Pure Sudoku Sales Statistics ($6,400 Sales, 1+ Month Development)

Mark from Glowing Eye Games was sharing sales statistics for his Pure Sudoku game at the Indiegamer boards and I asked Mark if he’d be willing to share the information here too. I got some additional information about the marketing (and we’ll get back when Mark has info about his $5.99 versus $9.99 price point experiment) and listed the details below.

I really think Mark has done a great job with Pure Sudoku, and we all could learn that creating a game doesn’t need to take much time (like 1+ month), nor it requires newest technology on earth (Game Maker is simple, yet efficient game development tool), doesn’t need to cost much (few hundred bucks, plus your own time) and it can still bring decent revenues at constant pace.

Check out these sales statistics for Pure Sudoku:

Game Title: Pure Sudoku
Developer: Glowing Eye Games

Development time:
The original version took me about 1 month to make part time with Game Maker. 1-2 month part time development for improvements.

Release date:
January 2006 (as a free version), Deluxe version later. Newest version was released in December 2008.

Total sales (units):
640 copies (over the years)

In January the game sold 21 copies and February 27 copies. Monthly sales range on average from 20 to 25 copies, and seems pretty consistent for a while now. (Perhaps due constant search engine traffic)

Price (USD):
$9.99

For the next few weeks developer is experimenting with a $5.99 price point (and we will be adding info about this experiment later here on this blog).

Other income:
Google Adsense (worth maybe the equivalent of 2 or 3 extra sales each month)

Expenses:
Expenses 10 Euros for Game Maker and $250 to pay a developer to update my game last year. There are also a few items like website hosting and domain registration, I’m not really sure of the price of those – but its quite cheap.

Downloads:
Total 250,000.

(The free version has got 200,000 from download.com and 50,000 from various download sites)

Marketing:
2-3 months (part time) spent in marketing:

  • Getting the game to download sites
  • Getting reviews
  • Google.com search engine optimization (Pure Sudoku ranks in the top 10 for the phrase “free sudoku”)

One very important thing was learning basic Search Engine Optimization. For really competitive search terms like “Free Sudoku” this was really important. In fact Mark just purchased two books on the subject, as web tutorials can only go so far.

Other sites:
Solitaire Paradise – Glowing Eye Games is hosting free online solitaire games including one he recently created.

Thanks
Thanks Mark for sharing these sales statistics.

16 thoughts on “Pure Sudoku Sales Statistics ($6,400 Sales, 1+ Month Development)

  1. Jake Birkett

    Keep an eye out for my Holiday Bonus sales stats soon, I have logged the man hours and how much money it made. Basically 1 man month and good five figures profit. You’ll see soon…

    Reply
  2. Juuso Hietalahti Post author

    @Josh/Leadwerks:

    Development time:
    The original version took me about 1 month to make part time with Game Maker. 1-2 month part time development for improvements.

    2-3 months (part time) spent in marketing

    Reply
  3. Juuso Hietalahti Post author

    @Jon: Please notice “part time”. And I think of it this way: he’s getting steady extra few hundred bucks every month. (Now repeat this 30 times and you have built a pretty good income for yourself ;))

    Reply
  4. Juuso Hietalahti Post author

    @Janette: “better newsletters”? Nah, can’t be! ;)

    @Everybody:
    3 links thing was something that I just had to test. :) I know you guys are intelligent, and like mentioned: I’ve been receiving newsletter from marketers who sometimes use 3 links.

    My results so far: less clicks, more complaints (according to Aweber panel) ;)

    @Jake & Paul & Hakushi: Yeh, the stats indeed are cool and I like the SEO strategy for getting sales.

    Reply
  5. Leadwerks

    This seems to be a good reason not to make such games. $6000 over several years for 2 months work?

    Reply
  6. Teddy Wijaya

    I think the 3 links idea is interesting….
    Got to admit that I clicked at the third one ;-)

    Reply
  7. Reives

    About the low conversion rates, could it have something to do with things like:

    Google.com search engine optimization (Pure Sudoku ranks in the top 10 for the phrase “free sudoku”

    One very important thing was learning basic Search Engine Optimization. For really competitive search terms like “Free Sudoku” this was really important.

    - That people who were searching the terms “free sudoku” didn’t have the mindset of spending money on it? It still drives good traffic for sure though, don’t get me wrong; just commenting in regards to the conversion rate that was brought up.

    Reply
  8. Paul Eres

    Yeah, my Game Maker game had about equal number of sales with far fewer downloads and no SEO. So I think that means game quality and good SEO can make up for each other?

    Reply
  9. Jon

    1 month game, 2 months expansion, 3 months promotion. Subtract expenses.
    Total income: $1,000 per month.
    I take it this is not his main source of income?

    Reply
  10. Hakushi

    Interesting to see the strategy and effort from somebody who’s in the market!

    By the way, 1 link should be find, i assume if we’ve signed up to the newsletter, it means we’re interested in having news about your blog :]

    Reply
  11. Janette

    Interesting article. It’s nice to know how other people are doing in a market many of us are trying to break into.

    3 Links Juuso? The better newsletters I receive only have 1 link. Of course they’re marketed at a more intelligent customer base … now I would’ve assumed yours is too!

    Reply

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