Sales Statistics: Xmas Bonus

Our newest sales statistic are from Xmas Bonus. Game developed by Grey Alien Games and published by Indiepath. Xmas Bonus is a shape swapping puzzle game.

Date: December 18th – 26th Dec (9 days)
Downloads: 52,000 (including 2 Portals: BigFish and Reflexive)
Sales: 165
Price: 19.99 USD
Gross profit: 3298.35 USD (exluding portals)
Avg. Conversion rate: 0.3%

Development Expenses:
Blitz Plus 52 USD
STG Pro (unused) 25 USD
Protean 45 USD
Blitz Max 86 USD (unused)
IStockPhoto 20 USD
greyaliengames domains 38 USD
webhosting 27 USD
= 273 USD

Publishing Expenses:
Total expenses: about 30% from gross profit (affiliates, ecommerce provider and other fees – exluding portals)

Net profit: 2300 USD (estimation)

Additional comments:
Xmas bonus was released as an experiment. The sales figures aren’t typical, Xmas bonus was targetted and released within 2 weeks of Xmas. No additional marketing was done. The Net Profit percentage is not typical. Normally we would advertise a title.

Quite well done for a non-serious attempt! Big thanks to Tim for sharing this data – and also big thanks for Jake for developing this game.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. basically you should remove the revenue (net profit) bit as even with the word “estimatation” it’s way out. Altough I guess you should ask the publisher first as I don’t want to tread on his toes.

    DannyB: Team size, hmm really just one (me), but with very big input from publisher (and his staff), and my partner Helen (play tester). Time to complete: well I started it at the start of June 2005. However, I used a lot of code libraries that I had already written for my free games. Then I worked on it part-time on/off until the release date at the start of December. However, the last couple of months were much much more busy. Then in December I made several post-release versions with minor improvements/fixes. All the development startup costs are now listed on the blog (excluding my PC which I had already). I can’t say what the publishers costs were though. Actually there were “extra” costs like opening of some champaigne and having an Indian takeaway to celetrate the first sale. Plus a few other “celebrations” at key points, I probably spent all my profit lol :-)

  2. @Phil: Now I got the info. There was some missinfo: gross profit excludes portal fees. And the two portals were BigFish and Reflexive.

  3. @Jake: Very sorry… now it’s fixed.

    @Istari: Thanks for the suggestion. Btw – the category “How to get more sales?” is based on the stuff we did… so that’s first place to look for the info. I’ll get more details in the future.

    @DannyB: well, now I shall put the “expenses” the way the developers (or publishers) tell me. I’ll ask about those in the future. Thanks for the suggestion. (and good luck with that ‘negotiation’ you are having… ;)

  4. I enjoy these statistics as well! I’d like to see some detail added. For example:

    -Team size
    -Time to complete
    -Start up costs (engine used, tools used [maya, 3dmax etc])

    It will help (me anyway) figure out exactly what the profit margin was :)

    **I’m slowly getting my wife to come around on making game production a career choice. She agrees that programming is a siginificant and viable career choice – its the gaming that throws her off… ::sign::!**

  5. I love these sales statistics, because it’s usually impossible to get something like this. Great work! Maybe you could do a similar series on marketing indie games? It’s fascinating to know how much a certain game sold, but even more interesting to see how these sales numbers were actually achieved.

  6. Thanks for fixing the link. Never mind about publishing, but the hyperlink “gray” is stilll spelt with an “a” not an “e” :-)

  7. What were the two portals it was on? And how come expenses (including portal fees) are only 30%? To be on any of the big portals, a first-time dev would typically be giving up ~65%+ to the portal… Just looking for more data…

  8. Sorry for having an erroneous link… fixed now. Thanks.

    And I published your comment… sorry about that too :)

  9. Hi, your link to greyaliengames.com doesn’t work plus you’ve spelled it with an “a” in “grey”, any chance of changing it? No need to publiosh this comment. Thanks.

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