I think you can't help me more than you already did :)


Quote:
Original post by Kambiz
[attention]Sales Stats: Tribal Trouble


Thanks, that is interesting. One thing that makes me wonder is, how it is possible that they have over 100.000 downloads for $30 and yet only $60.000 income. Am I missing something? Their expenses weren't that high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They only sold 1,500 units. The other number is the number of downloads without paying the full price (either to unlock the full game or to purchase the full game if separate from the downloadable demo).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lopenka
I am afraid I don't know what publisher will I have (if any) and what will be his strategy. All I can say now is that it will be probably only for windows.
Of course you don`t know the publisher yet. You won`t get into negotiations until you show them something finished and playable.
As soon as you reach that stage, you gotta find the one who accepts the same type of game that you produce. That just narrowed down the search to selected fews.
Of those selected fews, you have to persuade them, that your game will do better than comparable games and you must have a some pretty good arguments.

Only then, you might try to decide if you accept their offer (little advance or no advance at all).


Quote:
Original post by lopenka
Thanks, that is interesting. One thing that makes me wonder is, how it is possible that they have over 100.000 downloads for $30 and yet only $60.000 income. Am I missing something? Their expenses weren't that high.
Those were just downloads, not the actual sales numbers. But if you went for online portal, it could be actually very similar. Most of portals offer some kind of membership where you buy a game for about $6. As a newbie you won`t be able to negotiate better conditions, so you`ll end up with 25% royalty rate, which equals $1.5 per copy for bigger part of your sales. Now that`s something - $1.5 even though most of the time the game is advertised as costing $20, yet in the end most of the sales usually comes from these membership accounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this