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March 19, 2018
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GDC: Indie Game Sales 101 - The Slides

by Simon Carless on 03/23/09 11:31:00 pm   Expert Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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So, one of the main things that I was doing today (the Monday of Game Developers Conference) was presenting a 30-minute Indie Games Summit presentation called 'Independent Games & Sales: Stats 101'.

Since I founded the Independent Games Summit as a GDC Summit a couple of years back, it's been clear that getting good sales data (or at least decent estimates) on indie game prospects on various platforms is really important for creators. And here's the talk description:

"So sure, everyone wants to make a living from independent games. But how much money can you actually make out of PC web, casual, and downloadable indie titles, iPhone games, XBLA, WiiWare, and PlayStation Network titles, to name but a few? What's the royalty and revenue split, how well have some of the highest-profile IGF award winners done, and how well might the average indie do?

IGF Chairman and Gamasutra/Game Developer magazine publisher Simon Carless collates from his sources to examine the cold, hard financial realities of sustaining yourself by making an indie title in today's game market."

This talk, honestly, was a bit overstuffed for a 30-minute lecture, but there was so much important information I wanted to include, and I do believe this is the first time anyone has tried to collate all public sales information and estimate sales ranges from that.

At some point, video and slides combined of this talk should be available to GDC attendees via the GDC Vault, but in the meantime, I've uploaded my slides to - here's the viewing link.

I did my best here, collating from both public and private sources. But I'd love to hear from independent creators to point out anywhere you think I've gone wrong in my estimations - and to offer any more data (on or off the record) that'll help me refine this. So please do ping me if you can help out, and any feedback is welcome.

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