How much did you make from your first game?

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Inky Pillow
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How much did you make from your first game?

#1 Post by Inky Pillow » Sat May 18, 2019 12:46 pm

Just a bit curious, but how did your first game go? Profit-wise? Download wise? Review wise? Did you advertise at all? Etc etc. I am asking because I am trying to plan a budget for my own game, and I wold rather not be too much out-of-pocket, but would also not want to skimp on the quality either. I'm just curious as to what a realistic expectation should be. (I'm sure this depends on game length, number of CGs, etc.). If you released your game for free, how many downloads did you get? Same with choose-you-own-price, etc.

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Re: How much did you make from your first game?

#2 Post by Mutive » Tue May 21, 2019 4:49 pm

For my first game, I've gotten about 1000 downloads. It's free (I'm sure I'd have gotten like 10 otherwise...). I also haven't done much to promote it, so honestly am kind of surprised that it's done as well as it has. (Esp. as I made it in about 3 weeks to test out Renpy.)

The second game has less than 100 downloads. (I made it as a present for my brother, though, so I never expected it to get a lot of downloads. I did post it as a free download, though, because why not?) So it's done substantially less well, although was made in an afternoon, so again, not surprised that it hasn't taken the world by storm. :)

We'll see about the next one (which I've been working on for about a year and a half at this point). I'm hoping it does at least as well as the first game. :)
Enjoy Eidolon, my free to play game at: https://mutive.itch.io/eidolon or Minion! at: https://mutive.itch.io/minion

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Re: How much did you make from your first game?

#3 Post by Autumnotopia » Tue May 21, 2019 8:08 pm

My first (visual novel-y game) was successful for a weekend gamejam game I think. I've made exactly $2 off of it since I just asked for donations, and it has about 7000 views (it's playable in browser so tracking plays specifically is a little harder). Overall it seemed that people liked it, I think it even got a couple of let's plays I think? Despite being my most popular game by a pretty wide margin, it's my Ludum Dare entry that's technically scored the lowest overall so that's kind of funny.

If you've not made a VN before I think just publishing a quick one before sinking basically any amount of of time/money into a longer project will give you a better idea of what to expect. I kind of suspect the trend is that people don't tend to make bank with their first game since they almost always end up as a practice project regardless of how much work you put into it

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Re: How much did you make from your first game?

#4 Post by Mutive » Wed May 22, 2019 11:11 am

Autumnotopia wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:08 pm

If you've not made a VN before I think just publishing a quick one before sinking basically any amount of of time/money into a longer project will give you a better idea of what to expect. I kind of suspect the trend is that people don't tend to make bank with their first game since they almost always end up as a practice project regardless of how much work you put into it
I wanted to echo this. :) My guess is that most VNs don't make fortunes even when the developer is fairly experienced/well known (e.g. Christine Love or Hanako Games), at least when the costs are taken into account.

Plus, there's a lot to be said about playing around with the engine and getting a sense as to what it does/doesn't do (arguably you can make it do anything, but some things are easier than others...), what you enjoy/don't enjoy working on, how enjoyable creating a video game actually is, etc.

As is true with most artistic projects, financial success is a crap shoot (at best), so it's good to enjoy it. (And start small so that you have a real chance of publishing something at the end.)
Enjoy Eidolon, my free to play game at: https://mutive.itch.io/eidolon or Minion! at: https://mutive.itch.io/minion

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Re: How much did you make from your first game?

#5 Post by arty » Sat May 25, 2019 2:48 pm

How much did I make from my game? So far? 0$. How much will it be? Probably 0$. It's a free game, with the option to donate if you liked it.

I didn't do a whole lot of advertising, and I've been told it's also very niche/bizarre, so there probably simply isn't much of an audience for it.

On itch.io, I got 78 downloads since the release 6 months ago.

Some nice, thoughtful comments on the lemmasoft thread and on discord, but no reviews on itch. Considering that I expected about 3 downloads in total, it's not going too bad, I'd say. With the mass of VNs available, you'll have to stand out in some way or get very lucky to get recognition or a worthwhile profit, I think.

I invested a few hundred dollars into my game, and probably could have invested several hundred more if I had hired another artist instead of drawing everything myself.

An idea if you don't want to pay everything yourself would be making a kickstarter.

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Re: How much did you make from your first game?

#6 Post by Aviala » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:49 am

Your Royal Gayness has sold around 3000 copies so far. It's usually priced at 15 USD but it's been sale for -50% multiple times. The game has been out for about one and a half years now. I'm not allowed to share the exact numbers, but you can make an estimation on the profits based on the info above. Just remember that Steam takes 30% and VAT taxes are usually around 20% so what you actually get is just half of the money your game makes. Kinda hurts to see the overall profit numbers and compare it to how much money me and my team have got from the sales :')

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