So you’ve sold your game


It’s been a week since launch, typically the most crucial period that decides whether a game is a ‘success’ or not, so it’s an interesting point at which to review how we’ve done.

Overall, the game has performed better than I, or even our publisher, had expected! We recouped our development budget in about 3 days. The game is now profitable 🙂

We have a wishlist to sales ratio of about 16%, and a conversion rate (i.e wishlisting users who proceed to purchase it) of about 5.5%. These numbers are pretty low, despite our good sales as the vast majority of wishlists came post-release from streamers/influencers and press coverage. In other words, the conversion rate is low as the people who would’ve bought t immediately have already done so, bypassing the wishlist process.

What this also means is that our pretty good absolute wishlist numbers could translate to good performance during sales periods when the game is disounted, as we have a large pool of potential buyers, likely waiting for those discounts.

We currently have a total of 104 user reviews, 100 of which are positive. That puts our sales to reviews ratio somewhere between 25-50x (I’m not giving a specific number as you could calculate our sales figures from that, and I’m not certain if we can give our actual numbers out).

6.5% of players are playing on Mac. About 1% are playing on Linux via Steam Proton. While we don’t have a official Linux build players have reported that the game runs perfectly well through Proton. That said, the low player counts on Linux suggest a proper Linux build is not worth the effort for the vast majority of games. While a proper Linux build might result in more copies sold, you could also argue the niche nature of our game means the number of Linux players in our playerbase is above average anyway.

4.9% of sold copies were refunded. General consensus is that the average refund rate is about 5-8%, so we’re a tiny bit below average here.

44% of revenue came from North America, 27% from Western Europe and 17% from Asia. Note that this differs from the % of copies sold due to regional pricing, e.g more revenue came from North America despite the % of copies sold in North America being lower.

Based on Achievement stats, 86% of players completed the tutorial, 7% of players completed the game and 3% of players 100%ed the game. The great thing about our per-level leaderboards is that they also function as user analytics, giving us a pretty granular data about how far individual players have gotten through the game. If your game design approach is more data-driven (mine isn’t), this data could really help figure out how smooth your difficulty curve is.

The conclusion that I pesonally draw from the game’s performance is that yes, making games that cater to small niches is absolutely viable. You don’t have to compete with the big premium indie titles if you don’t want to or can’t. Fans of niche genres can also be forgiving of some of the rougher edges of your game, or the above-average pricing, simply because they’re starved of content that fulfills that niche.

What doesn’t change is the value of marketing. Having a publisher helping you with this is incredibly valuable. Knowing who to market to is important as well, with a large amount of our outreach occurring due to word of mouth.

Marketing isn’t just a question of expertise, but time as well. During release you are going to be swamped with bug-fixes and tech support and feature requests. You won’t have the time to handle the numerous requests from streamers and Steam curators asking for review keys or updating your store page with press blurbs or setting up video broadcasts on Steam. Having a publisher absolutely helps.

Anyway, I hope this data and my past posts are somewhat illuminating.If you’re looking to go indie hit me up ?