Badim allowed me to publish his recap of two years as indie developer and I think you’ll find it very interesting.
Two years I have worked as an Indie. Two years fighting for good on behalf of developers, sharing about my earnings and achievements every month. So far I can say this for sure – going off from offices to become an indie was the best decision I’ve made. Another one – sharing my stats with you, my dear colleagues.
I have released 21 Flash games, 3 iPhone games, launched 1 portal, 1 blog, a forum and a support group. Meanwhile, my personal life has also seen an increase in quality – no crunches, no 16-hour work days. I became a father for a second time. I was able to spend 31 days outside Russia, and two weeks inside Russia =).
On January 1st, 2010, I will be going with Memphys.SK to an open office in Kaliningrad – the most game developer centric city of Russia.
Stats and Pictures
In total I was able to earn $68,797. First year was $40,468, second $28,329. In average per month $2,866.
I`m sure you would like to know why the second year was $12k lighter than the first one, so here is some information:
Bankruptcy of GJ, which subtracted out $1,500 from my account and an additional $2,500 more if there was still an account active. =)
My personal creative crisis for the first half of 2009. Too many games to play, conferences, and the very important task – spending time with my wife. Thank god – GJ going down give me that magic nudge, and I started to work on my games more often, almost every day! =)
Delay between selling another license and waiting for money – oh yes, someone can do that for 3 months.
When I was calculating earnings I skipped money that had not delivered yet.
Most $ game – EF:Conquest which earned $11,500.
Most played game – EF:Jungle – 20 million gameplays.
Most easy game to make – EF:Clone Wars – 14 hours.
Most hard game to make – EF:Warfare 2 – more than 3 months.
Most advanced game – Red Storm – 6 missions, 60+ weapons, 3+ heroes, 30+ enemies, 14+ rewards, 3 game modes.
Where: Primary – money from selling exclusive/primary licenses, Ads – money from advertisements, Others – selling url-locks, non-exclusive, sources, Portal – money from ads on portal (there are other sources of income there, but they are all small, and all less than $100), Micro – money from micro-payments.
79,606,827 – game-ads showed via Mochiads,
21,893,896 – game-ads showed via CPMstar,
14,000,000 – web-ads showed on my portal.
Total gameplays, based on mochibot: EF games was played 75,000,000 times, rest – 15,000,000 times, so in total – 90,000,000 gameplays.
You can check out myy Mochibot stats here.
The best way to earn money is to use a combination of ads and micro-payments, but the most important thing is that the game should be addictive. I have a feeling that we (you and me) will eventually flood the appStore with more of our super-games. The portal, after a year of investing into it, became a good solution for distribution, support, and money income. I know there are ways to get the same or similar results without it, and for less expenses, but if I didn’t started portal, then how would I be able to share stats, tips, hints about portals? =)