thread: 2012-03-13 : Indie POV pt 2: Does It Pay?

On 2012-03-15, timfire wrote:

@David Berg: My numbers come from my experience selling The Mountain Witch plus numerous conversations with different people. I would name games except for fear that I'll misremember who said what. Here's a thread from story-games from a couple years ago where some people discuss sales numbers, myself included. If you search around the Forge I'm pretty sure you can find a few more on the subject.

Anyway, my numbers are assuming about 1500 (mostly direct) sales—-1000 over the first three-ish years and then 500 over the remaining two. If the book nets the designer $15/copy, you get $22k, the low end of my estimate. If the book sells better (2000 copies) and/or if the designer can manage a higher net profit ($20/copy), you get the high end of my estimate, $30k.

(Hmm, now that I think about it, $30k might be a bit high for a "moderate success", but $20-25k is still pretty reasonable.)

And just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that every person that designs and publishes a game should expect that level of success. But if you look at that story-games thread, you'll see that there are more than a few people who have reached those numbers. My suggestion was that—-in theory—-if someone could pump out 7-10 games that all sold on that scale, they would make enough money to quit their day job and support themselves solely on their RPG endeavors.


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