Sales Stats: Winter Tale – $10,000 Sales, 1 Month Development

Today we have a very interesting title that was launched on winter time (during the Christmas rush). What’s interesting, these guys developed the game only about 1 month – so for a game done in such short time these results were extraordinary.

Below you can find detailed information about the Winter Tale sales.

Title: Winter Tale – DownloadBuy

Developer: TenGames
Release date: December 2006
Team size: 2 developers and 1 musician
Time of development: about 1 month part time

Platform: Windows

Sales from 640
Price: USD 19.95
Total income from $9600.0
Affiliate sales income: $345.0

Total income: $9945.00

Downloads: about 100 000 downloads (in four months)

Monthly sales
December: 347
January: 126
February: 90
March: 77

Music: $230
Hosting: $70
Press Release: $100


  • Submitting to shareware sites
  • Press Release

Note on promotion

This game used Christmas rush and we all worked very hard for release this game in December.

Thanks Abramov at Ten Games for sharing this information!

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Sales Stats: Gish – $121,000 Sales

Now we have some great information regarding the Gish sales. I asked Josiah Pisciotta from Chronic Logic if he would wish to publish sales stats here, and I’ve also asked some additional questions regarding conversion rate, promotional efforts, retail deals and others. Check out the expanded version of sales stats for Gish.

Title: Gish (BuyDownload)
Developer: Chronic Logic
Released: May 2004
Development time: About 6 months with three developers.
Promotion time: (after release) Josiah: “It took quite a bit of effort for all the promotion, but I am not sure how much because it was an ongoing process that continues to this day. I would say at least 6 months worth of one person working full time.”

Platforms: Windows, OSX and Linux

Development Expenses:
Sounds and music: $3500
Of the $3500 only $500 was paid up front and the rest was a percent of royalties after Gish was released and selling.

Marketing Expenses:
Independent Games Festival (IGF) entry fees: $200.00
Rough estimate of Affiliate and other fees: $2000.00

Total Expenses: $5700.00

The time of the developers and the cost of office space, computers, etc. is not taken into account here.

Downloads & conversion rate: less than 1% (rough guess)
Josiah’s comments:

I don’t have the stats on the demo downloads because they demo gets hosted in a lot of different places online and they are impossible to track, that also makes it impossible to track the conversion rate, but I suspect it is not very good, less then 1% but that is just a guess.

Sales from per year:
2004: 2587
2005: 1335
2006: 449
2007: 140 (through April)
Misc others sales: 10

Total Sales: 4521

Price: $19.95 USD

SWREG (Credit card orders): $79543.98
PayPal: $1436.86
Manual orders (checks, cash, money orders): $195.48

Approximate net sales from $81176.32

Total income from other sites: $6212.04
(Garage Games, Reflexive Arcade, Linspire, and Manifesto games)

IGF Prize winnings: $16000.00

Total Retail publishing: $17539.71
(Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Russian, Singapore and Malaysia)

Retail deal comments:

As for the retail publishing, they contacted us except for the Germany, Switzerland and Austrian company. We had already worked with them (Halycon Media) with our Bridge Building game and we were happy with their work publishing it so we went to them with Gish as well.

Approximate total income: $121,000 USD

Marketing and Promotion:
Josiah Pisciotta:

For promotion and marketing we did press releases on our web site and tried to get them to as many news sites as possible. We did a pad file and submitted to as many shareware sites as we could find although I don’t think they had a large effect over all. We also did advertising in a local print magazine which I don’t think had much of an effect either. Keeping other products and news coming out helped keep people coming to and finding Gish. We also did a number of patches which made improvements to the game. Each patch was accompanied by a press release. Winning the Grand Prize and Innovation in Game Design at the 2005 IGF gave us a huge boost in traffic to our website but we could not take full advantage of it as the demo downloads slowed our web server to a crawl. In a single day after winning at IGF our web server served 110 GB of the Gish demo which was much more then it could handle. It was after this that I moved all our demo hosting to other servers so if we hit a traffic spike the demo downloads might be slow, but at least the website will still work correctly. It also seemed a lot of people already knew about Gish before it’s triumph at the 2005 IGF.

Gish won Game Tunnels Game of the Year and Adventure Game of the Year awards in 2004 which added a nice boost in sales. We also sent out review copies to whatever web pages and print magazines we could find. Gish scored very well in almost all reviews and even got mentioned in the New York Times. We also did a number of interviews and Q&As with magazines, websites and local news papers.

I think the single biggest factor in Gish sales was word of mouth. It is such a unique and fun game that people want to talk about it and they want to tell people about it. Individuals telling friends, posting on forums, talking about Gish to other games all made a huge contribution getting Gish out to the public.

As you can see Gish did not sell well in retail or on other sites and the majority of income generated from Gish (%67) was from direct sales through Gish also missed out on a number of opportunities that could generate a lot more income such as North American retail and console distribution because of a lack of a shared vision among the developers.

Here are some of the reviews Gish received:

Game Tunnel GOTY awards 2004 (and here)

Game Tunnel 100%

Game Chronicles Magazine 95% 93% 88%

Gaming Nexus 87%

Home of the Underdogs Top Dog

PC Gamer UK Magazine 85%


Gish is the 2nd best overall selling game for Chronic Logic. Bridge Construction Set remains the best selling game overall and is currently selling better then any other other games despite being almost five years old.

Big thanks to Josiah for giving this detailed information about the Gish sales. Good luck with your new game Kingdom Elemental!

Triptych Sales Stats From Chronic Logic

Josiah Pisciotta was kind enough to provide us the sales stats of their game Triptych. Compared to how much effort these guys put into the game, I think the results are great.

Title: Triptych
Developer: Chronic Logic
Released: June 2002
Development time: Two full time developers 3 weeks (plus one artists for a week or so for interface improvements which were added in patches)
Platforms:Windows (OSX and Linux added later)
Expenses: Less than $200 for art and sound

2002: 462 copies
2003: 147 copies
2004: 159 copies
2005: 143 copies
2006: 60 copies
Total Sales: 972 copies

Price: $14.95 USD

Total sales from after fees: $13000 USD
Other sales total: $12000 USD
Approximate total income: $25000 USD

Marketing and Promotion
As told by Josiah Pisciotta:

For promotion and marketing I did press releases on our web site and tried to get them to as many news sites as we could. I did a PAD file and submitted to as many shareware sites as we could find although I don’t know if that really helped very much. Keeping other products and news coming out helped keep people coming to the web site and finding Triptych as well. Triptych placed 4th in Game Tunnels Puzzle Game of the year award in 2003 and 4th in Game Tunnels most original Concept of the year in 2003. I also sent out review copies to game web pages whenever they were interested in doing a review.

Triptych scored well in almost all reviews:

Game Tunnel GOTY awards 2003: [link] [link]
Game Tunnel (4 out of 5)
Game Faqs (9 out of 10)
Games for PC (5 out of 5)
Home of the Underdogs Top Dog

A couple of magazine CD cover deals overseas made up a majority of the non Chronic Logic sales income. I think releasing the OSX and Linux versions and doing patches to improve the look and feel of the game helped extend the product life. comments:
Thanks for sharing these numbers Josiah, wish you and Chronic Logic success in the future as well!

Sales Statistics: Xmas Bonus (Updated)

Xmas Bonus got new updated sales stats. The total (as of end of July) is 230 – spread across Big Fish Games, Reflexive and Cloverleaf games.

Monthly breakdown:

December 2005 – 179 units
January 2006 – 39 units
February 2006 – 4 units
March 2006 – 0 units
April 2006 – 2 units
May 2006 – 2 units
June 2006 – 1 unit
July 2006 – 3 units

Total: 230 units

Conversion rate was 0.51% on one portal and less on the others.

Sales Statistics: Tropic Ball – Great Indie Game Sales Experiment


Title: TropicBall :: Download :: Buy

Developer: TenGames
Release date: July 2006
Team size: 1 developer and 1 musician
Time of development: about 6 month part time
Platform: Windows

Downloads: 1000 monthly
Direct Sales: 4-5 units monthly
Affiliate sales: not regular
Price: USD 19.95


  • JUN: USD 10.5
  • JUL: USD 41.6
  • AUG: USD 102
  • SEP: USD 229 (2 weeks sales through Russian publisher, direct sales through were zero)


  • Music USD 130
  • Hosting USD 70

PROMOTION: comments
It’s great to see people sharing numbers – and it’s especially nice to get these from Ten Games who said “Tropic Ball was an experiment to test indie game sales”. Abramov was bit hesitant to start another indie game, but I think this is a fine start, and you definitely should continue making games. Either improve this game or make something totally new. You’ve proved yourself that your game can sell – that’s excellent. And perhaps you could use similar approach as GL Golf is using: lower the price for the main product, but offer a full priced combo pack and an expansion pack. Whatever you decide to do, good luck!

And anybody out there with some extra cash and need for a nice game: go to TenGames and purchase Trobic Ball. Purchasing the game supports indie scene where every penny counts.

Sales Statistics: GL Golf, Over $28,000 Total Sales

Title: GL Golf (Download for Mac :: Buy)
Developer: Nuclear Nova Software
Released: March 2004
Time of Development: 5 months part time as a hobby, plus continued improvement since the release, maybe 1-5 hours a week
Platforms : Mac OS X

About development:

I developed GL Golf as a hobby to enter into the uDevGames 2003 contest. It won Editors Choice and received lots of positive feedback. I decided to improve the game and release it as shareware, and I was amazed by the sales. It took about two months to get the sales up to the average rate, but for over two years I have maintained a steady income. This is mostly due to constant updates of the game, at least once a month. I’ve added several new features to every patch, and the version today looks like an entirely different game than the one released in March of 2004.

GL Golf

  • Price: US $15
  • Sold 641 units
  • Total: US $9615

GL Golf Combo

  • Price: US $25
  • Sold 645 units
  • Total: US $16125

GL Golf Expansion

  • Price: US $10
  • Sold 263 units
  • Sales: US $2630

Total sales
$28360 over two and a half years. Average monthly sales – 43 copies of GL Golf or the Combo pack with a total of $945 a month.

Total Downloads – 85,000 + downloads from sites OTHER than

I don’t how many downloads sends me, I actually need to setup a simple counter on my website to count the number of downloads the send me. I am estimating it to be a large number, possibly 25,000-50,000

Jake continues:

I mostly used these five sites –,,,, and . They
probably send me 90% of my downloads, and are 100% esential to ANY
mac game.


  • Contracted course maker’s commission – $2,640
  • Affiliate Sales – $265
  • eSellerate and Plimus Commission – $2,836

Tips to other developers.
As told by Jake Leveto:

  • The casual game market is perfect for small shareware games. My target audience is adults, most of which aren’t hardcore gamers.
  • Update often, adding new features and fixing bugs. Golf is a perfect example of a game that can be improved very easily, and it is much easier to update a game than to make a new game from scratch.
  • If possible create an add-on (expansion pack) for an extra cost, the course pack
    accounts for around 1/3rd of my revenue.
  • Listen to your users, ask for feedback. Most of the features I’ve added to GL Golf have been suggested by owners.

Future Plans

Continue improving GL Golf and my other two games. Due to college I don’t have the time to program a game from scratch, and Its much faster and easier to keep working on GL Golf. I would love to have the game ported to Windows, because all of the sales above are only from Mac users. I may have time to do this in the future but I am considering paying someone to do it for me. comments
I think GL Golf is an excellent example of a successful indie game: made part time, continously upgrading it, steady sales. Big congratulations to Jake at Nuclear Nova Software for sharing the numbers and tips. Good luck with the sales!

Sales Statistics: A n a w i k i Games


  • Developer: Anawiki Games (About)
  • Team size: 3 coders, 2 gfx, freelance musician and contractors
  • Games: Tom’s Hen House (THH), Maggie the Gardener 2 (MG) and Affiliate titles
  • Tom’s Hen House development time: 8-9 months (One coder for the first 5 months, two coders for the rest of time, one gfx)
  • Maggie the Gardener development time: 3-4 months (One coder, one gfx)


“Our indie adventure started when we decided to create Simon the Farmer – Bob the Builder kind of game for kids. After 3 months we realized that this project is too big for us and decided to reuse created assets in smaller games. We wanted to create a game that will take 2-3 months to develop, but it took 8-9 months for Tom’s Hen House to get it finished.”

Now we’re working on 2 games simultaneously: The Ponys and Runique. Both titles have publishers already.

These sales are for direct sales only – does not cover any portal or retail deals.


  • THH: USD 19.95
  • MG: USD 12.95 (first two months it was $9.99)

Downloads: (on-site, does not include or others)

  • THH: approximately 13.500
  • MG: approximately 14.500

Sales stats – direct sales only: 153 units

THH: Total PC: 24, Mac: 29

  • April 06: 4 units (first two fraudulent)
  • May 06: 1 units
  • June 06: 20 units
  • July 06: 13 units
  • August 06: 5 units
  • September 06: 10 units

MG: Total PC: 16, Mac: 52

  • May 06: 5 units (title launched)
  • June 06: 21 units
  • July 06: 16 units
  • August 06: 11 units
  • September 06: 17 units (1st to 24th)

Affiliate games: Total 30

Gross revenue: roughly USD 1960
Net revenue: roughly USD 1200 (net = after cc processing, coupons and split pay)
Avg daily net revenue: USD 7,08
Avg daily sales: USD 0.90
Avg daily sales: 1,61 units (last 4 weeks)
Best week: 18 sales (June 18-25)
Best day: 6 sales (Sept 19th)

Goals: min. 3 sales a day / USD 60 daily revenue


  • THH: roughly USD 1500
  • Maggie: roughly USD 200 on gfx (does not include cost of own time and rev split)


  • IGB press release for THH – April. (Results: Nothing exceptional, but worth it. Tip: you need to introduce yourself to the world somehow.)
  • IGB press release for Maggie – August, Indiepath
  • Download sites submision service
  • 100k impressions in April (I keep banner on selected pages so I get some traffic from them still – you get 8 impressions to you for 10 imprerssion from you).
  • GameXtazy: 30k impressions May/June (Results: can’t tell, but I want to use them again)
  • Forum announcements (Mainly game development forums)
  • Some guerilla marketing (Added Maggie Garden game info for some garden related sites)

Marketing cost total: less than USD 200


“Started really bad. Conversion rate (CR) was very discouraging, sales we’re poor. Now traffic quality incresed and CR is much better, but still lower that 1%, most probably ~0.5%. Some say that selling other games is bad, I say that you need content and you are not able to create enough games even with 5 people team. After a year I believe that breaking up Simon the Farmer into two smaller titles was a failure – we did not shortened dev time that much and ended with 2 games of which one is not that well targeted (actually THH is not really kid game and it’s not really casual game). If you are small then make sure you can easyli create Mac version – without that you better have really strong game (we develop in BlitzMax).

How did we manage to go from 1 sale in April to 20 in June? I didn’t have a Mac then so I needed someone to do the port. I set up a deal with Tim Fisher. He got some revenue share, I got the Mac version. Also, while he was in the process of selling cloverleaf we agreed that he will send out newsletter about Maggie the Gardener (sent to ~2000). That got us sales for MG and THH (not only for Mac). That’s win-win solution – we both got richer. Of course not every sale was made due to newsletter promotion, but it had huge impact on sale numbers.

We announced THH in April on dev forums mainly and while it brought lot’s of downloads it didn’t get as sales. Improving the website helped also. Now ANAWIKI has page rank 5 in google and we have more visitors from search engines. Most important factor is probably release of Mac versions – in Mac world it is much easier to get attention and Maggie was a featured game on for very long time (even now it is not burried on back pages). We did not have that much luck with THH on” Thanks Roman for sharing this numbers. People, now it’s your turn to support indie gaming and purchase some fine games from Anawiki. And remember that you can subscribe to newsletter and get informed when new sales statistics are coming.

$113,160.53 Indie Games Sales

There is a very interesting discussion going on at One developer asked if it’s “Possible to reach annual income of $100.000 with indie development?”

Look what Cliff Harris brought to us. (Notice: these are not just one year sales)

The total income shows $113,160.53 – and that’s just Plimus sales, doesn’t include any other deals. “Took more than a year, sadly.”, Cliff added.

He has previously shared Democracy sales stats and also sales information for his other games: Asteroid miner and Starship Tycoon.

You can read his interview, where he gives some insight on game production.

Thanks for Cliff, for letting me use the image – and thanks for being inspiration for all of us. Now we have to wait for him to get us sales information for Kudos game.

Sales Statistics: Pharaohs’ Curse Gold, $2000 Yearly Sales

Maher Farag a humble developer at Ancient Soft decided to share sales statistics for their fine puzzle game.

Title: Pharaohs’ Curse Gold (Download demo :: Buy)
Developer: Ancient Soft
Release date: 2002
Team size: 1 developer, 1 artist and 1 musician
Time of development: about 4 month part time
Platform: Windows (Mac, Linux versions planned)


  • Downloads: 1500 monthly
  • Direct Sales: 4-15 units monthly
  • Affiliate sales: 1-2 units monthly (not regular)
  • Price: USD 19.95

2006 sales stats :

  • January: 3 sales
  • February: 8 sales
  • March: 5 sales
  • April: 2 sales
  • May: 1 sales
  • June: 4 sales
  • July: 2 sales
  • August: 3 sales


  • Music USD 19
  • Graphics USD 350
  • Hosting USD 100
  • Ads USD 99 (in 2004)
  • Shareware Tracker USD 59

- Submitting to shareware sites

First I would like to thank Maher for doing such a great job making these numbers public. When I asked him about the stats, he was saying “how poor the numbers are” and that’s why he is not interested in sharing them. I said you sell roughly 10 units every month? That’s about 100 units in a year. That’s $2000 per year. $2000 per year is far from being a poor figure!

I really think that indies should be more proud about their achievements. Making a game that sells hundred copies per year is a great achievement. I think this is a great example about a successful indie game: small budget, decent amount of money – and definitely worth sharing.

I wish good luck for Maher and I really recommend every puzzle fan out there to try the game. The game has got great ratings, and is filled with levels. The developers sure have done a big job finishing the game, so they deserve get paid. Skip few beers, and instead – reach out for the wallet and buy their game.

Sales Statistics: Asteroid Miner, Starship Tycoon and Democracy (updated)

I asked Cliff for some more sales statistics, this what I got from him.

Asteroid Miner
- February: US $17,97
- March: US $5.99
- April: US $29.95
- May: US $23.96

Starship Tycoon
- February: US $619.62
- March: US $671.58
- April: US $599.63
- May: US $621.64

Democracy (You might also want to check out the previously published Democracy sales stats)
- February: US $5206.76
- March: US $4,253.83
- April: US $3528.38
- May: US $5916.80

Democracy total direct sales: 3,050 units (in the year since release)


Thats before I take off the 10% credit card processing fee, and subtract bandwidth and other costs. It’s fairly static over this period. There was a bump at the start of June when Democracy was in a newspaper in Denmark, that led to a big spike in sales. The last big sales spike was the christmas one, due to winning the game of the year at gametunnel and the knock-on press from that.

Theres a few extra dollars coming in from old sales links to regnow, maybe $100 a month. Plus theres retail sales from some very old deals that average around $200 a quarter, and my portal sales in total earn me about $150 a month, a trivial chunk of the total.