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Thread: Possible to reach annual income of $100.000 with indie development?

  1. #1
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    Default Possible to reach annual income of $100.000 with indie development?

    Hello,

    I have been thinking for many years to developing computer games on my own. One day, i would like to go fulltime with indie games development.

    However, to be able to survive, in the area where I live, I know, that my annual income should be at least USD 100.000.

    I dont need to get very rich, however, I wish to have my own house, and one car, and to provide financial stability to my family. Have you heard about anybody developing indie games, that would reach the above mentioned annual income? Indeed, are my wishes to reach annual income of $100.000 realistic? Or is it easily achievable?

    Thank you and have a nice day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunkai View Post
    Indeed, are my wishes to reach annual income of $100.000 realistic? Or is it easily achievable?
    No.

    You need $100.000/year to live in Slovakia??
    According to Wikipedia the average pay is $522/month.
    Karl Hofer
    Blueskied Games (main site), Gratis Spiele (german site)

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    You may take a look at the sales stats posted on gameproducer.net, for example:
    http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthr...me+sales+stats

    You'll see that 100K is pretty hard to reach.

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    Didnt Dweep earn Steve a 6 figure annual income (partially indie ) ? but it's xtreamely difficult now days for an indie to reach such a target.

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    100,000Â¥ maybe.
    Mike Kasprzak | sykhronics entertainment | Blog | twitter | Ludum Dare
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    Expect a too low to pay your bills (whatever they amount to) income from your first indie game.

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    Your question is very much the same as "Is it possible to get $100.000 on lotto?" and the answer would be... "It is certanly possible!"

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    This is like saying "how successful will my business be?", it really doesnt mean anything because YOUR business isnt the same as anyone else's.

    You *can* make that kind of money, much that businesses *can* make billions.

    GameHouse sold for 20+ million for example, off the back of a hell of a lot of games.

    If you can make 100 games, I'm sure you can generate that kind of money. For instance, I'm sure miniclip.com is generating that kind of revenue at least. So can you create as many games as miniclip? If so, yes.. its reasonable to assume you could generate that kind of revenue.

    Its the whole "how long is a peice of string" thing.

    Personally, I would suggest that you need to look at your motivation for doing something like indie development. If it is a monetary reason, the smart thing is to test the waters by getting some projects under your belt. Basically, invest some of your spare-time in shipping products, then after your products are making enough to support you THEN make the shift.

    For myself, I dont really care if I make money off my products in terms of return on investment, as long as I get better at making games. At some point I think that will tip the balance into profit as I get more savvy about what I make and how I make it. But its a long-term investment.

    I already have plenty of shipped games though, so I know I can ship them, I just dont have a feel for doing it indie style yet.
    www.mindflock.com - social AI-based games

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    The miracle man Morris goodman says "man becomes what he thinks of " . If you have such a superhuman & indomitable faith that you can make million by being indie, then it's definitely possible no matter how hard it is in the perspective of others.

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    If that's the case, then forget you guys... I want that million bucks myself... and an indoor swiming pool.
    Mike Kasprzak | sykhronics entertainment | Blog | twitter | Ludum Dare
    Smiles + HD (It's on everything™, IGF finalist, won a car) | ??? (2013) | MORE: Book, PuffBOMB, Towlr
    Hey you what's up yo? Kickin' it oldskool style!

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    Indeed, are my wishes to reach annual income of $100.000 realistic? Or is it easily achievable?
    I think this depends very much what kind of resources you can use. Cliff (Positech/Kudos) has probably made one of the greatest deirectly sold games, and he has been working for ages in AAA world and as an Indie. I don't know how Kudos is doing, but I suppose his gross sales are going steadily towards 100K direction. Reduce taxes, hosting, ad expenses etc. etc. and you'll get a picture. It's really tough business out here.

    And I suppose Joka meant this sales stats page - there's quite a lot of information about how much games can sell.

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    Been going nearly 3 years and nothing close to $100k. Yep there are a fair few developers doing that well, but a lot of them started out quite a while ago when things were a little easier. Overall my guess would be for every 1 dev making $100k/year there are probably 20 who are making next to nothing. And of those making that much they probably had to survive for 1-5 years without much income before they started doing well.

    So if you can survive for a few years without any income then you might be able to do it but it's basically a gamble.
    Last edited by Nexic; 09-28-2006 at 05:28 AM.

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    Red face

    Name:  100k.jpg
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    took more than a year, sadly.
    Thats just through plimus though.

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    cliff you are a cruel person

    Even Asteroid miner sold in 2-figure number? ... ok I realized that could mean 10 or 99 which is quite a difference...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jankoM View Post
    cliff you are a cruel person

    Even Asteroid miner sold in 2-figure number? ... ok I realized that could mean 10 or 99 which is quite a difference...
    so he said

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunkai View Post
    and to provide financial stability to my family.
    This is the hard part. Entrepreneurship and stability don't always go hand in hand. Sure you can make 100k, but it helps a lot if you're in the position to take a few risks. If you already have bills/family to support etc... its hard to depend on making any particular amount.
    Steve Verreault - Twilight Games
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    "Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.” - Oscar Wilde

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    honestly, considering how hard/changing the market is now, I would never attempt it if I had a family. Unless you have savings enough to go on for 2-3 years

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    Uau, I posted this thread today morning, and now I see, 16 replies to it. :-) Thank you all.

    Lakibuk, yep, our yearly net income is probably as you stated. Living in Bratislava is much more expensive than reported annual net income. However, this is the amount of money I would like to earn in the future, and therefore, i was curious, if it is realistic to achieve such money by making something that is funny and that I like.

    Thank you for reply,
    with regards,
    Rene.

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    You should read Jeff Tunells advice. www.makeitbigingames.com
    www.mindflock.com - social AI-based games

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    Just to be more specific...

    http://makeitbigingames.com/blog/?p=20
    www.mindflock.com - social AI-based games

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    Hmm let's see 100 games times 10 bucks = 1000 right? and then I need to get 100 players which is 100 x 1000 = 100,000 right? Okay so i need to make at least 100 games... okay i'm on game number 1!

    Keith

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    EDIT: Nevermind, misquoted.

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    Venture Africa will make about this amount for Pocketwatch Games in its first year. Contractors receive about half that and the other half is going towards growing the company, though, so I haven't seen but a trickle yet. With Venture Arctic I hope to start seeing some significant income though.

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    You are actually in a good place to put a TEAM together to make casual games. Find some talented people... Pay them Slovakian wages and sell for U.S. money in the casual market. Then you stand a chance at making $100,000.

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    Zoombapub, hello..

    What a wonderful article. I am going to read it all, thank you for it.

    Have a nice day,
    Rene.

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    Paybo, yeah, that is an idea I wast thinking about in the past.. :-) However, I wish to work alone.. I can not explain it. I see it wonderful, to be skilled enough to know C++, graphics, to make up a game on my own, that people would admire, and moreover to do marketing, everything on my own, exactly as I wish.. :-)

    At this moment I work as IT manager, I lead a department, I report directly to the president of the organization, but I see, that real hapiness is in having flexible worktime, and to have free tuesday morning if I want to.. And to make more money than I make now. :-) There is simply nothing better than being indie developer.. :-)

    In Bratislava, a capital of Slovakia, here are two big game companies. I could have been hired by both of them. In one of them they wanted me to be a script programmer and designer, in another I should have worked as special efx programmer.

    The point is, even if I work in game development industry, if the job starts being monotonous and boring, all the hapiness from work diminishes. Therefore, I feel, Indie game development is the most beautiful work that you can do anywhere in the world, even on Hawaii, or on Antarctica, well, anywhere where internet connection is. :-)

    Have a nice day,
    Rene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffski View Post
    Name:  100k.jpg
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    took more than a year, sadly.
    Thats just through plimus though.
    Thanks for sharing, everyone is so tight-lipped about money it drives me crazy. The money you make is a big reason you work at all, why is it such a secret? And it is good to discuss this stuff to see how you are doing compared to others in your industry. We've mostly been doing casual games over the last 10 years.

    My income is sporadic and I have been doing this 16 years as BeachWare.
    The most I've made is about $150K.
    The least is about $30K.
    The average around $60K.
    I've had about 3 years over $100K

    When times are good I invest a lot of that money back into the company. Okay, let's get some other real numbers!

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Gilleland; 09-28-2006 at 02:00 PM.

  28. #28

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    Of course, it's possible to do $100K. You just need one very, very good game or a number of solid good games (both are business models used by people who have done it).

    I have been doing this for 11 years.
    The most I've made is (many times $100K).
    The least is $1K (first year).
    The average is (many times $100K).
    I've had 9 years over $100K

    I invest some money back into new versions and new games, but most into the stock market (which I find, frankly, to be a more reliable way to increase capital than the hit driven nature of casual game business).
    Thomas Warfield
    Goodsol Development Inc.
    http://www.goodsol.com
    A Shareware Life

  29. #29

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    Stock market has continuously reached new high worldwide recently . I have remained in 90% cash position just in case we have another melt down like 87 or 97 .

    Whatever goes up will come down .

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    Default congrats & thanks

    To Cliffski & Goodsol. I think Cliffskis model of going direct to consumer is admirable, possibly tough to duplicate without some kind of serious linkbait circa 2006, but a good idea.

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