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melissaw

How do you sell games and what kind of fees do you pay?

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Hey guys and girls,

 

I work for a a startup(http://selz.com), and we're doing some research into the indie gaming industry. Basically our product lets you sell your physical or digital products really easily on your blog, website or Facebook page - it's pretty slick and very nice to use if I do say so myself smile.png

 

So I was wondering what kind of challenges indie gamers come across when it comes time to sell your games. Do you have issues with regulations of third party marketplaces at all? And what's the average fee you'd be paying - is it worth it? Do many of you sell on your own sites? And are many of you juggling a full time job as well as creating stuff on the side? We want game developers to make a living doing what they love - what do you think currently stand in the way of that?

 

It'd be really interesting to hear your thoughts - I imagine you'd all have quite different views on what works for you and what doesn't, but I'm sure there'd be some common problems too.

 

Cheers,

Melissa

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Selling on my own site, there's an initial one-off cost in getting a payment system set up (which could be $30 - $thousands depending on your tech), and then about 1-3% + $0.30 per transaction in payment processing fees (and then the cost of hosting the files for the client to download).

 

Your fees of 5.0%+$0.25 are pretty acceptable I guess smile.png Having no initial setup costs is nice, and I imagine that's a drawcard for non-coders.

Do you also provide free hosting for digital downloads? If so, that's pretty cool.

Also, is that $0.25 in AUD?

 

Selling on a big store like Steam, I'm not sure, but I would expect them to charge about 30% per transaction (and free file hosting).

That's a much bigger cut, but you'll also get many, many more customers through their store than you will on your own page, so you'll probably end up making more money on the whole.

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Hi,

 

Personally, I tend towards browser games and micro-transactions. However, the first difficulty arises because the big portals use their own currencies (facebook, kongregate, etc.). This is combined with:

1. Extra work to interface with the APIs

2. Huge Fees (usually 30%)

Besides of this, gamers tend to be young and extremely stingy. This why I like what edgebee.com does with trialpay. There, you can also earn in-game money with external offers (like taking a survey, buying a product, etc.). I think this is a very smart combination.

 

Cheers,

Arnaud

Edited by xarnaudx

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Hi guys, 

 

Thanks for your replies. Yes Hodgman, that's right, we don't charge to host your digital downloads - hooray :) And the 25c is in AUD. And Arnaud, that's interesting, I didn't realise some places used their own currency like that...

 

I guess it's just about finding that balance hey, and whether as a developer you actually want to maintain your own blog/site/community. I know it's more work to do that, however it seems like in the long run it's really in your best interest to cultivate your own following. Reasons for this being:

- You have more ownership and connection of your community and buyers, whereas if you sell through say Steam, you probably don't get the email address for that customer and there's less loyalty in the transaction as there would be if it was bought off your own blog.

- You can sell straight from your site and therefore you don't have to pay such high third party marketplace fees (around 30% seems standard! that's crazy)

 

So it seems like the best thing to do would be to sell on Steam as well as sell on your own site? If you do that then you'll get the big audience from Steam, but also have the opportunity to build a good foundation for your next game! It seems really basic but being able to do things like add your customers to your mailing list so that you can let them know about your next project is really valuable, and it can be the key from getting out of relying on third party marketplaces to distribute your products.

 

Lots to think about!

 

:) Melissa

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