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Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
20-02-2011, 04:14 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2011 04:15 PM by Rodney.)
Post: #1
Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
Does anyone know if we made some PC ONLY games would they stand a chance of making any/good money?

I'm guessing the PC has the biggest amount of indie games released every year but it must also have the biggest user base? I'm wondering how many of these indie games make profit?

It would probably be the cheapest option to develop for but it lacks a direct market like istore, xboxlive & ovi although it does have that steam site which seems popular?
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20-02-2011, 04:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
(20-02-2011 04:14 PM)Rodney Wrote:  Does anyone know if we made some PC ONLY games would they stand a chance of making any/good money?

I'm guessing the PC has the biggest amount of indie games released every year but it must also have the biggest user base? I'm wondering how many of these indie games make profit?

It would probably be the cheapest option to develop for but it lacks a direct market like istore, xboxlive & ovi although it does have that steam site which seems popular?

I think it would be genre specific. If you ever go into a game shop and look at the vast majority of games in the PC section, it appears to be flight simulators, FPS and RTS in more or less that order... I guess you also have to ask yourself are those the genres of games you would feel happy working in?

Personally i would, but i dont want to rule out X box 360/PS3 in the future.

Thomas Gray - Chairman and Lead Designer Causeway Games
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20-02-2011, 08:30 PM
Post: #3
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
Well having recently joined steam myself in just the past week and having looked around a bit I have come across some interesting information, for example they have 30 million users and as of now Valve makes more money per employee than Google or Apple. They don't release financial info but they control 50-70% of the $4 billion per year market for downloaded games and are estimated to be worth 2 billion. This is all from PC/Mac sales and from what I could see they have as many indie games on there as main stream games. Basically the PC game market is still massive and there is money to be made.
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22-02-2011, 01:01 AM
Post: #4
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
I think this is good, very good news!
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22-02-2011, 05:31 PM
Post: #5
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
As of February 2011, there are over 1,250 games available through Steam and over 30 million "active" (logged into in last 30 days) user accounts. I have checked today and there are 206 Indie games on Steam ranging in price from £0.99 to £17.99 (so about a sixth of all games I had been loking mostly in the Mac section which has a larger percentage of Indie games ).

Bejeweled 3 is there at £13.99 so I think we should bring in Rotasphere at £13.99 also. I know this seems high but if we believe its a good game we should reflect that in the price as people are obviously willing to pay this amount on Steam for a puzzle game. I know that personally I would be more likely to check out an Indie Game at a higher price point as it appears more professional. Also if after a month or two its not selling we can just drop the price.
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22-02-2011, 10:59 PM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2011 11:16 PM by Thomas.)
Post: #6
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
(22-02-2011 05:31 PM)Stuart Wrote:  As of February 2011, there are over 1,250 games available through Steam and over 30 million "active" (logged into in last 30 days) user accounts. I have checked today and there are 206 Indie games on Steam ranging in price from £0.99 to £17.99 (so about a sixth of all games I had been loking mostly in the Mac section which has a larger percentage of Indie games ).

Bejeweled 3 is there at £13.99 so I think we should bring in Rotasphere at £13.99 also. I know this seems high but if we believe its a good game we should reflect that in the price as people are obviously willing to pay this amount on Steam for a puzzle game. I know that personally I would be more likely to check out an Indie Game at a higher price point as it appears more professional. Also if after a month or two its not selling we can just drop the price.


Just to expand on this, this would be a good move from a business perspective because if we start cheap then we mantain the public appearance that we are a company releasing cheap games which is not the target audience we want if we ever hope to release AAA standard to the mainstream hardcore market in the future. We could potentially typecast ourselves and any attempt to release higher value games will alienate our customers.

I will say though that if we are releasing at 14 quid we had better make sure the final product is DAMN GOOD. If we pull it off, we will have a significantly lower sales target than my original projected 1000 a week. 250 a week (or maybe 300 taking into account tax) should enable us to break even while running at a professional capacity! Exciting times.

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23-02-2011, 12:12 PM
Post: #7
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
I agree with Thomas but again it depends on the market your selling into, selling on Steam the game is going to be set at a different price than Xbox live. I am also not sure what the deal is yet with regards getting a game onto Steam and what sort of a percentage they take, or if any other restrictions are in place but will check it out.
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26-02-2011, 01:47 AM (This post was last modified: 26-02-2011 01:52 AM by Rodney.)
Post: #8
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
Just being reading that getting on steam can be tricky but there are loads of alternatives.
Which makes me worry about the iphone market, it has a serious problem in that if apple rejects a game then is that game a total waste of time? Where else can you sell it? Can/do many people buy iphone games from other places? Apple do have a reputation for rejecting games for no real reason.
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26-02-2011, 02:09 AM
Post: #9
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
apple will only reject the game if there is copyright issues or the age rating is ridiculous, or if there is offensive content i.e. racism. but if we are still worried then I would suggest making a quick mock up of the game to send to apple for them to look at it
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26-02-2011, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 26-02-2011 04:29 PM by Stuart.)
Post: #10
RE: Is PC ONLY a viable business option?
Checked with steam and they first evaluate a game to see if its worth selling and then make an offer individually to each developer with regards to commission so basically every one gets their own deal depending on game quality and brand strength. Anyone going in with their first game is going to be a risk from their point of view so they will probably take 30-40% commission and they also suggest what price the game should sell at on their site.

There are hundreds of other download sites for PC games be we really want to be on the top 5 if we are going to see any sort of worthwhile return.

As for apple I am guessing that itunes is the main port of call for most people buying any apps for iphone/ipad but i would say there are other outlets although i dont know if it would be worth selling through these.
One good thing about steam is that they are happy for you to sell your game through other suppliers and don't restrict you to selling through their site.
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