Today I’m posting data collected during the first couple of Tug of Four’s release. The follow information includes downloads (sales and demos) per day and totals, ratings (1-5 stars on the game’s sale page), the placement for the game on XBLIG’s “Best Selling Today” page, and the results of my advertising.
tl;dr: The game costs a dollar and the split is 70/30 (I get the 70%) with Microsoft. There were a total of 382 sales and 6,324 demos from April 10th through April 30th which comes out to $267.40 for me
But before that, I would like to say I was extremely happy to get the game released.
My main objective for this project was releasing a game. I wanted to create one from start to finish that was manageable and without scope creep, which I feel I’ve accomplished.
The secondary goal was to get 1,000 sales. While working on the game I wanted to make it enjoyable to play, but was also cognizant that this game would be pretty niche; it was a party game designed for three or four people sitting together, which really takes out a large chunk of the market. Even with that understanding, I aimed to release something unique even if it wouldn’t have a large audience. Perhaps there’s a decent market for college parties but I am not sure if I want to actively pursue that market at this point.
Anyway, here are the numbers in chart form.
The image above displays the number of sales compared to demos. There is about a 6% purchase to trial ratio.
I had 54 sales the first day and 47 sales the second day (you can view all of the exact numbers in spreadsheets below). I believe those sales came from a combination of being the front page of r/gaming and r/indiegaming (where it received a lot of positive feedback) and having a position at the front of the Xbox indie queue.
I tried advertising on Reddit’s r/gaming page. I paid $60 to advertise on April 22 and 23. If anyone remembers 4/22 well, that was the day Reddit was in the process of recovering from Amazon’s web service outage. I don’t know if it affected my ad, but thought it was worth mentioning.
I had 10 purchases on 4/22 and 11 on 4/23. I think it’s safe to say that the advertising didn’t help. I had 107,741 impressions and 246 clicks. (If I understand correctly, impressions are how many times the ad was displayed in the banner, and clicks is the number of times the ad was clicked.)
The ratings changed throughout the day and I didn’t get to check them the same time every day. I wanted to document them to figure out if there was a correlation between people rating and total downloads, but if there was it isn’t what I anticipated. I figured that about 10% of the people that purchased the game rated it based on some of the indie games documented numbers. My experience did not have that outcome, at least not yet.
The last image is much more hectic looking than the rest, but entails the best information. This shows my placement on the “Best Selling Today” list compared to how many sales I had for the day (not total, yes I used a bar graph for the other daily sales but I thought this looked nicer). The higher the blue, the more sales, the lower the red, the better placed I am on the sales page. The first two days of zero do not count. I did not see my placement on the first or second day but finally remembered to start checking the third day. Based on what I think is the case, I don’t think I was on the list the second day anyway.
If you notice, the first six days in sales are 14, 54, 47, 33, 31, and 27 but, the placement on the page is as such: 0?, 0?, 55th, 6th, 10th. The only sales day worth putting me in 6th would be the second day (4/11).
I think there are two things to take away from this:
1) The “Best Selling Today” page lags two days behind. This makes sense because at best, I didn’t know my sales until at least a day later.
2) You can get a rough idea of what someone is making per day based on their position in the queue. For example, when I was in 6th place, I had 54 purchases two days prior. However, when you get to the first few places, it would be unrealistic to have any prediction.
While reviewing the numbers, I do notice a small problem with my train of thought. I had 33 sales on the 13th. Two days later I was in 14th place. I also had 33 sales on the 17th. I was in 49th place two days after that. I have a thought on why that may be. It might include demos even though it says “Best SELLING Today.” They already lied about the today part (it seems) so why not do the same for the word selling?
This post has been speculation based on my own experiences and the data I encounter. If anyone has seen different or has data they would like to contribute, please post a comment below!
Below are the links to the data I have been referencing, this way you can ignore anything I have to say and just look at the cold hard facts if you choose.