“Because We May” Sale Results

Recently a bunch of indies banded together to run a sale for a week in which we reduced the prices of our games sold via distributors as well as on our own sites. Not all distributors let developers alter their prices so this sale was a nod to those distributors who do actually let us control our own prices.

I reduced the price of my games on Android, iOS, Mac App Store, and my own site. I don’t have any games on Steam. It’s not easy to modify the price of your games on XBLIG, Windows Phone and Amazon, nor on any of the casual portals like Big Fish Games, iWin, Real etc.

Price reductions

- The mobile SD versions were on sale for $0.99 (down from a temporary hike to $1.99) and the HD and Mac App Store versions for $1.99 (down from $4.99)
- The PC/Mac Direct versions were reduced from $9.99 to $2.99

My Results

Android Holiday Bonus SD: 6 units = $6 (gross)
Android Holiday Bonus HD: 11 units = $22 (gross)
Total: 17 units = $28 x 0.7 (developer cut) = $19.60 approx.
Usually I get 0 sales on Android so this was a large increase.

iOS Holiday Bonus SD: 5 units = $3.31 (usually 1 sale in same time period, so reasonable increase in sales)
iOS Holiday Bonus HD: 15 units = $20.41 (usually 7 sales in same time period, so sales doubled but revenue reduced slightly!)
Total: 20 units = $23.72
Usually I get about 8 sales, so there was a boost in units sold but revenue slightly reduced.

Mac App Store HB: 4 units = $5.24 (usually 0, so small increase)
Mac App Store SB: 2 units = $2.66 (usually 1-2, so revenue was definitely reduced)
Max App Store OZ: 14 units = $18.99 (usually 2-3, so pretty good increase in sales. Revenue just under double.)
Total: 20 units = $26.89
Usually 3-4 sales, so there was boost in units sold and revenue approximately doubled.

Direct HB (PC): 2 units = $3.48
Direct SB (PC): 1 units = $1.74
Direct SB (Mac): 1 units = $1.74
Direct Oz (PC): 12 units = $20.88
Direct Oz (Mac): 2 units = $3.48
Total: 18 units = $31.32
Usually 0-1 sales, so this was a good boost.

Total sales = 75 units = $101.53
Usually I get about 12 sales and approx. $42 if I make no direct sales. Every time I make a direct sale I get $9 so it’s by far the best method but unfortunately it rarely happens.

Conclusion

- Android got a good boost in units sold, but revenue was poor.
- iOS got a boost in sales but revenue was slightly reduced! If there were just a few more sales then it would have been better than a normal week. Basically I needed to make just over double the normal sales to make the same amount of money.
- Mac App Store got a good boost and revenue approximately doubled.
- Direct Sales got a good boost and revenue was the best of all platforms. A good portion of these sales were from existing customers who I sent a newsletter to or who saw the sale on my Grey Alien Games Facebook page.

So in total I sold about 63 units more than normal (this is about a 600% increase) and made about $60 more than normal (about a 140% increase)

Certainly I wouldn’t call this sale a big success for me but it was interesting to participate in. My games are casual games, not big name indie games so they were somewhat out of place in the sale, but I wanted to try it anyway.

You might be wondering how the hell I can survive on crappy sales like that. Well the huge bulk of my income comes from casual portals who sell my games. Of course I’d love to sell more units direct and via the platforms that give the developer the best cut (Android/iOS/Mac App Store/Steam), but it’s very hard to do with casual games. As I move into making more “indie” games, I hope to gain more traction with direct sales and those platforms mentioned.

You can also read about a Thanksgiving sale I ran last year in this article.

2 Responses to ““Because We May” Sale Results”

  1. harsh Says:

    wow..those numbers look really low.
    When you say you get most of your revenue from casual game portals..is it mainly BFG for PC?
    Do you sell your games for Mac through BFG as well? If so is there a significant difference between BFG Mac sales and Mac Appstore sales?

    Just a thought here ..if your PC games did well with casual game portals, did you try using them as publishers for the mobile platforms?

    Do you think indie developers need publishers to get visibility on appstores

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    It used to be mainly BFG and Oberon for PC/Mac but now some of the other portals (iWin/Real) are really making good money indeed. BFG Mac sales are indeed a lot higher than the Mac Appstore sales for app m,y games.
    I tried using BFG as a publisher for Holiday Bonus on iOS/Android but it was too short notice, so I gave them loads of notice for Spring Bonus but they let me down and so I used Hothead who did a good job.

    I think that publishers can definitely help if you are not great at marketing and don’t have press contacts and a history of well-known indie games behind you.