Case study: Vadim Starygin’s total revenue from last two years

If Vadim Starygin does not sould familiar, then you’ll probably know this guy as Badim, the owner of Elite Games and the guy behind Elite Forces series.

Badim allowed me to publish his recap of two years as indie developer and I think you’ll find it very interesting.

Introduction

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.

Some History

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 =).

Some Plans

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.

Follow up

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.

More stats
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.

Some Predictions

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? =)

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215 GAME PROTOTYPES EXPLAINED WITH SOURCE CODE
// 1+2=3
// 100 rounds
// 10000000
// 2 Cars
// 2048
// A Blocky Christmas
// A Jumping Block
// A Life of Logic
// Angry Birds
// Angry Birds Space
// Artillery
// Astro-PANIC!
// Avoider
// Back to Square One
// Ball Game
// Ball vs Ball
// Ball: Revamped
// Balloon Invasion
// BallPusher
// Ballz
// Bar Balance
// Bejeweled
// Biggification
// Block it
// Blockage
// Bloons
// Boids
// Bombuzal
// Boom Dots
// Bouncing Ball
// Bouncing Ball 2
// Bouncy Light
// BoxHead
// Breakout
// Bricks
// Bubble Chaos
// Bubbles 2
// Card Game
// Castle Ramble
// Chronotron
// Circle Chain
// Circle Path
// Circle Race
// Circular endless runner
// Cirplosion
// CLOCKS - The Game
// Color Hit
// Color Jump
// ColorFill
// Columns
// Concentration
// Crossy Road
// Crush the Castle
// Cube Jump
// CubesOut
// Dash N Blast
// Dashy Panda
// Deflection
// Diamond Digger Saga
// Don't touch the spikes
// Dots
// Down The Mountain
// Drag and Match
// Draw Game
// Drop Wizard
// DROP'd
// Dudeski
// Dungeon Raid
// Educational Game
// Elasticity
// Endless Runner
// Erase Box
// Eskiv
// Farm Heroes Saga
// Filler
// Flappy Bird
// Fling
// Flipping Legend
// Floaty Light
// Fuse Ballz
// GearTaker
// Gem Sweeper
// Globe
// Goat Rider
// Gold Miner
// Grindstone
// GuessNext
// Helicopter
// Hero Emblems
// Hero Slide
// Hexagonal Tiles
// HookPod
// Hop Hop Hop Underwater
// Horizontal Endless Runner
// Hundreds
// Hungry Hero
// Hurry it's Christmas
// InkTd
// Iromeku
// Jet Set Willy
// Jigsaw Game
// Knife Hit
// Knightfall
// Legends of Runeterra
// Lep's World
// Line Rider
// Lumines
// Magick
// MagOrMin
// Mass Attack
// Math Game
// Maze
// Meeblings
// Memdot
// Metro Siberia Underground
// Mike Dangers
// Mikey Hooks
// Nano War
// Nodes
// o:anquan
// One Button Game
// One Tap RPG
// Ononmin
// Pacco
// Perfect Square!
// Perfectionism
// Phyballs
// Pixel Purge
// PixelField
// Planet Revenge
// Plants Vs Zombies
// Platform
// Platform game
// Plus+Plus
// Pocket Snap
// Poker
// Pool
// Pop the Lock
// Pop to Save
// Poux
// Pudi
// Pumpkin Story
// Puppet Bird
// Pyramids of Ra
// qomp
// Quick Switch
// Racing
// Radical
// Rebuild Chile
// Renju
// Rise Above
// Risky Road
// Roguelike
// Roly Poly
// Run Around
// Rush Hour
// SameGame
// SamePhysics
// Save the Totem
// Security
// Serious Scramblers
// Shrink it
// Sling
// Slingy
// Snowflakes
// Sokoban
// Space Checkers
// Space is Key
// Spellfall
// Spinny Gun
// Splitter
// Spring Ninja
// Sproing
// Stabilize!
// Stack
// Stairs
// Stick Hero
// String Avoider
// Stringy
// Sudoku
// Super Mario Bros
// Surfingers
// Survival Horror
// Talesworth Adventure
// Tetris
// The Impossible Line
// The Moops - Combos of Joy
// The Next Arrow
// Threes
// Tic Tac Toe
// Timberman
// Tiny Wings
// Tipsy Tower
// Toony
// Totem Destroyer
// Tower Defense
// Trick Shot
// Tunnelball
// Turn
// Turnellio
// TwinSpin
// vvvvvv
// Warp Shift
// Way of an Idea
// Whack a Creep
// Wheel of Fortune
// Where's my Water
// Wish Upon a Star
// Word Game
// Wordle
// Worms
// Yanga
// Yeah Bunny
// Zhed
// zNumbers