Is worth having a Flash version of your downloadable?

That’s one of the most frequent questions I see asked around in game development forums. I released in May a flash version of my downloadable game Spirited Heart, so thought to share some info about it.

The stats are quite clear (timeframe, 2 months):

gameplays: 60-70k estimate (mochi-ads is 55k, plus a few more thousands in Kongregate, Newgrounds and other portals I submitted my game to)
unique visitors to my site:  12,886
tracked sales: 7 !!

As you can see, the visitors to sales ratio (called also CR, conversion rate) is 0,05%! Well below the standard CR of downloadable demos that is around 1% (actually, for my game it’s 2,6% well above average). If we calculated the people per sale ratio from everyone that played the game, we would get 1 sale every 10.000 players :D

And I even put lots of “nag stuff” in the game, in several parts there was a hint that certain game functions would be available only in the “Deluxe Version” and not in the free flash demo.

That said, I probably made some mistakes in it: putting too many “hints” that the game was only a “flash demo”, pissed some people off and especially on Kongregate I got very low rating only because of that. Also, the flash market is known to like more male-oriented games (zombies, blood, violence!) so my game was badly targeted also for that.

Still, even if my game was played by 7 milion people (that would be a TOP record!) according to those visits/buy ratio I would have got “only” 700 sales, or translated in money, about $15000. But just so you know, Desktop Tower Defense, one of the most popular flash games of all times, made 15million plays. So getting 7 million would be almost an impossible task unless you have something really UNIQUE.

Based on this, the conclusion would be quite easy: is NOT worth it. However, I know some other devs doing online only games or browser MMO got much better results than me. So is correct to say that making a flash version of your DOWNLOADABLE game is a bad move. But for a online/browser game that could be very different.

This entry was posted in antipiracy, development tricks, general, indie life, marketing tips, online games, postmortem, simulation games, winter wolves games. Bookmark the permalink.

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