Over the years, I’ve occasionally contacted other shareware authors to see how many copies they’ve sold of this or that game I’ve played. For one, I was curious before releasing Midnight Mansion what kind of sales potential the game might have. For another, I was curious if I was correct about some games that I felt were poor, would sell badly, and others that were good, should sell well.
Many authors don’t like to share their sales stats. I might share Midnight Mansion’s at some point, but for now, I found some interesting posts by Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software. He makes RPG games with an emphasis on quality gameplay, not graphics, and has been able to do this for a living for over 15 years — definitely a success story for any Indy Game Developer. Here are the posts, which any other Indy developer is likely to find quite interesting:
One thing I find interesting is that I’ve actually sold more copies of Midnight Mansion than Jeff sold of Avernum 4, and yet I’ve made a bit less money than he has, due to the lower price point ($20 versus $28). Which makes me wonder if I’m charging the right amount for it. Unlike the games on so many portals, I’ve had plenty of people tell me that Midnight Mansion keeps them interested far longer than other games… just got an email the other day from someone who is still playing it after 5 years. Compare that to the tons of “me too” games on portals, like Wedding Dash, or the thousands of match-3 games… these games *should* be selling for the $6.99 to $9.99 prices many of them have recently been lowered to, as they don’t offer much new to gamers, and the hours of fun gameplay they provide is much smaller. Jeff has a few articles in his blog about this very topic, which I recommend reading if you’re curious.
Also, if you want to read more sales stats for various indie games, check out this site.