Su Doku Live by DeadPixelGames has an interesting story. It’s their first game, and it sold around 50 copies directly on the Internet – yet made much more through publishing deal.
Title: Su Doku Live
Team size: 1 developer + 1 artist
Development time: 6 months (part time) + about 6 months to produce artwork
Direct sales: 50 (47 Mac, 3 Windows)
Sales income: $2000
Other income: $25,000 (exclusive publishing deal)
Production & contract costs: $14,000
– Blitzmax $80
– Google ads: $1000
– Banner ads at PC game sites: $200
– Dropped game project production costs: roughly $13,000
Profits: Around $13,000 ($27,000 – $14,000)
“Su Doku Live” was my “plan b”. I had spent a year at another game. The project was dropped (could not get a publisher willing to buy me the license to market a networked “Settlers of catan” game), and it cost WAY over those 13,000 (that I ended up paying along with my two business partners).
I had to finish something, to actually release a game and prove to myself I could do it. So, I picked up a smaller project and saved the “game company”. At least I will have another go at it.
The lesson: making games is a lot of hard work, with loads of room for failure, things can go wrong, games may not get a publisher, etc. If “Su Doku Live” had not got into retail I am *certain* it would fail to pay the development expenses with just direct sales and my “game studio” (dead pixel games) would be dead by now.
Hopefully with the next games we will not end up paying for my lack of experience. I will start coding it soon. This is something I really love doing, so I must follow this dream, no matter the odds.
Very unique story – thanks Deadpixelgames for sharing this experience.