Easter Bonus Sales Stats

I recently posted sales stats for my Xmas Bonus game and now it’s time for some Easter Bonus sales stats!

Easter Bonus was my second game and it was launched early in 2006 on several portals. It was based on the Xmas Bonus code base but with some minor improvements, plus it had better graphics and music.

Initially the game was published by Indiepath (but I negotiated a higher cut than for Xmas Bonus and this made a good difference to my revenue) and then later on I took back the publishing control and launched it via Oberon which gave a good sales spike during Easter 2007 (see graph below).

Sales Stats

Sales stats are in US Dollars for easy comparison.

– Direct Sales: 14 (same as Xmas Bonus at time of writing)
– Portal Sales: 444 (similar to Xmas Bonus but a bit higher)
– Total Sales: 459 (similar to Xmas Bonus but a bit higher)

– Direct Revenue: $219.00 (approx.) (This is double Xmas Bonus because the price was double!)
– Portal Revenue: $2011.42 (approx.) (This is quite a lot higher than Xmas Bonus)
– Total Revenue: $2230.43 (approx.) (This is quite a lot higher than Xmas Bonus)

Note: This is the net revenue, so the value of sales minus transaction fees and publisher/portals commissions. Gross revenue would have been a lot higher, maybe $9000+

Note: The game was originally launched at $19.95 and I kept it at that price instead of dropping it to $9.95 like I did with Xmas Bonus in its second year. This is why its revenue is a lot higher than Xmas Bonus.

Check out this graph of sales over the last 3 years. You can see peaks for the first two Easters but then it pretty much fizzles out. The first two peaks are big because they correspond to the initial launch and “re-launch” where I asked the portals to re-promote it again because it was a seasonal game. After that I didn’t bother to re-launch it because I was focussed on my newer more successful games. Note that it still sells a few copies every month, it’s slightly more consistent than Xmas Bonus.

Easter Bonus Sales Graph


– Artist, Stock Art, Music, Shareware Submission Service: $736.12

– Total profit: $1494.31

– Profit per unit: $3.26

The main spend here was art. The game has great pixel art by Jason Faramus, who I made contact with on the Blitz forums. The stock art was used for the title screen and options menu. Some of the music was free from and some was composed by Damien Sturdy (also from the Blitz forums).

Almost everything in Xmas Bonus was stock art or programmer art and the music was free low quality stuff (but OK). However I wanted to up the stakes with Easter Bonus and have properly customised art and music so that the game was more cohesive and I think it worked well. But in hindsight, the pixel art look may not have helped sales (awesome and cute as it is). Other games at the time were coming out with great pre-rendered 3D shapes and fancy backgrounds so mine didn’t quite live up to them in the eye candy department. This is why I switched to BlitzMax for Oz (to do more fancy special effects with scaling, rotation and alphablending) and why the producer of that game paid for pre-rendered 3D shapes and painted backgrounds.

Still, I’m fond of this game and it has made a little bit more profit than Xmas Bonus and will probably continue to slightly outpace it over time.

Effective Hourly Wage

I kept a detailed time log of working on Easter Bonus and the total hours were 184 – this includes marketing and portal contracts etc at the end. It took less time to make than Xmas Bonus because I already had a code base to work with, but I still added in some improvements. A lot of the time was getting the new look and feel right and there was also a certain overhead in designing and testing some new levels (although a few are actually the same as Xmas Bonus!). I basically “re-skinned” Xmas Bonus, as some people scornfully put it, but note that it was not a simple quick task at all as the total hours worked shows.

Anyway, this gives an effective hourly wage of $8.12. Not a huge wage at all, but it’s $3.00 more than for Xmas Bonus, so it showed progress! My other games seriously blast this out of the water though (some add a zero to the hourly wage!)

Keep an eye out for my Holiday Bonus sales stats coming soon. They are pretty rad.

Once again, I hope that you enjoyed this post and that you found it useful (either as inspiration or as a warning, lol). Thanks for reading!

2 Responses to “Easter Bonus Sales Stats”

  1. Luke Hedman Says:

    Hi Grey!

    This is a good read. I don’t know much about the indie market so any sort of sales data helps. I thought the most insightful statistic was finding your effective hourly wage. Here in California it’s $8.50. Maybe the payout was affected by piracy 🙁

    Also “re-skinning” a program base is an interesting idea. I’m sure purchases go up around the appropriate holidays. Having enough themes for year-round exposure would be expensive, but maybe the increased sales would be a big enough offset.

    I included you in a little article on my blog. I don’t like link spamming, but Blogger doesn’t support trackbacks. I’m still working on a third party solution. In the mean time I still want you to know. You have good products and style so I’m spreading the word and sharing the love. 😉

    Keep it up! I’ll be reading.

    BTW: Do you sell anything on Steam? Is your work with Big Fish exclusive now? Do you plan on Steam distribution in the future?

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Hi Luke, certainly all my games have been pirated but that’s not unusual in casual games. The hourly wage is low of course but it was a start and it kept me encouraged to continue.

    Some portals, like Real, would not accept my games purely because they were seasonal. Probably the best thing is to make a game that can be sold all year round to be honest unless you can reskin very easily.

    Hey thanks for the link, I really appreciate it and your kind words! Good luck with your own blog and career, sounds like you have some challenges to keep you busy.

    I’ve never sold anything on Steam, my games are probably not that suited to the average Steam customer being casual in nature, when most stuff on Steam is hardcore. Of course I know there are some big name casual games on Steam too. One of my games my go on XBLA soon, I’ll blog more about that at a later date…Perhaps one day I can make arcade games again and then put those on Steam, who knows? …