Other devs sales figures

Is fun that a recurring question of other indies (expecially newbies) is about the sales figures of games. That is really a useless information, and I don’t understand why people keep asking for that.
You read that developer X sold 100 the first month. Ok, now what? you think “if he made it I will make it too”? you couldn’t be more wrong… there are 1000 things that can go bad in selling a game. Even if you write a game better than that game Y who sold 100 in a month. Some things that could go wrong are:
– your site/server goes down in the most unappropriate moment (the day of release)
– you thought your game was without bug but… all people keep getting that bug X that prevents them from running the most important part of the game
– you do a wrong marketing campaign so you don’t fullfill the game potential
– another game with very very similar gameplay comes out the day after from a big publisher… no need to say that all people prefer to buy that one instead of yours ;)

I’m sure there are more things beside the one I’ve listed. Of course your game release could go very smooth, and maybe you could sell well too. But then again, knowing that someone else sold 100 did change anything for you? and if the answer to your question was “I sold 10″ what would you have done, abandoned indie dev even before starting? :)

Sales figures of other people are useless! :) you can be curious about them but don’t let them influence you in any way!

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4 Responses to Other devs sales figures

  1. Janko M. says:

    Yes I agree that they are worthless. Probably they are so interesting, because we can then go dreaming about success instead of coding the next thing on our to-do list.

    regards,

  2. Neil Yates says:

    They are worthless to those who have already released games, and know what they are likely to expect. Though showing sales can be helpful for people who are really new, and can’t decide whether it is worth taking the plunge.

    Sales figures are especially relevant to other indie companies (with =

  3. David B. says:

    I have to disagree. In fact, in seems that the most financially successful Indie games (or non-indie games) are clones of other games. If no one knew that Bejewelled sold tons of copies, no one would know that the match-3 genre was so popular with people, and hence wouldn’t bother to make clones, many of which are likewise very succesful.

    In addition, think Zuma with the Luxor and Tumblebug clones.

    I for one am quite curious to the sales of various puzzle games and retro arcade games. Knowing them would help me see whether any viable market exists for such. The reality of game making for a living is in determining what the market wants before you make your game. The notion of making what you want and the market changing its tastes to match your game is sadly not the case most of the time.

  4. Jack Norton says:

    Well first of all, no one except the publisher can know the REAL sales figures. Who assure you that they’re real?
    Second, I have a very different way of thinking, that is NOT MAKING CLONES to have success. Maybe one of the best examples is Positech Democracy, a game that sells very well (I sold many myself as affiliate) and isn’t a clone of any existing game.

    But I have to admit that the majority of devs seems to follow the “clone way” so probably me and positech are just exceptions…

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