Selling Well?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by OgreMaster, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. OgreMaster

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    Hi.. One question comes in my mind: what can be considered "selling well" ?I mean,.. sold by month and sold during the game lifespam?

    thanks
     
  2. lakibuk

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    Why not define it for yourself? Before i released my game i was saying to myself that selling 10-15 copies/month would be a success. That was my goal. It turned out that since i started selling it 1 1/2 years ago, the average number of sales/month is 51. Now i defined that 30 sales/month means selling well. I soon will drop under this mark since i haven't done any more promotional work and won't do soon. To other developers 30 sales could be complete failure. It's all relative: How big is the traffic to your site, is your site established? Are you working in a team or alone?
     
  3. Jack Norton

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    I agree with Iakibuk. There isn't a GENERAL DEFINITION of "selling well" :D
    For myself, I consider selling well a game that sells 10/15 copies month (not referring to any of my games in particular, just a average value, in my opinion).
     
  4. baegsi

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    Yeah, it depends on what you expect out of your games. It correlates to what I asked at a different thread, how long until profit: the sooner you want to make profit/a living (and the more you have invest), the higher your rates have to be. So you can calculate it pretty easy for yourself: how much do you need per month, divide that by the profit per game and you get your target. Meeting this requirement would be good, everything above better.
     
  5. Ricardo C

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    For me, "selling well" means allowing me to live off the sales alone. In my case, that means 100 sales a month and up.
     
  6. Fry Crayola

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    I believe it also depends on the game and the development time, as well as your future plans. If you plan to work on a large game, you want your existing titles (if any) to provide substantial income to fund the development and marketing.

    If you spend two to three years making a game, the threshold for selling well could be considered higher than that of a three month title. It won't always work that way but in general you value your time, so what "sells well" is whatever you feel is a suitable reward for your efforts.

    I currently have a goal to sell 10,000 units of my game. That's a massive tally, but then it's a massive game which I've been working on for quite some time and expect to work on for some time still. That 10,000 units is a target which would allow me to work full time for three years on the income - more than enough to get started as a full time indie. However, I would consider 1,000 units (in the space of 12-18 months) to be selling well - that's around 60 copies a month as opposed to an astronomical 600. I'd be more than happy with that. It won't let me start full time, but it means there are people out there playing and enjoying my game, and I'm being happily rewarded for the time and effort I put into something that I absolutely love.

    My figures aren't the norm, and I've had plenty of advice and consideration from the members here. Many go in expecting 1,000 copies sold and quickly change their targets when they release things are more competitive than they first seem. At the same time, I'm a firm believer in setting lofty goals as a way of not settling, of continuing to strive.

    As an aside, I do have a side project which I'll be continuing work on whenever I fancy a breather from the main game (which doesn't look like happening any time soon), also used to try out techniques I want to adopt. And I'll be happy if I sell 100 copies in total of that, no matter how good it turns out. That will be a good seller as far as I am concerned, and it just highlights the relativity.

    How much do you want to sell, realistically? That's your good seller, and don't be afraid to change your mind.
     
  7. princec

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    My goals were simply to cover the hypothetical costs of living for all of us during development and pay for the hosting and tools. Nowhere near achieving that; I consider my mistake to be investing far too much time in the products. (Eg. rather than increase sales it is probably far, far easier to reduce development)

    Cas :)
     
  8. Draginol

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    Sales are pretty much dependent on distribution / marketing channels you can get in.

    If your game is just on your own website, then "selling well" would be to sell a few hundred copies of your game.

    Put it on some more popular portals and such and that number can get up to be over 1,000 per year.

    I'm not privy to other people's sales but in my experience, if you can sell more 5,000 units of your game electronically then you're doing pretty well.

    We sold about 15,000 copies of Galactic Civilizations (so far) for electronic download at $40 to $45 apiece. But over 120,000 copies were sold in a box at stores. So distribution matters a lot. That's why retail publishers get such a large cut of the pie when it comes to royalty negotiations.
     
  9. DanCon

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    As far as distribution is concerned, what is a reasonable number of sites to expect your game to be on. I'm sure its game dependent put it seems as if there are at least a thousand game sites now and growing.

    10 sales a month on one site is low but 10 a month on 300 sites and you are talking the numbers that Draginol is talking about


    Dan
    telltalegames.com
     
  10. VladR

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    Are these revenues of any sginificance when compared to revenues from all activities of StarDock ? I mean, if some indie doing only games for living reached these numbers, now that`d be helluva impressive ! But a big corporation like yours must consume these revenues very fast, or not ?
     
  11. Jack Norton

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    Your numbers look impressive :)
    Anyway I think we should talk about MONEY MADE, and not copies sold. You can sell 1000 copies with a royalty of 1$ per copy and 100 with 30$ net revenue... ;)
     
  12. milo

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    Jack -

    That is part of Brad's main point. He has stated before that Stardock made more combined revenue from the 15,000 electronic units than they did from the 120,000 retail units. The trick is that without the retail presence, the game most likely would not have been as popular or well-known overall, and they wouldn't have sold anywhere near 15,000 units through electronic distribution.

    --milo
    http://www.starshatter.com
     
  13. lakibuk

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    10 sales a month from one site is exceedingly high. We are talking about download sites,right? Most of the thousands (rather hundreds) of sites don't generate any downloads/sales at all.
     
  14. Jack Norton

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    I must admit that the first time I heard about it was on a game magazine (I think PC Review). Anyway, wasn't Gal Civ released some years ago and downloadable market was quite restricted compared to now?
     
  15. Fry Crayola

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    Draginol, they are some mightily impressive results.

    I take it those 120,000 copies were through a publishing deal where you get limited returns but plenty of exposure (it seems that way judging by responses)?
     
  16. OgreMaster

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    interesting... let´s take an example, 100 copies/month for how long? this number will drop down, won´t it? so 2000 copies in a year is a good selling?
     
  17. milo

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    Gal Civ was originally an OS/2 game (years ago). But Brad is talking about sales of the version that Stardock released in March of 2003. The official site is http://www.galciv.com. I found the release date on GameSpot here: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/galacticcivilizations/

    --milo
    http://www.starshatter.com
     

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