Sales Stats: Tribal Trouble – $60,000 Net Income

Title: Tribal Trouble
Developer: Oddlabs
Released: 1st April 2005
Team size: 4 full-time + 2 freelance
Time of development: 2� years (includes startup of the company, with many months spent on business
plans and other bureaucracy.)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Links: Download / Buy

Price US $29.95
Direct online sales: 1500
….. Windows: 460 (31%)
….. Mac OS X: 680 (47%)
….. Linux: 160 (11%)
….. Undefined: 200 (11%)
Portal sales: 400
Danish box sales: 650
German box sales: (sorry, not allowed to say)

Downloads: 100,000 (initiated – from own server)
- Windows: 60,000
- Mac OS X: 25,000
- Linux: 15,000

Conversion rate: 1.5%
- Windows: 0.8%
- Mac OS X: 2.8%
- Linux: 1.1%

Net income: US $60,000 (roughly)

– Music/SFX/GFX: US $6000
– Servers: US $2000
– PR (press releases, gifts for PR competitions): US $600
– GDC (trip for 3 to San Jose + flyers and merchandice): US $4800

Tribal Trouble Developer Sune Nielsen added:

Of course there are a lot of other expenses, but none tied directly to Tribal
Trouble. These include hardware, software, rent and saleries (though they are
low :)), amounting to more than US $40,000. Our first fiscal report isn’t done
yet and I’m not the one working on it, so this is as close as I can get at
the moment.

- press releases
- reviews
- banners
- IGF nomination


We have gotten a lot of downloads by being on the front page of, and on their games page. Other than that, the press releases and the many online and hard copy reviews have generated the remaining downloads. We tried out banners at a few sites, but they didn’t convert enough. The IGF nomination also gave us quite a lot of good publicity.

There has been no direct impact on sales/downloads from the GDC. This I have also heard from other IGF finalists. The GDC mainly gives an advantage in getting publisher and other business connections. The press coverage from the fact that we were nominated gave some peaks in sales. Especially when the danish Computer World online wrote about it.


In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the game is published in retail by Halycon Media, at 29.95 EURO. Being from Denmark, we decided publish it there ourselves, and have had some success getting into the stores, but not all stores are willing to cut out the publisher/distributer links. The Danish box is sold for 299.95 DKK (just under US $50). By far the most copies have been sold to stores, but we have also sold a few from our website.

19 thoughts on “Sales Stats: Tribal Trouble – $60,000 Net Income

  1. [...] common answer at the indiegamer forums at it pretty much can’t be done. Tribal Trouble sold $60,000 in one year (several fulltime and part time developers), which doesn’t sound too much indeed [...]

  2. [...] common answer at the indiegamer forums at it pretty much can’t be done. Tribal Trouble sold $60,000 in one year (several fulltime and part time developers), which doesn’t sound too much indeed [...]

  3. [...] why not Linux? Oddlabs created Tribal Trouble, and the sales figures were as follows: Direct online sales: 1500 ….. Windows: 460 (31%) ….. Mac OS X: 680 (47%) ….. [...]

  4. [...] made a small test when the Tribal Trouble sales stats went online. Previously I had made one sale stat post to one forum. The post had a headline like [...]

  5. Very nice game, profesional made, cheers guys, u diserve the sales, and more:)

  6. Craig: I’m not sure but updating your video card drivers could perhaps help?

    @Karen: I’m not sure… but you can purchase it online using secure payment processor. You can pay via Paypal, phone, check, wire transfer or even by mail.

  7. Karen Culhane

    I tried the trial of tribal trouble. I like it verry much. is it possible to purchase it in a retail store?

  8. I would have loved to be part of that total but the game constantly blue screened when changing video resolutions.

  9. [...] Svi ?itamo o prodaji velikih komercijalnih naslova i o novcu kojeg oni zara?uju. Ali što je s malim developerima i malim igrama? U kakvim se nakladama prodaju te igre, koliko zara?uju i da li zara?uju nešto ti mali developeri?! Koliki su im troškovi? Zanimljivi podaci nalaze se na stranicama GameProducer.Net, za nekoliko igara tamo su navedeni konkretni financijski podaci. Za?udila me mala prodaja Tribal Trouble naslova, jer igra je ipak bliža kategoriji ve?ih komercijalnih naslova. Zanimljiv je i postotak Conversion rate koji odaje da je on najmanji za Windowse (ništa ?udno, ve?a je ponuda drugih naslova, a i crackeri su aktivniji), nešto je ve?i za Linux (to je rekao da Linuxaši ne kupuju igre), dok je najbolji za Mac OS X (raširenija kultura kupovanja programa). Zanimljiv je podatak da su autori te igre studenti i da se u Danskoj studentima pla?a za studiranje, tako da nisu imali problema s preživljavanje u vrijeme izrade. [...]

  10. [...] have been posted there, including those of Titan Attacks, which I posted about yesterday. Neato! Permalink | TrackbackURL [...]

  11. [...] Tribal Trouble Recaudación: Fecha: 1 de Abril 2005 – 6 de Abril 2006 Descargas: 100.000 unidades Ventas: 1.500 directas y 400 en portales (ventas en tiendas a parte) Precio: $29,95 Beneficio bruto: $60.000 Ratio de conversión: 1,5% [...]

  12. [...] The team behind the indie Java title Tribal Trouble have generously made public their sales stats at The conversion rates on Mac and Windows are what I would expect to see based on what I’ve heard from other indies. The Linux conversion rate rather surprised me – it’s much higher than I expected. I’ve heard some sad tales about trying to sell to Linux users. [...]

  13. A bold decision indeed, you guys have my thumbs up for it. :)
    Make sure you make a postmortem for the project some time, I’m eager to hear all about how it went.

  14. Ville: Actually we did quit our part time jobs to go full time, but the only reason we could do this is that we were still Computer Science students, and here in Denmark, people are payed to study in the university (about $750/month), so we have been living off that and reading up for the finals ourselves (with success). Just now we have run out of government student funds, but are able to pay ourselves the same amount from the profits. We are looking to get more games out there and get more portals and publishers selling TT so we can get payed what normal developers earn :)

  15. Great info thanks everyone involved! Yeah Mac sales were cool and box sales weren’t bad either!

  16. [...] has published live the sales stats for the game Tribal Trouble. I have been selling it as affiliate from some time and it is doing well from my site too. I personally think is one of the first indie games (if not THE FIRST one) to have a production value comparable to commercial ones! [...]

  17. Tribal trouble is one of the best games I’ve played this year. It should deserve even more success than this!

  18. I hope that full time doesn’t mean these guys have quit their jobs to do it. :)

    TT is a swell game, I’m happy to see it has turned out a profit. Those sales stats really lead me to believe it’s worthwhile developing for a Mac.

    The expenses for music, sound effects and graphics seem rather high. I presume that goes for the contracted two fellas?