Sales figures and how successful promotions are for indie games are hard to come by. As a result I really appreciate it when people take the time to write up and publish their numbers (and overall experience) from selling their games.
FINDING GAME SALES DATA IS NOTORIOUSLY HARD. Video games have traditionally been a “hits driven” industry – the majority of revenue for a publisher comes from a handful of big commercial successes. With so many non-hits being made, publishers try to keep sales numbers a trade secret, as the more disappointing figures can be worrisome to investors. This trend has made discussing sales figures an uncomfortable topic, akin to talking about your salary.
Their write up on Dustforce sales figures is absolutely brilliant and has nice graphs like this one. It’s worth the read.
With any luck, we’ll see more developers post their results. Even if a game didn’t work out as well as expected, sharing the numbers and one did can be helpful to others.
That’s sales though. What about promotion?
Polymer is an iOS game that recently saw success. The person behind the game explored some promotional services to get the game on people’s mobiles and the results are interesting. An analysis of the game’s promotion is worth reading because it covers not only which promotion service worked best but it also goes into how Polymer changed based on player feedback.
To fix this problem, I have decided to switch to charging $2.99 with just cosmetic IAP’s instead of charging $1.99 with optional gameplay IAP’s. This is what I plan to do from now on. I do not believe that gameplay IAP’s are evil in any way, or that they are wrong. They work for many games and are clearly very successful. But unless something goes terribly wrong, I just want to make premium games without any possible way someone could see my game design as corrupted.