Which kind of games sell more?

That’s a question that many game developer ask or just wonder about. I just realized that through the course of years I made games of very different genres, so I checked some stats and came up with the following “ranking” which I hope will be useful to someone:

  1. RPG (roleplaying) games (included my games Magic Stones, Spirited Heart and hopefully will include also my upcoming Planet Stronghold)
  2. Dating Sims – (included my games Summer Session and Flower Shop)
  3. Sports Simulations – (included my games The Goalkeeper, Universal Soccer Manager 2 and Universal Boxing Manager)
  4. Visual Novels – (included my games Heileen 1 & 2 , College Romance and Bionic Heart)
  5. Strategy/Simulations – (included my games TV Station Manager and Supernova 2: Spacewar)

those represents total sales though, and are somewhat misleading because there are other factors to consider. First, in the visual novel category there are 4 games but the sales difference vs the strategy/simulation isn’t so big, so each individual game on average sold less than the strategy/simulation ones. Second, I should also consider ROI for each game. How much time I spent vs the revenue obtained for each game? I never calculated it exactly but I can fairly accurately say that the first titles (sports simulation) were the best ROI for me (took me 3-4 months each). But it could be so only because they’re also the oldest titles :)

Anyway, that’s more a fun statistic than anything to be taken too much seriously, but even talking with other programmers, it seems clearly that RPGs are the best selling genre for indie games. Probably because there aren’t many around (if you exclude RPGMaker ones, otherwise there are a LOT! :D)

Dating sims share also many elements with RPG (statistics, dialogues, relationships, etc), while sports simulations are very hard to make, but can provide good revenues if they’re original enough. Visual novels can be profitable if made quickly and without spending too much on assets, and strategy/simulation last place is really to be taken with a grain of salt: after speaking with many devs who shared revenues with me privately, if you do a good 3d strategy game this genre can easily beat all others, on par with RPGs.

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4 Responses to Which kind of games sell more?

  1. technically says:

    … Spirited Heart is really a dating sim, though, not an RPG…

    • admin says:

      Yes, I think is very close to a RPG (fantasy setting) but probably not a real RPG indeed. With added combat maybe could be more classified as RPG…

  2. Kenneth says:

    Surprise to see magic stone on top of the list. Interesting ranking.

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