First Month Sales - Xeno Assault II

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Nexic, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Here is a run down of the first month of sales for Xeno Assault II:

    Sales
    Affiliate Sales: 25
    Direct Sales: 29
    Total Sales: 54

    Advertising Costs
    Download.com: $80
    Press Release: $80
    Google Adwords: $40

    Conversion Ratios (download -> sale)
    My own site (not including adwords): 2.1%
    Misc Affiliate Sites (ones that didnt mind sharing data): 1.34%
    Adwords: 0.25%
    Download.com: 0.18%

    Profits (approx)
    Affiliate Sales: $200
    Direct Sales: $540
    Sub Total: $740
    Costs: -$200
    Total: $540

    General Info
    After releasing Xeno Assault II I have to admit I didn't do much in the way of advertising. I sent out a newsletter to my previous customers, sent out a press release, put it on download.com and tried out adwords. Overall Download.com just about payed off, the press release payed off by a large margin (got a lot of traffic from news sites). However Adwords didn't pay off. I spent a good week trying different methods and changing and adapting things as I went. I just couldn't keep the CTR above that magic 0.5% and keep the ads targeted enough. I am still using adwords but for very very targetted keywords, which have very little impressions and daily clicks. Even things like 'shooting games' and 'galaga' performed badly for me.

    After a few days I contacted several small affiliate sites along with all the major portals. So far I should be selling on a non exclusive basis with BigFish Games, Reflexive Arcade and Alawar - although we are still in the process of getting things ready.

    I still have yet to do any kind of submissions with Shareware Tracker, so im pretty sure I can still get a handful of sales there .

    Despite not really earning huge amount in my first month, my hopes are still very high for Xeno Assault II. I have been approached by many CD publishers, of which I am working out deals, and as I mentioned before a few large portals will be selling. Also there are many many areas of advertising I have yet to try out. I am pretty pleased with the outcome so far (baring in mind Astral Phantom only ever sold 1 copy, and Arch Wing only ever sold 9).

    Lessons Learned
    1. Conversion Ratio varies an INSANELY on different sites. Which leads me to the conclusion that you have to cater for your community, and you have to build a community you can easily cater for. For example building a hardcore shooter then making a bejewelled clone is probably a bad move. Im pretty pleased that my small community gave me such a high conversion ratio, but I want to make that ratio even higher, and I am sure I can with better titles, keeping the same shooter theme as all my other games do.

    2. YOU HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT. Overall Xeno Assault II was probably a pretty good game, many people said they though it was better than most other shareware shooters out there. However its sales are not through the roof, like games such as Alien Shooter, Airstrike or Platypus. As far as I can tell the main reason for this is those three games offer something you cannot really get from any other game. I would argue that Xeno 2 is way too much like other galaga clones to really beat the competition. If however Xeno Assault 2 was themed around, lets say Turkeys, im certain it would have sold a lot better. Its a bit late now to start making changes like that, and I dont think my own user base would like 'Turkey Assault' too much. So basicly you need a gimmick, and when you think about it all the very best shareware games are usually very different from the competition (or they were the first of that kind at least, like bejwelled). My next game will have such a gimmick, whilst not straying from the hardcore shooter look.

    3. Don't ever do exclusive deals. (that was more of a Xeno Assault 1 lesson)

    Thanks for listening :)
     
    #1 Nexic, Jan 17, 2005
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2005
  2. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Thanks for the figures, you seem to be doing pretty well. I'd echo the exclusive deals comment, also your comment on gimmicks. I don't think there is another game in existence like my next one (Democracy) so hopefully it will do well.
    It seems that its true about download.coms conversion rate. I had trouble with adwords till I got the hang of it, now I get a 2% CTR, the advert wording is as important as your keywords, you need to do multiple runs of A/B testing to perfect it.
     
  3. Fantus

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    Fantastic information, kudos for making your sales figures public. I for one can learn a lot about this.
     
  4. gamemaker

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    Thanks for your sales figures - very interesting.
     
    #4 gamemaker, Jan 17, 2005
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2005
  5. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Hey, congratulations, you seem to be doing very well for a first month with little exposure :)
     
  6. RedKnight

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    congratulations from me too. :D

    and thanks for the info btw.
     
  7. z3lda

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    Hi,

    Can I get the info on who is writing your press release.
     
  8. Andy

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    First of all,

    Thanks a lot for sharing with these figures Nexic. This is appreciated.

    And now... Could you please explain why are they so low? Where are your returning customers?

    The question is very important for us because we also are planning the second release of our best game in the nearest future and saying honestly I'd be pretty dissappointed if at least every second of our previous customers wouldn't order the continue in the first month of release - I'd be afraid that something goes wrong with it.

    If I realize correctly that goes from your idea about not accepting the exclusive deals for the future - does that mean that you weren't selling the first Xeno from your own site at the beggining?

    I'd really appreciate to know the sales figures for the first Xeno - if you wouldn't mind me to ask - PM them if you prefer. Just to uderstand the whole picture.

    Thanks and Good Luck,
     
  9. Nexic

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    #9 Nexic, Jan 17, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  10. RiVEN

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    Thank you so much for posting your sales figures. These will be very helpful.

    And congrats on decent sales for your first month. Hope they quadruple for next month ;]
     
  11. Andy

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    Thanks for explanation Nexic.

    Got it know. I didn't realize how close were that two releases :D

    Pretty nice sales figures for separated game release as it mostly goes for your case. Congrats!!!
     
  12. radishan

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    Thanks for sharing that prized info.

    Do you expect the number of sales to grow, fade away or stay about the same in the next several months (based on previous experience)?
     
  13. Nexic

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    I expect that direct sales for the next 2 months will be lower but not a huge amount as I am only just placing it on the many free sites that are out there. However I expect my affiliate sales to be very much higher for the next two months as I am soon to appear on BigFish Games, Reflexive Arcade and Alawar. However after those two months I expect sales to get pretty slow again, as I doubt I'll stay in the top spots on any of those portals.

    Im pretty confident I can earn over $3000 over the next two months from the portals alone.

    The good thing is that after those two months are up I'll probably only be 1 month away from finishing my next game :)
     
  14. berserker

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    Thanks for your data. I believe I am in pretty same situation with exclusive publishing as you are. I hope making it on my own will bring me more significant results.
    BTW, you haven't included protection software in your expences. Which one do you use?
    ________
    CX-9
     
    #14 berserker, Feb 14, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  15. dima

    Original Member

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    Interesting to know...

    I was thinking about doing something with Alawar, because I don't have any time trying anything on my own, but I might have second thoughts about it now. Is going solo best way there is? I though that having a publisher like Alawar would get good results fast, and then I could build up user base and own site traffic for next game.

    Good work with XAII though.
     
  16. oddvark

    Original Member

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    hey 1K a month! cool! great work. now i'm motivated too.
     
  17. berserker

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    I thought so too, but it appears that your game must be super hit to make your publisher do some promoting. Otherwise it will be just junk on it's website.
    ________
    LIST OF AMC ENGINES SPECIFICATIONS
     
    #17 berserker, Feb 15, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  18. Adrian Cummings

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    That's a good start for the 1st month at least.
     
  19. KNau

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    Perhaps it's publisher related. I've never heard of anyone making their fortune (or even a decent income) on Alawar - can anyone here refute this?
     
  20. dima

    Original Member

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    I am paying close attention here... Was really thinking about doing exclusive deal with Alawar, but maybe its not the best idea... the time thought to do all the marketting work is something that not everyone has. Anything can be done better here than going through Alawar?

    Very interested in knowing...
     

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