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Read January 05, 2006, 05:26:25 PM #0
solidcube

Sales Figures For Shmups

Like the title says.  I'm wondering what the sales figures are for shmups and other small-press games.

Assuming they're good quality, is the ching enough for one guy to get by on? 

It's kind of a delicate question, so I apologize in advance if people don't want to talk about it.  PM me if you want.
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Read January 05, 2006, 11:25:34 PM #1
2dguy

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

This is a blanket question and is almost impossible to answer. Regardless how good or bad the game is, if you don't have a budget for marketing you won't sell in big numbers. And if your game does happen to be picked up by a portal, that sounds good at first until you realize alot of your proift has just been given away. But they do the marketing for you.

So one guy here might report he's selling 100 copies a month, another might say 10-20. It really depends on the amount of work done, after the game is released.
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Read January 06, 2006, 06:05:38 AM #2
Nexic

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

With the income from Xeno Assault II and Desperate Space I would just about be scrapping a poor living if I didn't have any other income to supplement them (I do some part time freelance work on top). I would guess that if all 5 of my games I have done were as good sellers as those two then I would probably be making a decent living out of them.

Direct sales (sales through my website only) are 15 - 20 a month, which is like $340 a month on average. Luckily I do make more than that through affiliates and portals.


I've being going 2 years now, and I realise I don't have much to show for it yet. But selling shooters and making money is still possible. Every so often a shooter gets lucky squeezes into the RealArcade Top 10 and makes a nice sum of cash. Also the Mac market is still fairly untapped as far as small games are concerned, and most who cater for them make much more than I, simply because there are still lots of free mac game download sites about with good exposure.

So my advice is to not make crap games like I did and make them cross platform.
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Read January 06, 2006, 06:30:38 PM #3
2dguy

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

"So my advice is to not make crap games like I did and make them cross platform."

Well, if my "crap games" are close or as good as yours mentioned I'll be happy!!
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Read January 06, 2006, 06:32:37 PM #4
paladin

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

I was thinking the same thing Smiley

your games aren't as bad as you make them out to be Nexic.  you should enjoy the success you've acheived thus far and stop beating yourself up.  some of us would be overjoyed to sell ONE copy of our games.


needs more particles...
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Read January 06, 2006, 08:52:01 PM #5
Nexic

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

I am proud of myself for what I've done, but it's so hard to be totally happy when there are so many better games out there. It especially beats me up when I see a freeware game that beats mine ^.^
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Read January 16, 2006, 01:21:07 PM #6
d000hg

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Well how many games have you made and how long have you been doing it? Stands to reason you'll get better over time. And indie games tend to sell for a longish period of time, unlike the brief rush of retail titles - so if you make another 3 games your existing ones could still be selling just as well by then, or even better if marketing/publicity is the bottleneck.

It's cool to find someone making money - are you a lone developer or in a team?
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Read January 16, 2006, 01:40:10 PM #7
princec

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Don't worry Nexic, I've been writing proper shooters for 3 years now and released 4 complete games (2 of which are still on sale), and so far I've not even made enough money to cover the hosting and tools I paid for at the beginning. And most of the tools I use were free  rolleyes1

Cas Smiley
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Read January 17, 2006, 06:42:03 AM #8
d000hg

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

But is that 'cos the games suck, or you haven't promoted them well?
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Read January 17, 2006, 11:17:45 AM #9
RedKnight

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

But is that 'cos the games suck, or you haven't promoted them well?

Neah
I wouldn't say it suck or promoted well.

Because I think it depend on how much to wanted to earn with your games.
"IF" I can make money with my game
say I get 250 usd a month.
I'll be very happy with it, in this 3 world standard country that I'm in with.  Grin




Be Attitude for Gains
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Read January 17, 2006, 12:22:19 PM #10
d000hg

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

The fact that I can't find what games you're selling means they are badly promoted. Neither your signature or your profile links to your website. Your signature can get you quite a few people visiting your site if you can make a 1-line advert for your gme.
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Read January 17, 2006, 12:40:40 PM #11
Matt McFarland

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

FWIW, I never heard of jaggedblade nor puppygames until I met both nexic and cas.  Had I heard about those companies before I would have probably owned one of their games before meeting them!!


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
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Read January 17, 2006, 01:29:07 PM #12
princec

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

We're very badly promoted Smiley We can't afford any advertising, and when we have tried advertising, it's always just been a hopeless waste of money. Webmasters seem to think they can charge $100 for a banner ad for a week but to make even close to returning that kind of money in sales we'd have to get over 2,500 hits on the ad and banners simply don't provide that sort of click-through. Adwords was a bit better but our company credit card expired so we couldn't pay for them any more, hehe. Must sort that out.

Considering that Puppygames has been in the news for the last 3 years we have remarkably few website hits. We've been featured in printed articles, all over Sun.com, on many of the big indie game sites, in blogs, etc. but in the end the exposure is always brief.

I may add a link to Puppygames in my sig here now I've been around for a week. Didn't want to go p1m1ng my w4rez straight away, y'see Smiley

FYI Puppygames has, of all time, ever, of all our games, sold a total of 500 units in 3 years. ####ing hell.

Cas Smiley
« Last Edit: January 17, 2006, 03:07:48 PM by Matt McFarland »
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Read January 17, 2006, 01:48:24 PM #13
the2bears

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Cas,

Just curious... why are you not selling "Super Dudester" any more?  Shit... only 500.  Angry  Are sales sporadic or slow but steady? 

Anyway, I still tip my hat to you for making cool games and making what you want.

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read January 17, 2006, 02:44:32 PM #14
princec

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Dudester sold 7 copies or something in I don't know how many thousands of downloads, so it's gone back to the drawing board for a big tweak.

Sales are basically very slow constantly. We only get about 30 downloads a day now of all games on all platforms put together.

Cas Smiley
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Read January 18, 2006, 10:55:57 AM #15
d000hg

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

That is a bit crap. Good luck with it though and don't give up.
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Read January 23, 2006, 12:43:32 PM #16
Nexic

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Wow Cas, I thought your site had more traffic than 30 downloads per day. From number of direct copies you sold of Ultratron I thought it would be much higher. These days even my crappy site manages over 100 per day, perhaps you should consider some more SEO? Truth be told I was on about 10 downloads per day before I started with that 6 months ago.
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Read January 25, 2006, 04:23:09 PM #17
Matt McFarland

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Well, Cas has got some good games too!  I've read over on indiegamer that Mr Cas pays a pretty penny for his website.  Perhaps you could consider dropping some of your overhead and turning the dropped expense into an advertising budget?  Just a thought Smiley


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
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Read January 27, 2006, 06:53:21 PM #18
gamesmad

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

If you can convince people that your game is the best, and provide them with cool looking screenshots to back up your story, you can sell your game to a couple of people a month quite easily.  Just remember, the harder you work on the game after completion, the more you are going to get out of it.

Will
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Read January 27, 2006, 08:40:27 PM #19
the2bears

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

... you can sell your game to a couple of people a month quite easily...

I'm a bit at a loss how that helps unless you've got another job and you don't care about the income. 

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read January 28, 2006, 11:07:25 AM #20
gamesmad

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

I was saying that you can EASILY achieve that, and that you can push it almost as far as you like by spreading the word, or advertising on other sites.  But I wouldnt say that making a shmup is teh best way to earn your living...

Will
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Read January 28, 2006, 01:02:36 PM #21
Nexic

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

Gamesmad have you ever sold a game via shareware before?

I can tell you it's not EASY to achieve that. When you say 'you can push it as far as you want' you are right. But the more you post in order to get exposure, the less money you will make per hour spent doing so.  I would guess that unless you know of lots of large communties that are filled with *paying* shooter customers then this effort would probably yield you less than 0.20c per hour.

Advertising is probably even worse. In almost all cases advertising will put you at a loss if you don't have a large catalog of games. It is very rare indeed to find a slot that actually breaks even or makes a profit. And even if you do find a profit making slot, quite often that slot will have such a low number of impressions (I have found that the lower the impressions usually means the more value for money) that the profit per month is tiny.



What you are saying reminds me of how I thought it was before I actually tried it for myself.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 01:09:04 PM by Nexic »

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Read January 28, 2006, 06:37:26 PM #22
gamesmad

Re: Sales Figures For Shmups

I have actually sold a couple of shareware games in my time, and I generally find that getting a couple of sales a month IS infact very easy.  But then, Im still at school, so I dont really think of money made : time spent ratio, just how much I make.

Will
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