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Organ Trail: Director's Cut One Year Sales Figures
by Ryan Wiemeyer on 08/09/13 12:19:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutraís community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

So we launched Organ Trail: Director’s Cut on Aug 8th 2012 on iOS and Android. Since then, we have hit 8 platforms, had a dozen or so updates and released an expansion. Here is some comprehensive data to show you how we’ve done over this past amazing year. We’re sharing this data in hopes that you can use it to help guide you when you make your games.

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut was developed by a 2-man team with 2 part-time art contractors and a full-time audio contractor. It took us about 6 months of full-time work to release, but we’ve easily put another 6 months into post-release support.

We ran a Kickstarter for $3,000 and got $16,339. After we sent out our backer rewards, we had about $8,000 left which we used to buy Unity Pro, start our company The Men Who Wear Many Hats, pay contractors and promote the game at conventions.

Here’s how we stand as of the end of July:

Total Units Sold 429,192  
Humble Bundle 177,384 -two week promotion
Steam 131,689 -out for 5 months
iOS 85,753 -out for 12 months
Android 29,923 -out for 12 months
Amazon 1,742 -out for 12 months
Humble Store 1,600 -out for 7 months
Ouya 690 -out for 2 months
Desura 411 -out for 7 months

 

You may notice we made 82% of our sales in the last 5 months, but that was only 2/3 of our total profit. Everyone knows that sales are not profits. A good portion of our sales numbers are from discounted prices (like the Humble Bundle) so the numbers can be a little deceptive. Here is a sales vs. profits comparison.

 

It’s worth noting that we hit our original goal of 30k units sold in the first month. Since then, we have been blown away by the number of fans we picked up as we continue to support the game. The tail has been pretty good too. When we are not doing a sale or anything, iOS sales stabilizes at about 100 units a day, Android at 50 and Steam at 150.

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is a $2.99 game on mobile with a $1.99 expansion IAP. Conversely, the other versions are $4.99 and include the expansion. 16k players (14%) have downloaded the expansion for mobile.

As far as sales go, we often launch with a special 20% off price for the first week. We did the Humble Bundle which got us 177k sales but those were at about $0.39 a copy. We don’t feel bad about that since the game has been out for so long and many of those people probably wouldn’t picked it up otherwise. If I had the choice to do it again, I would have preferred the Steam Summer Sale happen first though.

We had a Steam Daily Deal that got us about 17k sales at 50% off. The following week was the Steam Summer Sale which got us 63k sales. The bulk of that coming from our flash sale where the game was 60% off ($1.24) for 8 hours.

The only version with a free demo is the Ouya version which has about a 4% conversion rate to people who pay for the full version.

For our next big game, we will probably only focus on iOS, Android, Steam and the Humble Store. As much as we like offering our games to as many people as possible, the return on time invested into getting builds constantly updated and working, as well as checking multiple support forums on all the different sales platforms, doesn’t feel like it’s worth the effort. Then again… if our fans want something bad enough, it’s hard to say no.

One major point to make is that our game tells “your story.” Because of this, people often want to share what they are doing. You name the people in the game after your friends and then things happen to them. We predicted this and allowed most events in the game to be shared via twitter. I can only guess  that this function helped propagate the game amongst friends and accounts for some of our long tail sales.

There were many milestones of success for us but I would say that the biggest ones that contributed to our ongoing success are:

  • Running a successful Kickstarter
  • Being featured on the iOS app store
  • Showing at PAX
  • Having YouTube personalities like Jesse Cox play our game
  • Making it through Steam Greenlight
  • Being in the Indie MegaBooth
  • Doing the Humble Bundle
  • Doing any Steam sale
  • Having a 1-1 relationship with our fans as often as possible
  • Including social sharing options (Twitter)
  • Making a good game (possibly optional)

Organ Trail is far from done. We’re currently looking at new platforms like Wii U and another I can’t talk about yet. We’re planning some timed-exclusive content as well, so we’re still at it. Meanwhile we’ve got another small arcade style game,Max Gentlemen, coming up in the next month or two. We’ve also used the money we’ve made to open a co-working space in Chicago: Indie City Co-op. So, we’re keeping busy.

Feel free to ask me more questions about our data and I’ll try to share what I can with you!

Cheers!


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Comments


Ben Serviss
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Great post, this is all incredibly useful information. Love the game too, I played an early version and juuust barely died in the final sequence :)

Greg Quinn
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Thanks for these stats, always interesting to see what the different platforms can bring in terms of sales numbers.

Rob Graeber
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So using the power of math, you had about $620k revenue? Not shabby at all!

Jane Castle
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I didn't do the math..... But is this an accurate number? If this is an accurate number for the revenue this is incredible and congratulations on releasing the game!

Ryan Wiemeyer
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It's a little low but pretty close yea.

Jane Castle
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Awesome congratulations on the success! I was intrigued by the videos of the game and decided to buy a copy!

Bram Stolk
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Thanks for sharing.
I see the same order like you do:
iOS > android > amazon > ouya.

I was considering to add desura, but judging from your numbers, I think I will skip that effort.

Ryan Wiemeyer
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Yea they have two different upload system as well so if you support PC/Mac/Linux you have to do 6 different build uploads per update. It's too much hassle.

Scott Reismanis
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Scott from Desura here. I'd strongly encourage you to re-think this. Competition is required on PC, so you have to back other stores (be it us or others) - or greenlight and other programs will only become increasingly challenging to get noticed on.

We are working on a lot of things to improve our ease of use and help our service stand out - and we will do all we can to work with you and grow these numbers.

Ryan Wiemeyer
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Hey Scott. If you want to talk feel free to email us and we can talk through our concerns. As the platform stands now, it's no longer one of our priorities. I will say however that your user base are the ones that asked us to put our game on the platform and that's what brought us there in the first place, so you have some loyal users.

Groove Stomp
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I am a fan of Organ Trail.

I can't remember where I first heard of the game, but it didn't interest me at the time, so I wound up forgetting about it.
I eventually wound up picking it up in a Humble Bundle. I didn't intend to buy it then as I was buying the bundle specifically for a couple of other games that were listed. I subsequently forgot about it.

Sometime later I heard mention of the game on the Ruby Rogues podcast and decided to give the Ouya demo a try. Perfect!
I then went over to my Android device to pick it up from the market. Before buying though, I decided to check whether I had picked it up in a Humble Bundle or not. (I think the Ruby Rogues podcast mentioned it was in a bundle.)
Ah, sure enough, I had already purchased it.

Maybe my specific story will have meaning for you, maybe not. I figured I'd share anyway. :)

Ryan Wiemeyer
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Yea, we can't deny the force that the humble bundle made for us. And many users buy it or at least try it on multiple platforms. Thanks for playing!

James Coote
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Interesting.

You tried it out on OUYA but then would have bought it on Android (were it not already in Humble Bundle)?

Samuel Batista
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How would you describe the process of making your game work with a gamepad? How long did it take you to add that support? Did you already have it in mind while developing the mobile version?


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