On May 9th I posted the second part of my report on how my game Kyobi was doing. This is the final part of the report, nearly 2 months on.
The Kongregate referral payments have now finished. When I sold Kyobi Kongregate were my Primary sponsor. They offered me $200 upfront on referral payments (basically any time someone clicks one of the Kong logos in my game, I got paid for it). The last time I wrote they had just paid me my first months worth of clicks (just under $800). Since then I received 2 more payments, one for the month of May at $1548 and June at $382. I know that if GameJacket hadn’t died then the June payment would have been a lot higher. That is now the end of the agreement I had with Kongregate, and it certainly was an unexpected bonus to the games earnings.
Of course as we all know by now, GameJacket have gone bust. This means I never got paid the $1000 they owed me, so I have to deduct that from the previous total Kyobi had made.
Kyobi on the iPhone has enjoyed moderate success, and there is still a constant trickle of sales coming in. Between launch in late March and the end of May it has sold 5802 copies (an average of 77 copies per day). Because of the way Apple report sales I cannot give figures for June yet. But I do know that they are much lower than April and May. Summer time, plus now being an “old” game don’t help. It was fascinating to see how the sales changed. Some days it would shift nearly 300 copies, and then drop down to 100 the next day. Chart position played a really important role, as you can imagine. Right now it still enjoys a healthy ranking in European countries and, strangely enough, Japan. Bear in mind that I only get a percentage of sales (the lions share going to the publisher) but it still equated to $1563 to the end of May.
More small sponsor versions
I sold two more sponsor branded copies of Kyobi since the last report. Both were very small scale and only netted me $200 in total, but it’s still all helpful. Incredibly off the back of these sales I also sold two copies of one of my first ever Flash games, Abombinaball, so the knock-on effect was pleasant to say the least 🙂 It also gave me two more portal contacts that I can approach when my new games are ready.
So how does it all stack-up now? Well taking the figures from the last report into account ($10,105). Deducting the $1000 GameJacket will never give me ($9105). Add in the new iPhone sales, sponsorships and Kongregate payments. And the total from my little game stands at $12,798. At the current exchange rate that’s £7833. Of course you then need to deduct the UK tax I have to pay from this.
In “real life” terms after tax that equals what I get paid from my day job over the course of a couple of months. So does this mean I could quit my job and do this full-time? Well, no. For a start I wouldn’t actually want to. While extremely demanding my job is also very satisfying. I work with a great team of talented people in one of the most creative places in the UK. That alone has value to me. The other important factor is that this money came in dribs and drabbs over a period of 12 weeks. That is not helpful when you have fixed mortgage payments, food to buy, etc. I know a lot of people who can and do work like this, and are very successful at it, but I just don’t really have the self discipline needed to stay on-top of all the paperwork. I admire greatly those that do.
And it’s a risk because not every game I make will be this successful. Perhaps I’ll never get this level of success ever again. Of course I’m optimistic that the game I’m working on at the moment is original and fun enough to do well. But that’s like saying I’m optimistic that my lottery numbers will come in next week. Granted it’s not a gamble on the same level, I mean you can’t sit back and look at your lottery numbers and go “damn, that’s a fine piece of work there”. But there’s an element of risk in all game releases, and logic or fairness doesn’t always win. You never know who you are up against that month. Or what the overall feeling of the gaming world will be. And you never will.
So to conclude I just want to say that whatever you do, keep on coding, and keep on making great games. Because there is definitely a market for them. Many people far greater than I ever will be demonstrate every day that there is a life to be made in building beautiful Flash games. And living from those proceeds. If you are one of those people, I tip my hat to you. If you aspire to be one, you have my best wishes for your success.
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