How much money have you actually made off a completed game?

OmnislashXX

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Just wondering for those who have commercially sold a game, just offhand, how much cash have you actually made? It is just a curious question, for those who are willing to share that kind of info.
 

bgillisp

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There's an easy way to get a high end estimate if no one is willing to reveal their figures:

1: Go to Steamspy
2: Look up the sales numbers for that game.
3: Take the sales number * the price the game sells for
4: Assume 50% of that will be lost due to taxes and fees, so multiply that by 0.5
5: Multiply by another 0.5 if the game used a publisher instead of self published*.

That will give you a high end figure which makes no allowance for copies sold on sale or giveaways. The real figure will be lower than this about 99% or so of the time.

*: The 0.5 figure is due to the old saying that every person your product passes through, assume it loses 50% of the income due to what they take. Exact figures will depend on the deal you work out. But I can say it's pretty accurate from my experience selling a textbook.
 

Kes

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The suggestion that bgillisp made will work for some people, but not for others.
For example, I have never gone straight to Steam, but have successfully sold my games elsewhere for a couple of years first - at a higher price and without losing Steam's cut.
 

bgillisp

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@Kes : True, but it's the only info we got in the absence of hard numbers. So we gotta use what we have available.
 

Andar

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additionally it should be pointed out that in a lot of cases the developers are forbidden by the contract with the publishers to reveal the correct numbers - that is why all values are often given circumventially.

That means that a lot of people are forbidden to answer the original question at all.
 

Hudell

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And steamspy is as good as random for small games
 

bgillisp

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Well, I can actually answer this ?. Back in 1992 I sold a game I made (not in RPGMaker, it was with a DOS program for making games) to another kid in my class...for $5. It was the only copy I ever sold of it. So, I can say I've made a whole $5 off of a completed game, thanks to 1 sale.
 

jkweath

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There's an easy way to get a high end estimate if no one is willing to reveal their figures:

1: Go to Steamspy
2: Look up the sales numbers for that game.
3: Take the sales number * the price the game sells for
4: Assume 50% of that will be lost due to taxes and fees, so multiply that by 0.5
5: Multiply by another 0.5 if the game used a publisher instead of self published*.

That will give you a high end figure which makes no allowance for copies sold on sale or giveaways. The real figure will be lower than this about 99% or so of the time.

*: The 0.5 figure is due to the old saying that every person your product passes through, assume it loses 50% of the income due to what they take. Exact figures will depend on the deal you work out. But I can say it's pretty accurate from my experience selling a textbook.

This is probably the best answer to your question.

I used SteamSpy quite a bit to look up some popular RPGM games on Steam to see how different kinds of games sell. I noticed quite a few low-quality "sex appeal" RPGM games have sold over 100,000 copies, but generally only sell when they're priced at 99¢ or less, so they've made some pretty decent cash but certainly nothing they could quit their job over unless they churn 3-4 of those games out every year with similar sales figures. There's some "standard" RPGM games that have similar sales figures as well.

Now whether steamspy is truly accurate about their sales figures, though, is another question.

If you want an actual answer though, I put a RPGM game on Steam around august-ish of last year. It has made about $300. It's certainly not much, just enough that it covered the cost of all the software and various DLCs for RPGM I've bought in the past two years, but I'm very satisfied with the result. It was my first game and I made a ton of mistakes, but I learned an incredible amount about game creation as well as promotion. I'll be releasing another game within the next few months, and I'm confident it'll perform much better than my first game.
 

bgillisp

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But here's the thing. If no one is going to reveal numbers, then Steamspy is all we got to go off of. So either someone give hard numbers (if possible), or we will have to stick with Steamspy as the correct value until it is proven otherwise by evidence.

See right now I got no evidence to prove it isn't accurate, so until it is presented, I have to use it as the correct value.
 

jkweath

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But here's the thing. If no one is going to reveal numbers, then Steamspy is all we got to go off of. So either someone give hard numbers (if possible), or we will have to stick with Steamspy as the correct value until it is proven otherwise by evidence.

See right now I got no evidence to prove it isn't accurate, so until it is presented, I have to use it as the correct value.

I figure its okay to use them as a ballpark estimate assuming they're at least within ~10-20% of the actual numbers. So if they say an RPGmaker game has sold 100K copies but its actually only sold 80K, that's still pretty close considering the sheer volume of copies sold. I'm wondering if its just less accurate for games that have sold fewer copies. I've tried checking my own game on SteamSpy but it doesn't show up, probably because it just doesn't have enough data to track.

Edit: one idea to check for SteamSpy's accuracy would be to find a popular game that has its sales numbers posted somewhere, then cross-check it on SteamSpy. Might try this myself later.
 

bgillisp

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There's also the +/- figure which is never talked about. I did see one game show up as 676 +/- 1576 games (or something like that). Now obviously it cannot be the -1576 part of that equation, as that would mean negative copies sold. So if you want to be really conservative you could use the reported number and subtract the number in the +/- and go from there. And anything that puts you at 0 just assume it is too small to tell.

BTW, @jkweath what game of yours did you release on Steam? Just curious.
 

bgillisp

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Good to know. I actually got that in my wish list right now, just got medical bills that have to be paid before I go buying more games. Cornia transplant surgery is not cheap.
 

Tuomo L

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No wonder it's not making you much money, it's massively overpriced. Your regular pricing is exactly the same price as Adventures of Dragon that has over 15+ hours of minimum gameplay time and over 10 unique playable characters and has professional handpainted art. You should slash the price in half at least.
 

jkweath

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Between Steam, Itch, and Gamejolt, I'm currently around $250 for my game. But take note, it's still in early access.

Nice!

@Tuomo L Planning on it, but generally I put the game on sale for 99¢ which is where the majority of its sales are made, but this isn't really the topic to discuss that.
 

Tuomo L

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Nice!

@Tuomo L Planning on it, but generally I put the game on sale for 99¢ which is where the majority of its sales are made, but this isn't really the topic to discuss that.

Yeah, it sells then because it's probably worth around that. Use that to your advantage and plan out a new pricing from this information. Best of luck with your game.
 

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