Guide for an indie developer:How to get money from your Steam game
Profit or prospect, what should matter the most for an indie developer who makes PC games?
Most PC/console games’ business model is based on a one-time game purchase, and the main goal of marketers is to create a pretty cover for a game, in a form that players would want to buy.
On presentations of big games, companies use big words, showing their juicy promo content, and they promise that it will be a truly unique gaming experience that won’t compare to anything else. An encouraged player launches a game and doesn’t see things that studio’s founder was praising.
A similar situation is happening on a mobile game market and I’ll show you a prime example as a meme of marketers:
Your first sales depend on how you prepare your game’s marketing, which constitute a big part of the total income for any game.
The better the game – the smaller is a share of the first week sales. For a game that intentionally deceives user’s expectations, a share of the first week can be up to 60% of the total game sales.
Starting from the stage of planning the budget, each time you will be faced with a choice: make it better or save money? Every time when you choose “make it better” – you will increase the development costs and allegedly lose money. But working on details might increase player loyalty to the product, affect their reviews and as a consequence – affect your sales.
A loyal player will stay with you longer, they bought a DLC and will add your new game to their wishlist, whereas a disappointed player will be gone forever, at best without writing a negative review on Steam.
As a project manager, your goal is to find such balance of product’s quality that the development cost would be minimal and users would like the game.
If you plan to release a second game, it’s normal that your first game wouldn’t make money, but players would like it. It’s most important to attract a loyal audience for a game that will share your product with other players and follow new releases.