Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novels?

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 07, 2021 12:04 am

Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novels?

#31 Post by elixxxirium » Tue May 11, 2021 4:01 pm

I also wanna make clear that there is nothing wrong with having a $5000 per month income as your goal. Go after those dreams, hustler. But starting with a small goal and then raising the bar will help you keep your confidence and work consistency. Like ex. "I want to earn at least $50 with my VN", then when you hit that, your next goal would be, "I want to earn at least $100 with my VN". Celebrate the small victories.

Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:23 am
Completed: Eidolon, Minion!, Love Furever, Epilogue

Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novels?

#32 Post by Mutive » Wed May 12, 2021 11:27 am

elixxxirium wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 3:21 pm
I mean, I live in the States, Even as a Starbucks worker, I was NOT raking in 45K a year (I wish, but I guess if you're working a very busy Starbucks in an expensive area and you're the general manager, 45K is plausible). You guys are counting in health insurance, PTO, other benefits but it's kind of a normal thing for a lot of Americans to live their lives without these benefits while working a job that doesn't pay for benefits. I've done plenty of jobs before that didn't offer those kinds of things. That shouldn't be normal but a lot of my peers are living very similar situations to mine. If you're living in New York, or say Santa Monica, California where the taxes are pretty damn high, than the cost of living will eat up most of that $5000 with very little leftover. But if you live in a decent state, keep saving money, try to cut your expenses down as much as you can (which for a lot of start-up types, they don't carry health insurance), and pray to never get into an accident, I got quotes of burn rates being at least around $1000 to $1500. This is accounting for the fact that they're single with no kids, no dependents, they're able-bodied, with either no debts or even if they do have debts, the monthly payment into that is small. This is what I've seen and experienced for a solo developer living in the cheap part of the States. 60K means you're rich as long as you're not paying off on a stupidly expensive house.
Except that even $45k from Starbucks is probably > $60k (net profit) from a video game. (I'm using that number as this is what the $5k/month works out to.)

The thing people forget is that even really crappy employers pay payroll taxes (typically they match the employee contribution). So your actual money from $45k/year at Starbucks worked out to $30k after federal + (possibly) state taxes were deducted from it, your $60k from freelancing will probably work out to ~$30k after you've paid (full) payroll taxes + income tax.

(And yes, you can try to do everything under the table. But as soon as the IRS catches you, it's back taxes + penalties. I would NOT recommend.)
Enjoy Eidolon, my free to play game at:, Minion! at: or Epilogue at:

User avatar
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:05 pm
Projects: Supersize My Heart!
Deviantart: JeremyRawn
Location: Washington, USA

Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novels?

#33 Post by SupersizeMyHeart » Sat May 29, 2021 2:36 am

This seems unlikely, even for a profitable group like Winter Wolves. But 1500? 2000? I'm sure there's more than a few if you're talented, though indie folks don't usually talk about financials.

I don't think visual novels are where you get rich. They're passion projects. Not to say you CAN'T get rich off them - *cough**cough*Hatoful Boyfriend*cough**cough*

but you're trying to catch magic in a bottle. way I see it, just expect you can't make any money on it whatsoever, and let yourself get excited about whatever does manage to come your way
Hey, I'm making a game about kissing cute fast food mascots! Check it out here right here.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users