Quick Q&A Session With Cliff Harris (6-Figure Sales In Year 2008)

Cliff Harris from Positech was interviewed at the Anawiki few weeks ago (thanks guys for that). That interview made me think about asking a few more questions about the year 2008 (and more) from Cliff.

Here’s the interview:

Juuso: Your direct sales were about $200,000 in year 2008. Looking back 5 years, did you see this coming?
Cliff: 5 years ago I didn’t expect to be selling this many, but I didn’t expect to be so stupidly busy either, or work this many hours!

Juuso: And how many hours actually work weekly?
Cliff: I work probably 9-10 hours a day weekdays probably 60-65 hours a week.

Juuso: Do you have a role model or somebody who has really helped you to reach the success you enjoy today?
Cliff: Most of my role models have nothing to do with business. I just like people that are not only good at what they do, but so amazingly better than everyone else that they almost make you give up. That’s mostly musicians for me, like Jordan Rudess or Mike Portnoy. Also I’m a big fan of Derren Brown. Business wise, 2DBoy are doing exactly what I want to do, and Stardock are quite an inspiration too.

Juuso: Great to hear that. As you are a one man studio, have you considered hiring programmers or marketers or other people to work for you?
Cliff: I am considering getting programming help right now, but finding the right person will be very hard.

Juuso: (Heh, good luck!). Now, let’s move to the actual sales: What were your bestselling games in year 2008?
Cliff: Best seller of 2008 was Democracy 2. partly because it was an election year, and the new game that year wasn’t released until October.

Juuso: How much traffic your site gets monthly?
Cliff: I get about 120,000 page views and 50,000 visits a month

Juuso: How much you use your newsletter for marketing?
Cliff: I don’t use my newsletter much. I neglect it to be honest. I think it’s more helpful if you release a lot of games in a single year.

Juuso: What about your affiliate sales?
Cliff: My affiliate sales are no big, but I affiliate my games and sell other peoples mainly so that indies stick together and help each other out. It’s more of a social decision than a business one.

Juuso: Year 2009 started with a new ‘portal pricing’ – what do you think about that?
Cliff: I think lumping all games together in the same price is just lazy and silly and loses everyone money. Any developer making a game worth more than that price should have the price raised or quit that portal. This is what I’ve done.

Juuso: And what kind of indie games will sell in year 2009?
Cliff: In 2009 the games that sell will be original IPs. Stuff like World Of Goo or Aquaria, Mount’n’Blade or Dwarf Fortress.

Juuso: Thanks for this quick Q&A session.
Cliff: Thanks.

Remember to check out (and bookmark) Cliff’s blog at Positech website.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @hObbE: Hey did you program TWTPB? I just played it totally coincidentally and noticed your name in the credits. It’s a really well thought out shooter (using the RMB for special features) and it’s very nicely made.

  2. Informative and inspiring. I only which I could sell as much as Cliff :P But who knows in a few years…

  3. Cliffski is an awesome Dev, love his Blog.

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