so, year 2011: downloadables are dead?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jack Norton, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Henri Karapuu

    Henri Karapuu New Member

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    I was also talking about iTunes AppStore for iOS. You cannot sell the same
    game in SKU sense directly, but you can port the title for other platforms.

    My point was not about relying solely on a 3rd party distrubution channel. It
    was relying solely on 3rd party distribution channels.

    And I wasn't saying that relying on 3rd parties is the best way for all games
    and all teams, but it may be best way for some games and some teams.

    And also that giving blanket statements about it being a bad idea in all cases
    is maybe not fair, even if you have strong evidence that it is bad idea in your
    case.

    I'm relieved that you have decided to restore my life expectancy back to
    normal :)
     
  2. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well you did say it was suicide so I think that counts as a never. :)

    I think the point you're missing is that setting up a website and a plimus account might take very little time, but from there you'll get not a single sale. Turning that website into cash is a full time job, but you've got one already - developing the next game.
     
  3. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Yes setting up my site to sell my own games was pretty easy, but getting the traffic and mailing list is the part that would take a lot of work and isn't something I've invested time in because the portals always did so well for me (99% or my sales). I'd like that to change in time as I make more niche games, but I still don't mind using a wide range of different portals/platforms if they are still easy enough to use and make good money.
     
  4. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Ah ok, that's fine. Indeed, I have had some of my games ported to iOS/Android.

    I understand now what others are saying, probably I'm better at PR/marketing than I thought then, since for everyone else selling direct is so hard...! :eek:

    Anyway, ahem I was wondering if anyone has an opinion about my original question, about downlodables vs online games... :D
     
  5. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I've found most of my income comes from my website. Portals sell well in terms of number of copies but their prices are far too low and beside, most of them take an important cut.
    Also it's impossible to get players' emails if you sell via a portal.

    As for online vs downloadable, I wouldn't know as I neved tried online - it seems to me it's harder to maintain an online game.
     
  6. terin

    Original Member

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    I don't really get this thread Jack :p

    You have a fairly popular site for your niche, don't you? Are your numbers down by so much as to claim death to downloadables?

    I think in the PC space portals are a stronger % of revenue than they ever have been. Which does mean the number of people searching for small indie sites is lower. That said, I think if your site offers stuff that is unavailable elsewhere you can generate a ton of long term profit and still tons of traffic and customers.

    I believe anyone who thinks this market was EVER a case of "throw up a (good) game and you'll generate a ton of traffic and profit" is just seeing the past through rose colored glasses. Conclusion: I don't see that the market has changed much, other than on the PC side being forced to rely MORE on portals and the INCLUSION of many third party outlets that didn't exist before at all (App store, XBLA, PSN, Wiiware, Ect.)... these options make the "downloadable" market easier to earn a profit in my opinion... but also requires more resources and skills, which narrows the field of how many people can really be a successful indie a bit. Then again, none of my clients are focused on these third party locations so it clearly isn't a neccessity.

    -Joe (Who is on vacation, so I really need to get back to enjoying myself and not working!)
     
  7. papillon

    Indie Author

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    His first post was mocking the concept of downloadables being dead. :)
     
  8. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    See, now I clearly know who listen to me, and who doesn't! :D
    With Monkey/Unity in theory should be possible to get your game on desktop PC and many other devices, though I must admit that I'd rather keep developing in Renpy and let other people port my games :)
     
  9. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/bring-me-stuff-thats-dead-please.html

    Just because something is "dead" doesn't mean it doesn't make money anymore, it just means that the hype has moved somewhere else. Downloadables are perfectly healthy, but the hype has moved on to social and casual. Those are dying and the big money will move somewhere else soon, but there will always still be money there too, and there's plenty of money still in downloadables as well.

    Now arcades, those are really dead.
     
  10. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    That was a very good answer, thinking about it I agree completely :) thanks also for the link.
     
  11. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    That will be five dollars.
     
  12. Artinum

    Original Member

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    What makes sense to me is to use places like iTunes to sell your wares, but not to think you can just upload and forget. They aren't going to do your marketing for you. Think of it as a distibution system - a convenient and popular method for customers to find and buy your product. You're still gonna have to pimp your work as much as you can.

    Speaking of which, if you're looking for someone to write you a press release (or proofread your current release)...
    </pimp>
     
  13. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    Not in Japan :p
     
  14. terin

    Original Member

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    I fail! Wait... do I? I still don't get this thread. I gotta be missing something.

    Ok so answering forums from my sister's couch apparently got me to miss the original point, that downloads "death" is still very much alive... and ... implying that non-downloads are not worth the time?

    Er... ... Man didn't I give a talk about this at GDC 4-5 years ago? You don't make money making web based games, you make money by creating websites that have web based games. Always been that way... it's still that way. The money is there and it is still pretty big.

    You don't make money making a game that is a web based game in scope by selling it on BFG, you don't make money on a downloadable game that is sold with mochi coins. You don't make money on either of them by slapping them onto facebook and expecting the golden toilet. (Reference to another post).

    Im still confused on the point of this is! The only "dead" sector for indies is traditional retail, and even that still has money that can be milked.... it just isn't much.
     
  15. SteveZ

    Indie Author

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    Download is dead and my company's been increasing by 50% each year. Talk about being lucky! :p
     
  16. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Well, not everyone unfortunatly can invest 100k to 250k$ to create a profitable casual downloadable game. As far as I'm concerned, casual downloable games are dead for me because I don't have this kind of budget.

    JC
     
  17. SteveZ

    Indie Author

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    And not everyone needs 100k to create a profitable casual download game. It can be done with only 20k. I know because that was how I started.
     
  18. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Time have changed.

    JC
     
  19. GDI

    GDI New Member

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    I have allocated $7,000 budget for each of my games.

    Watch me take over the world with my brutally efficient technique. :)
     
  20. SteveZ

    Indie Author

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    Still possible. Lower budget, lower production quality, less profit. Next game: higher budget, better production quality, learn mistake from past game, better chance of higher profit.
     

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