Spiderweb Games - How Many Games I Sell
Jeff Vogel has posted an unprecedented and detailed article at his new blog, titled So Here's How Many Games I Sell. Using Geneforge 4 as an average example, Jeff reveals the development cost, current unit sales and dollars generated:
Of course, while I am giving sales figures, I'm not going to reveal the salaries for everyone at Spiderweb Software. I will simply say that, between the salaries for the creators, the costs for freelancers to makes graphics, general business expenses for the year (insurance, internet, a new computer or two), and the printing costs for hint books, Geneforge 4 cost about $120K to make. If I had to do all of the code and graphics from scratch, this figure would have been around fifty percent higher.
Generally, when an Indie developer reveals the size of their budget, online commenters will go, "No way! It could never cost that much!" But time costs money. I work for a salary, and my time spent writing Geneforge 4 is time not spent earning money elsewhere. Salaries only don't count toward the budget if your time has no value. And time is the most valuable thing you have.
A second post will cover how Jeff sets the price, PC vs Mac breakdowns and other related observations.