I used to publish games sales stats years ago, but haven’t for an age. I thought given its 3 years old, it might be interesting to look at the sales stats for Kudos: Rock Legend. KRL is a sim/management game based loosely around my experiences of being in a garage band. You choose members of a rock band through auditions, put together the songs, buy the equipment, book the gigs, and basically try and go from the garage to the stadium. It’s a 2D sim game I released in 2007, and I sold it both direct, and through some casual portals. The game was not a hit, but it wasn’t a disaster either.
The costs involved in the game were not huge, roughly $3,000, which is peanuts by game production standards, and it’s even pretty darned low by modern positech standards (GSB cost way way way more than that :D). Obviously, that doesn’t include my time, or marketing expenses, and the game took about 6 months fulltime in direct development, plus quite a bit of time post-release to promote and sell it.
Here are the sales stats: (click to enlarge)
The total income from the game is $51,174.43. That probably sounds pretty good. I’m sure peoples immediate response is “$50k for 6 months is $100k a year! But it is not so. Deduct the $3k, then deduct at least another $3k marketing/ads. Now deduct roughly 10% for payment processing and bandwidth. Now another 20% in corporate tax. That’s… less. Don’t forget the post-sales means it’s more than 6 months anyway.
But the good news is that long tail. Looky at the far right. The game continues to sell a few copies each month. If you have 10 games like that, then you are making a living (not an awesome one, but not a bread-and-water one either). KRL is not a whizz bang 3D game, so it doesn’t age quite as badly as most games will. I suspect in another years time it will still be earning 60-70% of what it does now.
KRL is not a huge ambitious mega-project like GSB. A single dedicated coder can do a game like that in a reasonable length of time. If you want to know what it’s like, try the demo.
And to anticipate some questions:
Yes, it is in retail in russia, I recall that making a few thousand dollars. It also made a few thousand on the casual game portals, although my cut is tiny.
The game is not on steam, they have only accepted one of my games (GSB). It is on sale through impulse, but doesn’t sell hugely there. I’d say how much, but their reporting is down right now :(